(Thanks to Aaron Auzins for the tip)
While Taito hasn’t held a very strong presence in the arcade scene outside of Japan for the past few years, they still have been out there, getting a game out in European or US markets every now and then. I have a Chase HQ2 sitting in my arcade which was released in 2007 and we have seen their light-gun shooter Panic Museum at recent tradeshows. But as for what games they produce will make it out of Japan and into English versions, that’s usually anyone’s guess. But now, Taito has launched an English version of their arcade website and have added a couple of games to the roster that are listed as available: Chase HQ2, Panic Museum, Hopping Road and surprisingly Elevator Action: Death Parade.
We’ve heard of all of these games before, including the new light-gunified version of Elevator Action, but I was never sure if that would see an international release. They say on the site that it’s been available since January 2010 but I have not heard of a distributor in Europe or the US that is carrying the game yet. For example, Electrocoin distributes Taito products in Europe (including one title not listed on the Taito site, D1GP) but they don’t have the new EA listed. ICE is carrying Panic Museum in the US but they also don’t have EA there. So until we hear something from a distributor we’ll have to put this into the ‘maybe’ column – the Taito site also shows Half-Life 2 Arcade on their titles list and I don’t know of anyone who carries that game outside of Japan.
What would your thoughts on the new Elevator Action getting an international release? I haven’t played it myself and I do wonder how the concept behind the game translates over to a light-gun fare(the original EA titles were side-view vertical scrollers, my favorite being Elevator Action Returns) but I like the usage of the elevator doors in front of the screen. If you missed out on coverage of Elevator Action: Death Parade, here’s a trailer below and here is an article we ran on the game last March.Also if you are interested in checking out Taito’s new site, click here. They also have a Twitter account where they have been updating it with generous amounts of information on the past history of the company, which includes details and pictures on games as they were in development as well as new things that the company is working on.
UPDATE: I tweeted to Taito asking about the availability of the game in the US and here is their reply: “Death Parade is an arcade-only release, but if overseas arcades want to carry it we’re happy to work with them!” I just sent another tweet asking how that works and I’ll share it with you here as well.
UPDATE 2: Taito replied: “Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in touch with the right people!” So any operators out there, if you’re interested in getting a hold of this game, that’s the place to go to. I would love to really see this in action and I am quite curious to know how it would do in the US.