A new significant update to the Asian version of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4 is available since yesterday: Rev1.03 corresponding to Japanese Rev1.07. A new area of the C1 road that was under construction is now open to traffic: this is the first time in the series that this part of the road is available. It is a one-lane narrow road that has tight corners. To reach it, use one of the following junctions: Kandabashi, Ginza and Shiodome. Five new cars have been added: the RK Coupe from RUF (present for the first time in a Wangan game), the Chevrolet Camaro and the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the Toyota Sprinter Trueno and finally the Nissan Fuga. Players can now create their own team and battle against other registered teams. Members can paste team stickers on their windows. Use the external terminal to create your team. Each registered team name is reserved and some names can not be used (as Project D?). In Online Ghost Versus Battle mode, if the player beats the ghost of a player from another team, he wins the sticker from this team. If a team earns a certain number of stickers, all members receive a special title. The "Japan Challenge" mode is now available: the player fills in a map of Japan as he conquers each region by defeating an opponent appropriate to his level chosen from randomly selected ghosts from each district of Japan. Each region is divided into districts and he has to complete all districts of a region to move to the next. The player earns points to customise his car, get new number plates and if he finishes all regions, he wins a special sticker. For customisation fans, 14 new parts have been added. At last, a limited time event will be held: Online Champion Match. All players face the same ghost and try to put the greatest distance between them and the ghost. The winner will earn the Champion title and special prizes.
Scheduled initially for Winter 2012, Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!! is finally released on NESiCAxLive today. This update of Arcana Heart 3 is now in 16:9 aspect ratio (the game is still in 4:3 but two bands providing information on characters are added on each side) and a training mode is available. New attacks are added for each character. To celebrate Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX release, Examu will organise a tournament at Hey Akihabara on May 11 that will be live broadcast on the internet. Arcana Heart merchandising will be sold during the tournament: T-shirts (between ¥2500 and ¥4000) and towels (¥2500) created for the occasion. The fans previously voted to choose the three characters that would be represented on towels: Akane, Elsa and Clarisse won the contest. There are two versions of the towels: one with the girls in usual clothes and the other in swimsuit. The tournament registration fee is ¥100 and up to 128 players can register. Note also that the "Examu CUP 2013" will take place this Summer but the location has not yet been determined.
The third and last edition of the X-Mania Europe tournament organised by Neo Arcadia is held this year. This Super Street Fighter 2X tournament, which is the largest in Europe, is organised in collaboration with the Mikado arcade in Tokyo, the creator of the original X-Mania. It will be held from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th of May at Neo-Arcadia arcade in Toulouse. Friday will be reserved for freeplay with challenges, money matches,... On Saturday, two solo tournaments are scheduled: the 3on3 solo tournament at 13:00 and the 1on1 solo at 16:00. The event will end with the 3vs3 Team tournament on Sunday at 11:00. All matches are of course on arcade hardware (Astro City with Seimitsu joysticks, Sanwa buttons and the Japanese version of Super Street Fighter 2X). The best players from all over Europe are expected, but players from other continents will also be present such as the Japanese Kurahashi, Aniken and Hanashi and the American Damdai. The tournaments will be broadcast live on twitch.tv. Entry is free to spectators, however visitors can pay €30 to access freeplay arcade games. Registration fee for the tournaments are: €12 for the 2 solo tournaments, €10 per player (€30 per team) for the Team 3vs3. A pack at €59 per player covers the entrance fee and the three tournaments entries. Be quick, registration ends tomorrow!
From today on, a new course is available in Initial D Arcade Stage 7 AA X. This is the "Tsuchisaka-Snow" course. This course can be selected in all game modes and Time Attack and versus records are saved separately from the "Tsuchisaka" classic race. This is the second course to have a snowy version after Akina. Fans will be delighted to experience drifting on a slippery road! This road crosses the prefectures of Gunma and Saitama. In the Initial D manga, this is home course of Team Lan-Evo who tried to beat the Project D by pouring oil on the road and hiring a gang to attack them... Initial D Arcade Stage 7 AA X events during May will be "Tsuchisaka-Snow" World Championship from May 10 to 13 and "Nissan Battle Cup" from May 25 to 26.
After almost three years of waiting, "100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience" documentary is finally available on DVD! This 68-minute report reviews the history and evolution of arcades in Japan and the culture that surrounds them. Some had been privileged to discover it at its premiere European screening at Stunfest last weekend. The film features interviews with industry professionals such as Kyoshi Ishikawa from Taito or Tez Okano from Sega and famous players like Justin Wong, Clover-TAC and Daigo "The Beast" Umehara. The report also opens the doors of iconic game centers like Hey in Akihabara, several Club Sega in Tokyo and Taito Station in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoaka where it's usually forbidden to shoot pictures. Directed by Canadian Brad Crawford, the film was funded by arcade fans via Indiegogo who have raised more than $47,000. This money was mainly used to finance the travels of the crew. "100 Yen: The Japanese Experience" DVD is on sale for $24.99. It will be available on Blu-ray and as digital version (iTunes and main distribution sites) in the fourth quarter of 2013.
K-ON! Ho-Kago Rhythm is a card game developed by Atlus releases today. It takes place in the universe of the K-ON! manga and anime series. The player chooses one of the five girls from the "Ho-Kago Tea Time" band he wants to support: Yui (guitar), Mio (bass), Ritsu on (drums), Tsugumi (keyboards) and Azusa (guitar). Then he scans 3 cards whose combination will affect the score and select one of the 3 difficulty modes. The rhythm game then begins, the player has to press the right button according to the symbol that appears on the screen. At the end of the game, the character supported by the player receives "support points" and has the chance to become the game host. After each game, the player receives a card. There are currently 46 cards to collect and 11 songs featured.
A new game named Sonic Athletics is launched at Sega Joypolis today. This is a very physical game that replaces the athletics game Burnout Running that stood this far on the 2nd floor of the Joypolis. Sonic Athletics features 8 treadmills placed in front of vertical screens displaying a stadium track. After selecting one of the 8 available characters (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, Amy, Metal Sonic, Silver and Blaze), the players start to run on the treadmills. The faster they run, the faster their character runs. The game fee is 500 Yen and the player must be at least 1m10 in height to be admitted.
Two shmup games will be released in Japan tomorrow: Crimzon Clover for NESiCAxLive (Taito's NESiCAxLive) and Under Defeat HD+ (Sega's ALL.Net P-ras MULTI). Crimzon Clover is primarily a PC game released in 2010. The arcade version published by Bouken was scheduled to be released in summer 2012 but adaptation problems forced the developer Yotsubane to delay its release several times. The game is rebalanced, a new ship is added and a national ranking is available. Developed by G.rev, Under Defeat HD+ is an adaptation of Under Defeat HD, a home console version out in February 2012, this version was itself an HD port of Under Defeat released on NAOMI in 2005... As its name suggests, the game is in HD. The display has changed to horizontal, stages are more detailed and a "New Order" mode is added.
The new Pix'n Love mook was released yesterday. Throughout the "arcade" page of this 22nd volume, you will find a 12-page dossier on the creation of Wonder Boy punctuated by memories of Ryuichi Nishizawa. It also includes the history of Out Run and a report about arcade games in the USSR. Beside arcade games, many other topics are discussed such as a retrospective abbout Batman video games, retro news (new releases on consoles of the past), the Vectrex, Barbarian remakes and other computer and console games. As usual, each article is beautifully illustrated and well documented. Pix'n Love #22 is available for less than €9.00 at Amazon. Please note that this book is available in French language only. Happy reading!
Gunslinger Stratos Ver.1.45 is available today, over a month after the last update. Another new character designed by Shirow Miwa is added: Shino Matsurika, a 14 years-old girl, fan of mechanics and self-proclaimed rival of Jonathan Sizemore. Weapon pack of all the characters have been changed with this update. Update: on April 26, the game switches to version 1.46, weapons packs of some characters from version 1.45 are adjusted.
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