Archive for the ‘Japan’ category

Konami releases BeatmaniaIIDX Empress in Japan

November 21, 2008

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[Via BemaniStyle.com]

While most of our news the past few days has been about US arcade releases, they are still busy in Japan as well. Konami has released the latest addition to their Beatmania line-up, BeatmaniaIIDX Empress. As the name and banner above suggests, this title carries a bit more feminine theme to it than other Beatmania games in the mix, so I guess we’ll see how guys take to the game. It does feature quite a line-up of music that should be particularly pleasing to Beatmania fans, including music from an American bemani fan turned Konami artist. The playlist features over 40 songs and it also will use a number of e-amusement pass features. Check Bemanistyle for the full run-down on the title.

[Official BeatmaniaIIDX Empress site] [Discuss on the Forums]

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Namco sets up a Razing Storm website

October 23, 2008

Among the new game revelations last month was Namco’s light-gun shooter called Razing Storm and in Japan it is going on location test and it has a website set up to describe the game in Japanese. It looks like the information provided is the same as what we saw in flyer scans from last month but with clearer images it’s easier to see what’s going on.

From what I can tell this appears to be a sequel of sorts (at least spiritually) to Namco’s Crisis Zone, which had it’s own small ties to the Time Crisis series. There are destructible environments (but on a much larger scale than CZ), terrorists and the foot pedal puts you behind a bullet proof shield. One notable difference is that you can see the gun you currently have selected on screen, which is something more reminiscent of first-person shooters and not light-gun titles. Razing Storm also uses a dts digital surround sound system to should provide a neat audio experience to compliment the great graphics. The only question now is how much is this going to cost operators (which trickles down to players at the coin slot) and will it be available outside of Japan? On top of that, how much will replacement guns go for? I’ve seen a few Crisis Zone cabs be decommissioned once the gun failed since a replacement costs around $800 (and I thought that paying $50-60 for a game console controller this generation sucked) so hopefully they’ll be way below that.

Personally I was quite a fan of Crisis Zone, I once got to a point where I could complete the entire game in under 13 minutes without getting hit once so I am curious to see how Razing Storm plays in comparison, but we’ll have to wait until at least March (when the game is released in Japan) to know more.

[Razing Storm Japanese Site] [Discuss on the Forum]

Kawasaki Warehouse – Location Report, Japan

October 17, 2008

Wow, I have just got back from Japan and made a fabulous discovery whilst I was there:

Kawasaki Warehouse

This incredible arcade has been built from the ground up to look like a disused, run-down warehouse complete with rusting doors and peeling paint but is in fact a fantastic site with some great games. The site has some neat touches like the front doors that appear to be rusted shut but open when you approach to reveal a red tunnel which looks like a bit passageway to hell. As you approach the second door you are blasted by a smoke machine. Inside the lighting is great (dim but really asmospheric) and flickering neon signs and faded posters cover the walls. The site is over several floors with Bingo (!!!), an arcade and a Darts bar. I have to say I only had a couple of hours free and never left the arcade floor itself.

Amongst the highlights were:

Original Retro cabinets  (All in great working order)

  • Street Fighter
  • Virtua Racing Twin
  • Outrun DLX
  • Hang On
  • Super Hang On
  • Pro Monaco GP
  • After Burner DLX
  • Space Harrier DLX
  • Darius
  • Gauntlet 4 Player
  • Rad Mobile DLX
  • About a dozen cocktail cabinets
  • Daytona 2 (4 Player)
  • Virtua On (Loved this on the Dreamcast)

In addition I got to play some great recent and new games:

  • Street Fighter 4 (Got my ass kicked at least 20 times by some guy!)
  • JuBeat – Really interesting game and very funky cabinet
  • Afterburner DLX (Played it before but never linked)
  • Halflife Survivor (Just couldn’t get used to the controls)
  • Initial D 4 (Good fun!)

If you get the chance I really recommend setting aside a couple of hours and heading over there. It is about 10 minutes walk from Kawasaki train station.

More AM 08 Videos

September 24, 2008

Courtesy of Highways Games are some more videos of games on show at the AM show in Japan.

Namco’s Nirin

Sega’s Hummer

Atlus’ Vulcan Wars

Sega’s Touch Striker

Sega’s House of the Dead EX

[Discuss on the Forum]

Parse Rorunpe – a broom flying arcade game from Japan

September 5, 2008

If you’ve ever stuck a broom between your legs as a kid pretending that you’re flying around as a witch then this game’s for you. Of course it wouldn’t take much for someone to take this idea and turn in into a Harry Potter game that involves flying around on your broom or play Quidditch (which fans would probably go gaga for). But either way a new game in Japan called ‘Parse Rorunpe’ has taken the idea of riding a broom and turned it into an arcade title that also features a touch screen. From the game’s official website (apologies in advance for the bad translation)

Try to image that you’re a magician, sitting on our specially-made magic broom seat and touch our touch screen.
Follow the sparkle on the magic symbol and draw it… There’s an attractive magical world awaits!
You can fly as you want and use those beautiful and brilliant magics!

You can also setup a profile via their website and load that profile onto several different types of memory cards (SD, xD, MS, & CF), the game has online play and seesm to have some high profile Japanese voice talent involved with the game, including ” Mr. Minoru Shiraishi, Miss Ayumi Tuji, Miss Haruka Ayumi and Mr. Ryo Sugisaki”. Where I am not faimilar with Japanese voice actors I’ll leave it to someone who tracks that stuff to say how popular they are.

Here’s the biggest picture I could find of the game itself from the website. The picture above is from the AMNet Blog

[Parse Rorpune website] [Discuss on the Forum]

Street Fighter IV Tournament

September 3, 2008

Capcom have announced the Street Fighter IV National Tournament. Qualifiers for the finals will be held across Japan from November 1st to December 7th. The venues for these are still to be announced, but we do know the finals will be held in Shinagawa on January 18th. Obviously it would be great to go there, but I’m sure there will be PLENTY of videos on YouTube for us to enjoy. Anyone want to take a guess and who the winners character will be?

[via Famitsu]     [Discuss on the Forum]

Pay for your games by phone!

August 10, 2008

There are many ways to pay for your arcade experience – quarters, tokens, card readers, etc. and naturally quarters have been the staple for the industry for quite sometime now as we are referred to as the ‘coin-op’ industry. But there is a new way for you to pay that was recently seen in Japan and that is through…your cell phone. It might not seem like the likely candidate for such a system at first but seeing how everything else can be done on your phone these days, why not pay for arcade games while you’re at it? The terminals seen by the blog Wired are by Edy and were placed on some Virtua Fighter 5R console at an arcade in Ikebukuro. The system is already supported by all three of Japan’s wireless providers and there are many phones that already have intergrated the technology for use in other services.

As for seeing this system elsewhere, I can only guess as to when it will come around. It depends on how widespread it becomes in other services first but as the writer at the Wired blog points out, it looks like this particular system can be integrated into older cabinets.

[Pay for your arcades by phone – Wired] [Discuss on the Forum]