It’s been a fairly quiet February although between this and one other new game story that I’m working on, perhaps it’ll go out with a bang.
We’ve detailed what the exA-Arcadia system is plenty of times on the blog so I won’t rehearse all that; You can click here if it sounds new to you. Either way, with today’s news, this system now has 15 games available to install into a coin-operated, exA-powered game cabinet. This one is certainly the most unique – and funny – of the bunch to date.
The latest exA release is one of it’s quirkiest, which you can tell just by the name: Nippon Marathon Turbo Hyper = Running. Developed by Onion Soup Interactive, and just known as Nippon Marathon for the 2018 console release, this wacky multiplayer marathon/obstacle course running game has received a few enhancements and additions for the arcade version, which includes some major gameplay tweaks(faster pacing, crazier obstacles, you can get completely knocked out of a course, etc), 2 new characters (Hato & Annabelle), 3 new courses (bringing the total to 9) and support for a wide range of monitors that the exA handles (from 4:3 CRTs to 16:9 4K TVs). One quote from developer Andy Madin sums it up well: “This is the Nippon Marathon on caffeine. Overall the game becomes much more competitive.” If you want more though, here’s the quote from the official sales page:
NiPPON MARATHON TURBO HYPER = RUNNING from Japan (?!) comes 4 player madness in the craziest multiplayer race that you’ve ever seen. Featuring art by famed Namco designer behind Numan Athletics and Mach Breakers, Tatsuya Ishikawa, and completely original modes optimized for both hardcore and casual locations, competitive players can find the best paths for the highest score while casual players will enjoy playing with friends and family alike to see who will be the winner of the weirdest marathon in the world!
It should be noted that two of the console modes, L.O.B.S.T.E.R. and Go-Go Trolley were removed from this version, since they didn’t fit with the needs of the arcade. If you’d like to read more details from the developers themselves, then I’d recommend this great interview that our friend Dustin Wilcox did with Onion Soup Interactive all the way back in 2019.
This also marks the second 4-player game for the exA, following Lightning Knights last year. At the moment one has to link two 2p cabinets together for that, although one could convert an existing 4p cab out there by using the new exA I/O board. Other than that, we’ll have to wait and see if there are any official 4p cabs down the road.
If you have an exA system and are looking to get one, the game is listed for sale on the exA website here for $1284USD plus freight. While you can buy an exA system with this kit, if you just get the kit itself it will come with two A1 posters, three instruction sheets and instruction strip (Japanese and English).
What do you think about this one? I am extremely curious to see how it performs ‘out in the wild’ in a full 4-player setup, as we haven’t seen anything like this on the scene in ages. Arcades are a great place for people to get together and have a blast on games like this, but that effect obviously depends on how certain areas are handling the pandemic at the moment. In my area, things are almost back to normal every weekend, so where I’m at, I think we’re in striking distance. Hopefully the same can be said for where you are now or very soon.