I skipped doing a Newsbytes this past weekend as there really wasn’t enough to talk about from last week. This is against the norm, since that week is normally IAAPA week, which gives us a huge chunk of things to talk about. We’ll have to wait until IAAPA 2021 for that to return, although chances are pretty good that Amusement Expo 2021 will take place in May.
Until then, one company we can expect to hear more from is exA-Arcadia. While everyone is busy working on new product behind-the-scenes for when all arcades can be open again, most have been focusing on perfecting existing products, or developing home lines to weather the storm. In the case of exA-Arcadia, they have released several games this year, with many more on the way. One that was a surprise, since it wasn’t listed as a pre-order or coming in November, is Super Battle Princess Madelyn by Monster Bath Games. Check out the trailer, then I’ll provide more info below:
So what makes this version “Super,” you might be wondering? Well for starters, the gameplay has been streamlined in such a way that it’s a fairly different game. To quote the sales listing:
[SBPM] is a complete reimagining of the original transformed into an intense arcade action game which its creators originally envisioned. Built from the ground up, KonoSuba character designer, Koichi Kikuta, delivers all new art and an all new soundtrack by Gryzor87 accompanies Madelyn on her true adventure to save her family & kingdom.
Since it is made specifically for an arcade environment, there is much more action – little text – to focus on. One description I came across called it a “better Ghouls ‘N Ghosts,” where there are certain game features that GNG didn’t have (the game page for this also mentions Midnight Wanderers and Willow as gameplay influences). That includes the ability to change your direction mid-jump; You also can jump again after getting hit, as opposed to falling straight down. There are new levels, enemies, music and artwork that are also not found in the non-super console version that you might have played. In essence, it’s a different game.
As a note, in case you hadn’t heard of the exA-Arcadia before, this is available worldwide; It has language support for Japanese, English, French and Spanish. It can also work on a 4:3 CRT, if you have the right hardware.
Let’s Unbox A Vritra Hexa
Speaking of brand new arcade games coming to the exA, today I got something in the mail – my pre-ordered Vritra Hexa kit. This marks the 4th game for my exA board, filling it out. I have a 5th title shipping out soon – Gimmick exAct Mix!, which I will probably use to swap out Aka & Blue Type-R for now (A&B needs a vertical screen for proper enjoyment I think, but need to save up for a 2nd exA board).
On Vritra, I was pleasantly surprised to find a game that plays a lot like my favorite arcade game from the past decade, Dariusburst Another Chronicle. There are plenty of differences of course, but enough similarities that made it feel familiar. It looks stellar on a 4K screen, the music is fantastic (I like that you can choose between the original and the new arrangement), there are a lot of ways to configure your power-ups and most importantly, it’s fun. All I need to do is get a QR Code scanner back on my phone…