Welcome to Newsbytes, a collection of news stories from around the world of arcades and pinball that I semi-regularly post here to Arcade Heroes. It had been a while since the last one, in part due to some life troubles going on for me lately (one of several being the SSD on my main PC melting down), but news was also slower at the beginning of May than it has been at the end. Let’s hop to it!
Batsugun Exa Label Now Available For Pre-Order
Earlier this week, exA-Arcadia posted a trailer for the remaster of Toaplan’s Batsugun that was announced last year, and as of this posting, there is a pre-order page up for two editions of the game: a standard and a Limited Edition. In case you had missed the news, this is a remaster of Toaplan’s shmup original, where exA worked with original staff members to to fix and enhance the game for today. It includes the original arcade game in Original mode, but also features four other game modes: Special, Special (dash), EXA LABEL and EXA LABEL EXTREME. This also features three user selectable soundtracks (original, Sega Saturn, EXA), new voice acting and much more. Limited Edition is for collectors and Toaplan super fans, although some arcades will certainly grab one. Not to worry though – the game software is the same between the two, differences come with the artwork that they come with and such.
Find details on the Standard Version here; Limited Edition here; For customers in Japan and Europe, there are specific distributors who handle cart sales, Europe being Red Sun Systems. I appreciate that the descriptions now provide many more details on the changes/additions than are sometimes posted. As for when it will ship, their website says “June 2023,” although both Shinorubi Pink Label and Donut Dodo Do! pre-orders have been up for a while now and still haven’t shipped. Are you excited to see this historically important and fun shmup return to arcades?
Enter The Gungeon: House of The Gundead Machines Spotted In The Wild
Aside from Retro Ralph’s tweet below, I’ve also heard from a reader in email that they got their hands on the game and was testing it out. Apparently, there is a very small number of units which have shipped out already, although these are more of a test than full-blown fulfilling of orders. Given that I did order one of these machines, I’m happy to see that they are shipping; Hopefully I’ll have mine in hand here soon.
More Enter the Gungeon: House of the Gundead Pictures. If you see this in your local arcade YOU NEED TO PLAY IT!! So much fun and love the use of the Sinden lightgun tech! #arcade #IndieGameDev #indiegames pic.twitter.com/Pf1aAwjur6
— RetroRalph (@ralph_retro) May 25, 2023
Step Revolution Launches SMXEdit
Are you a Step ManiaX player and have been longing to edit the step charts? Well now you can thanks to SMXEdit, a new chart editing feature added to the SMX companion app. This is also joined by more songs that were added as a part of content update #39.
Wahlap Launches Thunderbolt Shot
While there is no announcement on whether someone will sell this in the States, I imagine it’s a strong possibility that someone will distribute it here. Using the old “Crossfire” game idea, players fire balls at each other from opposing sides, but there’s a video screen that also shows info and animations (it doesn’t appear to really matter a ton to the gameplay, making it a glorified scoreboard, but I could be wrong there).
Now Ice Cold Beer Remakes Are Shipping
While the original word was that Retro Arcade would begin shipping their officially licensed Ice Cold Beer Remakes back on February 20th, turns out that they had more parts issues and that ship date didn’t happen. Now with that finally resolved, Knapp Arcade is reporting that the game is finally shipping. I’m not sure if RA had been keeping those who pre-ordered in the loop or not, although it does seem like public communication about what’s been going on here could be much better (if you’re experiencing production/parts issues, just tell everyone. That’s better than staying silent and making people create assumptions).
Inowize Showcases 3 QBIX Games
Unveiled at IAAPA 2022, QBIX is a new flagship product for Romanian company Inowize and to boost the appeal of this mixed reality game room, they’ve added two more games to the platform: Fright Maze and Pack A Boom. Astro Riders was initially shown for the room. Here’s a trailer to showcase them:
Pinball Adventures Factory Tour
Nothing for me to really add here…
Konami’s CastleVania: The Arcade Now Playable In Emulation
Remember CastleVania: The Arcade? No, not Haunted Castle, but the one released in 2009 that used Wiimote-like controls. No? Well, that’s not much of a surprise – only available out West through Konami’s now defunct European arcade division, very few ever showed up in north America, much like the Silent Hill Arcade game and GTI Club – Supermini Festa. Thanks to those interested in emulation and preservation through Video Game Esoterica’s Discord server, the game now works on PC; This video tells you all about it
Another thing that might be of interest in the realm of super rare games being emulated, Capcom’s really cool GAMSHARA now joins that list.
An Atari Slot 4 Prototype Has Been Discovered
The National Videogame Museum in Frisco, TX is one of those places I’d love to visit one of these days but even when you can’t visit them in person, they’re hard at work, making interesting finds and sharing them online. One of those is of an Atari prototype I’ve read very little about, to the point where I figured they never even made a test unit – but per this discovery post on Facebook, at least one was made. Designed by Roger Hector, the game was similar to Atari’s Sprint 4 racing game, but it was designed for the bar scene, so it only had one control for speed/acceleration and no steering wheel. As the post mentions, it was so people could play while holding a beer in one hand. Roger also added in a comment on the post: “It was designed to go with the multi game standup cabinet. Both were designed to be updated with several different new games by changing the game cart on the circuit board…along with the control panels.” So, interchangeable arcade games in the 70s
Arcade Heroes Merch On RedBubble & TeePublic; Membership Options Forthcoming
I’m not big on self-promotion but I recently opened an Arcade Heroes store on RedBubble. It’s similar to the TeePublic store I’ve been doing for years, but they have some additional products that designs can be printed on demand to(like…clocks), so I figured I’d give it a try. If you’d like to help support the site here while also getting something arcade-related for yourself or that special someone in your life, then check them out.
I am also finally going to begin doing YouTube member videos and I’ve setup an Arcade Heroes page on a service called SubscribeStar. The latter is similar to Patreon but I was talking to a friend who seemed to like it better so I’ll give it a go; The page has not been approved yet however, so I may have to wait before really promoting it.
My initial thoughts are to record plays w/ commentary of arcade games, either retro games emulated on consoles or some direct ones from my arcade, like from the exA-Arcadia. I’m very much open to suggestions as to what you would want to pay for though(including the creation of different tiers with differing support), so let me know in the comments if you are interested. For anyone who actually subscribes – that’s a big THANK YOU in advance. I’ve always been doing a sidejob or two while operating the arcade but it might be better to do this instead, if there’s enough interest.
Jersey Jack Pinball Supposedly Has The Harry Potter License – Best to take this with a grain of salt until there’s a reveal/announcement
The Pac-Man LEGO Set – Just in case you missed this news
BumbleBear Slices $500 Off A Black Emperor Arcade Game – Not sure if it’s a permanent price cut or just a sale
Stern Pinball Launches The Foo Fighters Tour Quest – Thank you Stern, for doing something that incentivizes players to go out to locations instead of just playing at home. More of this, please.
There’s A Pulp Fiction Pinball Out There – Officially, by what I’ve been told, the game isn’t shipping until Q3 this year so I guess this is a test?
On the other hand, Konami’s Amusement Numbers Improve Marginally, But Aren’t Great
Fate/Grand Order Arcade No Longer Adding New Servants – This probably doesn’t matter to anyone outside of Japan
Retro Ralph Highlights Atari Games’ War: Final Assault – I never understood why this game didn’t catch on, but that’s because I was one of the few who dumped a crapton of coins into it
[Console] This Hyrulian Mech Is Ridiculous And I Love It – Granted, there are a TON of awesome TotK builds out there…I haven’t done anything cool yet or experimented much as I’m still focused on just exploring/playing the game
That’s all for this week(end) – be sure to support a local arcade out there if you have one near you!