Published July 23, 2014 Leave a Comment

Variety reports that neither Marvel nor DC Comics is willing to budge on their May 6, 2016 release date.

It was widely anticipated that one of the two tentpoles would move off the date since they will surely cannibalize each other. WB’s “Man of Steel” debuted to $116.6 million last summer and went on to haul $668 million worldwide, while “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” launched to $95 million in April and has so far earned $712.7 million worldwide.

Marvel had the date first, but it was an untitled film. DC then announced “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” for the same opening day.
Marvel then announced the untitled film would be Captain America 3.

Despite blog and media suggestions that Marvel should change their date, Marvel head Kevin Feige said “nope, not budging” (to paraphrase).

If indeed they cannibalize each other, Marvel has several titles scheduled to flood the market, and thus water down DC’s take of the comic book pie. A game of chicken, a battle for all the marbles. These comic creators are turning up the heat on each other and gambling millions in the process. Hopefully this healthy competition will yield a better comic book film experience for all of us, the real winners from these market contests.

Published June 15, 2014 Leave a Comment

Skill cranes are a stable of any arcade.  They are fun and offer the chance to win big prizes, but how much skill is involved in playing them?

Candy Cranes

Candy Cranes

When you play a skill crane there is one thing that you need to do and that is make sure that you are playing for a prize you want.  Too often there are people that play for a prize and then want to exchange it for a different prize, some arcades will not let you do this, but the good ones always will.

The skill in skill cranes come from positioning the crane at just the right angle so the claw grabs it just the right way.  This allows for the leverage to lift the prize and ta da you are a winner.

My favorite skill cranes are the candy cranes that are filled with tasty prizes that are pretty easy to win.  These are great cranes for the kids too as they have a lot of winners.  Winners are the key to a good skill crane.  The claw goes down and comes back with a handful of candy.

Play till you will cranes are a great addition to any arcade, it allows the gamer to play until they win this is a good way to allow customer retention, as everyone loves a winner.  These games are particularly good for the small ones as I said before everyone loves a winner.

Game on!

Published May 26, 2014 Leave a Comment

Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day is upon us once again and it is time to remember those that lost their lives serving the United States of America armed forces, what it has become is a day off for the rest of the country.

A day to sit in the sun and enjoy the freedom that those men and women gave their lives for; a day of celebration in the pursuit of happiness; a day to be with family and enjoy the freedoms that come with being an American; a day of parades to honor those that have fallen making sure we could enjoy these precious freedoms.

Memorial Day is a day of freedom, at least that is what it always will be to me. To all of you I wish you a hopeful memorial day, hopeful that someday the wars will be over and out freedom will remain intact.

Game on!

Published May 14, 2014 1 Comment

Fans of the Batman needn’t wait any longer for their first glimpse at the new Batman and perhaps more important, the new Batmobile. Director Zack Snyder just released this preview image of the two for his up coming movie Batman vs. Superman in 2016.

Batman and Batmobile

Batman and Batmobile

The identity of the actor in the shot is not known, it may be Ben Affleck or it could be a stand in.  Who will be playing the new Batman is still unknown.  Whatever the case the suit has been redesigned to give it a sleeker look as well.

Whatever the case this much anticipated movie is sure to take over the box office and the gaming market.  Today one of the most popular games in any arcade if the Batman car racer/shooter that came out last year.  That game allows the player to choose from every Bartmobile through out history.  It is a very cool game.

Game On!

Published May 12, 2014 Leave a Comment

The wildly popular arcade shooter games R-Type and R-Type II have been remastered to work on the PlayStation 3 called R-Type Dimensions. The game will be available on May 20th from the PlayStation Network for US$9.99.

R-Type Dimensions will feature a total of 14 levels for gameplay exactly like the coin-op version. There will be 14 levels in total, this is a combination of both R-Type I and R-Type II games leaving no level left behind. And to sweeten the pot even more the game has gone from 2D graphics to add new high-definition 3D graphics. Now players can toggle between the graphic styles during play with a push of a button.

R-Type II

R-Type II

There are two game modes, these include an Infinite Mode, that will allow players to practice and play any level, and a Co-Op Mode for two people. Players can also alter the game experience with a slow-motion button and can configure the controller to their own personal preferences.

When ever a game is remastered it is a good bet that it will be a hot title all over again, I am sure this is the case with this game.  I remember spending hours in the arcade trying to beat this one and enjoying the ride the whole time.  This game is going to be a sure winner and a welcome addition to my game stable.  So until next time…

Game on!

Published May 8, 2014 Leave a Comment

Fans never get tired of the classics and nothing is more classic in the comic book world than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  So it is no exception that the fever is high to get their hands on the newest collectibles.  The good news is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie toys have all been revealed.

While other hints of what the collectibles will look like for the upcoming 2014 movie, this new picture gives us a first look at many of the other character’s in Michael Bay’s 2014 movie, including Master Splinter, Shredder, April O’Neil, and a Foot Soldier.

Toy store around the world are currently taking pre-orders for these toys.  Some have as many as 4 different TMNT movie pre-orders listed.  These including the 11″ figures, a TMNT Party Van, and two different assortments of figures including ‘basic’ and ‘deluxe’ figures. It is currently unknown what action figure line these figures are going to become a part of.

The brand new 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie comes to theaters August 8th, 2014. These action figures, along with many more, are going to be arriving this June, right on time for the movie.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Game on!

Published May 7, 2014 Leave a Comment

‘Spellpix’ Review – A Different Kind Of Spelling Game.

It feels like I’ve played a lot of word games recently, but I never quite seem to get enough of them. So, when the new releases go up each week, if I see the word ‘spell’ appear in a title, I am on top of it like a game reviewer on a bad metaphor. Generally, regardless of the other mechanics differentiating them, most of these games treat the actual spelling part the way Boggle does. You’re presented with a board of letters, and it’s up to you to find the best words you can to accomplish whatever goal you’re after. Spellpix [$1.99] might look similar at a glance, but it’s quite different, and the result is a game that feels like it has far more in common with the developer’s prior work, Pathpix [$1.99], than it does with any other word game.

If you aren’t familiar with Pathpix, it’s a sort of logic puzzle game where you had to connect numbers with lines of appropriate lengths in such a way as to fill the board and create a picture. There have been several versions of the game, and if you haven’t played it before, it’s definitely worth checking any of them out. Spellpix operates on a surprisingly similar level. Instead of a board with pairs of numbers and a bunch of empty spaces, the board here is filled to the brim with letters. Most of the letters have no particular color to them, but some of them are contained within a colored circle. The goal is to form words by starting with one of those circled letters and ending with a letter of the same color. Once the board is filled up, the various colored words you’ve made will have formed a picture, and you’re onto the next puzzle.

The letters aren’t random, so you’re not seeking out the words you want to spell, like in many other word games. Instead, you’re looking to use every single letter on the board to create the exact predetermined words the game intended. It’s a bit weird to wrap your head around at first, but once you do, you’ll find the early puzzles so simple that you’ll likely be a bit bored and unimpressed. As the size of the board increases, however, the difficulty skyrockets. Eventually you’ll be tangling with grids 50 or more letters across and wide, with lengthy words snaking all around. Early puzzles can be finished in a matter of a few minutes. The later ones can easily take you more than an hour. With more than 200 puzzles packed into the game, there’s plenty to chew on here.

The nice thing is, you can take your time and really savor them. As in the Pathpix games, you don’t have to finish puzzles in a single sitting by any means. While filling the board is the ultimate goal, it’s very easy to work on a large puzzle one section at a time, just like a jigsaw puzzle. If you’ve only got a few minutes, you can dig out a few words and still make some progress. If you’ve got a lot of time to kill, you can slice and dice your way through all in one shot. Spellpix rides the line between mellow and stimulating very well. This makes it an excellent choice when you want to play something without giving it your entire attention.

One interesting way Spellpix differs from Pathpix is that the words themselves can often give you a clue to the final picture. Not every word you create has something to do with that final image, of course, but if you pay attention to the pattern that springs up, you’ll probably have a good idea as to what you’re going to end up with. In the tradition of previous games, you’ll get a little piece of text along with the picture at the end. These are quotes, insights, or even just short blurbs that tangentially connect to the picture you’ve made. They’re not all winners, but they’re a nice little extra reward for finishing a puzzle.

Spellpix is certainly not a looker. Everything is clean and clear, but it’s all very utilitarian and lacking in finesse and visual polish. Sound effects are sparse, and anything resembling music even moreso. The game does have a really useful set of instructions, as well as a hint option that can help you find a word if you’re really stuck. When you finish a picture, you’ll get a list of words that you can double-tap on to read their definitions, which is a feature I generally like to see in word games. It kind of feels strange that the developer has been putting these kinds of games together for five years now without any substantial improvements in presentation, but I suppose as long as it works, it’s not really important so long as the puzzles themselves are good.

Luckily, they are quite good. Spellpix manages to take most of what worked about Pathpix and give it enough of a twist to keep it from becoming just another expansion pack. At its heart, it’s not terribly different from its mothership series, so fans of those games should certainly enjoy what’s on offer here. If you’ve never played any of those games before, this is as good a place as any to dip your toes in. It’s a bit of a slow burner, but if you like logic puzzles and word games, Spellpix will provide you with hours of entertainment.

Published May 6, 2014 Leave a Comment


Marshfield Gets their Game back

Marshfield Gets their Game back

Imagine a town without video game arcades. It is hard to do. Now imagine that it is the law and you could go to jail for running an illegal arcade. That sounds ridiculous but that is the way it was in Marshfield, Massachusetts, they banned arcades. It is like the movie Footloose but instead of dancing it is video game arcades.

You see in 1982, Marshfield, Massachusetts banned coin-operated video games and although the ban had many opponents over the decades, it survived various legal battles and had remained on the books. That is until this week. As The Patriot Ledger reported on Monday, Marshfield residents voted 203-175 to overturn the bylaw and welcome Pac-Man back to town.

It was a slim margin to win by but they did.  You see some people thought that video game arcades would cause the kids to skip school and play games with the money they stole from their moms purse. Back in 1982 they stated the arcades would bring in an  “undesirable element.”

Here is the full rational for this.

“The games are said to be addictive to youth, who will skip school and spend unreasonable sums of money to play them at a quarter — and sometimes 50 cents — a pop, says Thomas R. Jackson, a retired narcotics agent and the resident who proposed the ban. Further, he says, gambling and drug activity are connected to the video game locations where youth congregate unsupervised.”

Resident Craig Rondeau helped spearhead the initiative to finally helped overturn the ban in 2014 after he got support from local businesses.  “They want the opportunity to choose [whether they have arcade games]. Let’s give them back their right to choose.  It is a big deal. Because if it ruffled that many feathers, that it took 32 years to get it done, we did something important.” He said.  Craig believes that video games help children learn social skills, hone their problem-solving skills, and encourage creative thinking.

As the rather close, 203-175 vote indicates, the ban still had its supporters. One of those supporters, Sue Walker, said that, “There is gaming all over the place, and there’s nothing fun about it.”   To which I say.  Well that is your opinion.

Game on!

Published April 9, 2014 Leave a Comment

It looks like the town of Wallkill,  New York,  is getting a little excitement coming to them this year.  The town of Wallkill is allowing the construction of a quarter-mile indoor karting track.  This will open at the Galleria at Crystal Run in the fall.

Walkill Mall

Walkill Mall

The entertainment center will be headed up by the FasTrax Raceway Indoor Karting Center.  The cars will run on electricity and go as fast as 50 miles per hour.  In addition the race track  will also feature an arcade with snacks, pool tables, video games and air hockey within their more than 20,000-square-foot center.

The mall plans to start construction this month on the raceway, FasTrax will start building in the summer, said Ron Paxson, the managing partner of the business.

The raceway will help the Galleria broaden its entertainment offerings beyond the 16-screen movie theatre, O’Connell said. “We wanted to bring a bit more entertainment to Orange County, instead of just the retail side of things.”

At the Galleria, the FasTrax raceway will feature 30 adult carts, and 10 junior carts.  The regular price for a 14-lap adult race is $23, according to The races last seven to 10 minutes.

Game On!

Published April 7, 2014 Leave a Comment

Zapcon 2014

Zapcon 2014

For those with fond memories of spending entire days in arcades, pouring quarters in machines in a quest for the highest score, ZapCon 2014 will give you an opportunity to relive them this weekend. Taking place at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown hotel in Phoenix on April 12-13, ZapCon is a pinball and classic arcade convention where attendees can play on dozens of game machines throughout the weekend.

This is the second year ZapCon has graced downtown Phoenix and the games list has expanded quite a bit since then. In addition to well over 80 pinball machines, the event will also host even more arcade games including staples such as Centipede, Hydro Thunder, Zaxxon, Mortal Kombat II, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, and many more. There will be a few International Flipper Pinball Association tournaments for kids and adults alike being held throughout the weekend.

If you need a break from gaming, the convention will also showcase several independent films (about video games and arcade culture of course) over both days. All games will be free to play with purchase of admission. Day passes are $25 and weekend passes are $35; children under 12 get a discounted admission of $15 for a day pass and $25 for a weekend pass. For more information, visit the ZapCon official website.

Arcade Nook