Yes! Virtua Fighter 5 has been released in Japan 8 months ago when in Europe we can at last play the... card game! Indeed, French magazine Consoles + offers a self-made 54 cards game featuring characters from the famous Sega fighting game (this gift can be seen as an official product since it's been validated by the blue hedgehog company). So, Kings look like Kage, Akira, Jeffry and Lau while Queens are Pai, Sarah, Vanessa and Eileen. The magazine even explains how to play Texas Hold'em. Note that if you play poker, remind to remove the jokers from the game before starting to play. You can found this in Consoles + nr 181 (already?!), that's the march 2007 edition. Thus if you don't got it yet; run to your press shop because the april number will replace it on the shelves very soon! Price is 8 €. In short, while waiting for an hypothetical european version of Virtua Fighter 5, we can spend our time at the poker table. Unfortunately, we might all be ruined before the game is out... Akira, you bluff!
Since two weeks, the Namusco company is the new manager of the Luna Neuve arcade. No more computer components sales and welcome to new games! Indeed, arcade corner's surface was doubled. From now on, you can race against your friend on OutRun2 SP's deluxe cabinets, ride Fast & Furious Super Bikes, shoot zombies in The House of the Dead 4 and hit the ball in Virtua Tennis 3. Moreover, up to 4 players can play OutRun 2 and 2 players can compete in Tokyo Cop and Smashing Drive thanks to the extra machines. Find the complete gamelist on the location's page. In addition to the arcade part, Luna Neuve offers a LAN consisting of 27 internet connected PCs allowing you to enjoy World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and some other games. About this, Counter-Strike and Warcraft III tournaments will be organized soon. The arcade, located in the heart of Louvain-la-Neuve, is open monday to friday from 9.30 to 23 o'clock and on weekends and public holidays from 13.30 to 22 o'clock. Keep an eye on this place!
Stunfest's 2007 edition named "Battles of Roazhon" will be held on the weekend of 28 and 29 april at the "Espace des Deux Rives" in Rennes (France). It's an annual gathering of video game fans organised by the french association 3 Hit Combo. Even if the event's mainly centered on fighting games tournaments, there are many other things to check out there such as arcade games, consoles, cosplay, dancing stages, a 50 computers LAN, racing games and a Nintendo League stand. Although most tourneys are done on home versions, some arcade games competitions will occur on saturday. Played games will be Capcom VS SNK 2 - Millionaire Fighting 2001, Dance Dance Revolution (style and score), Garou - Mark of the Wolves and Super Street Fighter II X - Grand Master Challenge (2 vs 2 teamplay). For the finals: one stage, one Versus City and one big screen. Many arcade cabinets will be laid out in the hall allowing you to play some fighting games, shoot'em up and other beat'em all. Entrance is free, only the tournaments are charged. You can already register by sending an e-mail including your last name, first name, nickname, location, chosen tournament(s), team name (only required for team tourneys) and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry fee varies from 4 to 7 € and can make you win up to 200 € if you're good enough. The arcade corner is sponsorised by Arcaland and Neo-Arcadia. 3 Hit Combo put a trailer online which is more like a true short (18 minutes long). It's very funny (if you understand french) and we advise you to watch it. The "Espace des Deux Rives" is located at number 4 of the "allée Georges Palante" in Rennes (France). Tournaments begin on saturday 28th april at 14 o'clock. Don't be late!
Good news for players living around Liège; a new video games shop named "Player" opened its doors in Fléron in last november. There you can try out the latest XBox 360 and Playstation 3 titles (on big screen) using the consoles on display and surf the web or play a network game with your friends thanks to the 8 available PCs. Michaël, Johnny, Vincent and Marco serve you on monday from 10 to 19h, from tuesday to saturday from 10 to 21h and on sunday from 13 to 21h. Player is also specialized in second hand. But the most interesting fact is the presence of 2 Naomi cabinets fitted with Street Fighter III - 3rd Strike and The King Of Fighters XI, these are exclusiveness in Belgium since the closing of the Family Games Gallery in Brussels. There's also a double Astro City allowing 4 players simultaneous gameplay in Dungeons & Dragons - Shadow over Mystara! A great move that will hopefully give ideas to others. This shop is held by fanatics who are very kind. No doubt this place will become a privileged meeting point for arcade games lovers. Check out the dedicated page to discover the address. You can also find it on our new locations map. Thanks to Budo-ka for the info.
After the ATEI 2007 which you can read our report in the articles section, trade shows keep getting organized throughout Europe. Even if being less international, these events are nonetheless the opportinity to observe the latest trends on our old continent. This month is especially busy. Let's start with the AmEx 2007 that will take place on tuesday 6 and wednesday 7 march at the Lynch Green Isle Hotel in Dublin (Ireland). Spring edition of Italy's big ENADA show, the ENADA Primavera will occur from thursday 22 to sunday 25 march in Rimini. In Spain, it's the Feria Andaluza del Recreativo 2007 that will attract professionals from wednesday 28 to friday 30 march in Malaga. Last but not least, we'll end this month in Greece with Gamenet Expo's second edition, from friday 30 march to monday 2nd april et the EKEP Exhibition Center near Athens.
From today on, you can order spare parts for your Sega machines (wheels, joysticks, guns, panels, ...) directly from the manufacturer's new division: Sega Total Solutions (STS). This new department becomes the exclusive distributor for Sega spares (so general suppliers like Suzo stop selling them). On the other hand, nothing changes for the official distributors so you can still ask at Namusco when you're in need of replacement parts. You can reach Sega Total Solutions by phone at +44 (0) 208 391 8060 or by visiting their website: www.segatotalsolutions.com.
Another news; Sega Sammy Holdings announced a 23% fall in their profits for the april to december 2006 period, falling from 63,49 to 49,38 billions yens (a bit more than 312 470 000 €). The company recorded a 3,9% fall in sales but precisely states this figures apply to Sammy's pachinko department only. Sega amusement and home products sales are very good. So it seems that acquiring Sega proved to be a smart move for Sammy.
Mostly known for his In The Groove dancing game, texan developer Roxor Games will release two new titles soon: the first one named "Road Rebel" is as you guess a driving game centred on destruction. Indeed when playing alone, you can choose one of the 5 supercharged and heavily armed cars (fitted with miniguns, rockets, ...) and have to complete the whole 6 courses while blasting lots of things. In multiplayer mode (up to 4 players), the choice is extended to 12 deadly war machines. The deathmatch then takes place in one of the 6 specially designed arenas. All of this set in a futuristic world with varied environments on the punk rock music of Fat Wreck Chords (9 songs). You can of course upgrade your car between races with the money you previously gathered. According to players who tested it during a location test, the game is fast and furious. Road Rebel will be available as both complete standard sit-down cabinet and kit format suitable to most existing driving cabinets. The second title to come is called Tux 2. It's the follow-up to Tux Racer. Aimed at youngers, the game's system is still the same; you control Tux the penguin (the famous Linux mascot) racing snowy downhill courses while trying to catch objects. The machines gives out tickets, the number of tickets depending on the quantity of objects you collected. The controls consist of a steering wheel (like the one used for the second model of the original game) and a unique button allowing your character to take off once the gauge is full. Many new features appear in this second opus: first of all, you don't have to catch herrings but candies, the courses are now fitted with obstacles of a new genre like whirligigs and carousels that will turn you round and round if you get stuck in them. New playable characters have been added: aside Tux the penguin and his girlfriend Trixi, you can play as Boris the bear and Samuel the seal on the game's four race courses. Here's the game of the moment since penguins are very popular among children these days.
The ATEI 2007 closed its doors yesterday. We'll publish a report covering this unmissable event very soon. Meanwhile, here are the new games that impressed us or at least that stood out of the rest: Sega once again took the lead with The House of the Dead 4 Special. This is rather a theme park ride than a simple video game but it's a success! Two giant screens, air is blown in your face, a rotating two persons seat, sudden movements and a new story, it's really superb! OutRun2 SP SDX is also very good adding movement and 2 players by car gameplay to OutRun2 SP. But the system implying to switch car controls between players (often) at the worse moment will cause some arguments between team mates. The machine showcased at ATEI will be housed at La tête dans les nuages in Paris. Now that the show is over, you know where to go to try it out. 2 Spicy cleverly renews the shooting genre thanks to its competitive gameplay, more freedom of movement, the ability to destroy setting elements and to zoom in to better kill your opponent. After Burner Climax is splendid and refreshing, sensations guaranteed with the SDX version. At last the Let's Go Jungle! lightgun game recalls The Lost World. It will please a wide audience by its accessibility and its adventure theme. It's the perfect game to play with your partner. On Namco's side, we advise Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, a lot better than the original and very different from the other racing games. Talking about racers, Taito brings us the very good Chase H.Q. 2, the aim is the same as in the first episode released nearly 20 years ago; you have to arrest an escaped criminal by hitting his car several times in order to destroy it. We missed that! And it's even better in a two player game! Let's also mention Konami's beatmania IIDX14 Gold, DrumMania V3 and GuitarFreaks V3 that will delight music games fans! There were many other games showcased at ATEI but the titles mentioned above are the novelties you can blind buy (however pay attention to your budget if you're interested in The House of the Dead 4 Special or OutRun2 SP SDX). We invite you to wait a few days for our comments on the other titles which will appear in our report.
Be sure to pass by the gigantic Nekkerhal in Mechelen on saturday 20th and sunday 21st of january (between 9:30 and 18:00) to visit the ninth edition of Collector Fantasies. During this collectors fair, more than 120 exhibitors will showcase all sorts of collectibles (books, CDs, vinyls, posters, postcards, etc..), mainly things from the fifties to the seventies but especially jukeboxes and numerous pinballs! Talking about pinballs, you'll be able to witness the latest models and to enter the Belgian Pinball Championship that will take place there! Pinballs will be played the whole weekend and the grand final is scheduled for sunday in the afternoon. There will also be arcade games, particularly on the Star Wars booth hosted by real Stormtroopers and a Pump it Up for DDR (Dancing Stage) maniacs. So whatever your passion is, you'll find what you love there! Note the entry price is of 6 € only! Thanks to Nikki of Flippers.be for the info.
ATEI 2007 is coming soon since this show takes place from 24 to 26 january 2006 at the Earls Court in London. So let's have a look at what Sega's cooking for this edition. Their stand will be two times bigger than last year (that's around 500m²) and this extra space will be necessary to contain all showcased titles, see for yourself: the deluxe version of Ford Racing Full Blown, Ghost Squad Evolution, the new competitive lightgun shooter Too Spicy Apache, Let's Go Jungle, Extreme Hunting 2 in both standard (Naomi cabinet) and deluxe 50" versions, Virtua Tennis 3 hosted in Naomi (4/3) and Lindbergh (16/9) Universal Cabinets. But the heavy artillery will be made of the famous OutRun2 SP SDX featuring 4 moving cars (8,25 meters long), The House of the Dead 4 Special attraction and After Burner Climax showcased in its 3 versions; static Standard, moving Deluxe and Super Deluxe (Simuline motion simulator) without forgetting the latest version of the big World Cup Champions Football named European Clubs 2005-2006. Trading card games will be here again with Mushiking, Dinosaurking and the european version of Love and Berry (aimed at girls who rather like fashion than insects or dinosaurs). As you see, it's good and heavy this year! We'll of course cover this event in our traditional report but you can already order your OutRun2SP SDX in 2 or 4 cars edition (that's 4 or 8 players) to your Sega distributor. But you must know there's a 5 months delay between order and delivery because the first production run is already totally sold out.
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