Published November 9, 2018 Leave a Comment

Evo

The Evolution Championship Series (or EVO, for short) is the most important event in the fighting game community. This annual event consists of a series of tournaments where players from all around the world get together and face off to see who is the best of the best at their favorite fighting games. The idea behind EVO is that anyone can play, from renowned and well-established fighting game personalities, to newcomers eager to take a shot at the spotlight. As long as they pay the entry fee, anyone can join and compete.

The lineup of games for this event usually features the heavy hitters of the industry, such as Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. Nevertheless, the rotation of games varies each year. For example, this year’s EVO didn’t feature Mortal Kombat. Instead, Injustice 2 took its place which, while remaining a completely different game in its own right, was developed by the same team (NetherRealm Studios), and engine (Unreal Engine 3) as the more recent Mortal Kombat did. This year’s lineup of games consisted of the following…

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Published November 1, 2018 Leave a Comment
Published October 30, 2018 Leave a Comment

There’s a good chance that most of you might be familiar with the Intellivision, that weird console released by Mattel Electronics back in 1979. It was rectangular in shape, and used an odd controller that had a numeric keypad on it. However, shortly after its launch, the Intellivision went on to become one of the most serious competitors to the incredibly popular Atari 2600, selling over 175,000 units in its first year alone. This success saw the expansion of its game library, which consisted of only 4 games at launch, to 19 titles by the end of its first year, all of which were developed by a single company, APh.

After a successful launch, it was clear that Mattel had created the Intellivision solely to take a slice of the video game pie. This was no easy task – numerous other competitors were also trying to break through Atari’s virtual monopoly on video games, most failing to make any noticeable dent in their market share. Thus, the Intellivision ended up taking Mattel by surprise. When they realized that their consoles were flying off the shelves, the company decided to open a studio dedicated to developing first-party software for the console. The studio housed a team of 5 developers, whose location was kept a closely-guarded secret by Mattel to prevent their rival, Atari, from finding them and giving them a better offer to make them defect.

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Published October 26, 2018 Leave a Comment

Even though they are suffering from diminishing returns in terms of visuals, the video game industry is advancing as fast as ever. The success of many recent games such as the most recent God of War, Monster Hunter World, and Final Fantasy XV, among many others, is just a testament of the potential with which game devs tinker on a daily basis. Even Nintendo & Square Enix are killing it with Octopath Traveler, a JRPG released on July 13, and is selling extremely well for a game of its kind.

In the same vein, the PlayStation 4 is home to many classics which, since its launch in 2013, has catapulted itself into the highest popularity ranks in the world, alongside Nintendo’s 3DS, and Microsoft’s Xbox One a short ways behind. However, while the console is still alive and kicking, fans and tech consumers alike are wondering when we’re going to hear news about the next console installment. After all, while the games are definitely fun with their innovative mechanics and engaging narratives, the console is starting to show its age with its limited graphics capabilities, and slow loading times which, for some people, is enough to shun it and stick to PC gaming. This has been partially abated with the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro, which allowed many games to enter into the realm of 4K gaming but this was only a stop gap to what will be the PS4’s true successor.

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Published October 19, 2018 Leave a Comment

Having already taken the amusement world by storm, Bandai Namco Amusements’ DC Superheroes coin/card pushers are about to get even better with a new series of sixteen collectible cards to play for!

Coinciding with shipments for the brand new 2-player model of DC Superheroes, the Series 2 cards features the colorful and charismatic artwork of the “New 52” series of DC Comics characters. Each card maintains the same heroes as what was found on the series 1 cards meaning that they are completely interchangeable with the existing series 1 cards. Collectors can collect the new cards and turn in the old ones for tickets.

Series 2 cards are shipping now and are available for 4-player models to enjoy as well. This will replace the Series 1 line so keep in mind – once Series 1 cards are gone, they’re gone for good!

Looking to add a DC Superheroes to your location today? Need to replensh your card stock with Series 2? 

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Published October 12, 2018 Leave a Comment

Over the years, Billy Mitchell has become somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon when it comes to video game references. He was pronounced as the “Video Game Player Of The Century” by the record keeping organization Twin Galaxies and became known as the king of arcades. He set several world record scores on a variety of arcade games, namely Donkey Kong & Pac-Man, and he would later set record scores on titles in full view of the public between 2005 and 2007. However, the arcade star’s efforts might just have been in vain, considering that his high records have just been scrubbed, and he was banned from participating in the leaderboards after a controversial dispute this past February.

Twin Galaxies, an organization charged with the tracking and verification of video game records and high scores had been in a discussion with Mitchell on allegations that the star had used a MAME machine when setting his famous 1,062,800-point high score in Donkey Kong. These processes take a hefty amount of time and arbitration, during which the organization and the player go back and forth until a verdict is reached. However, due to compelling evidence presented by forum poster Jeremy “Xelnia” Young, which proved beyond a doubt that Mitchell had, indeed, been using a MAME to submit his gameplay, his records were scrubbed and his participation in future competitions was forbidden by the organization. It’s important to note that Young was the one that began the dispute with Twin Galaxies, in the first place.

As many in the industry may know, the use of these emulators is strictly forbidden by the rules, at least when it comes to Donkey Kong. In order to accept a submission, the player must thoroughly prove that he is not using such machines and that he or she are playing on an authentic arcade cabinet. In the recording submitted by the player, they must provide proof that the machine has not been altered in any way (which is easy to do with MAME; MAME can use “save states” which serve as a restore point for one to go back and try again – something that cannot be done on a real arcade machine), as well as provide footage of the player using the cabinet.

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Published October 6, 2018 Leave a Comment

Few companies are as popular in the arcade world as Taito. Taito is a Japanese company dedicated to the development, distribution, and sales of video games; or so you could say if the company wasn’t all but defunct to this day. Originally, founded in 1953 by the Russian entrepreneur Michael Kogan, Taito developed and released their first ever video game in 1973 called Elepong. They would continue to create games that were similar to other offerings found in the States along with imports and distribution of American arcade cabinets on Japanese soil. However, they also began the develop their own games, and struck gold in 1978 with a little timeless classic we like to call “Space Invaders.” This game has made them more than $500 million to this day. Other famous titles developed by the company were Bubble Bobble, Puzzle Bobble, Darius, Arkanoid, and Elevator Action, to name a few.

However, in 2005, Taito was bought by Square Enix and is now resting soundly as part of its parent company. We say the term “resting well”, because that’s all Taito seems to be doing nowadays. Compared to their prestigious run back in the 70’s & 80s, you could say that they’ve become a shadow of their former selves. In Japan, however, the company has been keeping afloat with some releases, but not at the rate that they showed a few decades ago. Their most recent title was Groove Coaster 4, the latest installment in their popular arcade rhythm game series, which was released this past March 29. This game featured an all-new level system, along with a dynamic difficulty setting ranging from 1 to 15. The developers also added a new stage unlocking system and several online functions.

Furthermore, Taito continues to support their NESiCAxLIVe download platform in Japan. But, even there, their releases have been minimal. They also had a stint at creating a VR arena game, but the idea seems to have gone up in smoke since no news have come from that project in particular.

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Published September 28, 2018 Leave a Comment
Published September 28, 2018 Leave a Comment

Continued:

Elements

Like all games, the player has several elements with which they can interact in Choplifter:

Hostages: As we mentioned above, there are 64 hostages in each game of Choplifter, which must be rescued if aiming for a perfect game. They are separated into 16 groups, which are held in four barracks. In order to pick them up, the player must carefully land the chopper nearby, and the hostages will make their way towards the aircraft. Only 16 can be transported at one time, so the player will have to drop them off at the base after picking them up from the barracks.

Tanks: The most basic enemy of the game. Upon detecting you, they will give a bit of chase. However, they cannot hit you if you remain airborne. You are only at risk of tank fire when you land to pick up hostages. You can easily dispatch these tanks by flying over them and dropping a bomb by orienting the chopper towards the camera and pressing the fire button.
Jets: The second type of enemy in the game only appears after you have delivered at least one prisoner to the base camp. Each of these is armed with two missiles, which they can launch either at the player or at the hostages scurrying about below. Dodging missiles early on is easy, since they usually don’t fire at you when you’re on the ground. However, at later levels, these missiles will chase you down no matter what.

Air Mines: The most dreaded enemies in the game. Like their name suggests, these mines hover at mid height, waiting for you get distracted and crash into them. Once you are on the same screen as an air mine, it will begin to give chase. As you rescue more hostages, they become increasingly aggressive, even dropping bombs on hostages in the final parts of the game. Mines can cross over into you home territory, so keep that in mind when making a run for it.

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Published September 21, 2018 Leave a Comment

Nostalgia for classic gaming has never been higher, as evidenced by pop culture references and the release of “mini” classic consoles. Atari has released several versions of their Atari 2600 under the Flashback name; Sega has given a similar treatment to the Master System and the Genesis. Nintendo in particular has also been on a roll lately, launching both the NES Classic and Super Nintendo Classic to critical and sales acclaim. Both of these systems have proven to be hugely popular, offering miniature versions of the popular consoles they’re named after, which reigned supreme in the 80’s and up to the mid 90’s. These consoles are popular for breathing life back into the video game industry after the video game crash of 1983 in the West. The platforms are also responsible for bringing us timeless classics like Mario Bros. Balloon Fight, and Bases Loaded, among others. The console also received ports of the most popular games in the arcade, such as Donkey Kong, Dig Dug, and Pac-Man, among others. Few companies stood a chance against Nintendo and Sega, as they waged the great “Bit War” in the late 80’s to determine which one would come out on top in terms of visuals and gameplay. While we know how that race ended, the competition stole ground away from other companies who also wanted to release their own consoles, and because of this (among other reasons), they never made it into the mainstream market.

The Neo-Geo AES by SNK is one such console. Touted as a “24-bit” cartridge-based console (due to the custom 24-bit GPU), this was launched in 1990 alongside the arcade version that was known as the MVS. The hardware between the two was exactly the same, allowing for true arcade-quality home ports that could be delivered quickly. Compared to the competition of the SNES and Genesis, the AES offered crisp 2D graphics along with vastly superior sound quality. The problem with this business model was the launch price, sporting the steep entry cost of $700. The games were then $200 each, a far cry above $80 cartridges found among the competition. Despite these factors, the AES/MVS platform was responsible for many iconic franchises, such as Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, and mainly the King of Fighters and Metal Slug series.

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