Boss Fight Books: BOOM SHAKALAKA

BOOM SHAKALAKA! Boss Fight Books latest collection Season 4: Creator Access Edition has conquered Kickstarter!

With the successful crowdfunding now finished, we can’t wait to read about Final Fantasy V, Shovel Knight, NBA Jam, Star Wars: KotOR and Postal. If you missed the Kickstarter, don’t worry, just keep an eye out on how to order this collection on the Boss Fight Books website.

These books are making us drool in anticipation, but it is Reyan Ali’s chronicling of Midway’s arcade hit NBA Jam, that we are most looking forward to reading. With inside information on the game’s creation and interviews with key development people and industry leaders, this tome will definitely be a slam dunk!

source: Boss Fight Books

 

Atari Star Wars: Ultimate Arcade Game Based On The Franchise

Star Wars, the arcade video game may have just celebrated its 34th anniversary, but did you know how much it cost to make and what George Lucas thought of the game?

The Star Wars franchise has been going from strength to strength for 40 years and there is no sign of its star power going supernova. Atari may have waited a few years to make their awesome vector based coin-op game on the great franchise, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Released amid the American video games crash, Atari’s Star Wars (1983) was a godsend for operators and players alike. With its distinct sit-down cockpit and upright versions invading amusement centres, Atari’s Coin-Op division created a buffer from the wreckage of the industry around it. Starting out as Warp Speed, Atari’s Mike Hally quickly changed the game title to Star Wars once Atari secured the license – and the rest as they say, is history.

Looking at the Atari Star Wars bill of materials, it is unbelievable to fathom that the arcade unit cost was a mere USD$1,249 back in 1983, which is (approx.) USD$3,090 in today’s money, which is still damn cheap! The arcade version was given the seal of approval from Mr. Star Wars himself, George Lucas with a plaque that reads, “A special thanks for creating THE FORCE behind so much fun”. Once inside the cockpit, Lucas was smitten and the game went gangbusters, selling thousands of units, making Atari (or more accurately, Time Warner) a ton of money!

The FORCE will always be with Atari’s classic coin-op. Always!

Atari Star Wars – cockpit concept sketch (source: arcade blogger)

The bill of material! (source: atarigames.com)

Cockpit prototype (source: atarigames.com)

The finished product! She is (still) a beaut!

Atari execs watch in anticipation as George Lucas takes a test fly! He likes it! (source: video-game-ephemera)

George getting some game play pointers from Atari’s Don Osborne (source: arcade blogger)

Our preferred arcade flyer (via: the arcade flyer archive)

 

Retro Hunting In Spa Country

Ms ausretrogamer and I hit spa country in north western Victoria on a fine winter’s day a few weekends ago.

From the Daylesford Sunday Market to local vintage bazaars and The Amazing Mill Markets in Ballarat and Daylesford, we found vintage goodies that warmed our cockles.

 

Super Nintendo Empire: The Vader Challenge

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

Darth Vader is such a fascinating film character. He goes away for a while, and then he comes roaring back into our pop culture conscience, better than ever.

After the spectacularly imaginative ending to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Vader is once again as popular as ever. There is something gratifying about seeing people of all ages wearing Darth Vader t-shirts again.

Like the original film trilogy, Super Nintendo’s The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1993, was the best of the Super Star Wars game series.

If you were a talented enough gamer to ultimately advance to Darth Vader, he was very difficult to defeat. That’s what made the game so good. Vader was a challenge, and battling him as Luke Skywalker was really a treat when I played the game as a kid.

Empire has the best lightsaber duel of the entire Star Wars film franchise. And I don’t care what anyone says, the Empire duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Empire is more dramatic and thrilling than their final duel in Return of the Jedi. Just because it’s the coda of the original trilogy doesn’t make it the best lightsaber battle; satisfying, yes, but not on par with the duel that leads to Cloud City’s central air shaft.

image source: Pinterest

The lightsaber battle in the game is very similar to the one at the end of the 1980 film. However, Vader is a lot taller than Luke in the game; he’s almost giant-like compared to the young Jedi. As a child gamer, I found Vader’s height to be a little intimidating.

I spent many entertaining hours fighting Vader; to a point where I would keep track of how long it would take me to defeat him…if I defeated him. Vader’s not messing around at the end of the game. My friends and I called it “The Vader Challenge.” It was an ideal way to reenact the battle at the end of one of my favourite films.

The rest of the game action is enjoyable, but nothing is as testing and exceptional as the duel with Vader. Battling the AT-AT Walkers on the planet Hoth is really fun as well. The graphics are exceptional and the degree of difficulty adds a layer that makes this a game young Star Wars fans should try playing if they can find a Super NES copy.

It’ll stress you out a few times, but “The Vader Challenge” at the end is worth the anxiety.

 

The Force Is Strong With Stern’s New Star Wars Pinball Machines

In Stern’s factory far, far away (from Australia), Star Wars Pinball machines are rolled off the production line in record numbers!

With Star Wars celebrating its 40th anniversary, Stern Pinball has come to the party with three machines (designed by Steve Ritchie) that will have every Star Wars (and pinball) fan drooling uncontrollably! So strong is the Star Wars franchise, the pinball machines are reportedly selling like hot cakes, with the 800 run of LE machines already spoken for! Shipping (to Australia) for the Pro model begins in July, with the LE and Premium editions to follow not too long after. Don’t fret about the Pro and Premium models selling out, Stern will build an unlimited amount of these machines to fulfil demand.

Talking to RePlay Magazine, Stern’s Director of Marketing and Licensing Jody Dankberg states that, “There’s been a lot of excitement and anticipation around this title, resulting in record sales for a game that had not even been seen in person. Everyone loves the original trilogy: It’s the basis for all things Star Wars. We felt that these movies helped us tell the best story possible while being able to use cool elements from the original films. The majority of our customers are nostalgic for those movies.

For those curious to know why Stern chose to tap the original trilogy instead of Disney’s new Star Wars films, Dankberg told RePlay that the firm believes more customers are interested in the originals over the new movies. We reckon Stern have got that right!

Australian pricing for the three pinball models (including GST):

  • Star Wars Pro $8,350
  • Star Wars Premium $10,800
  • Star Wars Limited Edition (LE) $12,500

The force is definitely strong with these pinball machines!

source: Stern Pinball Inc.

 

Stern Announce Star Wars and Jersey Jack Release A Flashy Trailer For Dialed In!

Whoa, what a way to start June!

Stern Pinball finally announced their new machine, the Steve Ritchie designed Star Wars! Funnily enough, the announcement came via a brief spot on The Star Wars Show (see embedded video). Stern has promised that Star Wars Pinball will take players to a galaxy far, far away! More information, photos and pricing to come – we can’t wait!

Stern’s new STAR WARS pinball machine makes a cameo appearance on The Star Wars Show!

source: The Star Wars Show

Also going all out was Jersey Jack Pinball. With the announcement that their latest machine, Dialed In! was in production, the New Jersey-based factory went all Hollywood by producing a very flashy and cool promotional video to show off Pat Lawlor’s brilliant original concept game. Mark our words, Dialed In! is destined to be a top 10 pinball machine of all time!

Jersey Jack Pinball’s DIALED IN! official trailer!

source: Jersey Jack Pinball

Wow, wish every month starts  like this! Stay tuned for more pinball news!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pinball Press
Pinball Press brings you news from the world of pinball – events, product reviews/updates, interviews and the people in pinball!

If you have any pinball news to share, hit Pinball Press on Twitter

 

 

 

May The 4th Be With You: A New Stern Star Wars Pinball?

With the internet rumour mill running amok regarding Stern’s next pinball machine, we wonder if they will announce a new Star Wars themed pinball machine on ‘May The 4th Be With You‘ Star Wars day? We can only hope!

If you weren’t aware, there have been quite a number of Star Wars themed pinball machines over the years, from Hankin’s wide body The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Sonic’s Star Wars (1987), Data East’s Star Wars (1992) to Sega’s awesome Star Wars Trilogy (1997) and Williams’ Star Wars Episode I (1999) built on the ill-fated Pinball2000 platform.

If Stern does announce a new Star Wars pinball machine, then we cross our fingers that it will be a mix of the Data East and Sega Star Wars machines. Oh yeah, we would love some Dark Side and Light Side LE machines too – hope you are listening Stern!

What are your predictions for Stern’s new pinball machine? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

May the force be with you!

One of our favourite Star Wars themed pinball machine, Sega’s Star Wars Trilogy

A close second, Data East’s Star Wars

You either loved it or hated Williams’ Star Wars Episode I

The first Star Wars themed pinball machine, Hankin’s The Empire Strikes Back

Straight out of Spain, Sonic’s Star Wars
source: Internet Pinball Database