A Day with the Arcades

| #arcade | #japan | #rayforce |

Today I went to Shinjuku to meet up with Rayforce (from ). He showed me a half dozen great arcades and I actually played some arcade games for the first time in too long. Here’s what I played and what I thought about ’em.

Ketsui (Cave) – This game is the absolute bomb. Total kickass frenzy from the instant you pop in your hundred Yen. Super-small hitbox and massive walls of bullets and a gameplay system that doesn’t demand memorization like the Donpachi series or Mars Matrix. You’re awarded bonus medals based on proximity. Get up close and get a 5, kill an enemy from a distance and you get a 1. They’re more or less magnetic too, so grabbing them is a breeze. Thrash the button for rapid-fire or hold the button for lock-on (which makes you slower). My only complaint was the graphics – pre-rendered sprites demoted to low-bit colour = f**king ugly. Hey Cave, your sprites are UGLY!! Your games rock tho.

Border Down (G-Rev) – Very capable horizontal shooter. The game was quite solid, the weapon (And there is only one) unique enough (hold for rapid, tap-tap for homing) and a boss system that’s a lot of fun. While boss-fighting a timer counts down to zero, and you’re awarded increasing points for killing the boss closer to zero. I got as close as 01.08s. Yay me! Also, the Border system: There are three borders, Green is Beginner, Red is Advanced and Yellow is in the middle. They signify difficulty, I think; and when you die you advance to the next Border (which means it gets harder as you suck more? Not clear on that part)… Each Border is also a different path, so there’s 3 ways to each boss. You can choose a more difficult Border at each stage, but you can only choose an EASIER Border if you play an above-par level. If your score is too low you don’t get to Border Up. Also your laser power approaches over time, and you can ‘cash in’ that laser power with a super-laser attack which counts up enemies killed as a kind of combo system. You’re also invincible. It’s fun.

Technic Beat (Arika/Namco) – Weird kinda rhythm game… You play a little dude on a glass surface and there are rings, see, and when you stand on ’em there’s an internal ring with expands to the outside edge and you press the A button when the two rings meet. B drags one ring around and you can A that ring when it’s touching another (or a series of them) and it’ll do the subsequent rings for you. C is a super attack of sorts that expands and gets all the rings on the screen. Or something. Anyway it’s neat, but you’ll never get the chains until you learn the levels. IT has music from a buncha old Namco games too, which is fun.

Also saw Playmore’s new Matrimelee which looked really lame (Note to Arcade Ops: Don’t put Matrimelee next to Guilty Gear!) and Shikigami 2, which looked awesome. Also saw Puzzle Bobble: Azumanga Edition, which was so cute it hurt. And played a couple of rounds of Battle Balls with Rayforce, which was a nostalgic fun time.

[ Oct 5 2003 ]

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