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Astron Belt

Genre

Shooter

Console

MAME

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MAME

Astron Belt

Astron Belt is a LaserDisc video game in the form of a third-person, space combat rail shooter, released in arcades in 1983 by Sega in Japan, and licensed to Bally Midway for release in North America.[4][5] Developed in 1982,[6] it was the first major arcade laserdisc video game.[4][5] The game combines full-motion video (FMV) footage from the laserdisc with real-time 2D graphics. The arcade game was available in both upright and cockpit arcade cabinets, with the latter having illuminated buttons on the control panel, a larger 25″ monitor (the upright used a standard 19″), and a force feedback vibrating seat.

The game was first unveiled at the 20th Amusement Machine Show, held in Tokyo during September 1982, and then at Chicago‘s Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) show, held during November 18–20, 1982.[7][8] This marked the beginning of laserdisc fever in the video game industry,[4] and released in Japan during early 1983, with Sega projecting to ship 10,000 cabinets that year.[7] It was subsequently released in Europe, where it was the first laserdisc game released in the region.[9] However, Bally Midway delayed the game’s release in the United States to fix several hardware and software bugs, by which time it had been beaten to public release by several laserdisc games including Dragon’s Lair.[4]

Gameplay

The player controls a lone spacecraft on a mission to singlehandedly take down the entire enemy armada. Enemy fighters and ships shoot at the player, and there are mines and other objects that must be shot or avoided.

Reception

In Japan, Game Machine listed Astron Belt as the top-grossing upright/cockpit arcade cabinet for four months in 1983. In June 1983, it was the top upright/cockpit cabinet of the month.[11][12] It remained at the top of the Game Machine upright/cockpit charts through October 1, 1983,[13] before being dethroned by Namco‘s Pole Position on October 15, 1983.[14] Astron Belt remained in the top ten through December 1983.[15]

In the United States, Astron Belt topped the Play Meter laserdisc arcade charts for street locations by August 1, 1984, while being in the top three for arcade locations.[16] It remained among the top five laserdisc arcade games for street locations and top ten for arcade locations through November 1984.[17]

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