After jubeat et jubeat ripples, the third episode named jubeat knit is available in Japan since yesterday. The concept of this BEMANI game is still the same: the player must press the square buttons when they light up in unison with the music rhythm. To access the next song, the player must have a minimum score of 700000. All jubeat knit cabinets are connected and players of different levels can compete on the same title. A character makes its appearance: the concierge, he guides the player in his first game and he suggests the choice of music based on the player's performance. Each song has three levels of difficulty (basic, advance, extreme). Depending on his results, the player can earn "achievement" points that enabled him to obtain additional music and markers (the images that appear when a square is lit) that will be saved on his Konami e-Amusement Pass. The player's abilities are also saved as an image called "jubility". The players will have their jubeat ripples data transferred automatically the first time they insert their card in a jubeat knit machine. The game is available as a full cabinet or as an upgrade kit for jubeat and jubeat ripples.
Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code is released in Japan today. This game from Ecole/Type-Moon is an enhanced port of the PS2 version of Actress Again and runs on the Sega RingWide system although Act Cadenza and Actress Again were released on NAOMI. PS2 version exclusive characters (Ryouga Shiki, Akiha Seifuku, Shinso Arcueid) are available and Neco-Arc is back with Neco-Arc Chaos. Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code features a total amount of 27 playable characters.
The latest version of Virtua Fighter 5 will be released tomorrow. Entitled Final Showdown, which suggests this will be the last version after many previous ones (B, C, D, R version A revision 1, ...), this new edition provides some new features as usual. First, level of characters customization: Sega raised the number of extra costumes with the arrival of "special" costumes. There will also be new moves available. A new game mode was added, the "Knockout Trial Special". But the most original innovation is undoubtedly the introduction of Twitter in the game: by linking their Twitter account to their VF.NET account, players can automatically publish their performance on Twitter. Virtua Fighter 5 R card can always be used.
The thirteen episode of The King of Fighters saga is available today (in fact, it's the 17th arcade title in the series when you include special episodes). It's surely the most well-known franchise after Street Fighter to the 2D fighting game addicts. Since the release of the first game during the summer of 1994, many things evolved as for example, the hardware. SNK stayed faithful to its MVS cartridge system for a long time. The large installed base of these machines permitted a large adoption of the successive titles. This changed in 2004 with the release of The King of Fighters NeoWave and KOF XI the next year on Sammy Atomiswave platform. To revive the series and attract Tekken and Virtua Fighter fans, SNK-Playmore releases an arcade version of the consumer game KOF Maximum Impact titled "Regulation A" on Taito Type X² in 2007. While honourable, this 3D episode doesn't convince the fans who still want a two dimensions sequel. For years, SNK (then SNK-Playmore) has been accused of recycling character sprites. So they begin to redraw the main KOF characters in higher resolution and release KOF 98 Ultimate Match (a special edition of the series best game) to fill players waiting time. The King of Fighters XII finally hits the arcades in April 2009. Featuring beautiful graphics and high-resolution backgrounds, the game is presented in 16/9 aspect ratio but only features 20 different characters to choose from (which seems quite poor when compared to KOF XI's 40). Unfortunately, graphics alone don't make a game and gameplay changes (eg: slower, shift system missing) and the few number of levels and protagonists are decried by the frequent players. In fact, the game feels unfinished. Over the years, KOF had matured and was refined over time. It's therefore not obvious to start from scratch and successfully create a masterpiece on first try. For The King of Fighters XIII, SNK-Playmore organized many location tests to gather players feedback while keeping creating new sprites to reach a line-up of 31 selectable fighters (including Mai Shiranui, Mature, Vice, Hwa Jai, K', Takuma, Maxima, Kula, ...). Will this game be more successful than its predecessor? Without a doubt, but to which extend? The answer in several weeks. Only the full kit is released today. The ROM version (including the hard disk and security dongle only) allowing to convert any Type X² title will be available in August. The game language (English/Japanese) can be switched in the settings so you can import it for European operation without imposing incomprehensible text to the general audience.
DanceDanceRevolution X2 is out today in Japan. This new version of the popular dance game from Konami offers a "Happy mofr" with licensed titles and popular dance tracks without complex selection, ideal for new players. The veterans are not forgotten with the "Pro Mode" featuring new tracks recorded specifically for this game mode. A total of over 400 songs are present including more than 70 new titles, some composed by regular artists of the series: dj TAKA, Ryuâ˜† and kors k. DanceDanceRevolution X2 supports the e-AMUSEMENT PASS which provides access to rankings, allow management of personnal data, ... DDR X2 is available as an upgrade kit for DDR X and DDR SuperNOVA.
Since yesterday, Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Arcade, a music game by Sega, invades gamecenters in Japan. This arcade version of the PSP title features considerably improved graphics and extra songs. The cabinet has 4 large buttons of different colours which the player must press on time with the sequence displayed on the screen. The game runs on RingEdge hardware and cabinets are connected to the ALL.Net network allowing online ranking publishing and additional fan-created songs download. The basic song offer includes Magical Sound Shower (Out Run) and Ievan Polka, a traditional Finnish song popular on the Internet thanks to the flash version showing Inoue Orihime spinning a leek. Four difficulty modes are available ranging from Easy to Extreme. By earning VOCALOID points, the player can buy additional costumes for Miku. About VOCALOID, it is a voice synthesis program by Yamaha that generates a song from a melody and lyrics. Miku's voice has been sampled from that of Saki Fujita (Bleach, Angel Beats!). The machine is equipped with a touch screen to select the game options.
Preview 2011 exhibition that would be held in London on October 20 and 21 is cancelled. Organizer Howard & Wikberg Promotions had to make this difficult decision due to the very bad health of the British coin-op market. Next year, the situation will reviewed and factors such as a better economic climate, improvement in the coin-op market and concessions made by the new Governement towards the industry could make the Preview 2012 happen. Meanwhile, next big amusement trade show in London will be EAG Expo in January 2011.
A special edition of 2002 Cave shoot'em up "DoDonPachi Dai Ou Jou" is released today. Named Tamashii, this new version features an easy mode for beginners. This title is available in PGM2 cartridge format and since it's aimed at Chinese market, the game features this language but can be switched to English. Only a few units were manufactured. The full kit including both mainboard and cartridge can be ordered for €800 at Excellent (Hong Kong) and Sophia Corporation (Tokyo).
Here's 30 years that Pac-Man chases ghosts. Namco Bandai Games has decided to celebrate this anniversary with a website created for the occasion. Here, you will discover many products: t-shirts, toys, costumes, wine glasses, a wallet and a limited edition wrist watch (500 copies worldwide). Google search engine joins the party with an "Insert Coin" button on its homepage. This button allows you to play Pac-Man in a level representing the Google logo. The game is complete with intermissions. Clicking the button a second time causes Ms. Pac-Man to appear and allows simultaneous multiplayer gameplay (use WASD keys to control the second character, too bad for Azerty keyboards). About multiplayer, a new arcade game made an appearance at the Amusement Expo 2010 (Las Vegas) two months ago and will be featured at next month's E3 Expo (Los Angeles). It's called Pac-Man Battle Royale and allows 4 players to compete simultaneously on a cocktail table.
R3PLAY (pronounced "Replay") is a brand new show celebrating gaming history. Presented in association with Retro Gamer and gamesTM magazines, this event aims to make discover to gamers of all ages gaming systems from the 1970s to present day. More than 300 systems will be available in free-play: consoles, coin-ops (retro and new) and computers. Visitors will have the opportunity to take part in prize gaming competitions, listen to Q&A sessions with guest speakers, participate in workshops, view galleries of video game artwork, win raffle prizes, tender bids in a special auction, purchase games, systems and memorabilia. Hosted by TV personality and videogame fanatic Gail Porter, the R3PLAY expo will take place at the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre in Blackpool on November 2010 6th and 7th. Prices are £12 for single-day entry and £20 for a weekend ticket. Visit the official website for more info.
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