exA-Arcadia – The New Arcade Kit System

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Eric Chung, President and CEO of exA-Arcadia (EXA) has declared in his recent interview with Shmup’Em-All that their new arcade conversion kit system, exA-Arcadia, will be this generations’ NEOGEO. With a pedigree of SNK’s NEOGEO MVS arcade system, exA-Arcadia has some big shoes to fill. Eric’s statement does indeed seem bold, but he is confident that their innovative kit system will revolutionise and revitalise arcade gaming for developers and operators alike, giving them an easy to use system (to develop games) at a cost effective price point.

The exA-Arcadia System with four game cartridges as shown at JAEPO 2019
source: eXa-Arcadia via Twitter

So what does exA-Arcadia bring to the table for the operator? As already stated, this is an arcade conversion kit system, just like the NEOGEO MVS was back in the 90s, so its main aim for operators is to provide modern arcade content at a budget friendly price. This is all achieved by its clever hardware design, based on a secure Windows PC platform, which is more powerful than the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles, which can hold up to four games (delivered in cartridge format about the size of the old CPS3 cartridges). The best part is that exA-Arcadia is JAMMA and JVS (JAMMA Video Standard) compatible, allowing it to be used inside almost any existing operable arcade cabinets. It is also compatible with both 16:9 LCD and traditional 4:3 CRT monitors. exA-Arcadia claims that their vertically oriented games can be played in horizontal mode, so operators don’t need more vertically oriented monitors in all of their cabinets to play EXA format games.

exA-Arcadia stand with sample games at JAEPO 2019
source: exA-Arcadia via Twitter

The attraction of exA-Arcadia is realised even further (for operators), as once the system is purchased, it is fully owned by the operator, meaning that there is no requirement for internet connectivity to access gaming content, nor is there a need to share revenue with the manufacturer or distributor – more money left in the pocket of the operator. For operators that want to offer their customers an online experience, exA-Arcadia has a feature that integrates with streaming services like Twitch. Together with a smartphone app and card system, the exA-Arcadia’s feature set can provide operators a deeper insight into their customer interactions, which helps in building loyalty and decision making on what is popular, ensuring that customers keep coming back.

With its Windows PC based architecture, the EXA system is open to both traditional (big name) developers as well as the smaller independent ones. The initial release of ten games that were showcased at California Extreme (CAX) and Stunfest in late 2018, clearly shows that the current focus is on shoot’em up (shmups) games, however there are currently fifty games in the development pipeline that represent a variety of gaming genres, like fighting, sports, classic retro style platformers and four player games to balance out the EXA line-up.

Visitors enjoying the exA-Arcadia offerings at CAX 2018

exA-Arcadia presence at California Extreme (CAX 2018)
source: Tanoshimasu via Twitter

Eric Chung is confident that their exA-Arcadia platform can overcome stiff competition from systems provided by the giants in the industry, namely Sega’s ALL.NET and Taito’s NESiCAxLive. Eric claims that exA-Arcadia’s attraction is its lower entry cost (prices have yet to be confirmed as at writing of this article) and the fact that they will not force revenue sharing on coin drops. The overall cost will most likely be even lower than the others (Sega and Taito) as there is no equipment required, like network routers and servers, and no monthly fee to access the manufacturer’s network.

There is no doubt that exA-Arcadia has captured the attention of the amusement industry and developers alike. We will definitely be keeping a close eye on developments, as the potential of what it promises will surely result in shaking things up in the industry.

Aka To Blue Type-R at Stunfest
source: Shmup’Em-All via Twitter

*This feature first appeared in the February 2019 issue of the NAMOA ‘The Collector’ trade magazine.

 

CONTRA: Celebrating 32 Years of the Irresistible Force

ContraGryzor or Probotector. No matter what name you know this classic Konami run and gun game by, you will definitely remember it as one tough mother of a game! Konami had an instant hit on their hands when they released the arcade machine on this day [February 20] in 1987. Happy 30th anniversary Contra, you irresistible force!

For those that have been away from Earth since early 1987, here is the lowdown on Contra:

Midnight, September 12 2631. The Marines catch sight of a small-sized meteorite that is fast approaching Earth. The meteorite plummets 20km north-east of New Zealand, at the Gal Mosquito Archipelago. The command keep watch of the meteorite.

Two years later, in December 2633, an intruder known as the Red Falcon is occupying the Gal Mosquito Archipelago and is planning the fall of mankind. Command orders confidential investigations at the enemy’s front base. The marine post orders for two “Contra” soldiers, Private First Class Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Private First Class Lance “Scorpion” Bean on a mission. The mission being: penetrate the insides of the enemy, destroy the front base and the entire centre of operation.

 

Hot Mobile Gaming: The Handheld PC-Engine

If you haven’t been able to afford the astronomical prices for the PC-Engine GT (TurboExpress in the States) or the PC-Engine LT, then this DIY kit may be what you were looking for to morph your trusty PC-Engine into a mobile gaming powerhouse!

Sporting a 4 inch LCD and a custom 3D printed case (in varying colours), this awesome kit by Team Mercurius transforms the trusty original PC-Engine (and CoreGrafx & CoreGrafx II) console into one beast of a mobile gaming system. The unit operates via a USB power supply or you could hack and include a mobile battery for some true retro gaming on the go.

The whole kit will cost you under AU$200, however, the retailer (Ken Chan) does not sell internationally, so you will need a friend based in Japan or a proxy service to buy and ship it for you (when it is available).

image source: Akiba PC Hotline & Mercurius

[Story via Akiba PC Hotline!]

No QB Kneel in EA’s Madden

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

I’ve been playing EA Sports’ Madden for most of my life. It’s probably one of my favourite games. With each new edition, the graphics are enhanced and the speed increases. The game is so iconic, I can’t imagine gaming without Madden. Madden has been the go-to, two player game for most gamers; especially ones who love the NFL.

Several years ago, to make Madden more of a challenge, a friend, who I always played Madden with, thought it would be fun if we eliminated the option to QB Kneel. We kept losing close games to each other by using the QB Kneel offensive play when one of us was slightly ahead. It got kind of boring. And Madden is a lot of things, but boring shouldn’t be one of them.

source: EA Sports

When we removed the play option from our games, it made Madden even harder. When you got a comfortable lead, you couldn’t just sit on it and stop thinking about strategy. Fumbles and interceptions became more prevalent in the final minutes of a contest without the QB Kneel.

I started to not use the QB Kneel when I played single player Madden. It seems simple to just run the ball until the clock runs out, but when you’re playing a solid team on the most difficult setting, a fumble always seems to transpire. You quickly realise how important the QB Kneel is. I even tried throwing it. That was a mistake. The defences are too good to let a pass sail by, and if you miss your man, the clock stops.

Adding an extra bit of difficulty to a game that can already be a struggle isn’t wise, but if you want to get better at Madden, try it once. Even if your play with the Patriots or the Eagles, a fumble seems to always happen when you’re trying to run out the clock. I’ve even had easy field goals blocked with seconds left in the game. Playing without QB Kneels makes the urgency to score early even greater.

ozgameshop FOR THE GAMERS

 

2018 Reset C64 Craptastic 4KB Game Competition Results

This year’s Reset C64 Craptastic 4KB Game Competition was a great success and we would like to thank all of the competitors for their participation and hard work. Also a big thank-you to the judges and competition sponsors: RGCD, Pond Software, Bitmap Books and Protovision.

Every single entry was produced in the spirit of the competition and contained humour, creative ideas, and a demonstration of amazing skills by the developers – which is exactly what Craptastic is all about! Alas, there has to be a winner (even though we are proud of all the entries) and this time it is Paul Koller for his amazing Conga 4096. The arena shooter, based on RGCD’s Pan Dimensional Conga Combat, is definitely a worthy winner and is an amazing achievement by Paul and unbelievable for a 4KB game!

The winner: Conga 4096 by Paul Koller

Judges’ comments and more details will be published in a special Craptastic Reset mini-issue which will be out soon. Until then, enjoy the games which can be downloaded from the 2018 Craptastic page, and congratulations again to all of the entrants.

PLACINGS

  1. Conga 4096 by Paul Koller (28.86)
  2. WTF by Misfit (26.71)
  3. Snake-a-Space (aka Molly) by Jamie & Molly Fuller, Wave Hero by Geir Straume (26.57)
  4. Chef Quest by Pond/Privy Software, Orbs by Raffaele Formato/Federico Sesler (26.43)
  5. Dustin’ Pond/Privy Software (26.14)
  6. #2vABC by James (24.57)
  7. Kalle Kloakk 4k by Megastyle (24.43)
  8. Trump Tower by Megastyle (24)
  9. Endless Worlds by Derek, Mach-Tank by Malcontent (23.43)
  10. Space Poker by Karol Stasiak (23)
  11. Elevator Eric by Derek (21.43)
  12. Rabid Robots 4k by Richard Bayliss/Alf Yngve (21.14)
  13. Mind the Mines by Derek (21)
  14. Freaky Fish by Chris Page (20.43)
  15. Toxic by Richard Bayliss/Shaun Pearson (19.43)
  16. Memory Safe by Jamie Fuller (19.29)
  17. Parking Assist Chicken (PAC) by Goerp (17.58)
  18. 4kventure by Endurion (16.57)
  19. Sheeps! By Matthew Clarke (16.29)
  20. Roll Roll Roll by Cout (14)
  21. G7000 Racer by Igmar Coenen (13.71)
  22. I Found A Moon Rock In My Nose by Cout (12.57)
  23. Plunko by Cout (12.43)
  24. $100 Box by Cout (11.14)

Out of the comp: Shinobiden Gaiden by @_fou_lu.

Chef Quest

Dustin’

Snake-a-Space (aka Molly)

Orbs

Wave Hero

WTF

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Unkle K / Reset C64
Father, husband, teacher and retro gaming/computer enthusiast! Editor of Reset… C64 magazine.

Follow Reset C64 on Twitter

 

 

80’s Arcade Video Games, Pinball and Mullets

Ah the good old days of the 1980s, hanging out at our local arcade parlours with mates and our monster mullets!

Thanks heaps to We Are Diehards on Facebook for sharing this most awesome vid with us all – let the nostalgia ooze baby!


source: We Are Diehards via Facebook

 

Retro Gaming Rarity: SEGA Master System Store Demo Unit

There are a few holy grail and rare items in the video gaming industry, and then there are those that are so rare that you probably didn’t even know they existed.

Well, it seems that this SEGA Master System Store Demo Unit on eBay falls in the category of ultra rare and an absolute holy grail! The seller has put up a considerable price tag on their auction, but we reckon it is totally justifiable, as they are being honest in their description and also opened to best offers.

This rarity is unique as there hasn’t been any precedent set before it – this is the first one we have encountered that is for sale which is in great working condition which also comes with very rare Master System demo game cartridges and cards!

It goes without saying that we would love this in our collection. How about you guys, do old gaming demo units interest you?

source: eBay Australia