One trend that is a part of the modern arcade landscape is that of the Console-To-Arcade port. It was a very rare, but not unheard of occurrence, in the Golden Age. As development focus and budgets moved from arcade to home, the modern industry has seen the idea of console games ported to the arcade become a source of revenue. Some examples in those recent times include: Blazing Angels (GlobalVR, 2008), GRID (Sega, 2010) and of course a plethora of videmption games like Doodle Jump, Temple Run, Rail Rush and most recently Flappy Bird.
Whether we like it or not, the idea will continue to happen, for videmption and video amusement alike. So the point of this post and possibly subsequent articles depending upon the reaction, is to take a look at titles that gamers might enjoy if they were given the treatment of jumping to the wonderful world of arcades. Granted the issue would be trying such a game in arcades outside of Japan and whether the risk of such a game in today’s world would pay off.
I certainly would like to hear your suggestions, so comment away!
Let’s start with:
Gauntlet (PC) – Officially released today, Gauntlet has returned to the video game scene but not in arcades where it was born. For the moment, the game is only available for PC where you can use a USB-based controller (including arcade sticks from what I am hearing) in the event the mouse and keyboard doesn’t feel right.
Of course this is low hanging fruit – given the game was originally designed for arcade games and the new game sticks very close to that formula, it wouldn’t require massive changes to still work in a coin-operated environment. I imagine that existing Dark Legacy cabinets could be converted without much trouble although a cabinet with a proper widescreen would be preferable. Either way, a cabinet to play this with three others by your side like the “good ol’ days” would be awesome to have. How well would it earn? It uses joysticks so that is a “strike” against it in today’s market however that can still do well with the right game (see: the success of Pac-Man Battle Royale). It’s hard to say how something like this which has a name might do since nothing has exactly fit this bill on the arcade market in a long time. Only way to find out would be to try. 😉
Kokuga (Nintendo 3DS) – Released in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS handheld system, Kokuga is a scrolling shooter that took an approach the genre that hasn’t been seen in a while. Designed by G.Rev, who was responsible for several acclaimed arcade shooters, this title has you piloting a futuristic tank that must fight of hordes of enemies on your way to a boss fight. If it sounds a little like the arcade classics Vindicators or Assault, well it does have that feel to it.
As the trailer mentions, the game has the “arcade spirit” to it already so it would not need a ton of redesign on the software side. It is the hardware side that would present a challenge. This game on the 3DS is not quite a twin stick shooter – you can move independently from where you are aiming but the turret to aim is controlled by the shoulder buttons on the 3DS. Thus the arcade would need a control mechanism to grant two different types of movement to fit this bill. Such joysticks have been done before such as Ikari Warriors 3 or Xybots. The dual stick/yoke feel to Vindicators could still work, the only challenge being the power-up system which uses a touchscreen on the 3DS (which you could use a touchscreen or . A deluxe version could go crazy with a sitdown cabinet that has a joystick to move the tank, a knob on the other hand to move the turret, a touchscreen in the center to easily activate the power-up cards.
Yes this is different enough that it is doubtful that this would be a huge earner without a huge marketing effort. Given the game style it seems that it would make more sense as a kit which our industry isn’t really into at the moment. So I recognize that this would be more of a pipe dream than the other games; something that would have fit better into the market of 12 years ago more than the current situation.
Riptide GP2 (PC, Mobile) – A lot of gamers wanted to see Specular Interactive’s H2Overdrive make the jump from arcade to consoles but instead they received Hydro Thunder Hurricane on the Xbox 360. The developers of that game, Vector Unit, have since kept their focus on the racing genre but mostly for mobile devices. They went back to the water racing game with RipTide GP, building on that with RipTide GP2.
Obviously out of the games mentioned here, this would have the greatest chance of getting an arcade conversion because it is a racing game. Jetski games have been done in the arcade before (the most recent I can recall is Sega’s Wave Runner GP from 2003). Vector Unit mentions on their website that RTGP2 is their most popular racing game which meant a PC version was released for the game, shown in the video above. That would be the best version to convert from. Not being a coder I am not sure how much work would be needed to modify the game for the proper controller, some sort of moving/feedback seat and streamlining the menus to get the players into the game faster. Add a water mist spray + wind devices (like was used with Simuline’s AquaRace Extreme 4D) for a deluxe version and I imagine this would be an easy sell to operators out there.
So this is possibly one of many such articles. What do you think would make the best ports from the console to the arcade?