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The Game Gallery
7941 N. Armenia Ave
Tampa, FL 33604
Christian Video Games Make Old Testament Fun
Thursday, 7 July 2005
Video games have always been citied for their violence and mindlessness, usually by people who don’t play them.
Stray from the "one true path" and you lose
There is an emerging trend of Christian Video games that although far behind the secular games in quality, claim to be free of the moral problems Christians have with games such as Halo and Playboy Mansion.Godspeed the game on our right has the player answering questions on the scriptures and theology correctly in order to stay on the “one true path”. Get those questions wrong and who knows where you’ll end up, but you can take a guess."Victory at Hebron" has you playing a very serious game of cards with your enemies in order to get your prisoners released with as little bloodshed as possible, while other games let you inside your best friend's mind to help him free himself from his demons. (and haven't we all wanted to do that at one time or another?)The games usually rely on older game engines to drive them so their game play is nowhere near the sophistication of any games released this century, but if you find all that sex and violence and interesting game play a turn off, these could be for you.
The Land That Video Games Forgot
Written by Victor.
This past month I have been in Brazil visiting family and friends, after eighteen years of absence from the country I was born in. Needless to say, things are different. People walk, people drive like madmen (the idea is, if you don't get touched, no harm done), and exchanging U.S. dollars to Brazilian reais leaves you with a lot of money to spend in the vast malls Brazil boasts. Now although I was there for a non-video game purpose, I made it a point to note everything related to gaming that I could get in contact with. The areas of Brazil that I covered are Rio De Janeiro, Buzios, and Santa Catarina, and sadly the results were below expectations.I have often found myself casually browsing the web and finding many miscellaneous clubs relating to video games to Brazil. I had at least thought that gaming in Brazil was somewhat accessible to the general public in that if one wanted to make it a hobby (or religion as I have) to start playing video games, it was was a somewhat viable goal. In reality, Brazil is a terrible place to learn, play, or even think about video games. Probably the only thing that kept me sane was my Nintendo DS, but then there was even a problem with that.First off, I'll explain how arcades work there. What happens is that when you go in an arcade with a pocket full of quarters (centuvos) and you can't even play one game yet. Reason being, the government has changed currency so much over the years that keeping up to code on machines is too much of a pain. So to play, you have to turn in your money and pre-plan everything that you're gonna play. This can get pretty tedious, because every $.25, $.50, and $1.00 game requires a different kind of coin. Nothing like the versatility of the American quarter. So that's just the hurdle of getting the ability to play something, now let's move on to the machines. This is where depression hits, as you find that the machine almost always has something wrong with it; either more than half the buttons are stuck, or the screen itself is only partially working. Many times it's a little of both, or the machine itself is completely inoperational. So basically all the arcades in Brazil are just like American arcades, except American arcades work. I remember I played at least three different DDR machines in Brazil, and I failed every song that I played. I'll have you know that I'm a pro at DDR. I can do 90% of all songs in any difficulty. For me to not pass one single song proves that the machines were broken. Pads didn't work, music was turned down too low... it was terrible.Now as a game creator, this hit me pretty hard. To think that one day my games could be in this arcade with nobody playing them because the buttons didn't work, which would piss people off and make them say that the game is terrible, all because the darn owner of the machine wouldn't clean up the grime left from the twelve-year-old that ate their nachos with more cheese on the hand than the chip. There are a few places where the arcade was actually clean. The second largest mall in Latin America, Bahia (which displays a Triforce symbol), had a Gameworks-esque place that looked nice enough. Looked. I put about twelve bucks worth of credit on a card and played only six games. That's a whole lot of nothing. Also, every game I played had a problem with it or was broken. But what I didn't get was that the place was spot-clean. Literally you could eat of the floor, but the games never worked. Go figure.Now as far as the home console scene goes, that's even worse. You either have to play games illegally or pay up an asinine amount of cash to get them. Another interesting fact is that in every mall that I visited (and I visited at least thirty), I saw not one video game store. You can buy them on busy street corners, but they sell games for sixty reais each, and they're not even the original copies. And as far as the PS2 goes, the only system popular in Brazil, these are actually burned copies of games. In order to play them you have to buy a PS2 and mod it to play any region. Therefore, to start playing just one PS2 game, you have to pay two hundred fifty reais for the PS2, one hundred to buy the kit to make the PS2 region-free, and sixty reais for the non-bonafide copy of the game. That is four-hundred ten reais, which is a ridiculous amount of money in Brazil. Now, if you want to avoid the modding and burned games and just play legitimately, you would have to pay the initial two hundred fifty for the PS2, and then a total one hundred and thirty reais for the game. That is the price of Grand Theft Auto III (Greatest Hits), which is around twenty dollars in the US. So if you want to keep up your gaming hobby in Brazil then you better be rich, which isn't likely, because more than seventy-five percent of the people of Brazil are poor or live in favelas (slums). Obviously the lack of disposable income in Brazil is one major reason gaming in Brazil is so bad. The other is because there is no passion for it. Most people believe that video games are not for the fun possibilities of mastering a character and competing against other people, but just for getting kids to waste money on a passing phase in their life. There's still some hope; there are people who sell games, which means that there is some small market for gaming. But until people start vocalizing interest, much like how America did in the NES/SNES era, Brazil will see slow movement towards the world of video games if any. My advice to everyone reading is this: if you plan on going to Brazil, or even South America in general, bring a Game Boy or a PSP or a DS. In my excursion into the southern hemisphere I lived off this DS, and I definitely started to appreciate the battery power of the system, for it was good to me. It kept me alive. It kept me from killing myself.
An Evening of Musical Gaming
Video game developers, composers, and fans alike gathered tonight at the Hollywood Bowl for a celebration of video games and music, known as Video Games Live. Tonight was the premiere event which kicked off a tour of eighteen stops, including Canada. Video Games Live was co-created three years ago by Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall, with the 1UP community's very own Becky Young, aka Aktrez, as Marketing Coordinator.
There were various activities for the pre-show event: Videotopia, an exhibit chronicling the history of arcade games complete with actual cabinets, Meet and Greet with Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall, and a Costume Contest. The winner of the Costume Contest, Kevin, dressed as The Fury from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and won a PSP courtesy of 1UP along with a bag of Video Games Live swag. The runner-up, Becky, dressed as The Boss from the same game.
The audience was treated to a spectacular show of music by the LA Philharmonic, video game clips, laser light show, and interaction with the audience. One lucky person, a fourteen year old boy, beat out a lady at Frogger to win an AMD gaming laptop. Actors portraying Giddeon Wyeth from Advent Rising and characters from Tron made appearances on stage during their respective song sets. Following the classic crowd pleaser, Super Mario Brothers, Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall took requests from the audience and predictably, Halo was what the crowd shouted out as their request. Video game pianist Martin Leung also made an appearance during the Final Fantasy song "One Winged-Angel".
A variety of video game developers and composers were involved during the show, including Hideo Kojima, Yuji Naka (making his first US appearance ever), Ted Price, Lorne Lanning, Marty O'Donnell, Koji Kondo via pre-recorded video. Elijah Wood and Stan Lee were also present. 1UP had the pleasure of interviewing many of these industry professionals, so stay tuned for more in-depth coverage!
Films and Computer Games at NTI
In a first for the bfi National Film Theatre (NFT), we are delighted to present a groundbreaking exploration of the boundaries between videogames and film with NTI* (*non-trivial interaction). In a joint presentation with RES, NTI* takes place over the weekend of 9 and 10 July and examines the complex and growing relationship between the two genres and the groundbreaking possibilities it creates. The weekend features talks, exclusive previews of forthcoming games and films, live cinematic-sized game play in a classic arcade, machinima screenings and discussions with industry leaders.NFT Artistic Director, Eddie Berg, said: "NTI* starts from the position that games are culturally important not only because of their huge economic significance, but because they are becoming embedded in our everyday lives. The bfi recognises the importance of videogames as a means of expression and in supporting NTI* we are placing ourselves at the forefront of discussions of contemporary digital culture."As the games industry moves towards legitimisation and acceptance within mainstream culture, this landmark programme of events at the NFT (curated by independent videogames author and columnist Iain Simons), offers a unique opportunity to investigate the rich mix of ideas, technology and genius fuelling leading-edge game and film innovation today.We are thrilled that Oscar-winning screenwriter, director and dedicated gamer Roger Avary will be a guest at NTI* to discuss The Rules of Adaptation and his current film adaptation of the horror game classic Silent Hill.For gamers, the participation of Valve, pioneers of new facial animation techniques and six-time BAFTA award winners, offers a rare opportunity to get an insight into the team's work and processes. Bill van Buren, choreography director of Half-Life 2 introduces Written All Over Your Face to demonstrate what the new techniques mean to videogame storytelling.Peter Molyneaux, OBE, one of the best-known and innovative designers in the history of videogames, presents The Trailer and argues that not only are games a legitimate area of popular art culture – they may also be an art form. As well as chairing a specially invited NTI* panel to discuss this topic, Molyneaux will also unveil one of the first public looks at his forthcoming game The Movies.Lego Star Wars: The Videogame was one of the most fascinating movie tie-ins of recent years. Jonathan Smith, development director of Giant Entertainment, offers an insider's view of what it means to play with Star Wars and the business of making a game from such a famous movie. In a second session – Rough Cuts: NTI* – Smith also explores careers in video gaming with a special ticket price of £2 for 16–24 years olds.Jamie Fristrom, creative director of Spider-Man 3, looks at The Action Movie Aesthetic and the race between Hollywood and videogames to create the greatest dramatic action sequences. Senior lecturer in media studies at Bath Spa University, Dr James Newman discusses making James Bond interactive with the developers of Goldeneye and other 007 videogames.Lara Croft transcended her digital beginnings to become a film star and pop culture icon: Ian Livingstone, creative director of Eidos Interactive (Tomb Raider, Deus Ex and Hotman) gives a candid account of this journey as an introduction to an NTI* panel discussion exploring the convergence of these two worlds.Reflecting yet another facet of game culture is photographer Jon Jordan. Keep an eye out for his unique images of the faces of gamers during play.Finally, where would a games weekend be without play? NTI* is promoting inclusive events for the culturally curious – not just hard core gamers – ranging from a subversive, radical and entertaining look at modding, machinima and design, to videogame set-ups including a back-projected Star Wars trilogy, an authentic sit-in Star Wars cockpit cab, House of the Dead and Area 51.As well as a selection of the greatest game and film licenses of all time, our specially constructed video arcade will run all weekend and feature the games being highlighted during the event. The arcade will also house retro and contemporary arcade machines and home platforms.
Golf Video Game Good As Gold For Suburban Creator
July 4, 2005
BY HOWARD WOLINSKY Business Reporter
Chances are if you've been in a bar or bowling alley or some popular eateries, such as Fox & Hound or Buffalo Wild Wings, you've seen the Golden Tee video game.
What you probably don't know is that this golf-themed, interactive coin-operated game from Arlington Heights-based Incredible Technologies is the most popular coin-op game in history. That means it has produced more dollars than Pacman, Space Invaders and every other arcade game.
Since the game was introduced 16 years ago, it has generated more than $2 billion in game fees shared by amusement centers and route operators. And for every $1 that players spend on the game, they drop almost another $2 on food and beverages.
Incredible Technologies recently released Golden Tee Live, an advanced version using a wireless network to connect players from Chicago to Sydney in real-time tournaments that are expected to boost revenues even further.
"It started with quarters," said Larry Hodgson, 43, the game's inventor and vice president of product development. "Now, it's not uncommon for players to plunk down $5, $10 or $20."
Here are some incredible stats about Incredible Technologies' Golden Tee:
Revenue generated by Golden Tee games since 1989: More than $2 billion in game fees for amusement centers and route operators, who own the games. This makes Golden Tee the most popular game in coin-operated videogame history.
Number of active Golden Tee players: Ten million worldwide, primarily in the United States.
Revenues: Incredible Technologies last year posted $65 million in revenues. IT won't disclose profits.
Operator and amusement center income in 2004: Players spent about $400 million for Golden Tee and $750 million on food and beverages.
Most money won by a single player: $250,000 over eight years. The record holder is three-time Golden Tee national champion Steven Sobe, 32, who moved here from North Carolina to become Golden Tee's good-will ambassador.
Cash prizes: $250,000 a month awarded in Golden Tee Fore! tournaments. The awards are paid out in $1 to $10 amounts to the top 20 players in a tournament.
Pacman, now 25 years old, was played for pocket change -- 25 cents per game.
Hodgson, a self-taught computer programmer, fell into this success by accident.
More than 20 years ago, while working as a cook in an Italian restaurant in South Chicago Heights and attending junior college, Hodgson began designing games in his spare time for the Commodore 64 and Amiga systems. In 1985, his Crete-based startup, Dream Rider Software, designed a spy game that he said was the first graphical game played over a modem.
But he and his partners "lost our tails" on Dream Rider in 1985, and Hodgson went to work as a software designer for Incredible Technologies. The company was just being started in an Arlington Heights basement by Elaine and Richard Ditton, who were experienced designers and programmers within the video game industry.
In the early days, Incredible Technologies developed the operating systems and programming of Data East's first pinball games and a number of consumer games on the Apple II, Commodore 64 and Commodore Amiga systems for various publishers.
Hodgson was involved in designing software and hardware for the immersive Battletech game, popular here in North Pier in the early 1990s.
A self-described "semi-decent golfer," shooting in the 80s and 90s, the software developer began thinking about a full-swing video game using a real golf club to play the game in the winter.
"We got it to work, but it didn't feel like real golf," said Hodgson, who worked on the project with co-worker Jim Zielinski, now senior game designer.
Then came an epiphany: Incredible Technologies realized it was a video game company, dropped the golf club idea, and switched to a trackball to connect to an on-screen golf club. The company also decided that rather than selling the game to another company, it would market the game itself.
The rest, as they say, is coin-op video gaming industry istory, as Golden Tee became the industry's biggest earner and Incredible Technologies became the largest company in the coin-operated video gaming business.
Hodgson said Golden Tee caught on because it "provides an illusion of real game play. It has all the physics of golf, without the frustration."
The company began holding Golden Tee tournaments by networking games over phone lines in the mid-1990s, but there was a two-day delay in compiling rankings.
Now with high-speed, wireless lines, Golden Tee Live players know where they stand in tournaments in real-time, and even can taunt each other. The game is among the first to enable players -- typically men 21 to 35 -- to pay for games with credit cards.
The Golden Tee game and its cult following grew as the years went on. Today, Incredible Technologies also makes Big Buck Hunter, a deer-hunting game, and Silver Strike Bowling, a bowling game, but it receives 75 percent of its revenue from Golden Tee.
The Museum of Science & Industry's Game On! exhibit displays all four generations of Golden Tee. Golden Tee also has been a PC, PlayStation and cell phone game, ranking No. 1 on Nextel and Sprint.
"Players are used to Xbox Liive with its massive multi-player tournaments," Hodgson said. "They are demanding a fuller entertainment experience. With our new Golden Tee Live, we are giving them this experience in their neighborhood bar."
Top player tees off in the South Loop
Hard by the counter in Manhattan's -- an old cop bar that went upscale in the landmark Old Colony Building in the South Loop -- Chuck Speiser is holding court, playing Incredible Technologies' new Golden Tee Live golfing videogame.
This unassuming, middle-aged guy in a polo shirt, director of options operations for Charles Schwab & Co. at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, is one of the top Golden Tee players in the world.
That's saying a lot: 10 million people play the game, putting in $4 for an 18-hole round and $3 for a nine-hole game. They add an extra $1 into the kitty for tournament play.
Two or three times a week, Speiser, 46, who lives next door to Manhattan's, stops by to play a couple rounds, and compete over the network against players from around the country.
"Golden Tee combines so many elements that make any game or sport fun: competition, challenges and camaraderie," he said. "It roughly costs about the same as a Guinness -- and a Guinness doesn't last as long."
At the moment, he's taking on 50 other players from Missouri, Texas and Michigan on Kangaroo Trail, an imaginary golf course in the Australian outback. He takes a fly-by overhead view of the course, one of five available in the game, adjusts the track ball linked to an animated club, and sends the animated ball flying 300-plus yards over the tree line.
Peter Heinz, 24, of Lake View, a phone clerk at the exchange and also a high-level player, glanced at his elder and said: "He's Yoda to my Obe Wan. Chuck is the big leagues."
With the new Golden Tee version, players can not only choose their shots and clubs, but their gender, race and outfits.
Said Heinz, "I have a sombrero that I love."
Between shots, real-life (but not really live) expert golfers, including Laura Diaz, Gary Player and Chris DiMarco, report on the shot from the ground level, as though the players were in a nationally televised tournament.
The system knows the shot and conditions -- this day it's rainy out with a slight breeze in the desert outback -- and so the golf analysts make appropriate observations from ground level on what went right or wrong and what's next.
From the booth, CBS sports commentator Jim Nantz and golfer Peter Jacobsen, who hosts a show on the Golf Channel, offer praise, criticism, jokes and wisecracks.
Players also can push the help button for advice from three-time Golden Tee national championship winner Steven Sobe, who has won $250,000 in tournament play, and now works for Incredible Technologies in Arlington Heights.
Speiser has been playing Golden Tee since 1998. He said he makes back his money about 98 percent of the time. "It's a hobby for me," he said.
Tournament winners take home $10, which can be left on account or used to buy games. During the national tournament in Orlando, the top player wins $15,000 out of a $650,000 purse.
Speiser said money can be made in online competitions and live tournaments where more than 100 players show up and pick-up games in the bar.
"It's just like shooting pool," said Speiser, who has $500 on account with Golden Tee. "I make enough back that I have to show it on my taxes every year."
Speiser typically scores 22 under a par 72 in Golden Tee, which has the same rules as real golf. He plays in the low 80s in real-world golf.
A veteran of Pacman and Asteroid, he said Golden Tee demands more skill than any other videogame he's played.
"You have to keep your concentration to really play it right, and there are a lot of variables. Some guys like to talk trash. I've seen people get intimidated right out of their game. I never got trash talked while playing Space Invaders."
How does Speiser's wife, Dette, react to his Golden Tee mania?
"I'm not going to say she 'gets it' because she definitely doesn't," said Speiser.
"On the other hand, she knows where I am when I say I'm playing. That's more than a lot of wives can say."
Pellet-Powered Pac-Man Turns 25 With Its Cultural Status Firmly Intact
July 4, 2005
Despite an obvious lack of choppers, video-game icon Pac-Man is getting long in the tooth. The ghost-wary hero with an insatiable appetite for dots has turned 25.
Certainly, the original master of maze management remains a bright yellow circle on the cultural radar. But there is more to Pac-Man's broad appeal than eating pellets and dodging on-screen archrivals Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde.
The game marks a turning point in the march toward the modern video-game era.
"This was the first time a player took on a persona in the game. Instead of controlling inanimate objects like tanks, paddles and missile bases, players now controlled a 'living' creature," said Leonard Herman, author of "Phoenix: The Rise and Fall of Videogames." "It was something that people could identify, like a hero."
The Pac-Man saga began in Japan, when Toru Iwatani, a young designer at Namco, caught inspiration from a pizza that was missing a slice. Puck-Man, as it was originally called, was born. Because of obvious similarities to a certain four-letter profanity, the game was renamed Pac-Man for its U.S. debut in 1980.
Success spawned a romantic interest, Ms. Pac-Man. The voracious couple went forth and multiplied, producing Junior Pac-Man, a cartoon show and hundreds of licensed products.
The phenomenon even reached the pop music charts when "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner & Garcia drove listeners crazy in 1982.
While many spent countless quarters in the pursuit, only one person is known to have played a perfect game of Pac-Man, according to video-game record keepers Twin Galaxies: Billy Mitchell racked up a score of 3,333,360 after clearing all 256 levels in more than six hours in 1999.
It took eight people 15 months to complete the original Pac-Man arcade game. Four worked on the hardware; four worked on the software.
Namco estimates that the original Pac-Man arcade game has been played more than 10 billion times in its 25-year history.
The Guinness Book of Records lists Pac-Man as the "most successful coin-operated game" in history.
Pac-Man featured 256 stages. Near the end, half of the screen becomes garbled so that you can't see where Pac-Man is going. Mitchell says Pac-Man's popularity was in its nonviolent simplicity.
"The fact that it's cute, it's almost like a hero running around the board from bad guys. It's not an appeal based on violence," said Mitchell, 39, from Hollywood, Fla. "Whether it was an 80-year-old lady or a kid, everyone could adapt to the Pac-Man world."
A quarter of a century later, Pac-Man's influence continues.
As part of a final project for a class in New York University's Interactive Telecommunications graduate program last year, students with cell phones and Wi-Fi Internet connections mimicked the game, tracking their movements on a grid spanning several city blocks.
They called this analog re-enactment, where four people dressed as ghosts searched for Pac-Man on the streets around New York's Washington Square Park, Pac-Manhattan.
"We never had anyone clear the entire board," said Frank Lantz, a game designer who taught the course.
Namco, which is not sure of an exact date for Pac-Man's birth, sold 293,822 of the arcade machines between 1980 and 1987. And they show no sign of giving up on the franchise.
The company is releasing several derivative games this year, including Pac-Mania 3D, Pac-Man World 3, Pac-Pix and Pac-Man Pinball. It even began making a special 25th-anniversary edition of the old arcade machine.
"People say, 'Who buys Pac-Man?'" said Scott Rubin, general manager of Namco America. "It's one of the few games where the answer is, 'Everyone.'"
House of the Dead 4 Playtest
Sega's next generation begins now.
by Anoop Gantayat
July 3, 2005 - At E3, Sega gave the press a sneak peek at its next generation of games, offering short clips of properties like Afterburner, Sonic the Hedgehog, Virtua Fighter and House of the Dead. We weren't expecting to get our hands on any of these games for quite some time, but one of the games managed to sneak out in playable form today!
Heading out to the massive, seven story Sega Gigo arcade outlet in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district, we stumbled upon House of the Dead 4 on location test. Sega had an early version of the game set up for a two day period, allowing us to get some hands-on time with an actual Japanese-developed next generation game (all the playable next generation titles at E3 were developed in America or Europe). The game was set up with a large, wide-screen, high-definition monitor, contrasting nicely with the nearby Chihiro-based (that's Sega's Xbox arcade board) House of the Dead 3.
House of the Dead 4 clearly knows its roots. You'll recognize the general look of the game, the frequent cinematic sequences that break up the action, and the cheesy dialogue that has made the series famous. We couldn't hear the voices too well, but Sega's managed to produce hilarity three times already, so we expect no less from House of the Dead 4. The game's storyline focuses on a character called James Taylor as well as a girl character. Both look kind of like vampires, although we're not sure if this is a part of the story.
In terms of content, Sega has made some big changes to the game. While blasting away at zombies is still the point of the game, the experience is more intense thanks to the massive number of zombies that come attacking. We were occasionally attacked by more than a dozen zombies at once.
Once again, you'll find a good variety of creatures to blast. Some look like the normal blue-collar-worker zombie, while others don't even resemble people. Some move slowly to attack, while others leap out suddenly, forcing a quick response.
Sega has continued some gameplay trends with this title. You'll once again find clearly marked branching points in the level. One area of the first level lets you select from two different paths by shooting at a small video screen that shows a preview of the path. Similar to part 3, innocents seem to have been kept out of this title all together. The first level was all undead.
The switch to high definition makes HoTD4 stand out.
House of the Dead 3's characters used shotguns. This time, Sega has gone to the next level, giving James and crew machine guns. It's possible to shoot a lot more in less time with a rapid fire weapon. You have to reload by shooting off screen, but your gun holds plenty of ammo in one round. The game also has grenades, but we weren't sure how to toss them.
The gun that you use to play has one cool feature aside from a trigger. A sensor inside the gun can determine when the gun is being shaken. You'll often have to shake the gun in order to get out of situations, usually when an enemy has grabbed hold of you. The game seems to be capable of sensing how hard you're shaking the gun, so shaking hard is the way to go. This is a fun new play mechanic -- hopefully no one will get hurt.
The game comes together nicely for the final boss of the first level. This massive four-armed creature (whose design forms a part of the cabinet) fills the screen, chasing after you as you flee through a shallow canal. He's got his sights set on making you into dinner, and he'll break through anything that gets in the way. Occasionally, he'll grab on to you, and you have to shake the gun in order to get free. You build up a meter during the shaking, which determines how long you can shoot the boss during the next phase of his attack.
As a next generation title, we were most excited about seeing how far the game raised the graphics bar. Sure enough, House of the Dead 4 is a good looking game. Despite the massive number of zombies on screen, Sega's managed to up the zombie detail considerably. And these creatures aren't shy about showing off the detail by filling the screen -- particularly impressive with the first level boss, who likes to stick his tongue out at you. Lighting and environmental detail are also a step up from past titles.
This guy uses two guns a little too well...
House of the Dead 4 may be the most visually impressive arcade game ever made, but it seems to be a step below the visual splendor we've seen from some of the finer upcoming PS3 and Xbox 360 titles. Aside from the massive number of detailed zombies on screen, the most striking visual improvements can be attributed to the switch to high resolution and the use of a high definition monitor. House of the Dead 3 looks last generation in comparison.
Unfortunately, we couldn't determine the arcade board that runs House of the Dead 4. We presume Sega will make an announcement at an upcoming arcade show, and the reign of Naomi, System 246, Chihiro and Triforce will come to an end.
As for home systems, Sega has yet to announce House of the Dead 4 for any next generation system. However, given that every past entry has appeared on a home system, a PS3, Xbox 360 or Revolution release is likely.
VIDEO GAMES LIVE GEARING UP
Renowned video game composers, Tommy Tallarico (Advent Rising, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Earthworm Jim) and Jack Wall (Jade Empire, Myst III: Exile, Splinter Cell), and Clear Channel Music Group today announced the pre-show festival events planned for the July 6th Hollywood Bowl debut of Video Games Live, an immersive music and video concert experience. Co-executive produced by Tallarico’s and Wall’s Mystical Stone Entertainment LLC, and Clear Channel Music Group, Video Games Live features music from some of the biggest video games performed by top orchestras and choirs across the country combined with video footage, lasers, lights and live action to create an explosive and unique entertainment experience.
In order to start the tour with a bang, Video Games Live is pulling out all the stops and presenting a pre-show festival from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. on July 6th at the Hollywood Bowl, free to all ticket holders. Tickets ($4 - $92) are on sale now at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, at all Ticketmaster outlets.