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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...

Penarium photo

Release date confirmed for 'sadistic' circus game Penarium

Leave 'em begging for more!
Sep 17
// Vikki Blake
"Sadistic" 2D arena arcade Penarium is coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 22, 2015. Willy (snigger) is trapped in a "sinister circus," and the only hope of seeing his family again is to "run and jump his wa...
Wrasslin' Chu photo
Wrasslin' Chu

Wrasslin' Pikachu Libre's new Pokken Trailer, OH YEAH!

Snap into a Poke Gym
Sep 15
// Jed Whitaker
Pokkén Tournament is looking like it is going to be the cream of the crop when it runs wild on Wii U in 2016, especially with Pikachu Libre (or is it Masked Pikachu?) in tow. Watch this hot new trailer that showc...
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

Pokken Tournament may not be coming to western arcades after all

Dave & Busters spoke too soon?
Aug 27
// Chris Carter
I haven't been to a Dave & Busters in years, but the rumor that Pokken Tournament may be heading west by way of arcade location tests would have been enough to get me out there. Sadly, it looks like that may not be happen...
Guilty Gear Xrd photo
Guilty Gear Xrd

Players can vote for the next potential Guilty Gear Xrd character

Japan-only at the moment though
Aug 27
// Chris Carter
Still miffed that there weren't enough characters in Guilty Gear Xrd? Well, the Revelator update is getting Johnny and Jack-O, but it looks like more might be in the pipeline. Arc System Works is opening up a vote in Septembe...
Luigi's Mansion photo
Luigi's Mansion

I'm going to play the hell out of Luigi's Mansion arcade

Publicly debuting in Japan
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
I love Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. It is filthy with ghosts and adorable little touches (physics fun, Luigi's whistling to the score). It even has some great multiplayer (and inspired the second best Nintendo Land minigame)....
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

Pokken Tournament will be at Dave and Buster's

No word on Chuck E. Cheese's
Jul 22
// Mike Cosimano
Pokkén Tournament will be available for testing at the arcade/restaurant chain Dave and Buster's, according to executive Kevin Bachus. This news is somewhat unsurprising, considering that specific Dave and Buster'...
Steam Early Access photo
Steam Early Access

Remember Pang? The Bug Butcher sure does

Calling all Buster Bros.
Jul 20
// Jordan Devore
Capcom's good old bubble-popping shooter Super Buster Bros. (Super Pang outside of America) lives on as the inspiration for The Bug Butcher, a newly-released game on Steam Early Access. As the butcher, you'll avoid attacks an...
Unfair photo

Tekken 7 gets Idolmaster costumes, but not for the men

Jul 20
// Steven Hansen
Namco is celebrating 10 years of Idolmaster by way of costume cross over with Tekken 7. Unfortunately, Japanese pop idol Paul coming to Idolmaster is just a joke and it seems only Tekken's women get pop idol attire. In the s...
Kickstarter photo

I'm down for this documentary about Midway

Assuming it's funded on Kickstarter
Jul 17
// Jordan Devore
"The one consistent theme throughout all of them was that they loved to party." With that, I'm down to watch Insert Coin, a documentary about Midway (Smash TV, NBA Jam, Robotron 2084) during its prime. Producer Josh Tsui, the...

Vote for support Pokemon in Pokken Tournament

One week to vote for your favorites
Jul 17
// Steven Hansen
Brutal Blaziken was introduced yesterday to the Namco-developed fighter Pokkén Tournament, so the weed-loving fan favorite is in, but perhaps some 'mons less suited for 1-on-1 combat can still make an appearance? Fenne...
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

And that's why you don't mess with Blaziken

New Pokken Tournament trailer
Jul 16
// Jordan Devore
Oh my god, that poor Pikachu! Following word of Blaziken's upcoming arrival in Pokken Tournament in Japanese arcades, Bandai Namco has a trailer of the fiery bipedal chicken kicking the crap out of its fellow Pokémon. I feel bad for them, which has traditionally not been the case for any of the core series games.
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

Blaziken joins the Pokken Tournament roster in August

Don't Google Image Search 'Blaziken'
Jul 15
// Jordan Devore
As we await the full lineup for Pokken Tournament, I can rest easy knowing that my boy Gengar is in. Gardevoir, too. The latest character announcement isn't so much a reveal as a reiteration. Long before we knew the Pok&eacut...
Blazblue photo

BlazBlue: Central Fiction announced, Japanese location test starts soon

At least two new characters confirmed
Jul 12
// Jonathan Holmes
Though I really enjoy the BlazBlue series, I stopped trying to keep up with it a while back. By my count, BlazBlue: Central Fiction marks the sixth update to the series put up for sale since the first game was released in 20...
First! photo

King of the Iron Fist: $80,000 Tekken 7 tournament

Are you good at Tekken?
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series and the upcoming Tekken 7, Bandai Namco is hosting the "King of the Iron Fist 2015" Tekken 7 tournament. There's a 10 million yen cash grand prize ($81,463) for the winner, so ...
Tekken 7 machines photo
Tekken 7 machines

Tekken 7 hitting select North American arcades this month

Once you finish 'getting hype'
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
Tekken 7 will be at EVO this month despite not having made it out of Japanese arcades. Tournament participants will have to use a DualShock 4, too. Perhaps a little too late, the Tekken Facebook page announced North American ...
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

Pikachu gets clocked in Pokken Tournament opening cinematic

In Japanese arcades July 16
Jul 03
// Steven Hansen
It's wild that Lucario is hot enough shit to get a demeaning opening thwack on the god rat itself, Pikachu. I mean, Pikachu is granted a follow up upper cut and an unfinished electric attack, but it's still nice to see the y...
Pokken Tournament photo
It will hit Japanese arcades on July 16
Two new official videos have arrived for Pokken Tournament, which unveil two new fighters for the game -- Weavile and Charizard. The latter was always going to be an obvious choice, but I'm interested in seeing what Weavile ...

Super Arcade photo
Super Arcade

Super Arcade denied permit to re-open in Azusa, California

Public urination?
Jun 25
// Nic Rowen
Once a mecca for arcade and fighting game fans, the venerable FGC hot-spot Super Arcade closed the doors of its Walnut, California location last December after failing to reach a lease agreement with its landlord. After being...
The Bishi Bashi photo
The Bishi Bashi

Mash buttons to successfully defecate

Or to photograph young cosplayers
Jun 25
// Laura Kate Dale
Last night, I played some very strange Japanese arcade games, including one that really threw my understanding of games about defecating out the window called The Bishi Bashi.  The Bishi Bashi is a multiplayer competitiv...
Arcade Machine photo
Arcade Machine

Get drunk, punch a table and throw cake everywhere

Japan is great
Jun 25
// Laura Kate Dale
Last night I played an amazing and utterly bizarre arcade machine from Japan called Cho Chabudai Gaeshi! (Super Table-Flip!). The idea is simple: release pent up anger and agression by punching a plastic table over ...
Rampage film photo
Rampage film

Dwayne Johnson is doing a Rampage movie

Production starts next summer
Jun 23
// Jordan Devore
Coming off of San Andreas, Dwayne Johnson, producer Beau Flynn, and New Line are working on adapting the Midway arcade game Rampage into a live-action feature film, reports Deadline. My usual reaction to these announcements i...
Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

Tekken 7 will require a DualShock 4 at EVO 2015

Even though it's an arcade build
Jun 05
// Chris Carter
If you're heading to EVO this year to participate in the Tekken 7 tournament, you may want to add an extra checkbox to your packing list. According to Mad Catz community manager Mark Julio, you will need a DualShock 4 to...
Dissidia Final Fantasy photo
Dissidia Final Fantasy

12 minutes of the Final Fantasy fighter Dissidia

Currently in arcades
May 26
// Steven Hansen
The currently Japan-only, arcade-only (a PS4 release down the line is likely) Final Fantasy fighter (spun off from the PSP series) has some new footage fresh from arcade cabinet location testing. The 3-on-3 fighter looks deep. Right now the breakdown of the six confirmed characters is Heavy (Cloud, Warrior of Light), Speed (Lightning, Onion Knight), and Ranged (Terra, Y’shtola).

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