New Arcades – JAEPO 2017
The annual JAEPO (Japan Amusement Expo) trade show is upon us and with that, a fresh look at what Japanese game developers are looking to bring to the arcade market. Often the chances of finding many of these games out West are slim to none but once in a while a title finds it’s way over here.
Yep, that’s right – Konami is bringing the Bomberman series back to arcades after a hiatus but with some twists to it. This follows the news that Konami is bringing Super Bomberman R to the Nintendo Switch as a launch title for that console. The last time I am aware of an official Bomberman game being release to coin-op (i.e., not a clone) was Neo Bomberman, released 20 years ago in ’97.
The twists for Bombergirl include the characters being female and the game offering 4v4 play. Here you are focused on taking out the enemy team’s base before they destroy yours. Sticking with the theme of fours, there are currently four characters to choose from. Each has special abilities that can be used to give you the upper hand in battle, going beyond bombs. The cabinet uses a joystick that looks a bit like a flight stick and a larger action button underneath the vertically mounted monitor. That button literally pops up at a certain point (Konami says “at the end” – I guess when you can destroy the base) to make for a little more excitement that what we typically get out of arcade buttons. As you can see from the image above, the divider shows two views of the action with the typical overhead view on the bottom and a closer 3rd person view up top. You can view the teaser site for Bombergirl here (slight warning for risqué anime girls); Famitsu also has a look.
— アリエス@ロケテサイト：アリエスの小部屋管理人 (@ariesukobeya) February 10, 2017
Given the name recognition of Bomberman out West, I would not be surprised to see Bombergirl showing up here at some point. As with most Konami titles these days, the releases are low-key.
Soul Reverse (Sega)
Sega has a number of games at the show but the main focus that Japanese game sites are looking at is their app-to-arcade port of the RPG Soul Reverse. Sega fans will be pleased to know that this is from AM2 but the chances of this showing up out West, even as an import, are pretty low. Modern Western gamers just don’t take to arcade RPGs anymore :/ Am-Net has a picture of both the main cabinet and the “satellite” kiosk that allows for character building:
Judging by this video below, the arcade version should be more elaborate than the mobile version. That is always good in terms of attracting attention. It does have a tutorial (kind of silly that we still need to show players how to walk in a straight line forward towards the enormous glowing circle) but that is another thing that usually doesn’t go over terribly well on the Western side of things:
This game is slated for a release Winter 2017.
Lord of Vermilion IV (Square Enix)
Speaking of RPGs that we probably won’t see here is the latest Lord of Vermilion title by Square Enix. This has been a popular series in Japan and is a card based game where you place character cards on the playing surface; this reads the card data and translates that into the game. Given that card games enjoy a pretty healthy status out West I’m a little surprised that we haven’t seen more efforts to bring these kinds of games over. But here it is still all about the FEC and these don’t work for that kind of venue. This will launch in the Summer. Here’s the “long” trailer for LoV4:
VR Sense (Koei Tecmo)
The VR arcade that was being talked about earlier this week was on hand. This uses a PS4 Pro, PSVR, a motion seat, special “touch effects”, wind and smell all wrapped up into one of these pods:
— カスミ@神崎蘭子式 (@Kasumi_7STYLE) February 10, 2017
Densha De Go!! (Taito)
We’ve mentioned this game previously but seeing it in person as opposed to the CG render is different than I expected. It’s larger, housing four screens (three up top to create a surround effect, a smaller one on the control panel) and realistic train controls. If you are into train simulators then this is right up your alley and might end up being the definitive version of the series that started in the 90s. Looks like it is popular judging by the lines:
— タイトー (@TAITO) February 10, 2017
Taito also is showing off the latest versions of Groove Coaster 3 and their NESiCAxLIVe 2 digital distribution service. If you scroll down on their official JAEPO page, they are also really starting to get into merchandising their brand.
Bandai Namco Bringing Ticket Dispensers To Japan
Japan does have a version of redemption known as medal games…but tickets are uncommon. That might change with Namco displaying some new ticket dispensers. Via Am-net
There is more at the show but close-ups generally trickle out in portions so we will update as more info is released!