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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Amusement Expo 2012 Like E3 But In Vegas Part 1

Amusement Expo is like heading to a big open arcade, why it exists is so arcades and other business can find products to put in to amuse customers. To me it was like walking into a much smaller E3, but it had all the arcade units that you'll be seeing in North America unless your arcade or amusement center is going to deal with importing, which many don't do.

I'll break down the areas I went through.


Ice has some interesting arcade units including the Real Steel Arcade Unit based on the movie. The Reel Steel Unit comes with a fist that you can pull back and launch at the right time to knock out your opponent based on enemies from the movie. It's about timing and it can be quite fun seeing a robot get punched in the face. Ice Age: Ice Breaker based on the movie series has you hitting acorns, a joke from the movie. The acorns aren't like whac- a moles , but send signals which crack the ice under animals from the movies. It didn't work that well when I hit the acorns, also it was kind of a boring design for the game property. The strangest part is there is no animation for the Ice Age animals when ice cracks underneath them. It seems like a rushed idea. Frogger or their Frogger Machine didn't seem to be working as you had no control of your frog from stopping which will lead it to die immediately. Traditional Frogger lets you stop and go, it's the whole point of the game.

Bandai Namco

Based out of Chicago headquarters in the US this is one of two largest distributors or of arcade units in America and the world.

 Above you'll see the big Pac-Man Battle Royale Deluxe that allows 4 players to be different colored Pac-man. The object of the game is to complete the level by eating your opponents or surviving the ghost attacks. The unit itself is a huge colorful monstrosity. I've only heard of them being in Dave and Busters and haven't seen one in LA anywhere yet. There's a smaller version that's still 4 player and hold drink nicely, it's a small table top version.

Namco's Dead Heat racer was in show and it was quite the fun racer. You can save your power-ups by picking a code and typing it in every time you play. Newer gamers might not remember what it feels like to use a pay phone, but they buttons you press reminded me of making a call a few years back before cell phones. This isn't that new a racer, I've played it out of the convention too, I guess there just pushing it. It's easy to control and I must have played it three times in a row. The Nos-Power-up can really help you out if your behind.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 hits America in the face ouch. If hooked up to the internet you can play against players all over the world. It also comes with a card system that can save your stats called the Bana Passport. It's unknown how accessible getting the cards will be as only the purchasers of the units will be given the option to sell the bana passports or if they'll be compatible with Japanese imported cards. I've seen other units in America like it's previous model not really having that card ability used. A website selling them in the or some other way of getting the cards should be thought of, it's such a waste not to use this feature that Japan uses a lot more than us in America. I tried playing a few times at the show, but someone was always playing it.

 Deadstorm Pirates which has been out for a while was also present, you can have the big unit, you can sit in or standard arcade unit, which still looks impressive.

 BarBerCut was a strange redemption prize game where you have to maneuver your cutter perfectly to get prizes. I'd rather try a UFO Catcher.
Sadness gripped me, they didn't have any newer machines or some stuff dubbed for English. The units they had were fine, but only Tekken was really new and from all the crazy machines they have in Japan you'd think they want show off some more strange games. Maybe they should take a vote from distributors on which machines in Japan they'd like in America.