Arcade Games Played in Tokyo Summer 2009

Game centers in Tokyo are a pretty damn flashy spectacle and as long as you don't have epilepsy, that's in a good way. This is thusly a list of arcade games I gave some love to over the course of my trip in summer 2009.

List items

  • In concept, the arcade game sounds interesting. Take a cute Japanese girl under your wing and train her to be the next hot idol/pop star. I don't think anyone will particularly argue against the uniqueness of that. In execution, though, the game is pretty dull. Excessively lengthy dialog, barebones training minigames, and a high initial cost of entry make it a game you can probably easily avoid. It's a novelty, but doesn't do much to really go beyond that.

  • It's essentially Mario Kart in an arcade format. The steering might be a bit too sensitive for its own good, considering this is Mario were talking about, but overall, its faith to the Mario Kart mechanics is fine. You still pick up items, hurl them at people, and hope you still come out on top in the end.

  • It's more or less Rhythm Tengoku, but for arcades. Even the cabinet is laid out like a GBA, d-pad and all. The minigames are the same in implementation. You'll still clap while wearing yukatas, eliminate germs seen through microscopes, and the like. The game works better in a portable format given that's what it was tailored for in the first place, but since nothing is especially blasphemously done in the arcade port, it's still a fine experience all around.

  • So if you go up to the third floor of Akihabara's Taito Hey (Hirose Entertainment Yard), you'll find four arcade machines right in front of the escalators. Two of them are for King of Fighters 98 and the other two are a version of Street Fighter II of some sort; I'm not nearly well versed enough in the series to figure out which. What makes those special is that they only cost ten yen per play, which is a really cheap proposition, even if you're prone to lose in a fighting game at an arcade like I am. There's always a pretty sizable group hovering around the machines, though; players, out of custom, automatically give up their seat and go to the back of the line when they lose. Definitely a nicely cheap experience.

  • It's still Ikaruga, even if I lost all my lives in the first level. It's been a little while since I've played.

  • The arcade versions plays pretty much just like the home versions. You have to hit the drums themselves a little harder and the music can be seriously difficult to hear if played in a busy area, but other than that, it's still totally Taiko no Tatsujin, and that's a fine thing.

  • Guilty Gear is still awesome even in arcade form. Although if you play in a generic cabinet like I did that's meant to play a wide swath of games, it can take a while to figure out which buttons correspond to what attack type. A bit of a learning curve, especially since I'm used to playing it on an Xbox control pad pretty well. Ah well.

  • There was a non-networked cabinet lying around in Akihabara, so I took the opportunity to take the game for a spin for the first time. Looks nice and plays pretty well, although the sprites do have some slight aliasing if you look close enough, but overall the game is fine. I'll probably still buy the home version when it drops in price.

5 Comments

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ahoodedfigure

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Edited By ahoodedfigure

I want to see more weird arcade game lists :)
 
And I want to play Taiko Drum Master!

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Pepsiman

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Edited By Pepsiman
@ahoodedfigure: Taiko Drum Master is probably among my favorite rhythm games since it does a really good job of merging simplistic mechanics with a good difficulty ramp. If you know how to play a taiko drum in theory, you're pretty much already set to go. Most people would probably recommed nabbing one of the seemingly millions of import versions of the franchise out there, but for what it's worth, the one installment that did come to the US is still a solid game, and pretty cheap, too, even with the drum peripheral. The song list might not exactly be true to its roots, but it still works.
 
And as for more arcade lists... I can probably cook some up in due time.
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LordAndrew

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Edited By LordAndrew

What? There's an arcade version of Rhythm Tengoku?

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Pepsiman

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Edited By Pepsiman
@LordAndrew: There is indeed. I had forgotten it existed until I stumbled into it one day after exploring the area around my train station, but yeah, it's most definitely real. If I remember, Nintendo basically commissioned Sega to do what basically amounts to a quick and dirty port of the original game. Save for a few very slight interface and gameplay tweaks made to accommodate the arcade format, everything's pretty much the same.
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buwchbach

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Edited By buwchbach

Oh god, I want to go to Japan to go play some arcade games right now! 
I literally only saw my first legitimate arcade machine today, and it was only a Mario Kart GP 2 machine.