January 8, 2020

In September 2019, indie developer Coin Crew Games announced Battle Bowling, their second release following King of the Road.

Battle Bowling is simple but unique combination of bowling and racing. One to four players can jump in and commandeer their own bowling ball via trackball, rolling through speed bumps and jumps while avoiding obstacles. Whoever hits the pins at the end first is crowned victor.

The game outputs in 9:16 in an attractive and reasonably proportioned upright cabinet. The current...

December 23, 2019

Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune is one of the best driving game series to be oft-shafted by its developer outside of Japan. Many of you reading are likely plenty aware of the franchise. Maximum Tune is absolutely stellar, with a dedicated fan base to boot.

So why, oh why does Bandai Namco treat it so poorly?

As many know, the series initially received pretty good U.S. support. The first game was released in 2004, followed by WMMT2 in 2005 and WMMT3 in 2007 (with 3DX+ upgrade coming in 2010).

Maximum T...

October 14, 2019

An annual Golden Tee is as inevitable as the rising and setting of the sun. And while the regularity of the series is not regarded with contempt like, say, 2K Sports and EA Sports releases, I still see it as somewhat of a “crutch” for developer Incredible Technologies.

Yes, the series is wildly popular. Yes, each installment of the current “LIVE” series is full of gameplay enhancements, additional features, and healthy doses of new content. But have you wondered what would happen if one...

July 22, 2019

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Raw Thrills. It’s a great company—comprised of wonderful individuals—and they’ve made some phenomenal games. However, because I know the studio is capable of such stellar feats, I'm more in-tune with what I consider the “missteps”. Unfortunately, most of the 2019 has left me majorly underwhelmed.

            While I’m usually pumped for the release of new Raw Thrills games, I haven’t felt anything for their current lineup. All of these titles appeared square...

May 6, 2019

At this point, I think it’s clear that I have some major issues with Super Bikes 3. For various reasons—most related to the sheer dearth of content—I’m fairly certain that the latest entry in Raw Thrills’s…erm, “The Fast and the Furious/Super Cars/Super Bikes” franchise is not only a subpar release but also a mockery of the series before it.

When I first discussed this title on my blog in March, I fretted over the limited track and character selections, potential lack of single-player modes, and...

March 18, 2019

One piece of arcade equipment I’ve always been interested but haven’t written nearly enough about is the Atari Pong Table, an electromechanical take on the video classic from Uruguayan company Calinfer. Initially unveiled as “Table Pong Project” in its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, the concept has since been picked up by UNIS for worldwide distribution and developed into three sleek commercial models. The Pong Table.

The original Pong, Atari’s seminal 1972 table tennis hit, is already timeless...

March 11, 2019

When Raw Thrills unveiled Super Bikes 3 back in October 2018, I got pretty heated. After being rather disappointed by their two previous racing titles (Cruis’n Blast and Winter X-Games Snow Boarder) and months of anticipation, I wanted the third installment in the studio’s seminal motorcycle racing series to be the best it could possibly be. Unfortunately, at that time, I just did not think that would be the case. We were promised eight bikes, eight characters, and five tracks—a far cry from pas...

January 21, 2019

Although many industry experts have written about game room design before, they often instruct from a much different perspective than my own. They explain the processes of guiding guest traffic, spacing out attractions, and choosing the right equipment with the sole aim of maximizing profits. While earnings are obviously a pivotal consideration in constructing any business, I find that this approach largely ignores what should be the primary focus: the games. And gaming is, first and foremost ab...

January 16, 2019

Those of who you who regularly follow my blog are undoubtedly familiar with my stance on many modern arcade racers. I’ve repeatedly pointed out that, for whatever reason, the genre is actually going backwards as time goes on. Whereas the amount of content in racing games was once growing, it’s now decreasing rapidly to appeal to casual audiences. A perfect example that I’ve beaten half to death: Cruis’n Blast (released in December 2016) only featured six tracks, while each game in the original t...

December 31, 2018

A little over a year ago, Finnish game developer Housemarque published a rather bold letter to their fans proclaiming that “Arcade is Dead.” This, coming from a company known for stellar, arcade-style home console games like Super Stardust, Resogun, and Nex Machina, was a bit shocking. And as the letter went on, it was clear this was going to be bad news. The piece started out detailing the company’s proud history of critically-acclaimed titles and their passion for the “arcade” genre. All good,...

July 11, 2018

Full-disclosure: Raw Thrills is one of my favorite developers of all time. I'm pretty much convinced they can do no wrong. However, sometimes I feel it's necessary to politely critique things for the betterment of arcade gaming. This is one of those times.

At IAPPA 2017, Raw Thrills revealed a slew of new games: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Injustice Arcade, Mario Party Challenge World, and Winter X-Games Snow Boarder. These were all interesting in their own right (with TMNT truly stealing the s...

June 25, 2018

If you’re even slightly familiar with my blog, you probably already know that I am a huge proponent of standard cabinet releases for each and every arcade game. Sure, deluxe experiences are nice—I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the theater-style presentations of Jurassic Park Arcade or Dark Escape 4D—but it becomes problematic when deluxe cabinets are the only option available to operators. Deluxe cabinets are expensive (for both operators and players) and can sometimes dominate huge chunks...

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