While this was mentioned on the blog the other day, press releases tend to give us another reason to discuss new game releases in more detail. The 20th anniversary edition of Andamiro’s seminal dancing game Pump It Up is now available worldwide for arcade locations to add to their venues.
We first saw the game at the IAAPA 2018 trade show, where many fans got a chance to check the game out (and show it off). It wasn’t a long wait to reach the release however, as locations overseas already grabbed their upgrade kits (going from Prime 2 2018 to XX in all of the instances I’ve seen so far, but kits will work for many other existing PIU models as mentioned in the PR).
There is a long press release below the trailer, one of the longer PR’s I’ve come across in recent memory. It gets into the new features (such as the renewals and reward titles), but also takes a paragraph to tout the appeal to casual gamers. While you obviously don’t want to rock the boat so hard that the fans jump ship, releases like this need to bring in new players or the series will stagnate in sales. I would be interested to hear from casual players who come across something like a PIU and if it would bring them in or if they would feel intimidated by it (and why).
I’ve heard from one location that the freestyle charts are in need of improvement, but with online updates, fans can rest assured that it will receive the attention that is needed. If you’ve already had a chance to play it, what did you think?
Here’s the extensive press release, which includes some fun facts and history about the series:
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA and LOS ANGELES, CA–January 31, 2019–
This year, Andamiro‘s Pump It Up music and dance videogame celebrates its 20th anniversary. Therefore, it is no surprise that Andamiro’s Music Business Team has created a completely new software system, adding lots of new music and stunning graphics to mark the game’s milestone, and to give both dance pros and casual players something special.
Rejoice! Pump It Up 20th Anniversary started shipping on January 29 and should begin to appear in U.S. gameroom locations soon.
“A dance game devotee recently explained to me that one of the best attributes of Pump It Up is that it allows players to grow with the game as their abilities advance,” Montano continued. “They can move up through increasing levels of difficulties on the same song for which there can be as many as 30 levels.”
Andamiro’s first game was named “Pump It Up 1st Dance Floor.” The Korean gamemaker has updated and improved the series annually, with major system introductions rolling out every other year. Notable highlights in the line’s timeline include Pump It Up Zero for arcades and PlayStation Portable, released in 2006. Later that year, Pump It Up New Genesis, or NX, arrived. Zero introduced previews of background videos and the ability for two dancers to play on separate difficulties. The NX release shipped with a new mode with nonstop remixes. Pump It Up Pro series, co-developed with Fun in Motion, was released in 2008 and was designed to appeal to “four-step” dance-gamers.
Introduced in 2008, Pump It Up NX2 added support for Andamiro’s proprietary USB flash drives, which saved a player’s progress and worldwide ranking.
In 2010, Pump It Up Fiesta marked the game’s 10th anniversary. Fiesta introduced two new mission modes, Quest and Skill Up, and removed difficulty levels in favor of chart options. A Fiesta sequel in 2012 featured a wide selection of music. Pump It Up Infinity rolled out in 2013 and, like Pro, it boasted a “basic mode” to draw in new players. Infinity featured songs from all Pump It Up versions. Then came Prime in 2014, which commenced the global ranking mode. With Prime2 software in 2017 and 2018, Andamiro piled on features for all player levels. For beginners, there is a “how to play” mode. For core players, a rival system was added, while a continuous play option kept them on the platform longer.
The current LX cabinet – with a large 55″ screen, powerful sound system (four speakers and two subwoofers) and greater Internet capacity – was unveiled two years ago with Prime2 software and music. A.M.Pass card for players has since replaced PIU’s flash drives.
FROM K-POP TO PACHELBEL
Pump It Up songs are mostly derived from Korean influences and licensed from K-Pop artists. K-Pop, by the way, has been growing in popularity in the U.S. and around the world for the past five years. During Pump It Up’s early years, much of the game’s music was created in house by artists known collectively as Banya. Two of Banya’s members, Yahpp and Msgoon, eventually became independent artists. Despite limited access to licensed music, Pump It Up offers abundant songs in many genres, which lend themselves to a dance game environment. PIU’s music diversity covers everything from general pop to heavy metal to hip hop, along with a wide assortment of jazz, folk and ska. Some of Banya’s songs covered great classical pieces, including Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” performed in a symphonic rock style.
FACTS & FEATURES
Here are few Pump It Up facts and features that have made it stand out for two decades.
» The Pump It Up music videogame was developed by Nexcade and published by Andamiro in 1999. Among its distinguishing features are five arrow panels on the dance stage, compared with four on other models. PIU’s arrow panels are up-left, up-right, bottom-left, bottom-right and center (which is an optional step in many song/step combos). Additional gameplay modes employ two five-panel pads side-by-side.
» Pump it Up caters to both freestyle and “technical” (or speed) players. It is known for its freestyle-friendly charts, appealing to dances who prefer the freestyle and breakdancing disciplines. However, PIU’s vast collection of songs with challenging step charts appeals to technical players.
» Pump It Up is one of the few dance games that officially features “hands” play in some of its stop charts. “Hands” are part of PIU’s unusual steps in which three or more arrows must be pressed at the same time. This is supposed to be accomplished via pressing two arrows with the feet and the extra arrows with the player’s hands, hence the name “hands”. Using carefully positioned feet to hit multiple arrows at once is also acceptable.
Headquartered near Seoul, Korea, Andamiro Co. Ltd. designs and manufactures ticket redemption amusements, prize merchandisers, and sports and video games, along with the world-famous Pump It Up dance stage. More information about Pump It Up can be had by contacting the company’s U.S. division, Andamiro USA, at (310) 767-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately Namco decided not to show this at EAG 2019 due to space restrictions. I assume it’s because it didn’t sell well for them in Europe.
Removing most of the old Kpop did perplex older players, for example this comment on the official Pump it Up XX Songs video:
“Pump/perfect collection to NXA can be called “Banya channel.”.
ie They removed every single Kpop song from those mixes…
However I do think they made the right move – Us oldies have been banging out Pump for 15/20 years and we are not the target market or the ones who pump coins into the machine.
It’s current gen, and they do not want to hear ancient stuff. They need current tunes which cost loads to license.
Once I got over the song removals I realised it’s an overdue shake up for the better imo.
Really looking forwards to the matching webcam service, wonder how that will turn out!
Sidenote: Still find it weird how Konami decided against EU e-amuse due to GDPR, yet Andamiro happily runs Pump online AND no service fees….