Most attention in the gaming world is being focused on E3 right now but that shouldn’t stop us from getting some news about arcades thrown out into the ether here.
I should have discussed this weeks ago but I missed out on it partially because I was on my trip. Namco’s newest PS3-powered light-gun shooter is now available in distribution, a game we have covered here several times known as Deadstorm Pirates. Having played it a few times at a couple of different arcade shows, it’s a fun and beautiful-looking game that has a large focus on co-op play and it is further set apart by the use of a wheel controller (which gives the game a sort of Lucky & Wild vibe to it, although the wheel is only used in certain events as opposed to 100% of the time). Here is a video of the ending to the game I caught at Amusement Expo in March. You can also visit the official page for the game here, be sure to keep an eye out for the game next time you visit a local arcade.
I wonder if we could eventually see a smaller version of this hit arcades, sort of like what they did with Razing Storm. At the moment there are two configurations of the game available, a motion-base version and a non-motion one. The non-motion one will be getting most of the attention in the US due to price but we did see a smaller, standup version of Let’s Go Jungle with mounted guns at a lower price than the “theater unit”, perhaps we could see something similar with DSP (not that Namco has indicated such a move, this is purely my own speculation).
UPDATE: Looks like Razing Storm is coming to the PS3 – Joystiq is saying Time Crisis is coming to the system but the screenshot they posted is definitely from Razing Storm(After looking a little closer the blurry screenshot says that the title of the game is Time Crisis: Razing Storm). We’ll have to wait and find out more as the source obviously doesn’t realize that this Time Crisis is apparently an arcade port. It’s not entirely unexpected but I did hope that we’d have a little more time before a port came along. Joystiq source ;
Kevin Williams sent me a link to a promo for Time Crisis: Razing Storm.
2nd UPDATE: Deadstorm Pirates already coming to PS3? I thought that the days of releasing home ports of arcade games a few months after the arcade release had passed us by but according to this post on Waxing Erratic, they already have Deadstorm Pirates listed as part of a bundle of games coming out for the new goofy light-gun on the PS3 which comes out in September. Granted the arcade experience is the way to go if you come across it but I still think that it is a bad plan to be bringing brand new arcade titles home when the arcade version has barely had a chance to make a name for itself. Of course, the strategy here could be that the home version is supposed to gin up interest in the arcade version(which isn’t new as we have a few home games that have been ported to arcades) but when they are asking operators to drop nearly $15k for a game that people can get for cheap on a home console, it’s harder to justify that arcade purchase. Very disappointing from the arcade side but I guess if you have a PS3 it’s reason enough to be happy and an easier way to come across the game.
Addendum: I should note that my criticism here is towards the console arm of Namco and not the arcade side. I doubt that the arcade guys are very happy about this and it wasn’t their decision to make as far as I know. At least Razing Storm has been in arcades for about two years (although is that enough time to pay off an $18,000 game and have it make a tiny bit of profit for the operator? the SD version which is half that price or less just barely came out at least) but releasing Deadstorm Pirates to consoles the same year as the arcade is a practice I really disagree with. On the flip-side, maybe this release will inform people of Namco’s new arcades and maybe they will go out looking for the superior arcade versions but that’s a maybe. I have noticed in coverage on this PS3 bundle that very few people realize that both Razing Storm and Deadstorm Pirates are new arcade titles, even the writers of the articles aren’t always pointing that out. Hopefully this bundle package will not leave any doubt about the games being ports (and why not include an online-enabled arcade finder feature to soften the blow for operators?)