May usually isn’t a time that we hear much news about new arcade developments from Western game creators, but out in the East and particularly with Taiwan-based IGS, this is the time where they like to unveil their latest content to the world.
The first game to come along from IGS this year is Speed Driver 5, something I spoke about for this VLOG. While SD5 is a challenger to the likes of Initial D and Maximum Tune, their latest motorcycle racing game is throwing down the gauntlet on Super Bikes, particularly Super Bikes 3. Speed Rider 3DX continues the tepid rivalry between the two (tepid as IGS just doesn’t make too many waves out West where Raw Thrills dominates; chances are you haven’t come across the first two Speed Rider games, but you have likely seen a Super Bikes just about anywhere). Here’s the full trailer where you can see what I mean:
Beyond both games being swivel-seat motorcycle racers, they also focus on over-the-top fantasy racing, inside of race courses that are more on the side of amusement parks than realistic courses. You can pull off tricks when you catch air, which will show up a few times every track. Then after you catch air, both games like to have you smashing through things to complete that over-the-top feel. Both games also look pretty nice, combining a vibrant air style while looking to create a sense of speed as you play. Although from this trailer, I can’t tell what FPS this runs at – it doesn’t look to be 60, something that SB3 does, but that can also be due to the capture hardware used for this, while the actual game may do so. Both games come with a camera for player avatars, although SR3DX also borrows an idea from Namco games in featuring cartoon overlays.
Now for some differences. I do not recall SB3 having much of a focus on drifting, which this has you do in unison with the brake. SR3DX also appears to have a body sensor to tell if the rider is hunched over, a clever way to providing a little aerodynamic boost. While there is a specific turbo boost/nitro button, the special effects surrounding your bike are loaded with particles (something you can see in the preview of the video before clicking). SR3DX also has a cast of named characters, which looks to provide some extra “personality” to the game. Super Bikes 3 has an air blower to create a realistic wind-in-your-face effect, but SR3DX does not appear to use such a feature.
By the trailer, Speed Rider only has 4 tracks, while SB3 launched with 8 (four standard, four “extreme” versions of the same ones). SR3DX appears to have some influence from Mario Kart 8 with the skybound metal tracks that can go upside-down along with loop-de-loops.
We also have the cabinet to look at, which you can see in this footage:
While I imagine a location would be able to purchase a single unit if they wanted to, the marquee and large coin box shown at that trade show indicates a Twin design. There are six units that can be seen there, perhaps indicating up to six can link together, but I have not been able to find an exact spec on that. You’ll also notice that SR3DX not only has the swivel bike controller, it puts that on top of a motion base. I’m not sure how combining two separate motion platforms together really works in practice (the riders in the video seem happy with it though).
I do imagine that an English version will be available for the West at some point, probably through Chinese distributor/manufacturer Wahlap (who is also handling IGS’ Speed Driver 5, Overtake DX, Overtake VR and Monster Eye 2). How many locations might be interested in grabbing Speed Rider 3DX over Super Bikes 3 is another question though – what do you think about it from what has been shown?