When I had a chance to sit down with ShouTime of Exa-Arcadia at CAX2018, he mentioned that they had multiple 4-player titles in the works for the upcoming EXA kit platform. At the time, only one had been announced – Cosmic Digger 3671. It would be joining the “8-10 title launch” for EXA at the end of this year. He didn’t indicate when we might be hearing more about the other titles, but this morning on Twitter, such news came along.
Simply known as Nippon Marathon on Steam, this very quirky title has very positive reviews on that service. It has been available in Early Access since February, with the full PC version coming along this Fall. Likewise, the arcade version will be launching this Fall, although we aren’t sure at the moment if both titles will release simultaneously.
As you’ll see, this one is a party game, where playing with four people at once is really where the fun is to be had. By the description on Steam: “Stretch your muscles and embark upon the ultimate marathon of Nippon in a crazy, physics-driven, four-player party racer where anything can happen!” In watching the videos of it in action, it reminds me a little bit of Uchuu Daisakusen Chocovader Contactee by Namco, albeit that reminder is about the style of quirk as opposed to the gameplay.
The trailer below does not indicate what changes that the arcade edition will enjoy (as a reminder, all content on EXA must have exclusive/unique content from any home edition that exists), other than the addition of TURBO HYPER RUNNING in the title. Here is the video embedded via Twitter; if you can’t see the embed, click here.
神バカゲーでもPOWER TO THE EXA
Our 6th release on exA-Arcadia is a 4 player anything goes action racing game called @NipponMarathon TURBO
Coming soon to arcades worldwide! pic.twitter.com/rpQs6gKyN5
— exA-Arcadia公式 (@exaarcadia) August 20, 2018
It will be really interesting to see what other 4-player games come to the platform; a long time ago I lamented about how many genres had all but disappeared in this business. Although I just realized that I never covered Party Games, so that is something I’ll have to write about. I’ve heard a few times that a beat ’em up is in the works, so perhaps that will be one of the next 4p titles that we’ll find out about. This also helps expand the appeal of the platform beyond shoot ’em ups – stay tuned for more.
It’s like Micro Machines with human vehicles. I like that concept. Ensuring overview and player control is the focus of game development here. If they do this right, it will be ready for arcade.
I want to see the 4 player launch set, with a 4 player dedicated universal cabinet, available along side other sets.
I look forward to more 4 player games, plus some with multi-tap features.