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Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

Pikachu gets clocked in Pokken Tournament opening cinematic


In Japanese arcades July 16
Jul 03
// Steven Hansen
It's wild that Lucario is hot enough shit to get a demeaning opening thwack on the god rat itself, Pikachu. I mean, Pikachu is granted a follow up upper cut and an unfinished electric attack, but it's still nice to see the y...
Pokken Tournament photo
It will hit Japanese arcades on July 16
Two new official videos have arrived for Pokken Tournament, which unveil two new fighters for the game -- Weavile and Charizard. The latter was always going to be an obvious choice, but I'm interested in seeing what Weavile ...

Super Arcade photo
Super Arcade

Super Arcade denied permit to re-open in Azusa, California


Public urination?
Jun 25
// Nic Rowen
Once a mecca for arcade and fighting game fans, the venerable FGC hot-spot Super Arcade closed the doors of its Walnut, California location last December after failing to reach a lease agreement with its landlord. After being...
The Bishi Bashi photo
The Bishi Bashi

Mash buttons to successfully defecate


Or to photograph young cosplayers
Jun 25
// Laura Kate Dale
Last night, I played some very strange Japanese arcade games, including one that really threw my understanding of games about defecating out the window called The Bishi Bashi.  The Bishi Bashi is a multiplayer competitiv...
Arcade Machine photo
Arcade Machine

Get drunk, punch a table and throw cake everywhere


Japan is great
Jun 25
// Laura Kate Dale
Last night I played an amazing and utterly bizarre arcade machine from Japan called Cho Chabudai Gaeshi! (Super Table-Flip!). The idea is simple: release pent up anger and agression by punching a plastic table over ...
Rampage film photo
Rampage film

Dwayne Johnson is doing a Rampage movie


Production starts next summer
Jun 23
// Jordan Devore
Coming off of San Andreas, Dwayne Johnson, producer Beau Flynn, and New Line are working on adapting the Midway arcade game Rampage into a live-action feature film, reports Deadline. My usual reaction to these announcements i...
Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

Tekken 7 will require a DualShock 4 at EVO 2015


Even though it's an arcade build
Jun 05
// Chris Carter
If you're heading to EVO this year to participate in the Tekken 7 tournament, you may want to add an extra checkbox to your packing list. According to Mad Catz community manager Mark Julio, you will need a DualShock 4 to...
Dissidia Final Fantasy photo
Dissidia Final Fantasy

12 minutes of the Final Fantasy fighter Dissidia


Currently in arcades
May 26
// Steven Hansen
The currently Japan-only, arcade-only (a PS4 release down the line is likely) Final Fantasy fighter (spun off from the PSP series) has some new footage fresh from arcade cabinet location testing. The 3-on-3 fighter looks deep. Right now the breakdown of the six confirmed characters is Heavy (Cloud, Warrior of Light), Speed (Lightning, Onion Knight), and Ranged (Terra, Y’shtola).
Pac-Man 256 photo
Pac-Man 256

Crossy Road developer working on Pac-Man 256


I must have missed about 250 Pac-Mans
May 22
// Darren Nakamura
[Update: Now we have a trailer and screenshots! Disregard snark at the bottom here.] In its ongoing celebration of Pac-Man's 35th anniversary, Bandai Namco has said that Pac-Man will show up in unexpected places. The first c...
Jack photo
Jack

Jack the robot is back in Tekken 7 as Jack-7


Too seven for me
May 15
// Chris Carter
While Yoshimitsu has undergone some sort of Cthulhuian ritual to turn into a squid, Jack will be returning as the same old robot you're familiar with. On May 19 the arcade edition of Tekken 7 will be getting Jack-7. His...

Sega's Thunder Blade makes a fierce return in the 3D Classics Series

May 13 // Alessandro Fillari
Originally released in 1987, Thunder Blade brings players to the helm of a heavily armed attack helicopter as they battle waves of foes in tanks, jets, and battleships across a variety of locations. Much like the other Sega offerings of its time, the story is kept light in favor of offering accessible and fast arcade-style gameplay. You're the good guy, everyone else is bad -- shoot them. Though unlike most other shoot-'em-up titles, Thunder Blade features a unique take on perspective, as the action will transition from an overhead angle to the over-the-shoulder look similar to Space Harrier during key sections of the stage. This dynamic switch of perspective made it a welcome fit for the 3D remaster. "We felt that this point of view was extremely well suited for a stereoscopic 3D conversion," said producer Yosuke Okunari. "When we went to actually build the game out in 3D, we found that it gained a very unique sense of actually being suspended in their air, and was even more impactful than the original game. This same thing happened with 3D Galaxy Force II, where by implementing stereoscopic 3D, the game's visual view point style transcended in to its final form, you could say." Thunder Blade has made the transition quite well, and the new hardware has done wonders for the gameplay. The frame rate is rock solid, and the controls for the 3DS are super sharp and make controlling the attack chopper feel very accurate. The left stick controls movement and altitude, while both shoulder buttons control speed (increase and decrease). Though the 3DS is a far cry from the control scheme found on the original arcade release -- which featured a flight stick and a special chair that sought to emulate the cockpit of a helicopter -- I can safely say that 3D Thunder Blade is a fine port, and the action still kept me on my toes during the hectic battles. Much like the other 3D Classic titles, Thunder Blade makes exquisite use out of the new 3D visuals and hardware. One of the most striking elements is its depth of view during altering perspectives, and the new 3D visuals do well to enhance the view and sense of movement during the action. Though the draw distances unfortunately haven't been improved, I was still quite impressed with how the visuals sharpened up. Interestingly enough, the transition to 3D meant having to design the new visuals around the new perspectives independently, and layering them on top of one another. "For this version, we had to implement 3D separately for each of these three types of scenes," said the producer. "The boss stages were particularly difficult. The original game actually had preset depths. Even more so than some of the Genesis games, there were a number of situations where we wouldn't really have to worry about if we left them in 2D, suddenly [having] paradoxical situations when we put them into 3D." "Thunder Blade has three types of gameplay for every stage. The first are scenes that are from the top-down, which allow you to fully appreciate and enjoy changing your helicopter’s altitude. The second are scenes that are 'over the shoulder,' which are reminiscent of After Burner II. The last are the boss battles, where you are not able to change your altitude but you are placed into a forced-scroll situation where you can control your speed and progression. There are no other games that allow you to experience these three types of gameplay all in a single game." Though they were keen on keeping the 3D remaster as it was with the original title, they did implement some new features -- both out of necessity and the desire to include new content with the original game. As some areas didn't take to the new 3D visuals too well, such as shadows glitching out and boss battles resulting in odd bugs, they had to be cut in order to preserve the experience. But in order to make up for this, they implemented a stage that's brand new to the original Thunder Blade. Okunari stated that the new level will be consistent with the rest of the game and really offer an exciting finish. "The new stage feels natural and uses the graphical style of the era, all while taking advantage of the stereoscopic 3D to deliver a scene where you flying into the center of a base, reminiscent of the final Death Star scene in Return of the Jedi. The boss has a really awesome background to it as well, so I encourage everyone to check it out." Not only that, there's the new Arrange mode which is unlocked after completing the arcade mode. In Arrange Mode, players will control an alternate helicopter with different weapons and tackle stages that have some additions to them. While the the original arcade mode is exciting, the extra content goes above and beyond what I expected. I was pretty damn pleased with how 3D Thunder Blade turned out. It helped to scratch that shooter itch I had after playing Space Harrier and After Burner, and Thunder Blade definitely holds its own. While the style and approach is a bit different, I still found it to be a welcome addition to the Classics series. And it's a fine 3D remaster, too. This title is a good one to close out the spring phase of the Classics series, and it'll definitely hold you over till the summer titles come a knocking.
Sega 3D Classics photo
Sans crazy arcade installation
It's been a real joy re-experiencing classic titles from Sega's past. With the recent releases of Outrun and Fantasy Zone II bringing back some serious nostalgia trips, the folks at Sega have still got plenty of 3D remasters ...

Yoshimitsu photo
Yoshimitsu

Watch 12 minutes of Yoshimitsu battling it out in Tekken 7


Still my favorite
May 13
// Chris Carter
Yoshimitsu has undergone a lot of changes over the years. From a cyborg to a more traditional ronin outfit, to a bug...thing, and now, Cthulu's newphew. I dig them all, and across multiple franchises like Soul Calibur, he ha...
Pokkén Tournament photo
Pokkén Tournament

Gengar licks the competition in Pokken Tournament


Ghost-types are the best types
Apr 26
// Ben Davis
Bandai Namco revealed Gengar as a new playable character for Pokkén Tournament at NicoNico Chokaigi 2015 yesterday. The grinning ghost Pokémon brings the roster up to seven characters, along with Pikachu, Lucar...
Dissidia Final Fantasy photo
Dissidia Final Fantasy

Team Ninja developing next Dissidia Final Fantasy


Arcade fighting game debuts in Japan this fall, maybe PS4 later on
Apr 10
// Kyle MacGregor
[Update: Here's new trailer for the game, as spotted by community member FlanxLycanth.] Dragon Quest Heroes isn't the only project Square Enix and Koei Tecmo are collaborating on, as the companies just announced Team Ni...
Flyer Fever photo
Flyer Fever

Let's revisit thousands of old arcade game flyers


Inspired!
Apr 08
// Jordan Devore
Several weeks ago, I heard about Flyer Fever, an online archive of thousands of arcade game advertisements dating back to the 1970s, and the site has been clawing at my mind ever since. I've finally succumbed. This is just to...
La-Mulana EX photo
La-Mulana EX

La-Mulana EX is nirvana for punishing game enthusiasts


Alternatively, 'Spelunking for Masochists'
Apr 04
// Jason Faulkner
There's a certain thrill to a game that punishes you for attempting to best it, as Bloodborne and Souls series fans can attest to. That's why there happen to be so many of them cropping up here and there, especially over the ...
PS Plus photo
PS Plus

Heads up: Woah Dave! is free with PS Plus again


PS4 and PS Vita
Apr 03
// Jordan Devore
We heard about April's PlayStation Plus games earlier this week but here's another late addition: Woah Dave! from Choice Provisions. The penny-collecting, alien-dodging, egg-throwing arcade game was free for subscribers back ...
Pac-Man Google Maps photo
Pac-Man Google Maps

Google Maps is now a giant game of Pac-Man


It's still March!
Mar 31
// Jordan Devore
I like when companies channel their April Fools' Day creativity into something real as opposed to just announcing a phony product or service that really ought to exist. This year, Google has another fun interactive gag for us...
Dissidia arcades photo
Dissidia arcades

More Dissidia Final Fantasy arcade details coming April 10


Cabinet and first demonstration debuting at fan event
Mar 23
// Steven Hansen
Square Enix's Final Fantasy-filled PSP fighter is continuing not on Sony's subsequent handheld or, as fans have always wanted, on consoles. Rather, the next iteration is a three-on-three arcade fighter, the cabinet for which...
Pixels movie photo
Pixels movie

Arcade icons wreck Earth in the first trailer for Pixels


Warning: Adam Sandler and Kevin James
Mar 17
// Jordan Devore
In Pixels, aliens have invaded Earth with classic arcade characters like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man and it's up to Adam Sandler and friends to save the world. What could possibly go wrong? The basic concept originated years ago...
More Geometry Wars photo
More Geometry Wars

Geometry Wars 3 is evolving with 40 new stages and Hardcore Mode


Somehow this is a free update
Mar 17
// Jordan Devore
This is unexpected. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is rolling out a free update across all platforms (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC) on March 31, 2015 that's large enough to warrant a name change. Going forward, the game wil...

Sega brings back OutRun with style for the 3D Classics Series

Mar 11 // Alessandro Fillari
For those not quite familiar, OutRun is an arcade-style racing game that tasks players with racing their shiny Ferrari Testarossa across a stretch of land. At several points, you'll be able to choose which path you'd like to take, which will take you to a brand new setting that you'd likely not see in previous playthroughs. This nonlinear gameplay was rather unconventional for a racing title, which made it quite popular with arcade goers who wished for repeat plays. Over the years, it's developed quite a legacy for Sega, and it has even inspired musicians like Kavinsky for its portrayal of style in high-speed. It was a rather seminal title for Sega, earning a lot praise and finding much success in the arcades. Developed by Yu Suzuki, the creator of Shenmue, Virtua Fighter, and After Burner, it focused on fast gameplay while giving players a soothing and equally pulsing soundtrack to listen to. It even got several followups over the years. But with this remaster of OutRun, the folks at Sega had to put in extra work to retain the the original's style and feel without watering down the experience. "OutRun and After Burner II are two games that were the most important games in Sega’s history through the 1980s. However, due to a number of reasons, there was a time when there were no opportunities to port these two titles to other platforms," said producer Yosuke Okunari. "The most important thing for these kinds of games, and this is apparent from a video of the game you may have seen, is not to take these important games and try to remake them completely from scratch, but rather to recreate the playstyle as faithful to the original as you possibly can. And because the game preserves the feeling of the era it was made in, that history and the memories of those times can be communicated to everyone." During my playthrough, I immediately noticed how much smoother it felt. I played a bit of game when I younger in the arcades, so seeing this in action on a handheld was kind of a trip. And with the 3D enabled, the game doesn't lose performance one bit. It was impressive to see that a super fast racing game like OutRun would be able to make the transition so well. Honestly, it felt a bit hypnotic going over 200 km an hour. Once you're in the zone, you're kinda in a trance. Okunari-san explained that with the success of the previous titles on 3D Classics, they were able to tackle the necessary hurdles porting OutRun would take. "The 3DS is a notable piece of hardware, but it’s not a console that’s particularly well suited for creating faithful ports," he explained. "And so we were not able to include these two titles when we first began the development for the Sega 3D Classics. Only through the success of the first batch were we able to obtain the technical know-how and development budget to work on these two titles. It’s because of all the fans’ support." Often times, the 3DS tends to have some trouble with handling ports of classic or even recent titles. Which made porting the game, despite its age, somewhat of a challenge. One of the techniques that titles like After Burner and Space Harrier use is a way of presenting 2D sprites as pseudo-3D visuals, which is done with unique sprite-scaling designs. But in order to keep it consistent with other titles, the developers had to double the performance on OutRun, upgrading it from thirty frames per second to sixty. "Tying to get squeeze out more performance that the original title supported was a very difficult undertaking," said the producer. "Simply straight porting the game as is would prove to be a challenge in and of itself, but we had to optimize and improve the programming so it would run twice the speed as the original. Also, we added two new songs to the game, and made a point that they had to blend naturally and feel completely natural in the game, which was also a great challenge. Essentially using the same sound sources as the original, while ensuring that they would sound different and unique compared to the original three songs. New songs in the style and feel of the era when the game was originally released, back in the '80s." It's certainly eye-opening to see the amount of work that goes into remasters for classic titles. I supposed with the technology we have now, it's easy to think of products and software from the past as easy to make, or even easy to transition onto current hardware. Given the limitations they had and parameters they had to work within, I'm very impressed with what I played. I spent a good amount of time with OutRun on the 3DS, and it played like a dream. I highly recommend giving it a shot, especially if you're a first-timer. The sense of speed is just as sharp as it was back in the arcade days and experiencing it within the palms of your hands is real rush.
Sega 3D Classics photo
Race with flair on March 12
One of the great things about Sega's ongoing 3DS Classics series is that it allows retro games from the publisher's past to find a new audience. And given its rich and diverse history of quirky and fan-favorite titles, there'...

Pokkén Tournament photo
Pokkén Tournament

Flex those muscles, Machamp


Did it for the headline
Feb 18
// Jordan Devore
This is vaguely the same footage of Pokkén Tournament we've seen over the past couple weeks, but it's a direct capture of the game, so what the hell. Good recap of the current roster, though do note that the voice over and text are in Japanese. Long way to go before this'll get localized. What's going on with Pikachu (starting at 1:25)? That expression is Kirby-in-the-USA angry.
Dissidia Final Fantasy photo
Dissidia Final Fantasy

Square Enix reveals new Dissidia Final Fantasy


...for arcades!
Feb 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Square Enix has a new Dissidia Final Fantasy in the works, the publisher revealed today at the Japan Amusement Expo in Chiba. It's a three-on-three fighting game currently only announced for arcades. You have to figure ...
New Attack on Titan game photo
New Attack on Titan game

Capcom is making an Attack on Titan arcade game


HNNNNNNNNG!
Feb 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Capcom is developing an Attack on Titan arcade game, the publisher revealed today at the Japan Amusement Expo in Chiba. Details are scarce at present, but we'll learn more this summer. Attack on Titan is a dark fant...
Pokkén Tournament photo
Pokkén Tournament

Pokken strikes Japanese arcades this summer


Love that outfit, Harada
Feb 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Pokkén Tournament launches in arcades across Japan this summer, Bandai Namco revealed today at the Japan Amusement Expo in Chiba. The studio is showcasing the fighter this weekend at the event, giving attendees an...
Arcade heaven photo
Arcade heaven

Housemarque is making a game with Robotron designer Eugene Jarvis


What a match
Feb 12
// Jordan Devore
Designer Eugene Jarvis (Defender, Robotron: 2084, Smash TV, Cruis'n) and Housemarque (Super Stardust, Outland, Resogun) are collaborating on a game. Is this real life? It can't be! "When I saw Resogun I couldn't believe how t...
Pokkén Tournament photo
Pokkén Tournament

Off-screen Pokkén Tournament footage has Gardevoir-on-Gardevoir action


Give the people what they want
Feb 11
// Jordan Devore
As a man of simple tastes, my big takeaway from Pokkén Tournament's location test in Japanese arcades was Pikachu wearing shorts, but, I get it: game mechanics are important too. This off-screen video from seadraDS ha...
Q*Bert photo
Q*Bert

Kids just won't understand how jaggy Q*Bert used to be


Missed opportunity to call it 'Q*Bert Reberted'
Feb 06
// Brett Makedonski
When Q*Bert Rebooted does a weird little hop thing over to PS4, PS3, and Vita, it'll evoke two different thoughts from its prospective audience. Old-timers won't be able to recall everything looking so smooth. Youngins ...

Review: Pix the Cat

Feb 03 // Steven Hansen
Pix the Cat (PC [reviewed], PS Vita, PS4 ) Developer: Pastagames Publisher: Focus Home InteractiveReleased: January 29, 2015 MSRP: $9.99 The main attraction is the arcade mode and its Main Grid. Pix is always moving, you pick the direction. You start on level one, collect eggs, gain a trail of duckling, deposit them into targeted holes without crashing into them or a wall. Once the plane is egg-free, you tunnel deeper and repeat until time runs out.  The rest is arcade perfectionism. If you pick up all the ducklings before depositing them into the holes, you get a combo bonus. More points. Stringing together planes of Perfects is the key to topping leaderboards. Impeding that is the occasional puzzle-like design of some levels, that organically encourage you to snake in on yourself unless you exercise on the fly route correction. You also pick up speed as you play -- you even get a speed bonus by grinding on walls if you make your turns well in advance -- which is the pure reflex-testing part. Going faster ensures you go deeper and have more opportunity to score but it's harder to keep from running into a spike, or your own tail, breaking your combo and the remaining eggs on the board.    [embed]287131:57148:0[/embed] That's about it. The Main board changes slightly every time you play -- the board will be flipped upside down, egg placement slightly offset -- just so the game can't be machine-memorized, but it's all about incremental improvement. And it's a heck of a lot of frantic, neon fun. You can also choose your announcer voice (Doctor Doom is great, but Lady Bot sounds like an older Beemo), turn various ghosts on or off (friends' best, your best, global best). My only real complaint is that this is the sort of game that begs for an arcade joystick. Playing with the Xbox 360 analog feels much looser than I'd like, while I couldn't be quick enough with three fingers on the keypad. Let's not talk about the 360 d-pad. Maybe those of you who picked it up free on PS4 or Vita have better luck in that regard.  Pix comes with three other modes as well. Nostalgia, with its 1920s animation aesthetic, is all about speed, with you picking up a board (or a few) worth of eggs within the time limit, no drop off needed. Laboratory slows things down and emphasizes the puzzle portion. You move in whatever direction you choose until you run into something that stops you, like a lot of games with icy floor puzzles, all the while collecting eggs to deposit only once you've nabbed them all. You're graded based on how many moves you make on the board. There's also an amusing two- to four-player competitive multiplayer mode that pits robot Pixs against once another. You collect eggs to use as single-shot ammo to stun your opponents and make a point by dashing into them. The Arena rounds out a varied package that, some looseness to the controls aside, manages to be fun in a few different ways.
Pix the Cat reviewed photo
Infinite nest
Pix is a mix of the two most saccharine basic emoticons, :3 and ^_^, a face for the forgotten mascot age. Just too cute, and not in a way that ever betrays the fiendish score-chaser underneath. Sincere cuteness. A real testam...


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