We wish you all the best for this year 2010 that marks the entry into a new decade. As usual, this is the occasion to review the titles released in 2009, let's start with Namco which released upgrade kits to convert racing games into Fast and Furious Drift, the famous deluxe shooter Razing Storm by the creators of the Time Crisis series, the motorcycle game Nirin and the return of powerboat racing with H2Overdrive. From Sega came out the very good Harley Davidson - King of the Road, the good Hummer, the disappointing Rambo, the conventional R-Tuned Ultimate Street Racing and budget titles Sega Bass Fishing Challenge and Sega Clay Challenge. Konami's line-up included GTI Club Supermini Festa and music games Guitar Hero Arcade and DanceDanceRevolution X. In 2009, Global VR gave us an update for NASCAR Racing, Need For Speed Carbon and the comics looking beat'em all Justice League - Heroes United. To complete our tour, let's note the arrival in Europe of some very good titles from less known manufacturerssuch as DJ Max Technika (Pentavision), Pump It Up NX Absolute (Andamiro) and BlazBlue - Calamity Trigger (Arc System Works). This was also the year when major titles had to be imported due to lack of official release in Europe, Street Fighter IV (Capcom) and Tekken 6 Bloodline Rebellion (Namco) come to mind.
After H2Overdrive a new racing boat game is available in Europe, named AquaRacer Extreme, this game is developed by Japanese game company Bitster and uses the motion system created specially for the occasion by Korean company Simuline. Thanks to this motion system, the game is very realistic especially during jumps, drifts and when the boost button is used. The game features three courses of different difficulty levels and four boats. Four players can compete simultaneously and races can be broadcast live on a screen (optional). Another game mode allows two players to drive in cooperative: the pilot will change automatically every 30 seconds or when the "change player" button is used. AquaRacer Extreme can already be ordered from Avranches Automatic (France).
Next month, London will host two amusement exhibitions: IGE (Intenational Gaming Expo, which gathers ATEI, ICE and ICEi) and EAG (European Amusement and Gaming Expo). The IGE will take place from January 26 to 28 at Earls Court and will focus on casino games, bets, bingo, ... Unfortunately, only 50 exhibitors will represent the amusement sector (including Photo Me, Bell Fruit, GTI, ...). While IGE will take place on the same dates at ExCel, this brand new show is born from the association of InterGame and former ATEI partner, BACTA which represents the amusement industry in England. This show will showcase video games, AWPs, billiards, bingo, bowling, cranes, kiddie rides, juke boxes, plush, pushers, redemption games, simulators... Among exhibitors, we'll find big names as Sega, Bandai Namco, Konami, Electrocoin, Elaut, Harry Levy, ...
Presented for the first time in London in 2002, Game On exhibition continues its world tour and will open in Brussels next Tuesday. Renamed Play Belgium, this event tells the video game history from first arcade games like Computer Space, Pong and Pac-Man to actual home consoles. Visitors can try more than 250 video games from past and present. Play Belgium is also an educative experience with video games trainings in Belgium, educational games, prevention, specialized media and future technologies through several conferences, demonstrations and workshops. Play Belgium will take place at the Cellars of Cureghem in Anderlecht from December 22Th to April 18Th 2010 and opens from Monday to Sunday (Mondays and Tuesdays are reserved for school visits). Adult ticket price is 16 € in presales. More details on the website.
Japanese are great fans of bike since a long time but unfortunately although the number of road deaths is decreasing, cyclists injured increases. The autombile manufacturer Honda has decided to launch in February 2010 a bicycle simulator to educate cyclists on many road hazards. This machine is designed for schools, public safety agencies and various training centers. This educative machine comes in the form of a bicycle connected to a screen. Honda is an expert in traffic simulations: since 1996 it offers motorcycle simulators and since 2000 car simulators.
BlazBlue sequel will be released on November 20th in Japan (and will probably hit Europe in January) on Taito Type X². Fights still take place in beautiful 3D environnements. Arc System Works manages once again to release a game with a complex gameplay but affordable for beginners. This episode brings three new fighters: Hazama, Tsubaki Yayoi and Lamda No. 11. Price is 268000 Yens (2000 €).
Mega sale! While waiting for Arcana Heart 3 release, Examu sells a limited pack including an eX-Board, games Arcana Heart 2 v2.1 and Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2 v2.6 as well as a Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2 poster. All of these for 98,000 Yens (740 €)! These are used PCBs (from a rental program) but they are fully tested before shipping. This is the opportunity to acquire a good new game (version 2.6 was released in February 2009) at bottom price. The particularity is that this fighting game features female characters only. There are 21 female fighters representing all moe genres fighting each others happily with spectacular special blow. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to order. Attention, only 20 packs available!
Electrocoin didn't wait EAG (European Amusement and Gaming Expo) 2010 to put on sale some new titles. Despite unveiling its range of new machines in January, the English distributor decided to sell already a limited supply of models in stock. These titles are DanceDanceRevolution X, Guitar Hero Arcade and GTI Club Supermini Festa! (Konami), Panic Museum, Taito D1GP and Hopping Rod (Taito), Power Putt (Incredible Technologies), X-Putt (World Golf Systems) and 24 and NBA pinballs (Stern).
The fourth edition of traditional and modern Japanese culture show will take place on 24 and 25 October at Liège's Palais des Congrès. As previous years, many activities will be scheduled during theses two days. As for traditional arts, visitors can learn about bonsai art, calligraphy, Go game, origami, ikebana (Japanese floral art), martial arts, or Sumie (traditional painting). Modern Japan is represented by manga, J-music, karaoke, fanzines, video games, inflatable sumo wrestling, as well as non-stop events during the two days with quizzes and anime showings. As usual a big cosplay contest organized by the Belgian Cosplay Team will take place on Sunday afternoon. There will also be concerts starring Bernard Minet (on Saturday afternoon) and Guren. Musical games are once again well represented with DDR Belgium offering activities on the following games: Dance Dance Revolution, ParaParadise, Donkey Konga, Guitar Hero and the new DJ Hero. The shop Player will provide arcade machines, consoles (PS3, Xbox 360, WII, PS2 and oldies) and organize tournaments "The King of Player II" on consoles (Street Fighter IV, The King of Fighters XII, BlazBlue, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm, Tekken V, Soul Calibur III, Dragon Ball Z Burst Limit) and arcade with Street Fighter III 3rd Strike and The King of Fighters XI. The winners prizes are consoles and games. Go to Asianim website for more info.
GTI Club Supermini Festa! was a very good surprise at the ATEI in January. Autumn trade fairs as FER (Spain), Preview (UK) and ENADA (Italy) will see the official launch of the game. Since the ATEI show, the software has been completed and the new cabinet has been specifically designed for the European market by Konamiâ€™s Exclusive European Distribution partner Electrocoin. There are standard and deluxe versions available and they are equipped with a handbrake system. GTI Club Supermini Festa! is of course an urban racing game with many popular licensed cars (as the Fiat 500, Mini and Mini Cooper's). The routes are full of short cuts to find. But the game offers also a variety of mini games such as La Tomatina (players compete by shooting tomatoes at each other), Car Football (a bold version of football) or also famous Bomb Tag Mode (player strikes into his opponent to give him the bomb. With those mini games, developers hope to attract female players generally more charmed by this kind of challenge.
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