A little while back we had covered the announcement of a new scooter racing game by Taito called Kickthrough Racers. It is a spiritual sequel to another kids racer called Hopping Road, which latter title did end up in Europe and was shown off at US trade shows but never released as far as I know. Today marks the release date for KR in Japan, where quite a few stores there put in their orders and have the game available to play today.
Why this is worth mentioning when we don’t cover every Japanese game release date is because this is one of those times where it looks like the game will be released internationally. The Evidence: This past Sunday Taito created an official homepage for the game on their English site, something they only do for titles they plan on releasing in territories like Europe and the US. Since Hopping Road seems to have made a lot of headway in Europe, it’s safe to say that KR will as well; for the US it will be a wait-and-see deal. I honestly think that this looks more appealing to play than Hopping Road thanks to the difference in the interface (more people will probably feel comfortable just pushing the pedal on this as opposed to being seen bouncing up and down). There also aren’t many scooter games out there I can think of and scooters themselves are popular with plenty of kids.
You get two units in one with this; it’s also one of the few titles powered by Taito’s TypeX Zero hardware, which was a less expensive alternative to the X2 hardware.
Here’s a trailer that shows how a quad setup is good for groups like families. This would definitely be a great fit for venues like Chuck E. Cheese/FECs that might be in the market for the occasional game that doesn’t need tickets to be appealing to their demographic.
I feel confident that this will come out in the UK, we got hopping road after all so it wouldn’t surprise me and I think plenty of people (kids in particular) will find this game lots of fun and the best thing is that its different and not just another car racer and lots of western people know what a scooter is so there’s no reason not to release this fun looking game.
BTW I thought hopping road was released in the US did it get canceled?
It’s a real shame if it has and not only are american missing out but taito missing a huge huge opportunaty, the US is huge and they’d sell loads of units of hopping road
Sega was the one who was showing it off last year and they said Spring 2011 but that passed and nothing from Sega still. It was priced way too high to have been successful, something like $14k
They still have HR on the SEGA USA (PlayIt) web page – and I am told that they still have it for international release outside of EU?
I agree with Arcades4ever that we will get KR – would not be surprised it it is at IAAPA (though that may be a little too fast for the market).
I have one issue with the game however – seems that it is just HR with a kick rather than the jump?