NextArcade Officially Launches!
game service from TLC Industries has officially launched. Offering
brand new arcade-style games, NextArcade looks to keep the arcade
gaming genre stocked with fresh new titles. (Full
Press Release) Be sure to check out their game club and their
offer of a free control panel with a one-year subscription!
Human Pac-Man Videos
mentioned this experiment in "augmented reality" before:
a human Pac-Man game, with players wearing special gear that superimposes
the game elements over the real world. Well, thanks to Keith Corcoran,
I now know of some video
of the game in progress! Now let's get a Robotron or Sinistar
version going: "Run, Coward, Run!"
New Jukebox Software
a new PC-based Jukebox program available, which looks like it will
work well with MAME cabs: the Eliminator
V2 by Jukebox Pro software. PR Quote: "This software has
been available in Australia for the past year and has taken Australia
by storm. Now it's available for the rest of the world."
The Ultimate Pinball Machine
maybe not the ultimate, but at least the biggest. Check out this
article over on Gameroom magazine about the 1975 gameshow The
Magnificent Marble Machine, which was short-lived but featured
an enormous pinball machine. How'd you like to have that machine
in your gameroom? (Only if your gameroom is the size of an aircraft
hanger, of course!)
Once Upon Atari DVD
something to read while you digest that turkey dinner: Contributing
reviewer James McGovern has just finished his review of Once
Upon Atari: The uncensored story of what happened behind the scenes
at Atari. It's a DVD documentary of the wild and crazy
early days of Atari, when complete creative control was a given
and a hot tub in the office was just another perk.
New SlikStik Joystick Handles Now Available
balltop joystick handles are now available. These are very,
very cool looking handles, with removable metal balls that are
available in both stainless steel and anodized aluminum colors.
What's the best part? The price — at $21.99, these new balltops
are almost half the price of the old single-piece versions!
MAME 0.89 "Turbo Outrun Release"
Yup, another new release of
MAME, with lots of changes. I'm particularly intrigued by the discrete
sound code changes. (Of course, I'm also going to check out the newly enabled "Nitro" button
in Turbo Outrun ;-)
Monster Fair Pinball by Littlewing
has announced their latest pinball simulation, Monster
Fair. The game looks great, has a weird theme (aliens crash
on earth and disguise themselves as circus performers to earn money
to fix their ship?), and comes from a company whose products I've
enjoyed since Crystal
Caliburn years ago.
BYOAC Game Reviews
Looking for more reviews of retrogaming-themed games? Be sure and check out this
thread over on the BYOAC forums. "NIVO" will be posting new reviews
in this thread in the future, making it a great place to get suggestions on
what games to check out next.
Okay, the family obligations are out of the way, now it's "me time" ;-)
I'll try and get things moving this week on the review front, especially since
last week wasn't as productive as I had hoped. Stay tuned...
a nice gift for a fellow retrogamer: arcade-themed
pewter ornaments for the Christmas tree. As fellow reviewer
James McGovern said, "I can hear the thunder of the approaching
Namco lawyers," so hurry if you're interested!
ArcadeControls.com is having a holiday
giveaway, with lots of arcade goodies, ranging from autographed copies
of Saint's excellent Project Arcade book (review)
all the way up to a complete cocktail cabinet kit from Arcade Depot! Very cool,
and it looks like they'll be giving away two gifts a week, so the odds are
More Coin-Op TV
There's another new interview up on the Coin-Op
TV site, this time with Anson Sowby, Marketing Director for Jakks Pacific
Inc's TV Games. (review). Be sure and check
The Game is Never Over
Here's a very interesting
article in Forbes about the retrogaming phenomenon, including a list of
the top selling Retro games of 2003. (Gotta love it — they're using my
an interesting (and really freaky looking) PC gun: the
VRz gun. At $495, it's an expensive gaming option, but it is
wireless, and I am curious how it performs, and if it is even compatible
with MAME. It emulates a mouse, so that's a start, but who knows...
Rap and Pinball, Remixed
like rapper Chingy is a pinball fan: not only is his latest
rap video pinball-themed, his glitzy web site even has a flash-based
Chingy-themed pinball simulation! Now, I'm not a big rap fan,
but I gotta respect anyone who loves the silver ball, and Chingy
sure seems to be a fan! Check it out for some serious pinball/rap
Pac-Man is engrossing? How about playing a VR-enhanced
game of Pac-Man, where you run around the real world wearing
a VR helmet and seeing computer-superimposed dots and power pills?
Sound like fun? You know it...now where do I sign up for the beta
testing on this thing?
New UK Distrubutor for X-Arcade
Direct from the press release: "Xgaming is pleased to announce it has
signed an exclusive distribution agreement with WOW Stuff Limited; Boystuff.co.uk for
the sale of X-Arcade products in the United Kingdom."
Treasure Cove Pinball Decals
first review this week (yes, there may be more than one!) is of
Treasure Cove's decal sets. Offering both reproduction and original
artwork, these decal sets can restore and improve the appearance
of your pinball machine. Check out the RetroBlast
Review Page for all the details.
Coming Up This Week
Hopefully this week I'll be able to wrap up the joystick roundup (yes, finally!),
as well as start work on the trackball roundup. I'm also working on a review
of Dream Arcade's excellent side-by-side cocktail gaming system. We'll see
if the gaming gods smile on me this week and grant me the time to finish
MAME Arcade Tokens!
designs have been finalized, the tokens are being produced, and
now there is a web site where you can order the new MAME tokens: ArcadeTokens.com.
The tokens will be ready by Dec. 1st, and will ship shortly after
that. Looks to be a great gift for your MAME friends, even if you
don't have a token-operated MAME cab (I'll be writing up an article
on coverting over to token operation soon!)
SlikStik Parts Store
it looks like SlikStik is expanding their product line again: this
time they've opened up a "SlikStik
Parts Store" that offers Happ joysticks, trackballs, and
other accessories, such as T-molding. The cool thing is the prices:
they're less than Happs! Of special note are the custom SlikStik
monitor brackets, which can be used to mount an arcade monitor
in practically any cab. If you're building a cab, be sure and check
A Lot of Boxes...
that's all one product. What is it? It's a side-by-side cocktail
arcade system from Dream
Arcades! It's a full gaming system: cab, computer, monitor — everything
you need for MAME gaming. Just put everything together, turn it
on, and get playing. I'm going to be doing a full review of the
system very soon, and then? Well, stay tuned...
PowerUP Clothing Company
some authentic, licensed retrogaming clothing? Here's a place to
get it: PowerUP
Clothing Company, which offers several different arcade-themed
t-shirt designs (including my fave, Robotron!) Very cool (in a
retro-geek way, of course ;-)
Treasure Cove Polishing Kit Review
written portion of the Treasure Cove Pinball Playfield Polishing
Kit Review (whew...) is now available over on the RetroBlast
Reviews Page. Can this kit really bring a dull, scuffed pinball
playfield back to life with a "showroom shine"? You know
where to find the answer...
Kudos to Bay Area Amusements
I just had to post a note about the excellent service I received at pinball
parts supplier Bay
Area Amusements. I placed an order late yesterday, and in less than a
hour had a shipping notice show up in my email! They've always had what I
needed for my pinball machine, always been very fast (although this is a
new record!) and they have very good prices as well. If you've got a pinball
machine, be sure and check them out!
New Interview on Coin-Op TV
for some good retrogaming video interviews? Robert Welkner, producer
of Coin-Op TV,
has just added a fourth episode this weekend with Steven Hertz,
a premiere collector of all the Laser Disc arcade games. Check
Treasure Cove Playfield Polishing Kit Video
up on the Video Reviews page is a look
at Treasure Cove's pinball playfield polishing and cleaning kit,
a great way to get a playfield back that "brand new" glossy
look. Look for the full review in a day or so (I've gotten caught
up in playing my Dr. Who pinball now that the playfield is so shiny!)
Shielding Your Cab Speakers
Here's an interesting site: LessEMF.com,
a site with all sorts of information and products on reducing electromagnetic
radiation (EMF). What's especially interesting is the section
on shielding speakers, which can often be the cause of monitor distorion
in a game cab. It may not be as cheap as installing "bucking magnets",
but it may be easier...
Speaking of Speakers...
I just wanted to pass on this link to what looks to be my new "speakers
of choice" for cab use: the Creative
T3000 2.1 Speaker System, which includes a volume control pod with bass
adjustment and a headphone jack. For about $50, this looks to be a good system,
especially when you pair it with a nice pair of car speakers (see my article
on MAME cab speakers for details!)
Cool New Joysticks Previewed
just posted an interesting
sneak peek of their new metal joystick handles, which include
swappable balltops that will be available in both stainless steel
and new colored anodized aluminum! They look great, and I can't
wait to see how they look in a cab. According to the post, they
should be available on SlikStik.com within
the next two weeks.
Now that's a Halloween Display!
Check out this
link to a very creative retrogaming-themed Halloween display! Now that's scary...
New Retrogaming Magazine
Check out this
link for information about "Armchair Arcade", a magazine devoted
to retrogaming (especially old consoles and home computers)
Possible MAME Trackball?
Here's something intriguing: the EAE
Electrics OptiBall Trackball, an industrial optical trackball, complete
with a PC-standard PS/2 connector! It's a German company, and I don't know
if they have a US distributor, but it's worth a look. Thanks to Angel Moreno
for the news!
The Ultra-Mega-Super-Hyper Game Machine
Here's something so innovative it's hideous. It takes the concept of the "FrankenPanel" to
a whole new level, adding in dual monitors and...well, words just escape me
on this one. Just
go have a look.
Hot off the keyboard is the written RetroBlast review of the SlikStik Solitaire-J
Unit, now available on the RetroBlast Reviews Page.
The Solitaire is SlikStik's new single-player unit. It's certainly large, but
is it in charge? Check out the review for all the juicy details.
PinMAME 1.50 Released
Yes, the pinball-oriented version of MAME has been updated from version 1.33
straight up to version 1.50! Why? Because so much has been added and changed!
Head on over to PinMAME.com for
full details on what's new.
Hey Y'all, Watch This!
Ever wondered what makes tempered glass different from regular glass? Want
to know why pinball machines use tempered glass? Well, you're not going to
get the answers here, but be sure to check out this
video of some "field testing" of some old pinball glass anyway
(click on the "Playfield Glass Test" link). See what it takes to
break tempered glass, and marvel at the explosive results.
Pinball Machines and Web Sites
Here's a strange one (in a good way): an article on the Wisconsin Technology
Network site comparing good
web site design to pinball machines. It sounds weird on the surface,
but there are some good points. Plus, it warms my heart to see someone actually
analyzing what makes pinball machines fun...
Election Day Aftermath...
Sorry for the lack of news: I got caught up in the election coverage, and spent
a good part of yesterday refreshing web pages while channel-surfing through
the cable news shows. Needless to say, i didn't get to bed until early this
morning, and I'm fried. I'll try and get some "real news" (i.e.
retrogaming news) up later this afternoon. After a nap.
New Site Sponsor
like to welcome a new RetroBlast sponsor, Dream
Authentics. They've got some absolutely fabulous-looking MAME
systems, ranging from the standard-sized Excalibur up
to their amazing 4-player
MEGA Quad unit. I gotta admit, I'm drooling right now...
49-way Joystick Mini-Review
Lilley-Hopkins (of MAMEWAH fame) emailed me to let me know he's
posted a mini-review
on BYOAC of his cab's new 49-way joystick. If you've ever considered
adding a 49-way joystick to your control panel (or are just curious
about what the advantages and disadvantages are), be sure to check
out his posting. Thanks, Steve!
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