The length of today’s title may be upsetting, but the news itself sure isn’t. Prepare yourselves for some hard-hitting hype, kiddos.
House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn will be making its way to Western arcades later this year.
After months of waiting, the news is finally here: SEGA Amusements has confirmed that the new House of the Dead arcade game is receiving an official release in the West. We don’t have to worry our little heads any longer; the game is coming. And I gotta say, kiddos—I’m about as excited as all get out.
My excitement certainly isn’t a secret, though. Even back in January, when all we had were screenshots and a cabinet image, I was raving mad about Scarlet Dawn. (So raving mad, in fact, that I wrote a 2,325 word article about it.) And though, at that time, we were all nearly 100 percent sure Scarlet Dawn would see a Western release, SEGA Amusements was weirdly quiet about it. Not a word. Until now, obviously.
Now that we’ve seen an official trailer and some gameplay footage from the location test, it’s even clearer that House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn will be flippin’ awesome. In my analysis of the footage back in February, I found that many of our initial concerns were put to rest. Despite what the deluxe environmental cabinet led us to believe, it wasn’t just some Let’s Go Island-style machine gun shooter. The music was just a killer as it needed to be. The voice acting as hammy as it’s always been. Watching horde upon horde of zombies in that footage was a total marvel. We knew that Scarlet Dawn was the sequel (midquel?) we needed.
This is all old hat, though. The real news is, of course, the Western release, and I’m definitely pleased with it. Like I said earlier, SEGA Amusements was suspiciously quiet about the whole ordeal. While SEGA Japan was promoting the frick out of the new installment in their legendary zombie-shooting franchise, Western SEGA was “business as usual” with their cruddy redemption games. It was a concerning time for HOTD fans.
But May 31st erased all our doubt. SEGA made a point to announce on all of their social media platforms that Scarlet Dawn is on its way to our arcades this year. We’ll see a limited release in September (presumably to many large FECs), followed by a wider release in November/December. This is real, people—real soon, too. It’s exciting, wonderful stuff.
But now that we know the newest House of the Dead game really is on its way over, we still have a few things to talk about. For one thing, we don’t if we’ll see the online features in the Western version. While I’d love to see them, arcades outside of Japan have been rather…sluggish in adopting online features. (I even published an article about this the other day.) We still don’t know if we’ll see these features, but it’s something to cross our fingers about.
The other potential hang-up is the price. Arcade Heroes reported that it may retail in the $27,000 to $29,000 range—this is insane. Now, for a deluxe, theater-style cabinet of this nature, the price makes sense. This is a huge experience; a huge price-tag is in order. However, it raises one big concern: Will we see this game outside of family entertainment centers like Dave and Buster’s and Round1USA? Because it’s an expensive game, kiddos. Without a secondary standard cabinet release, Scarlet Dawn may not penetrate nearly as many arcades as we hope it will. (Standard cabinets really are a dying format anyway, as I explored in my article about how merchandisers are killing the arcade industry.)
Still, I’m excited. Crazy flippin’ excited! And one thing that’ll be really interesting to note is the almost guaranteed competition we’ll see between House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn and Halo: Fireteam Raven. Both are from established developers (SEGA and Raw Thrills, respectively.) Both are massive, cutting-edge rail shooters dropping in arcades later this year. While Scarlet Dawn may have the advantage of being part of a well-established arcade series, Fireteam Raven will have the advantage of an iconic home console IP and four-player cooperative play. Something tells me this rivalry will be very heated—and incredibly interesting, too.
I’m also curious to see how SEGA Amusements markets this game. I can say what I want about their subpar games (cough, Daytona Championship USA, cough video redemption) and the fact that they’ve done almost nothing but endlessly rerelease the Let’s Go series since 2010, but I can’t deny how great how their advertising is. With Daytona, they crafted an excellent, hype-inducing, slow-dripping marketing campaign that highlighted each race track the game featured. The game itself may have been pretty lame, but the advertising worked. That’s something you can’t say for most arcade games. Because of this, I’m hoping SEGA Amusements gives Scarlet Dawn the online attention it deserves. We’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose.
So I guess that’s it for right now. It goes without saying that I’m pretty flippin’ hype right (even though I’ve already said it a million times, heh-heh). If we get more information in the future, I’ll be sure to share with you all!
Raw Thrills dropped some weird footage of Mario Party Challenge World for, like, no reason.
So, this bit of news was…interesting, to say the least. Lately, I’ve been pretty in-tune with my YouTube notifications, because they allow me to stay on top of important videos from my favorite arcade game developers. That’s why, whenever I see a video like this one, I jump right on it. However, I don’t know if I…understand this. At all.
From what I can tell, it seems that Raw Thrills uploaded a video of the boot-up screens…and called it VideoB. I’m not sure what this is about, but it’s there, I guess. I doubt it’s a teaser for Mario Party Challenge World; I’m fairly certain this was just an accident.
But hey, Raw Thrills has been pretty busy with videos lately. Earlier this month, they spammed eight trailers—yes, eight!—in one day for seemingly no reason. They were all reposts of existing videos (mostly ugly Betson promotional “trailers” and some stuff from the Play Mechanix and Specular accounts), but it was still somewhat interesting to note. The videos just sorta came out of nowhere. They're super tacky and unprofessional, too, which starkly contrasted with how top-notch the TMNT trailer was.
And of course, we shan’t forget the excellent TMNT promotional trailer. That was especially odd case, as Raw Thrills deleted the trailer the same day they spammed eight videos, only to reupload it next day. It’s very, very confusing stuff, but it happened! I’m not crazy—I swear!
You know, I’ve been thinking about Mario Party Challenge World for a while, and it really doesn’t seem like something I’m in to. It’s a medal game, people—just Japan’s version of redemption making its way to the West. So yes, it is just kiddie gambling. But is there some merit in its existence? If Raw Thrills brings a purely Japanese concept like medal games to our side of the world and it clicks, could they eventually bring over game we actually care about?
It’s a long shot, but like I said, it’s something I’ve been thinking about. Hopefully, this is the start of something big. Unless it just means we’ll see more medal games in the West. I would hate that.
Tipsy Raccoons is making its way to bars/arcades this month.
Here’s another January game announcement that’s ready for release this year: Tipsy Raccoons from Glitchbit. Tipsy Raccoons is coming our right flippin’ now. Here’s their May tweet that confirmed it:
In case you may have forgotten about it, here’s the low-down: Tipsy Raccoons is a new multiplayer minigame compilation in which credits are purchased by placing one’s drink in their respective cupholder. It was a novel concept at announcement, and it still is now. However, there have been a few changes since January. Tipsy Raccoons has a new, much more appealing cabinet design. Along with this cabinet change, the total number of players has been cut from six to four. Furthermore, the game can now be purchased with optional coin mechs/dollar bill acceptors for more traditional arcade venues.
The cabinet really is everything I’d hoped it would be. It’s very, very compact, and reportedly it will retail at about half of what the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game costs. I truly appreciate how Tipsy Raccoons was tailored for smaller locations. And the game itself sure ain’t a slacker either. It looks fun—very fun. Multiplayer games are already exciting enough in the arcade environment simply for the novelty of shoulder-to-shoulder socialization, but like Killer Queen and Cosmotrons, Tipsy Raccoons adds multiplayer to a unique game concept. Minigame compilations, outside of maybe Panic Park, have never been too terribly commonplace in arcades. But here’s the thing: they work beautifully in that environment. The breakneck pacing and duking it out with your friends makes for a great experience. And seeing as how there will be “dozens” of minigames, it won’t get old anytime soon.
So yes, I am gleefully anticipating Tipsy Raccoons. Just like with Killer Queen and Cosmotrons, the joys of local multiplayer always hook me. I’m glad Glitchbit added a cash mode (instead of only the aptly titled Drinking Mode), because now everyone will get to enjoy this game—even those of us who aren’t old enough to enter bars. The only thing I’m even the slightest bit disappointed about is the removal of two player stations. Four-player games are always fun, but six simultaneous players would have been off the proverbial chain. I reached out to Glitchbit about the possibility of a deluxe six-player cabinet at some point, and they said it wasn’t in the works for right now.
Still, I love what they’ve done with the game. The player placement on the new cabinet is so much better, and it’s plenty space-conscious for street operators. Besides, Tipsy Raccoons is just a cool game. Everybody loves minigames!
Killer Queen may be coming to the Nintendo Switch—I kid you not.
This was something I didn’t see coming AT ALL. However, in retrospect, I suppose I should have been able to decipher it somehow. (Good ol’ confirmation bias!) A few days ago, Kotaku shared some potentially legitimate Nintendo E3 game leaks. Were it to end up being true, this leak would actually be super wicked, showcasing third party staples like Dragon Ball FighterZ, Overcooked 2, Fortnite, Paladins, FIFA 19, and—you guessed it—Killer Queen Black from BumbleBear Games. While third-party support on Switch is always a good thing, I have to admit: I’m mostly just excited for Killer Queen.
I had absolutely no idea a console game was in the works, but it makes sense. BumbleBear has been scouring for game testers as of it—and I mean scouring. They’ve been posting about it fairly often on Twitter. And speaking of Twitter, there’s also the telling sign that their Killer Queen aesthetic has become, suspiciously enough, black. Their profile picture and banner? Solid black. This tweet? Nothing but black images and garbled text. Now that we’ve seen the Kotaku leak, all these teases seem not so subtle. We may not know exactly what Killer Queen Black is, but I think it’s somewhat safe to assume it’s coming to the Switch. This is awesome.
Of course, this does raise some important questions. Is it a straight port of the arcade version? I assume not. Killer Queen is an $11,000 game; I highly doubt BumbleBear wants to screw over operators by bringing it to the Switch in a completely unaltered form. From what I’ve seen on NeoGAF, this may very well be a strategy game set in the Killer Queen universe. This tweet is particularly revealing, I think.
But in reality, we really don’t know what Killer Queen Black is. We can speculate all we want, but it may very well not even be a real thing. E3 lineup leaks tend to be VERY sketchy. (Although considering Kotaku published it, it should have at least a hint of substance to it.) It’s very interesting that BumbleBear is pursuing a home version, but it makes sense. They can’t survive indefinitely on one arcade game and a few field games. They are “vanguards of the new arcade,” and now they’re coming home. So all in all, this should be interesting. I guess we’ll see how it plays out once the E3 ball gets rolling on June 12th.
If today’s news didn’t push your summer arcade hype to a fever pitch, I don’t know what will. All I can say is that the future of arcades just keeps looking better and better.
As always, keep it real, ya sweaty nerds.