Maximum Tune 5 Now Officially Available In The USA/Canada
The moment that Maximum Tune fans in the West have been waiting for is finally here as Bandai Namco Amusements has announced that Maximum Tune 5 is now shipping. They will also be announcing locations via a location finder website, much like was done with Pac-Man Battle Royale and Star Wars Battle Pod to help players find a game near them. It will go live once enough locations have gone online. Namco also stated in an email:
The previous location finder for our other games have proven quite successful in helping end users find a place they can play our games and in promoting arcade locations across North America. We are very excited to guide the huge amount of fans for this game to arcade locations across North America.
Given that you still have sites like Kotaku claiming that the US arcade industry has all but disappeared (sigh, how many times do we have to go over this?), stuff like this from manufacturers is always beneficial not just for their game but for the locations as well. Thumbs up to Namco on that!
— BANDAI NAMCO Amusement (@BandaiNamcoAM) February 15, 2017
As previously noted on the site, there are some differences between this and the overseas version – the US one does not carry the Wangan Midnight license in the name; the cabinet is a modified version of the Mario Kart Arcade GP DX cab and this does not currently run the latest MT update, 5DX+. Also, if you happen to have one of the game data cards from a previous Maximum Tune (3, 3DX, 4, etc.), those WILL NOT work on 5 as Namco wants everyone to start on the same playing field. The game is online however, allowing for various features through the Banapassport system. Much of this was covered at IAAPA 2016, as you can see in this video in case you missed it:
I’m very curious to see how this one does on the market out there as it is pretty much the opposite of a casual racing game like Cruis’n Blast. That market performance will certainly help determine the future of the series and possibly the Western future of rival series such as Initial D (Taiwanese technical racers like Speed Driver never really went anywhere here) It’s an exciting time to be a fan of arcade racing games!