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Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

A new fighter is coming to Pokken Tournament soon

Revealed on December 10
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
Pokken Tournament currently hosts 11 characters (counting Pikachu Libre and Shadow Mewtwo), and it looks like one more will be revealed on December 10, as per the official Twitter account. I'd wager that the new character wou...
Dissidia photo

Y'shtola rounds out Dissidia Final Fantasy's cast as a representative of XIV

Only Ramza is left
Nov 25
// Chris Carter
She might not be well known at all in most Final Fantasy circles, but XIV fans will recognize Y’shtola the Conjurer. She was featured in the original build of XIV, before moving into the reworked A Realm...
FFXII photo

Final Fantasy's Vaan isn't a street rat: I don't buy that

'I'm gonna be a sky pirate'
Nov 23
// Chris Carter
I've always had a lukewarm relationship with Final Fantasy XII, and its protagonist, Vaan. The only thing it really did for me was ape Final Fantasy XI's combat and add in gambits. Post-game content was pretty cool comp...
Final Fantasy photo
Final Fantasy

Hahahaha: Tidus shows his stuff in Dissidia Final Fantasy arcade

Sorry, 'Tee-dus'
Nov 21
// Chris Carter
Tidus (Teedus) is kind of an awkward protagonist. X was the first fully-voiced Final Fantasy game, and Square really tried to force in some strange subplots and scenes meant to evoke emotion -- instead, they ended ...

Zidane photo

Does anyone like Zidane? I don't hear him talked about much

His game was pretty great
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
Whenever the "best" Final Fantasy discussion comes up, VI is almost always near the top for a reason. Then you start getting into uncharted territory, with games like V and VII getting thrown around. But ...
Whatever photo

...Whatever: Squall fights in Dissidia Final Fantasy, I guess

Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
Dengeki has straight gameplay, too. The Koei Tecmo-made Dissidia Final Fantasy is chilling arcades in Japan for a while, but could come to PS4 at some point.
Shantotto photo

Shantotto will be returning for the new Dissidia Final Fantasy

Nov 19
// Chris Carter
Shantotto is an immensely popular Final Fantasy character among the fanbase, even though you don't hear about her often outside of it. After a modest start in Final Fantasy XI, she invaded other games, including the Dissidia...
Dissidia photo

Fan favorite Terra takes a step up to the Dissidia Final Fantasy arcade plate

'Tina' in Japan
Nov 17
// Chris Carter
Terra is often a fan favorite Final Fantasy character -- heck, anyone from VI is usually a top choice. What makes her especially badass in Dissidia is that she can Trance mid-fight, turning her into her Esper f...
Cecil photo

My main man Cecil shows his stuff in latest Dissidia Final Fantasy trailer

Oh, and Bartz too
Nov 16
// Chris Carter
Final Fantasy IV is still my favorite entry in the series. Having replayed it every few years or so I wouldn't say nostalgia fuels that claim, as it still has a fantastic soundtrack and an amazing cast -- "Spoony Bard" ...
Dissidia photo

All hail the Onion Knight

More Dissidia footage
Nov 14
// Chris Carter
You didn't think I'd miss the next Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade video just because it was the weekend, did you?Following up the Warrior of Light and Firion, here's the classic Onion Knight. Hailing from Final Fanta...
Dissidia photo

Watch Firion smack up Lightning in this Dissidia Final Fantasy vignette

l'Cie? More like l'Lame
Nov 13
// Chris Carter
I think one of my favorite pastimes, as I've come to realize over the years, is watching character-specific trailers for fighting games and brawlers. It may seem excessive for those of you who don't partake in these genres, t...
Dissidia photo

Can I...have Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade now?

I've always dug this series
Nov 12
// Chris Carter
A lot of people have been down on Dissidia in the past, but I see it as a spiritual successor of sorts to Square Enix's Ehrgeiz (good God that game could use a remake). I'm a bit bummed, then, that the arcade versi...
Pokemon fighter photo
Pokemon fighter

Dark Mewtwo is actually Shadow Mewtwo

Adjust monogrammed towels accordingly
Nov 03
// Steven Hansen
Just a bit of housekeeping. The new Mewtwo form copped over the weekend is officially Shadow Mewtwo, not Dark Mewtwo as early sleuths sussed. Makes sense what with its "Shadow ___" moves. Not too much else revealed in the ch...
Oh noes? photo
Oh noes?

Pokken Tournament is so unpopular in one Japanese arcade, it's being removed

Meanwhile Pac-Man is going strong
Oct 20
// Jed Whitaker
One popular Japanese arcade has announced it is removing Pokkén Tournament due to lack of popularity and profitability, and the fact that the game will be releasing on Wii U next year. A redditor reports...
Pokemon fighter photo
Pokemon fighter

There's a Gardevoir in this Pokken Tournament trailer

Know your audience
Oct 20
// Steven Hansen
Sure, this general Pokkén Tournament trailer is a little less balls to the wall exciting than seeing Luchador Pikachu doing a Stone Cold Stunner, but, hey, there's some Gardevoir action going on, eh? The Bandai Namco-...
Dissidia Final Fantasy photo
Dissidia Final Fantasy

New Dissidia launches in arcades November 26

Final Fantasy fighter not far off now
Oct 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Dissidia Final Fantasy launches in Japanese arcades on Nov. 26, Square Enix announced today. The three-on-three arena fighter is in development at Koei Tecmo's Team Ninja, the studio best known for its work on the Dead o...
Guilty Gear Xrd photo
Guilty Gear Xrd

Dizzy joins Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator roster

As decided by Japanese arcade-goers
Oct 17
// Kyle MacGregor
Dizzy will soon be joining the cast of Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator, the updated version of last year's Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign, after being selected by Japanese arcade players in a popular vote. While Dizzy has been playabl...
Robin Hood photo
Robin Hood

The National Videogame Arcade is doing something cool for Robin Hood Day

Firing an arrow around the world
Oct 15
// Joe Parlock
This Saturday (October 17) is Robin Hood Day. I’m assuming it’s a day where everyone is more than welcome to run around wearing green tights and steal everything from everyone, but at the National Videogame Arcade...
Devolver Digital photo
Devolver Digital

Downwell is going to take over my life

One run at a time
Oct 07
// Jordan Devore
I was on board with Downwell (PC, iOS, Android) as soon as I saw this gif. It's a game about descending a narrow well as a little guy with guns on his boots. Gun boots! Shooting slows your descent and, crucially, destroys ene...
Dissidia Final Fantasy photo
Dissidia Final Fantasy

Dissidia Final Fantasy is coming to Japanese arcades in November

I just missed it
Oct 07
// Chris Carter
I won't forget my experience with Japanese arcades anytime soon. While many of them are dead in the west, they're thriving in Japan, and I really miss them. It looks like I also missed the release of Dissidia Final Fanta...
Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

More hints drop regarding Tekken 7's console future

We kind of know, but we don't?
Oct 07
// Chris Carter
Every so often Bandai Namco drops hints as to the timeline of Tekken 7 on consoles. I mean, we know it's happening, but we don't have a window or full confirmation yet. Antoher hint dropped at Madrid Games Week, where ma...
Big Boss photo
Big Boss

Konami files trademark for 'Big Boss' pachinko machine

Kept you gamblin' huh?
Oct 05
// Chris Carter
Oh hey it's another pachinko story today! Following the recent claims that Konami is moving further away from traditional games development, and is instead focusing on pachinko and mobile markets, they have filed a new tradem...
Bayonetta photo

Sega Sammy is cutting its pachinko division by 200 jobs

Bayonetta machines blamed
Oct 05
// Chris Carter
Sega Sammy is cutting 200 jobs from its pachinko division, by way of a "voluntary retirement" program. Strangely enough Bayonetta and Fist of the North Star machines were blamed, which "were not sufficient to offset the ...

Obscure Video Games: Rabbit

Sep 26 // Obscure Video Games
At this point you're probably wondering "Why would anyone name a fighting game Rabbit?". I think most folks would assume it was a mascot platformer if they hadn't seen a screenshot. Well, the hook in Rabbit is that each character has an animal spirit that helps them fight, similar to the "Stands" in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. One of the characters has a rabbit spirit, hence the name. But you could play a few matches without seeing the rabbit spirit, so it's still kind of an odd title choice. The best part of Rabbit (besides the pixel art) is the quirky line-up of characters. Here are some of my favorites: Fighter Name: Little EddySpirit Animal: Peccary (I'd never heard of it either.) Eddy is the illegitimate son of Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-il. As you can see from his onesie, he's also a proud member of the adult baby community. When he's not cracking skulls, Eddy makes his living as an Elvis impersonator. Fighter Name: Hou-enSpirit Animal: Wolf Hou-en was once an actor in the Chinese opera, but the constant howling eventually drove him insane. Now he's a professional Juggalo who murders children with the help of his lovable, mentally-challenged pet "Fleabag". Fighter Name: EgithSpirit Animal: Ox Egith puts the sass in assassination. He uses money made from killing people to run an orphanage. I'm seriously not making this up; it's in the FAQ. So, if you need another 2D fighting game for your Sega Saturn, then Rabbit's not a bad choice. It doesn't have the biggest roster, but otherwise I think it's nearly as good as any fighter made by Capcom or SNK back in the '90s. Now watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat. [embed]311326:60445:0[/embed]
Obscure Video Games photo
What's your spirit animal?
I have a hard time reviewing fighting games. There's not much of a plot, and they tend to all be very similar in their basic mechanics. However, Rabbit is an interesting game that doesn't get much attention, so I think i...

Guilty Gear Xrd photo
Guilty Gear Xrd

Guilty Gear Xrd is getting Jam today in Japanese arcades

Revelator update
Sep 24
// Chris Carter
As luck would have it, Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- literally got an update the day after I left Japan. Version 1.02 is now live in Japanese arcades, and with it, it brings fan favorite Jam, alongside of some overall tweaks. I...

Japanese arcades aren't just fun, they're museums

Sep 21 // Chris Carter
At the suggestion of a few locals, I decided to give the "Try Arcade" and "Hey Arcade" a go (among others), which are two of the biggest arcade locations in Akihabara -- though everywhere from Shibuya to Shinjuku has their own arcades. Although I've been told that arcade attendance has been hurting somewhat in the past five years due to the rising popularity of consoles and mobile gaming, there's plenty of Japanese residents frequenting arcades, to the point where you'll never be wanting for a challenger or playmate. Of particular note is that the popularity of fighting games has seemingly never dropped. From the old school Street Fighter II Turbo machines all the way up to recent iterations, plenty of fans are lining up to get a chance to play them against a worthy foe. Out of every series there, the two most popular I noticed were Ultra Street Fighter IV and Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, which had completely full cabinets and lines behind them. In Japan players don't really "coin up" with putting a credit on the cabinet, so you kind of just wait your turn and try to get in when you can. But tried and true fighters aren't the only thing on offer -- I was completely taken aback by how much variety each arcade contained in general. They had everything from rooms full of rhythm games, to racers, to UFO catchers, to card games, to units that used touch interfaces or had full-on mouse support. One of my favorite experiences was a huge room full of Gundam cabinets, which allowed players to face off on two teams with Zakus or Gundams respectively, controlling their avatar like a real mobile suit complete with a pod seat, pedals, and two joysticks. Hell, one place I went to had a urinal video game in the bathroom. Out of everything on offer however, the most poignant sections for me had to be the retro floors. One particular aspect that we aren't talking about nearly enough in the gaming arena is preservation. Thousands of arcade units every day are slowly withering away, and once they're gone, they're gone. Thankfully, publishers tend to reintroduce their older games to a new generation by way of marketplaces like the PSN and eShop, but so many titles have fallen by the wayside, or worse, in landfills. Japanese arcades do their part in preserving the past, whether it's by way of taking care of the original cabinets or keeping games alive with other methods like the Nintendo VS. System. I was able to relive some of the first memories I've ever had with gaming, and even play something that I've always wanted to all my life, but never had the chance to -- the original Goonies game, which never came out in the West on a console. Goonies II (which I did own), came out on the NES, oddly enough. Also, playing DoDonPachi and other Cave shooters in their original arcade form was magical. Pretty much everything you could want is housed in Japanese arcades, so if you happen to make the visit out, I highly recommend checking them out. Whether you're a hardcore fighting game fan or want to try something new, it's worth the trip.
Japanese arcades photo
To Akiba and beyond
In the US, arcades are mostly a relic. On the east coast where I grew up, other than the overpriced Dave & Buster's (and perhaps DisneyQuest, which is being closed down after 18 years in 2016), it's really tough to f...

Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

Pokken Tournament is a fun, deep little brawler

Hands-on during TGS
Sep 21
// Chris Carter
I'm still out here in Japan to cover TGS, and even though this is just my first time in the country, I'm already itching to come back. You only need to walk a few blocks to see video game and anime references everywhere, as T...
Sonic photo

Rare Sonic arcade game coming to a PC near you

Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car
Sep 20
// Kyle MacGregor
Back in 1991, when Sega was helping Energizer and Duracell achieve record profits, probably, the company released Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car, a Japanese arcade game targeted at children. In the years since release, when ...
Monster Hunter Spirits photo
Monster Hunter Spirits

Monster Hunter Spirits is housed in a really cool arcade cabinet

With premium 1000 yen lockets
Sep 19
// Chris Carter
One of the biggest reasons for wanting to visit Japan as a kid was the prospect of setting foot into a Japanese arcade. The flashing lights, the sounds emanating throughout the street, the cavalcade of new games fresh on the ...

Star Wars Battle Pod is an immersive, flashy, and elaborate arcade cabinet

Sep 17 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]310990:60396:0[/embed] It's not just the game that impresses here -- the actual cabinet itself does, too. Blowing air vents and rumble features that are synchronized with the action add to everything. The overwhelmingly large convex screen taking up the entirety of your peripheral vision certainly helps too. For the third time in this article, I'm using the word "experience" because Star Wars Battle Pod is more that than a game. Unfortunately for me, I'm kind of bad at it. Giving it a few different shots, I couldn't manage to clear any of the (approximately) three minute missions. Everything was going smoothly enough until "Mission Alert" flashed across the screen, meaning that there's an objective to fulfill -- defend a transport, blow up the Death Star...that sort of thing. I failed here each and every time. Oh well, it was still a hell of a ride. My go at Star Wars Battle Pod was at Bandai Namco's headquarters in Tokyo, where a free cabinet was set up. Those in the United States can give it the old college try, as it's in several Dave & Busters locations. That won't be gratis, of course; online reports seem to indicate that it's $4 per play. Steep, but maybe worth it for Star Wars fans to at least check out. There are likely diminishing returns across more runs, as Battle Pod shows its hand immediately. But hey, if the force is strong with you, who am I to stop you?
Star Wars photo
And fans will probably love it
While everyone's waiting for that one Star Wars game this fall, there's another new(ish) experience meant to transport you to a galaxy far, far away. It won't scratch the same itch, but it's immersive, flashy, and unabas...

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