This month, 1ccShirts celebrates Video System! This company established in Kyoto in 1984 by Koji Furukawa began by creating mahjong games (including the Final Romance series) and puzzles like Alexey Pajitnov's Hatris and Welltris and the arcade adaptation of Pipe Dream. Video System also produced the Karate Blazers beat'em all, the Ta-o Taido fighting game and the F-1 Grand Prix, F-1 Grand Prix Part II and Lethal Crash Race racing games. They are also responsible of Power Spikes volleyball game and its infamous sequel Power Spikes II on MVS. A game so bad that many of the cartridges were converted at the factory into Puzzle Bobble cartridges. Later, they made the MVS breakout game Pop'n Bounce. But Video System is best known for its famous series of 4 shoot'em ups titled Sonic Wings (known is Europe as Aero Fighters). The developers of the first Sonic Wings video game left Video System shortly after the game release to found Psikyo. Their latest arcade game was Quiz & Variety Sukusuku Inufuku released in September 1998. The company closed its doors in 2001. The T-shirt proposed by 1cc Shirts is a red Gildan branded T-shirt with the Video System logo on the front subtitled with the catch phrase "Dream. Fantastic Play" in Japanese language. You have until Sunday, December 27th to place your order. The price is $25 including shipping to the USA and $33 for the rest of the world.
ad news: the famous Akedo arcade in Lille will close its doors on Sunday December 20th, 2015. Opened in February 2013, the offer of machines has continuously grown with titles like ReRave Plus, In The Groove 3, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, Rhythm Tengoku and Alien Extermination as well as many classics such as Super Street Fighter II X, The King of Fighters'98, Metal Slug 3, Puzzle Bobble and ESP Ra.De. The atmosphere is great and the place is often crowded. In fact, the only problem is the lack of space. The lease ending in January 2016, Akedo is forced to move. For over a year, they are looking to expand while staying in the city of Lille. Despite a strong case and positive results, access to all the interesting places were refused by reluctant landlords. The reasons for their refusal are the same as usual: "Is this stuff still popular?", "It's full of thugs.", "Isn't it a bit outdated?". As you can see, the landlords have in mind the vision of the old European arcades (which have either closed down or turned into mini casinos a long time ago). This is all the more damaging because the young entrepreneur opening an arcade has a model more like a Japanese game center in mind. Regarding profitability concerns, video games have never been as popular as now and the retro gaming trend provoked a nostalgia shock bringing the public back to the arcades which have become very rare. There's a clear lack of supply to meet demand. We had the same joke when a bank has refused us a loan for the purchase of a warehouse to host our arcade machines. Someone had first accepted the loan and then she went on vacation, one of his colleagues then refused the loan at the last minute, saying that the bank "would have nothing to do with the casino business". This forced us to find another bank in an emergency. We got a loan in the evening but at a less favorable rate. The general lack of knowledge of the subject is the main barrier to the return of arcade games in the European urban landscape. And everyone is losing; players, young entrepreneurs who want to live of their passion and the general population as arcade games contribute to ambient happiness. These landlords probably prefer that their building houses yet another clothing store. The Akedo arcade will close Sunday December 20th, 2015. Will the closure be final? Yes, if they do not find another premise in Lille. In that case, it will be the end of the city's sole arcade. So if you know people working in real estate in this city, it's time to give them a call! Note that the arcade closing does not affect Arcade Nord, Akedo's arcade machine sales activity. Sales are suspended at the moment because of the restoration work surplus due to a large quantity of orders. Sales will resume in January whatever happens. Meanwhile, thank you for spreading the word about this story to cause recognition of this activity among the people of power.
After many presentation events, Dissidia Final Fantasy is released today in Japan. This a 3vs3 fighting game. Players can compete in local, national network or play against the CPU. Players can control one of 14 following characters: Warrior of Light (Final Fantasy), Firion (Final Fantasy II), Onion Knight (Final Fantasy III), Cecil Harvey (Final Fantasy IV), Butz Klauser (Final Fantasy V), Tina Branford (Final Fantasy VI), Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII), Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII), Zidane Tribal (Final Fantasy IX), Tidus (Final Fantasy X), Shantotto (Final Fantasy XI), Vaan (Final Fantasy XII), Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII) and Y'shtola (Final Fantasy XIV). They are divided into 3 types: heavy, speed and unique. Dissidia Final Fantasy uses a control panel with 2 sticks, 4 buttons (attacks, jumps,...) and a big Crystal for invocations. The left stick controls the character movements and the right controls the camera. The cabinet features also a headphone jack if the player wants to play with his headphone. There are two types of attacks: "HP Attack" and "Brave Attack": the "HP Attack" decreases the health of the enemy and the "Brave Attack" decreases the Break Bonus gauge from the opposing team. Players can also use the EX Skill from different Final Fantasy games such as "Protect Cast on allies to raise defence", "Cast Slow on enemies to slow their movements" or characters abilities such as the Tina's "Trance" or Cloud's "Limit Break". The team can temporarily invoke legendary creatures (Ifrit, Shiva, Rahmu, Odin and Leviathan) by filling up the team-cooperative "Summon Gauge". When it's filled, one of the team members launches the invocation by pressing the big crystal in the center of the control panel. The interface of the game is composed of many elements. Party Status shows the health of the team members, the brave status and if they are targeted by an enemy. The Player's Status indicates the health of the player and the brave status (attack power) and the buttons assigned to the EX Skill. The Influence HP decreases when a member of the team is dead. If it falls to 0, the team loses. The Target Line, if it is red, the player is locked on by an enemy. If it is blue, the player locks an enemy. The Bonus Break shows earned bonus points when a member of the team makes a break on an enemy attack. The Navi-Map shows the position of all players. The Enemy Team's Information displays information about the members of the opposing team. Stages come from well-know places from the saga: Cornelia (Final Fantasy I), Interdimensional Rift (Final Fantasy V), Narshe (Final Fantasy VI), Midgar (Final Fantasy VII), Besaid Island (Final Fantasy X), Eden (Final Fantasy XIII). You can watch the trailer of Dissidia Final Fantasy here.
pop'n music éclale is the 23rd version of the rythm game from Konami. It will be released in Japan tomorrow. The new Pop'n Star Maker mode replaces the Story Mode and allows the players to win characters medals and Lumina (in-game coins). The player can use his Luminas in the Star Factory shop to buy songs and decorations. pop'n music éclale features 160 songs, some were selected during a competition held last August, others come from crossover with other BEMANI titles: REFLEC BEAT colette, GuitarFreaksXG & DrumManiaXG.
BlazBlue CentralFiction is the fourth episode of Arc System Works series. It ends the arc of the story of Ragna, story mode therefore promises to be exciting: after the events of the previous episodes, Ragna wakes up in Kagutsuchi and he has lost his memory. New characters make their appearance: Naoto Kurogane, Hibiki Kohaku and Nine the Phantom (Konoe A. Mercury), the last one will be available on December 3. Naoto Kurogane is a melee fighter specialised in combos and dodges. Hibiki Kohaku can make appear a clone which damages taken will not affect the player life bar and uses the teleportation. Nine the Phantom is a witch using powerful magic attacks. More than 50 stages from Kagutsuchi and Ikaruga cities are available. Two new features are going to change the way of playing. The Exceed Accel, a special type of Distortion Drive inflicting heavy damage which is activated by pressing the 4 buttons in Overdrive mode. The second is the Active Flow: it is activated when the player performs active actives continuously (as hit the opponent), once activated, the damage of attacks increase and the regeneration of the Burst Gauge is accelerated. The game inferface has also some changes: when the Overdrive is active, a countdown timer appears below the Burst gauge, when a character takes damage, his portrait shakes, at beginning of the 1st round, the emblem of each fighter appears and when a character is close to enter Active Flow, a pink circle surrounds the Overdrive gauge. The opening of BlazBlue CentralFiction is available here.
Square Enix will start operation of Lord of Vermilion Re: 3 tomorrow. There are no less than 150 new cards in this version. 16 characters are present: Gideon, Angela, Julia, Iskur, Scipio, Deed, Hilda, Baldo, Als, Wolf, Kokuyou, Kohaku, Azura, Easia, Thérèse and Teo. Collaborations are also already planned with Sengoku Basara and Final Fantasy XIV. You can watch the game trailer here.
Here's mid-November and the EAG International 2016 trade show is approaching fast. The 2016 edition will be held at ExCeL London from January 12 to 14. With over 300 exhibitors including Sega Amusements International and Bandai Namco Entertainment, it is the unmissable European event for discovering what's new this season. No products have been announced yet, but you can bet on the presence of machines that will be showcased at IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando next week (MotoGP by Raw Thrills, Sonic Dash Extreme from Sega, Namco's Star Wars Battle Pod Flat Screen Edition, Wahlap's Storm Racer G Deluxe, ...) and new titles unveiled at the show. EAG International 2016 will host the Visitor Attraction Show once again. More than 5,500 trade visitors are expected during the three days the show lasts. An after show party will be organized on Wednesday evening where 1,000 guests will meet in a friendly atmosphere. As every year since the creation of the show, we will publish a photo report with videos and detailed comments about all new video games (see our EAG International 2015 report). You can register now to obtain your access badge. All information and floor plan can be found on the official website: www.eagexpo.com.
Konami starts operation of the latest version of its beatmania musical game: beatmania IIDX 23 copula. More than 1000 songs are already available, it's a record! Songs are composed by artists from the beatnation Records label and by promising young composers from the new beatnation RHYZE label. Regarding gameplay, some new features are introduced; a new challenge is offered to advanced players with the new "Hell load Note". Beginners are not forgotten with the new "Assisted Easy" option, they will be able to play beatmania without being put off by the difficulty. The new "Step Up" mode offers to progress in the game following a story based on the train that is the theme of the game.
Border Break Scramble Takeshi is available in some Japanese arcades since November 5 but the game is officially out today. This update adds two new characters (customizable like the old ones), new mechas, new weapons as well as new maps. A new Squad Battle mode is also included. It is played in 4 vs 4 (unlike the 10 vs 10 of normal mode) on a smaller symetric map. You can watch the trailer for Border Break Scramble Takeshi here.
While Japanese people are eagerly awaiting the release of the DX version expected before the end of the year, US players can finally play Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5! Released 20 months ago (more than one year and a half!) in Japan, it is one of the two references in arcade racing games (the other being Initial D Arcade Stage 8 Infinity). The big difference of these two titles when compared with most other arcade racing games is that they offer the players the ability to improve their car and save their progress on a save game card. Add to that regular updates, online leaderboards and tournaments organized frequently and you'll quickly understand why communities of pilots form around these games. Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 location tests were discovered at Camelot Golfland in Anaheim, California and at Dave & Buster's in Denver, Colorado (by almightytora and Sam Porcaro respectively). The offer consists of 4 linked-up arcade cabinets and a terminal to customize your car and check the rankings without occupying the cabinets unnecessarily. This is the latest English version available that includes Extreme VS mode, the Fukuoka Urban Expressway course and the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 cars. Despite the fact that it's the international version, the speed shifter is on the left as on the Japanese version. The game is connected to the internet but only the ghosts of American players appear on the network. The other limitation is that the Banapassport card can currently accommodate 5 cars only instead of the usual 100. The initial location test is planned to run for four months, other places hosting the game will surely be discovered soon. The North American Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune community has just put online a Youtube channel dedicated to the game. Will we have the chance to see the game in Europe? The absence of large arcade chains on the old continent and the dumbed down version of Mario Kart Arcade GP DX to which we were entitled to let us fear that it won't be the case. But the situation can quickly evolve favorably... Fingers crossed!
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