There were a few different arcade news items coming out of Japan today so I figured it would be useful to combine them into one post.
Let’s start off with the quick stuff, both related to music gaming. Konami has released Pop N’ Music 20 Fantasia in Japan today, as per Andriasang. Being the 20th in the series, it offers the most tracks in Pop N’ Music history which is no surprise being the 20th installment.
A new music concept by Sega has been unveiled called Maimai. It starts location testing next Friday on the 16th. You can see the cabinet above and as you can tell, this one is a unique – the display is circular (haven’t seen that in a while – one that comes to my mind is Aztarac by Centuri) and the controls are located directly around the screen. Tap or slide your hand along them according to the notes that reach the defined edge. I can’t predict where they will go with this one although it’s likely it will stick to Asia like Project DIVA Arcade – but this concept could show up to compete with the likes of DJ Max Technika and ReRave at some point too. Here’s the official page for the game.
And now for something a few of you have been waiting for – Namco has finally shown off their next co-op arcade shooting game in detail, Dark Escape 3D. This is slated for a release in Japan next Summer but this is one game that will be coming West at some point so you can let yourself get excited about it. Also if you like shooting zombies, it will fill in that need as well but it’s not solely about shooting the undead as they show some other creatures to blast as well.
The game uses a unique function for arcades – a heartbeat rate detector. It is built into the gun (those metal strips on the handles) and will detect the heart rate of the player, similar to how some kinds of gym equipment does the same thing. How this will relate to game scoring isn’t completely clear yet although at the end of the level it will show an average of your heartbeat or something similar. It’s possible this will be used as the “compatibility test” between the two players that we have seen on games like Deadstorm Pirates and Let’s Go Island.
It will also feature more than that – there is the stereoscopic 3D of course (the 3D effect on Deadstorm Pirates 3D as I saw it at IAAPA was excellent, very smooth without any artifacts; but you can shut the 3D off it wanted) but it also has wind blowing effects for monster breath as they suddenly jump out at you and a strong vibrating seat. There are seven speakers and a subwoofer for the sound system so overall they are looking to make this a real attraction piece.