We’ve had a lot of news about pinball recently, now for a little arcade news of bytes that may not have completely warranted a standalone post for themselves.
First off, we all know that Konami has little to show these days for Out-of-Home Entertainment/arcades, unless you are in Japan. It grates on the nerves of many a Bemani fan that the company has got to this point but it is the reality for now. That also means that with announcements of new iterations to the DDR franchise, you will be hard pressed to find the games, excepting an the intrepid importer as we will see in a moment. Anyways, Konami does understand the value of DDR as an “exergame” and also the use of the game in the education sector where DDR setups have been found in schools before. Now Konami is making it official with DanceDanceRevolution Classroom Edition. These pictures are from Kevin Williams of the Stinger Report, who got a look at the system when it was on display at a neighboring trade show to the EAG Expo last week.
In other news, it can be easy to forget but Capcom is releasing Ultra Street Fighter IV to arcades – the arcade version gets a release in Japan this April but most of the time it is in the news is in regards to the console release just a few months later. In Japan, the game is getting online support through Taito’s NESiCA network and during additional testing for the game, players can get a limited edition “high score girl” NESiCA card (the system has data cards for logging in). I imagine if anyone decides to import the game to the West those features will not be present since the game will be given little to no support by Capcom (although they will be happy to take your money for the Taito Type X3 board, no doubt). [Via Gpara]
I saw this on my Twitter feed the other day but didn’t feel that it merited a full standalone post – shooter developer CAVE announced on Jan. 23rd that they were closing their English Twitter account and pretty much ending their support for the West. Their Western presence didn’t really benefit arcades at all, as it was localizing and bringing their games to consoles like the Xbox 360. So if you wanted Akai Katana in its arcade glory, you still had to import it from Japan. They are one of many companies that seem to feel that the way out of their malaise is mobile gaming (tablet/smartphone) but I personally just don’t get why anyone has bothered to put shooters and especially bullet hell style shooters on devices that offer the completely wrong way to control such games. Granted, I think that a lot of mobile gaming is ‘style without substance’ that gives real games a bad name (70 QUADRILLION DOWNLOADS sounds amazing but then the reality is it was a free game that people play once or twice then forget about it because its trash or hardly a game; you don’t really hear those massive numbers for content people actually have to pay for). I know there are games you can find here and there are are genuinely fun but you have to wade through a lot of wasted bytes to find them. Of course CAVE is trying to show that a hardcore game can be done on those platforms but I just don’t see how that experience would in any way prove superior to that of an arcade cabinet, if that is the kind of game that you are going to make. I guess CAVE knows what they are doing, like every other big company that has gone down the same path and so far have failed to get even an inkling of their legendary status back.
Finally in relation to Konami and music games, here is an unboxing of a Konami Beatmania IIDX 21 cabinet by someone who imported the game to the States. Beatmania gets zero love from Konami out West as far as official support goes, so it is troublesome in the event that something goes terribly wrong with the cabinet. Generally importing these kinds of games is done by Bemani fans, I think I know of more imports done in that community than for any other kind of genre. The full picture set is found @ Kotaku