Another cool terminal game is hitting the arcades in Japan, this time it is Dragon Hunter by Arc System Works (same company that brought us BlazBlue). This title is not a fighter but a cutesy RPG-style game with a pretty cool cabinet environment, where the game terminals sit inside of a larger enclosure that gives players quite a large screen to play together on that they label the “Attack 180” as it gives you a screen that wraps 180° around the players. It appears that the game is made for 1-5 players and while the rest of the information on the game is in Japanese, it looks like a pretty cool game that will garner a bit of attention, just don’t expect to see it outside of Japan very often.
I have wondered how a terminal style concept could be adapted for other markets – such a thing would have to market to hardcore console or PC players to gain any traction as such games would probably be too complicated for many casual players you typically see in arcades to wrap their heads around. Still, the possibilities for what can be done with such setups are many.
UPDATE: Courtesy of Aaron Auzins of BemaniStyle.com, here is a better idea of what this game entails. He translated the PDF we have linked below and passed along the following about the game:
The included flier goes through the general information for the game and serves as an advertisement for the game’s location testing at Mori
Fantasy Ion Reikutaun Ltd. in Koshigaya. The testing began on March 14 and is set to run through March 31 on the location’s third floor.
Dragon Hunter is a collaboration with another company, which develops 360-degree stereoscopic vision theater systems, explaining the
technology used in the game. Arc System Works is claiming the title to be the world’s first commercially-released 180-degree multiplayer
interactive action machine. “Action” may be too simple of a description, though, as the company actually lists the game’s genre as
“nonstop high-speed action attraction.” As such, we should be expecting huge things from Dragon Hunter, especially since Arc System
Works is suggesting a 200 Yen cost per play, which given current conversions amounts to a hefty $2.13 US or 1.55 EU per game. Ouch.
And here I thought $1.00 US per game was a little bit of a stretch.
Obviously, as seen in the promotional photos, the attraction houses five players at a time and Arc System Works is actively aiming to
attract a younger crowd and it openly encourages parents to play the game with their children. At each station, players will find a touch
panel display, an eight-way joystick and two buttons. While I couldn’t find any description of the touch panel’s functionality, one
of the console’s buttons launches your character’s attack, while the other activates a defensive maneuver to avoid attacks coming at you.
After depositing one’s money, the game allows the player to decide on a character, the color of their equipment and clothes as well as the
character’s dragon color schemes and players can also name their character. Dedicated players will be able store their results data on
a “Dragon QR card,” which can be placed into the unit to restore the data such as the character’s customization, stats, furthest game play
point reached, etc.