A little while back we received a tip that Namco had a new arcade game that they were testing out at a Dave & Buster’s in Illinois called Sonic Storm. If you missed that bit of news, click here for the details. Since then however, we’ve heard nothing else about the game as it left test and also did not appear at Amusement Expo 2013 in Las Vegas (I imagine if its still on track, then we’ll see it at the upcoming AAMA Gala in August or certainly IAAPA 2013 in November). That was until reports began to surface about the game gearing up for a test in Japan.
Today there is a full report on that Japanese location test, which you can read here through the online translator. The reviewer compares Sonic Storm to another one of Namco’s air combat games, Ace Combat Assault Horizon, which is available on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. In fact where that game has a level in Miami and it was reported that Miami is the “easy” level players can choose in Sonic Storm, it’s a safe bet to make that Sonic Storm will be a modified version of that game for the superior hardware setup of the dome screen and flight controls (the same as used in the famous Gundam pods found in Japan). How modified it will be from the original game, that we will have to wait and see on. Given this knowledge we can use AH as a basis for what the game will look like (minus the dome screen effect) since Assault Horizon screenshots are plentiful:
So at the very least we know that it will look awesome. It can also be assumed that Sonic Storm will use one of Namco’s PS3-based hardware platforms, System 357 or 359 since that would be an easier conversion – I will lean towards 359 since that is what the arcade version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 used and is the most recent build (although it’s unknown what makes it different, maybe more RAM and higher clock speeds).
According to the Japanese location test report, the game is all about dogfighting. I have not played Assault Horizon but they mention that Sonic Storm is similar to the dogfighting mode in that game. The details they get into about clean kills and quick kills is exactly the same as we received from the US loctest report. From Japanese report, it almost sounds like either of those kills are triggered by shooting the enemy down before being shot. Some other details from their summary(which it should be remembered can change at any time since the game is in a beta state):
- There is no yaw or foot pedals for control, just the flight stick on the right and throttle on the left.
- There is a warning system before enemies shoot, similar to “Time Crisis and Virtua Cop”
- Flying into a building or the ground only inflicts damage, not instant death. It’s also apparently light damage.
- Weapons are predetermined for the level you play
- There are boss fights
There are some other details but because of the translator, it’s not clear enough what is meant so we’ll just pass those for now. Interesting that they do not mention the air blast feature that was in the US test. Below is a video of Assault Horizon, so far I have not found any of SS in action but hold tight and I’m sure that will change before too long.