Published August 10, 2018 Leave a Comment

Since this new century began 18 years ago, there has not been a better time to jump into the arcade/amusement business than right now. That much was still apparent from the energy and new products that the PrimeTime Amusements team saw at Amusement Expo 2018.

The Amusement Expo in general this year saw an increase in attendance over what the show saw in Dallas last year. While many of the booths featured a similar product mix as to what was seen at IAAPA 2017 in Orlando a few months ago, there were some differences too.

We posted several photos of the event to our Instagram page. That, as well as our Facebook page are excellent ways to stay current with the latest news.

First off, Sega Amusements brought along an almost complete prototype of Transformers Shadows Rising to the show. This was the first public appearance of the game which serves as a sequel to Sega’s Transformers Human Alliance. The graphics are greatly improved, the action frantic, a new achievements system incentivizes repeat play and the cabinet features the bright red & blue accents of the legendary Optimus Prime Autobot. We will be posting more information about this game soon!

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Published July 27, 2018 Leave a Comment

arcade cabinets

I bet that when someone mentions the term ‘arcade cabinet’, all everyone thinks about are the big fridge-shaped machines that take up a ton of space. They might also think about the machines using old, dated hardware, and yet manage to provide some of the most memorable experiences of our childhoods. Video arcade games have been produced since the early 70s, with electro-mechanical machines being created with interesting variety during the decades prior. With the arrival of Galaxy Game in 1971, the commercially successful Pong in 1972, and the plethora of games that ensued due to their success, the shape and style of arcade cabinets typically followed the pattern of what the most recent popular game had established. Some odd experiments came out of cabinet designs in the 70s but for the most part, the typical game you might come across was the classic upright cabinet format.

The golden age of gaming in the 80’s saw many innovations hit the scene along with the formats that they come in. Home console gaming became a widespread phenomenon in the 70s  thanks to companies like Magnavox with their Odyssey, and Atari, with their VCS 2600. The latter became the first video game product to sell in the millions, vaunting Atari to legendary status that led to people saying “I’m going to play Atari” instead of “I’m going to play video games”. What made home console gaming popular however wasn’t so much the name as the games. The Atari 2600 didn’t truly catch on fire until it “brought the arcade home” with a widely praised port of Taito’s Space Invaders. True – the arcade experience was superior in graphics & sound, also being able to set itself apart thanks to the ability to produce unique control schemes for each and every game. It also had a social angle attached to it that home console gaming could never touch. But for the next two decades, every home console would use arcade ports as a selling point to try and get people to buy into the machine. No, it wasn’t as cool as getting a full sized arcade machine in your house but it did give the product appeal as it tried to replicate what could be done with an arcade cabinet.

Times have changed and while modern consoles only tout arcade classics on their platforms, arcade machines are still being made and are done so in a variety of styles.

In this article, we aim to list the types of arcade cabinets currently in existence. Keep in mind that we won’t be mentioning merchandise games such as crane games, or mechanical amusements such as basketball courts, and skeeball, among others. Instead, we’ll be focusing on the most prominent cabinet styles that video arcade machines have assumed over the years

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Published July 9, 2018 Leave a Comment

Back in October last year, we wrote an article about the hugely popular PC game, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S Battlegrounds (PUBG), and about how it had breached the important milestone that was simultaneous concurrent players in a massively multiplayer online game. On that occasion, we wrote that the game had surpassed the generous number of just over 1.9 million concurrent players as of October 9th, which completely shattered the player count of the most popular game at the time, DOTA 2, which had an all-time high of around 1.3 million concurrent players.

Since the time when we wrote that article, PUBG has been officially launched, which means that it’s no longer on early access, and instead is sold as a full-fledged game. The much-needed vaulting mechanics, as well as improved gun, vehicle, and movement controls have also been implemented, making the game the best it’s ever been: at least in terms of mechanics. Miramar, a new map that is inspired by arid, desert towns and locations have also been added and, in comparison with the other existing map, Erangel, the difference was as clear as night and day. Not only is the map hugely different from the lush, forest and plains environments offered by the previous maps, but the optimization is much better, performance-wise, making matches that take place in Miramar run much better than those in Erangel. The developer, Blue Hole, has since been releasing performance patches to improve matches in Erangel and put them on par with Miramar, to the joy of many players.

As a game itself, PUBG is getting updated fairly regularly, which shows the love and care that the developers have for the groundbreaking game. However, this love is quickly betrayed by its player base, as cheaters are becoming increasingly common in many matches of the game. From speed hacking, and walling, to instant heals, aimbotting and invincibility, the hackers are out in full force when it comes to PUBG. I, myself, have run into cheaters on several occasions, which always lead to an early loss, and sends my team careening back to the lobby screen. The whole affair is very frustrating, to say the least.

This isn’t to say that the developers haven’t taken this issue seriously, as on several occasions they have implemented increasingly stricter anti-cheat measures in the form of BattleEye protection, among other tools, which have helped to ban millions (you read that right) of cheaters, so far. In January, alone, over 1 million players were banned for cheating. Nevertheless, despite the rate at which cheaters are getting punished, rumors have started to circulate that these unscrupulous individuals are in great part responsible for the game bleeding concurrent players. Honest players just aren’t willing to tolerate dealing with people who would do anything and everything just to earn a (dishonest) win; at least not when there are alternatives in the market.

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Published June 29, 2018 Leave a Comment
Published June 29, 2018 Leave a Comment

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<p><span style=Fans around the world are rejoicing at the prospect of a (possibly) great tomb raider movie, which is currently in production, and scheduled to release this March 16. The film, which is starring Ex-Machina’s Alicia Vikander, is based on the 2013 remake of the popular video game franchise, which was rebooted by Crystal Dynamics, and published by Square Enix on that year. The game itself was groundbreaking, as far a the series goes. As a reboot, it explores the origins of Lara Croft, the fierce and independent archeologist that the games always followed, only this time she’s an inexperienced, wet-behind-the-ears rookie on her first expedition to Yamatai, a fictional lost island in the Dragon’s Triangle off the coast of Japan. Lara, who is yet untested, has her expedition assailed by natural disasters and finds herself estranged from the rest of her group. She must then make her way through the island, and escape from a band of cultists, in hopes of reuniting with her friends and making a great escape.

This game marked the second time that the Tomb Raider series was rebooted, with the first one being Tomb Raider: Legend. It’s launch was delayed from Q4 2012, to March 2013, which gave it plenty of time to create hype and expectations, most of which were achieved once the game came it out. Tomb Raider was received with excellent remarks and comments due to its graphics, gameplay, and Camilla Luddington’s performance voicing Lara. The protagonist’s writing, character development, and interactions were also greatly praised, though many critics frowned upon the addition of a multiplayer mode, as well as the apparent disconnection between what the player does, and the events of the story.

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Published June 22, 2018 Leave a Comment

Asteroids

February is already here (where does the time ago?), and that means it’s time for another episode of Getting Good!

This time, we’ll be talking about another timeless classic: Asteroids. This is a game that is on par with the big ones that we’ve mentioned in the past such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. Developed by Atari and released in 1979, Asteroids is a product of the ‘space-age’ of video games, back when the moon landing was still somewhat fresh in the public’s collective consciousness. This achievement helped not only to further the cause of humankind and to advance our knowledge of the universe, it also single-handedly spawned an entire genre of video games based on both the marvels and horrors of outer space.

Case in point, Asteroids is a space shooter, and a very different one at that. Unlike most space shooters of the period, which consist of traversing through stages from left to right (or upwards, in vertical fashion), Asteroids pit the player in an arena of sorts, surrounded by a number of, you guessed it, asteroids. The objective of the game is to maneuver your spaceship across the field and shoot down the asteroids to get points. Upon shooting an asteroid, it will split into smaller rocks, and so on until completely destroyed. Periodically, several saucers may enter the arena from the sides, and shooting these down will grant the player additional points.

When it comes to gameplay, Asteroid’s formula is simple. Like many other games before it, its mechanics are simple to learn, yet difficult to master. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop the game from being hugely successful, selling around 60,000 arcade cabinets across the world. It’s fame was long-lived, as the game was ported to several platforms, and directly influenced the development of games such as Defender, Gravitar and, more recently, the indie arcade game, Cosmotrons.

In this article, we’ll go over the basics you’ll need to know in order to survive, and excel at this game.

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Published June 15, 2018 Leave a Comment

Contra

Back in November on Getting Good, we talked about the basic elements of the popular run n’ gun title, Contra 3 for the SNES. In that occasion, we went over the different types of weapons and their applications, as well as many tips and strategies on how to complete the first 3 stages. This time, we aim to complete our guide by showing you, our faithful readers, how to get good and pass the last 3 levels, finish the game, and save futuristic Earth from the evil Red Falcon once and for all!

Stage 4: Road Warriors

On this stage, you will be riding a motorcycle throughout roughly half of its duration. It can scoot left or right to dodge projectiles, but won’t be able to stop, so the player must keep this in mind when planning his movements.

The stage begins with several enemies dropping bombs at the player. Luckily, they can be easily dispatched with a few shots. The stage continues until exiting the tunnel, and after that, the first miniboss, Battle Tank, will appear. This one is easily dealt with by staying in the back, and only jumping to dodge projectiles. After several generous helpings of lead, it’ll eventually explode and the way will be clear for the player to continue.

After some uneventful riding, the alien mothership will fly by, assailing the player with its armaments. In this part, the stage stops scrolling and the player must concentrate on dodging everything the mothership throws at him. At points, he will have to shoot turrets or enemies to ensure safe passage, while in others he will simply have to time his movements right to dodge the armaments that can’t be destroyed.

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Published June 8, 2018 Leave a Comment

There’s something about these arcade games of old that has a way of tickling the nostalgia bone of many in a way that makes the act of purchasing one simply irresistible. However, making the first foray into the world of arcade gaming can be a daunting step for a lot of individuals, especially because of the steep entry fee. Those that aren’t experienced in this business will often have a hard time knowing where to look for the best games. There is also the issue of being ‘blinded by nostalgia’ towards certain games, which can complicate the act of making a good & fair purchase.

Most prospective buyers are drawn towards well-known classic machines such as Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, or Space Invaders. While owning an original machine has it’s charm, availability and condition of these 40 year old games varies wildly. For the best value and guaranteed quality, the best arcade purchases that someone can make for their gaming room will revolve around multicade machines such as Arcade Legends 3, or Pac-Man’s Arcade Party. Both of these units offer a wide variety of games in a single cabinet, vastly increasing the replayability and variety of your gaming repertoire. In this sense, if you grow bored of a game, you can easily switch to another one. Single game machines are more collector’s items, and frequently lose replay value once the owner has played his fill of the game in question.

Nevertheless, regardless of your arcade machine preferences, the entry fee will still remain as steep as ever. Brand new arcade machines can range between $3000-$20,000+. Older rare titles can also climb into the 4-digits but we do not tend to carry those games. This is why making the smart decision is so important, as it is not very likely that you will be able to purchase more than a couple of machines at one time; unless you’re aiming to open your very own arcade establishment, and have acquired a loan already. However, did you know that most arcade machine sellers (us included) have their very own financing plans, designed to help eager users get their hand on their favorite arcade machines, without breaking the bank in one fell swoop?

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Published June 1, 2018 Leave a Comment

Everyone loves a good shoot ‘em up game: the combination of fast-paced, high-octane shooting, coupled with getting to know the patterns of enemies and bosses in each stage. This makes for rewarding and exhilarating game experience. 1943: The Battle of Midway was a bold move by Capcom (the developer and publisher), considering the events that had shook the world only four decades before its release. Nevertheless, despite its potentially controversial setting, it seems the public cared more about a good game, and received it with critical acclaim. As a matter of fact, 1942 (the predecessor for The Battle of Midway), was one of Capcom’s first breakaway titles in the arcade industry, which allowed them to establish their identity as developers and distinguish themselves from other studios.

That being said, 1943 is a simple yet entertaining title, ideal for both casual and veteran gamers alike. The difficulty is just right for it to be fun, without functioning as much of a barrier to entry-level gamers. Suffice to say, this isn’t a game you play for the ‘street cred’ at your local arcade; The Battle of Midway is usually played for fun, or as a warmup for other, more demanding titles.

The Game

1943 is a vertical-scrolling shoot ‘em up game where the player takes control of a P-38 Lightning participating in the battle of the Midway Atoll. The objective of the game is to combat the enemy forces, make your way to the end of each level, and defeat the boss (or the swarm of enemies) at the end, like in many other shoot ‘em up titles. The game spans across 16 different stages, 11 of which consists of air-to-sea engagements, with a destroyer-class battleship or an aircraft carrier boss at the end. The other 5 stages revolve around aerial battles where the final boss is a big bomber.

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Published May 25, 2018 Leave a Comment

Just like owning a car, house, or virtually any other object, arcade machines require proper maintenance in order to function properly. However,performing maintenance on your arcade machines can sometimes seem intimidating or even overwhelming for inexperienced users, and with good reason: the insides of these cabinets are often riddled with cables, PCB boards, and components that pose a danger due to high voltages. Consequently, most machine owners opt to skip on the maintenance, only to have their games break down in the long run.

Luckily, here at PrimeTime Amusements, we have the talent and know-how to diagnose and perform basically any repairs on most machines. Today, we are going to explain the most common troubleshooting issues encountered by owners of arcade cabinets, as well as their most likely causes.

WARNING: PrimeTime Amusements does not accept any responsibility for any damage or personal harm incurred on machines due to self-service. Arcade machines tend to use high voltage components which if improperly handled can cause bodily harm and/or damage to the machine. This is especially true of old CRT tube monitors, which carry voltages that are capable of killing a person if improperly handled. These suggestions are provided on a “best to our knowledge” informational basis but if you are un-sure about anything in regards to the repair of your machine, please contact a professional. If you bought the machine from us then call our Technical Support department for assistance!

I Have No Video or Audio!

“Oh no!” is usually what users say when they find that their arcade machine doesn’t show an image, or make a peep. This is one of the most common issues, which is usually caused by malfunctions in the power supply or the outlet in which it is plugged in. Simply put, if there is not enough power, the machine won’t turn on. For this reason, the very first thing you’ll want to do to troubleshoot this issue is to check the exterior of the machine, where the power is supplied to it. For this step, it is suggested to do the following.

Check outside the machine, where the power cord inserts into the cabinet, for a ‘rocker’ switch. This switch is basically the external on/off interrupter for the machine, which should always be set to the ‘on’ state if you’re using it. This can come off as a no-brainer for many, but you’d be amazed at how many users actually manage to get this step wrong!

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Arcade Nook
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