In recent times, one company that has looked to their past catalog for new arcade titles has been Bandai Namco. This year we received Time Crisis 5 and the year prior was a return to Alpine Racer with Super Alpine Racer. Now another Namco classic is on its way back to the arcade scene with a new version of Point Blank in the works – currently titled Point Blank X.
For those unfamiliar with the original Point Blank arcade titles, it was a collection of shooting gallery style mini-games. The first title in the series was released back in 1994 with a sequel (Point Blank 2) released in 1999. Then in 2000 Namco released Gunbalina aka Point Blank 3. Out of those three, PB2 would be the most common to find here in the US.
In regards to the 4th installment of Point Blank, the breaking source for this was Highwaygames.com, who has unveiled information on upcoming Bandai Namco games in the past. I have confirmed with Bandai Namco Amusements America that this is legitimate although the screenshots they show on the Highway site are from the ’94 version and not the upcoming game. According to Namco, “the gameplay is virtually the same as the previous titles, just in HD”.
The cabinet is otherwise accurate for the time being but as mentioned, that is a prototype model and is subject to change for the final release. It is still within the testing period to see which territories it might end up in so TBA for now. As you can see above, the new game features the same idea of having two pistols, one pink and one cyan. The players will be able to select from 40 stages, with each stage taking between 20-30 seconds each with a goal in mind when you begin. The game can be played in Kid Mode (bigger targets) or Adult mode (smaller targets = bigger challenge). Highway states that it will have a 32″ screen, which isn’t seen very often these days with most games going to 55″ but that could mean that this game in having a smaller footprint will also have a price tag that appeals to game operators out there. At the moment, one aspect I am waiting to find out more about is whether or not the ticket redemption side of it is optional. Being able to turn the ticket dispensing off would be great for a non-redemption venue.
This style of play hasn’t been completely lost in the modern industry – America’s Army, Sharpshooter and bonus levels in Frightfearland come to mind – but it has been a while. What are your thoughts on this potential upcoming release?