Through Sega’s history, they have launched a variety of games as Medium scale attractions – not necessarily something that would fill up a huge space in an amusement park like a ride but not small enough that would allow for a typical mom & pop arcade to have it either. Some of those have carried the “Special” moniker – The Lost World: Special, House of the Dead 4 Special or Showdown. Now they have taken their popular light-gun game Transformers: Human Alliance and given it the Special works, while hearkening back to another famous gaming technology of theirs – the Sega R360.
If you are unfamiliar with the Sega R360, it was a gyroscopic arcade cabinet that allowed the user to be moved in any direction. It supported several games in the 1990s but they are rather hard to find now – I knew of an FEC here locally that had 2 of them but when that facility closed down, they left them outside and uncovered. One local guy was trying to restore one years ago but I don’t know what became of that; there was a working unit in Bountiful, UT back around 2009 but when the landlord sold that location off, I do not know what became of it. It was quite a sight to behold in person though. There is a small but active community of R360 fans on Facebook, which you can find here.
UPDATE: The Tokyo Joypolis has posted a video of this in action to their Twitter account:
【7月18日オープン】いよいよ明日オープンの『トランスフォーマー・ヒューマンアライアンス スペシャル』のプレオープン開始ポリ〜♪早速たくさんの人が体験してくれて嬉しい(((o(*ﾟ▽ﾟ*)o))) 楽しみにしててね〜♪ pic.twitter.com/YZW7p5pNiy
— 東京ジョイポリス (@TokyoJoypolis) July 17, 2015
As you can see from the photo & video here, this new take on the R360 can hold two people at a time, giving it a one-up on the single player R360 design. They also have re-done the controls – while the standard arcade version of the game uses a mounted gun, this attraction uses an odd joystick combo, with the left device looking very much like a Wii Nunchuck controller. What that is for is unclear but given that the arcade version of this is just point-and-shoot, a secondary control like that seems to hint that this software is going to be a bit different from the arcade version we are familiar with. [Official Transformers Special Page]
According to this page, the game is intended for Japan-only, giving you another reason to stop by the Tokyo Joypolis if you just so happen to be in the area. What are your thoughts about this new development?