It’s Friday, so I’ve declared that as the day that we take a look at an upcoming arcade title for the soon-to-launch Exa system. I have confirmed that systems are in production right now, so interested parties just have to keep hanging tight, but barring any catastrophe, the systems and the games for it will be gracing arcades before the end of this year.
This week, we’re going to take a look at another “oddball” in the group of announced titles – something that is certainly not a shoot ’em up or a fighting game, but belongs to a genre that once called arcades home, the platformer.
When Gimmick! was announced back in January of this year, it came as a big surprise to classic gamers everywhere, as it was not a pre-existing Steam game for one, and it was a remake of an obscure, but well-liked Famicom (NES) platformer released by Sunsoft back in 1992. ’92 was well at the end of the NES’ life, which is why the game isn’t as well-known as it could be, but thanks to emulation and the general NES fandom, it has been discovered by many more people in recent times. There, it has enjoyed a lot of attention as a speedrun title, starring in plenty of speedrun streams.
For the arcade version, the game is being meticulously recreated in HD – in the footage you see below, they did not filter the original graphics through emulation, but have hand crafted the graphics in HD. This, along with some balancing tweaks, allows for it to feature more precise movement than the NES version(this is discussed in more detail at the beginning of the second video below). If you want to play that version however, you can switch to NES graphics at the touch of a button. Here’s the unveil of the game as seen at JAEPO 2019:
As mentioned in that video above, they are also changing up the scoring system to present something new to seasoned players; it also features an arranged soundtrack that you can select at the beginning of the game. Thanks to the expanded number of controls with the arcade version, it also will be easier to control. Here’s the full level that was demoed at JAEPO 2019:
I did see if there was anything new to share about the game for this post, but there is nothing to discuss right now – it continues development with an intended release later this year. So far this is also the only version of the game that I am aware of being announced, which also makes it unique among the Exa content crowd, since other games to the platform all have slightly different console versions available. In a way, this being an Exa exclusive could also make Gimmick! a “mascot” for the platform, of a sort.
Like so many other titles coming to the system, I am curious to see how a platformer is received in the modern arcade. It’s certainly not a game for casuals browsing the generic sea of redemption titles at any given FEC, but perhaps can be a tool to bring more hardcore players back into certain venues. What do you think about Gimmick! exAct*mix from what we know about it so far?