Posted tagged ‘shooters’

Konami testing Space Agent in Japan, a new shooter that uses Augmented Reality

August 20, 2010

Konami's promotional hand fan for Space Agent

The Am-Net Blog has pictures of the marketing materials for a new Konami light-gun game testing in Japan called Space Agent. Not much is known about the new game at this point but what is clear is that it uses a mostly enclosed cabinet, it has e-Amusement features and mounted guns which add an element of “Augmented Reality” to the game. On top of the guns is a screen that has something to do with that AR feature, most likely in finding enemies. In that way it’s actually like Silent Scope but we’ll have to wait and see how similar it might be to SS.  The cabinet does look cool as do the guns but they could always tweak the design before the final release.

Space Agent is currently testing at the ROUND Store in Yokohama Nishiguchi, right next to the Terminator Salvation game there judging by the picture to the right here. It’s too bad AM-Net can’t take any pictures or video of the cabinet directly (Konami is usually pretty harsh on photos at loctests, although occasionally they let up on it or people manage to sneak it) but if we’re lucky someone will post some of that soon.

UPDATED: Japanese site Small Room Aries has posted details about the game from the location test. The level provided has you defending New York City from alien attack and it appears that there is a special mode for the cameras mounted on the guns. They mention that the game will often switch into this mode, probably as the aliens are hiding and you have to uncover them.  The guns have two firing features, a regular shot and a pump shot,  and instead of reloading you have to watch an overheat meter. Even though it’s fairly large, I like the cabinet design. While it’s one of those that could become an infamous “den of iniquity” cabinet due to the enclosure, it’s very eye-catching.

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Cave's Akai Katana now available in Japan

August 19, 2010

(Thanks to Casey McMahon for the tip)

The new CAVE shooter Akai Katana (aka Red Sword) that was able to attract some attention from various sources on the internet is now available in Japan. There isn’t any indication yet of how many units are selling but the game is selling as a kit for about $2300USD. Where it’s a JAMMA based game that makes it pretty easy to find a cabinet for it and even though it’s not running on terribly advanced hardware, it does look like hectic fun if you can handle these kinds of games.

Official Akai Katana Website

Source: Japhei Blog / AM-Net.jp

Cave’s Akai Katana now available in Japan

August 19, 2010

(Thanks to Casey McMahon for the tip)

The new CAVE shooter Akai Katana (aka Red Sword) that was able to attract some attention from various sources on the internet is now available in Japan. There isn’t any indication yet of how many units are selling but the game is selling as a kit for about $2300USD. Where it’s a JAMMA based game that makes it pretty easy to find a cabinet for it and even though it’s not running on terribly advanced hardware, it does look like hectic fun if you can handle these kinds of games.

Official Akai Katana Website

Source: Japhei Blog / AM-Net.jp

Darius Burst Another Chronicle location test reports

August 7, 2010

The waiting line for Darius Burst Another Chronicle's 1st loctest (by AM-Net)

Taito began the first public test of the new Darius Burst Another Chronicle in Akihabara yesterday and already the test is considered a great success. Between 140-200 showed up early to get a chance to play the new game for 200 yen each. There are a couple of location test reports on the web, one from Small Room Aries and a more detailed report from Game Watch. It sounds like it’s similar in many ways to Darius Burst on the PSP but with a number of improvements; enhanced graphics, a new craft to pick called Formula, new sound effects, changes in the stage configurations and how enemies attack, the ability to change the direction of your ship, and there will be a new Chronicle mode which was not available to play for this test. Small Room Aries mentions that it can be a little hard to grasp where your ship is at when there are four players on the screen which is something I have wondered about but hopefully Taito will be able to fine-tune that so it won’t be a problem in the final release.

Game Watch also has a number of new direct screenshots to drool over.

Source: AM-Net.jp

Taito bringing Darius back to arcades with Darius Burst Another Chronicle(Updated)

July 27, 2010

Memory lane - Darius Gaiden from 1994

Newsfeed 884 via

It’s been a little over a week now since we learned that Taito had placed a new countdown webpage on the arcade side of their Japanese site, a countdown which at the time of this writing is set to expire in 2 days and 16 hours from now. But why wait for the countdown when the cat has already been let out of the bag so to speak. Versus City is reporting that in an upcoming issue of Arcadia Magazine, they reveal that the new game is in fact a return to the Darius series, one of Taito’s popular horizontal shooters(popular enough that fans have made a Darius Wiki even). The last Darius in arcades was G Darius, which was released back in 1997. The only thing known about the game at this point is that the cabinet will feature dual screens but at least we can expect to find out more in just two days.

UPDATE: AM.Net and Versus City are both now confirming features for the new Darius. Apparently both of them have an advance copy of Arcadia Magazine where they are pulling the source from. Through the google translator AM. NET says the name is “Daraiasubasutoanazakuronikuru”, which Versus City helps us understand with “Darius Burst Another Chronicle”.  As for the new features, these include:

-four players(!)

-Monitors are 32″ in size and sit next to each other for a double wide cabinet (like X-Men)

-headphone jacks (that is something I’d like to see more machines support out of the box)

-three button layout

-NESYS Support

-Type X2 hardware

-August location test with a Winter 2010 release

While this sounds great, I wonder how open Taito would be to giving the game an international release. That probably depends upon the price tag as it’s not like players are unfamiliar with Darius. I also think that the four player support could go a long way with this one – as an operator in a small space I pay extra close attention to such cabinets as I think that they are a way for me to get some extra bang for the buck.

UPDATE #2: Cabinet can be seen here

If you are unfamiliar with the first Darius Burst, it was a title on the PSP. Here is the trailer for that game below, the new arcade version will probably be similar to this but with those extra features mentioned (and shinier graphics).

NeoGeoMVS: The gift that keeps on giving with the new Fast Striker by NG:Dev.Team

April 22, 2010

(Thanks to Timm Hellwig for the info!)

One of the great things about older arcade game boards like the NeoGeo MVS is where they work like glorified game consoles, they also happen to have a fanbase revolving around them years after the hardware is no longer supported. Of course there was the AES and other solutions to bring those games home, but I never knew anyone that had one of those as it was quite expensive to jump in on that hardware. Either way, due to the fandom behind something like the MVS, we occasionally get a “homebrew” effort where a new game is released for the system.As far as I know not many homebrews have been developed for the MVS but there is one group called NG:Dev.Team who isn’t giving up on the system.

The upcoming game they are working on is called Fast Striker. At first I thought it was going to be a soccer game but it’s actually a vertical bullet hell shmup which is not something that is terribly plentiful on the MVS. Here are the features as listed on their website:

Game
  • 6 Stages
  • 3 Game Modes: Original/Maniac/Novice
  • Elaborated scoring system
  • Up to 180 Enemy Bullets Simultaneously on Screen
  • 40+ Fully Animated CGI Enemies
  • 6+ Huge Fully Animated Boss Enemies
  • 3D Scrolling CGI Backgrounds
  • Constant 60 fps
  • Difficulty Rank System
  • Online Ranking via Code
Hadware
  • MVS Multi Slot Compatible: 1-6 Slots
  • Full use of 1560 Megabits
  • 25+ mins Full Digitized Stereo Soundtrack
  • In-System Software Updates via USB Port
  • Up to Date Copyright Protection via Particle Streaming Chip

NG:Dev. Team developed their own cartridge for this effort, which is where the Megabit size, special copy protection and USB port come in. As you can see from the video below, it’s a very slick game graphically for the MVS, with the 3D backgrounds, tons of objects, color and a solid 60 FPS. The game is going to be released within the next two months according to the developer and from an interview I found on the NeoGeo forums, it will be priced below 1500€ (update: Tim informs me that the arcade version will go for “below 700€”). Also from the interview they explain how the scoring system works in the main mode, Maniac:

In Maniac mode, similar to DoDonPachi, you have to destroy enemies in a certain timeframe. There’s a bar on the left, which slowly decreases. If it’s empty, your chain is broken. You quickly have to destroy more enemies again to fill up the gauge again. An extension and feature of our game is the so called “grinding”. You get into “grinding”-mode when you’ve shot bigger enemies with your beam shot for long enough. Your ship and its laser become green, you weaken the enemy and during this time, you get twice as many points and the chain value doubles. Using the “grinding” technique is the most important way to score in this game.

You can read the whole interview here. Keep in mind that there is a novice mode which could prove to be nicer for players not so attuned to playing bullet hell titles. That’s always the problem I have with bullet hell games, is that they aren’t very accessible to most people so it’s harder to get them to try it out, so I applaud the team for inserting an easier, selectable mode like this.

Here is the trailer video (or click here for a higher quality version):

[Fast Striker website]