Saturday, July 12, 2008

Arcades in Japan (part 1)

Japan is home to many cool pieces of technology and arcades are no exception. Now one thing I need to make sure I mention - by arcades I don't mean your typical "move the stick and press the button" type of machines. There is so much more from IC-card based football/soccer simulations to touchscreen offerings letting you pinpoint where to make your next "strike". I will try to write about different arcade machines I see (though keep in mind most of -extra cool- ones have a "No Photos" sign on them...).

Game: Half Life 2
Type: First Person Shooter
Location: Taito Building, Arcades Floor, Akihabara
Today I saw a few cool arcade machines in Akihabara which of course is the capital of this sort of thing and one of them was extremely... interesting. Half Life 1 was one of my favorite games on the PC when it came out a while back. I played Half Life 2 on PC and the consoles but never saw an arcade machine of the game before. Come to think of it I don't think I have ever seen a first person shooter as an arcade machine but here they were in Akiba, four of them linked together for deathmatches. There are basically two controllers and two pedals - left controller allows for moving in a given direction and turning while the right controller, which is a joystick allows changing weapons, aiming, and shooting with both primary and secondary modes. Pressing the left pedal lets the player crouch while pressing the right is for jumping. I know it sounds complicated but after the first few minutes it does not feel as awkward or difficult as it might initially seem. There is the option of using an arcade card (like I mentioned before) in this game which lets users record their stats and any special weapons they may have gained. The game allows choosing a player class (soldier, ranger, scout, sniper, etc...) and gender for your character. The class determines your attributes such as the types of weapons you start out with and your speed.

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