Casual arcadegoers suck!

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Casual arcadegoers suck!

Postby yyr » Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:21 am

In preparation for Kings of the Coast 2, I just spent what probably amounted to 4 hours playing DJMAX Technika tonight at New Roc City, New Rochelle, NY.

New Roc City is a very large arcade, probably as big as many Dave & Buster's locations. They have a decent variety of games, although not as many as they had a couple of years ago, and the majority of them are old. The music genre is particularly well represented there...ITG2, two versions of DDR, two versions of Pump, an old Guitar Freaks machine, the new Guitar Hero Arcade, and of course... Technika.

The biggest problem with NRC is that they don't maintain their games very well. All of the 4-panel music games are in really, really bad condition, and nobody has done anything about it for years...literally, years. Only casuals will play those...everyone else knows better. Because it's actually in good shape--and is the newest--Pump It Up PRO seems to be the most popular step game there.

And yes, I mentioned that they got Guitar Hero Arcade. Guitar Hero Arcade is the biggest pile of crap I have ever seen in my life. Now I realize why Activision is putting out as many versions of Guitar Hero as they possibly can, because apparently they will all make money regardless of quality. Why, you may ask, is Guitar Hero Arcade crap? Here is a list of reasons:
1) It's Guitar Hero III, the best-selling version ever, and you probably have it in your house, but here you have to pay per game for it
2) ONE SONG PER GAME (this cannot be changed by the operator)
3) Any songs longer than a few minutes cost DOUBLE (this is operator-selectable, and can be turned off). In most places, this game costs $1 per credit. So that's two bucks for one song!
4) ONE SONG PER GAME
5) In an understandable move, the whammy bar is not part of the arcade guitar...this can't be helped because it would have been abused and broken by all of the public abuse, but still, it simplifies the gameplay (the whammy is done for you on hold notes).
6) ONE SONG PER GAME
7) IT'S GUITAR HERO III. YOU PLAYED THIS GAME ALREADY. YOU HAVE IT AT HOME. DURRRRRRRRRRRR

New Roc City charges $2.50 for Guitar Hero Arcade. That's not a typo. But here's the kicker... the machine is just a few feet away from Technika, and every time I looked in its direction there was someone on it. People were paying $2.50 per song to play Guitar Hero III.

On the other hand: DJMAX Technika is more original by a mile than anything released in North American arcades so far this year. It's a music game played with a touchscreen. Think Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents, but instead of tapping where circles appear, you're tapping notes as a timeline crosses them, to the beat of the music (the timeline operates much like in the puzzle game Lumines). You can look lots of videos up on YouTube if you'd like to see. The machine is gorgeous, and will let you plug in up to two pairs of headphones for even more immersion. It's a blast to play and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys music games.

New Roc City charges $1 for Technika. The game lasts 3 songs unless you fail out sooner, and there's a very lenient beginner mode to get you up to speed. There's a good 40-50 songs in it, you can buy a card that will save your scores for you, and there will be an online service ("Platinum Crew") launched soon that will add even more to the game (if the arcade connects it to Internet). And guess what? Besides me, only two people played it all night.

Having my headphones on, I didn't hear their "we're shutting the games off in 5 minutes" message, and my IC card was still in the machine when they shut the games off. Whoops. I didn't want to pull it out so I waited for a tech to assist (he wound up just pulling it out anyway). I got to speak to the manager, brought up the Platinum Crew service and asked if they were going to participate. He said something to the effect of, "Internet? In a month this game may not even be here. Nobody really plays it. Guitar Hero makes four times as much money." He encouraged me to plug the fact that the machine was there, but of course that was where the conversation ended.

At first I was surprised, but then I thought about it. Most of the people there are not hardcore gamers; hardcore gamers know better, and don't go there because of the machines' condition, the out-of-the-way location, the generally high prices or any number of other reasons. Yes, they have Tekken6...no, they don't have Tekken6 Bloodline Rebellion, and their customer base probably doesn't know any better. (It doesn't help that Namco is releasing the home versions without the subtitle.) And apparently casuals just go with names that they know. Guitar Hero. DDR. The Fast and the Furious (what an awful game...why the hell does it make so much money?!). House of the Dead...if you don't have the established name nobody seems to pay attention.

This is why the hardcore gamers complain about six Guitar Hero releases a year but they continue to happen. Folks, if you don't want this to happen, reach out to a fellow casual, smack them with a wet fish and remind them that originality can be good. And for crying out loud, go to New Roc and play Technika, DAMN IT!!! The game is too good to be ignored.

::sigh:: I'll end my rant here. I need to get some sleep.

EDIT: a couple of months later, New Roc City removed DJMAX Technika from their location. Now, there is no reason to go there at all...
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Re: Casual arcadegoers suck!

Postby The Real Buddy » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:09 pm

I do have to state that the developers of Guitar Hero (Except for the first 2) is in fact neversoft, the same company that hasn't created a decent game since THPS3 (Maybe I'll let them slide on THUG) where as the highly overlooked (And incredible) DJ Hero was made by a different Developer, Sadly because neversoft had so thoroughly destroyed the "Hero" Franchise, DJ Hero, an amazing rhythm game, Got shafted by their own company mates.

Now on the topic of Arcades, A lot of it depends on the laws, for the City I live in, if you want to open an arcade, they charge you $100 Per machine every year, thus making it less likely to have a good sized arcade, with a variety of machines... also, if you are in an arcade, and see a game called "Ballistics" I highly recommend giving it a try.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistics_(video_game) (Wikipedia Reference Page)
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Re: Casual arcadegoers suck!

Postby yyr » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:07 pm

I believe that Raw Thrills took the Neversoft code and modified it for Guitar Hero Arcade, but I could be wrong.

I haven't seen Ballistics, but I'll definitely give it a try if I come across it.
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Re: Casual arcadegoers suck!

Postby Zotmeister » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:27 pm

The more I think about "the way arcades used to be", the more I find myself wondering if that was ever really the case. I'm pretty sure I've been extremely lucky as regards arcades that actually respect their business, much less their equipment - forget their customers. (I have no idea how it is that arcades that have nothing but step games and the latest shovelware from Raw Thrills occupying the 10% of the arcade floor that doesn't have redemption machines on it even manage to stay in business. I certainly don't see crowds at the redemption counters. But I digress.) I realize that not all arcades can - or should - be Funspot, and that every now and then machines break down (my Ataxx machine's monitor stopped working not long ago...) and technicians are few and far between nowadays, but you'd think at least SOME manner of quality control would have to go on at the store level - not buying crap games, making sure things run smoothly, not being utter donkeys to their clientele - for them to stay in business. Apparently not, and sadly, it's been that way since day one. Golden Age arcades were just as likely to be poorly run as the arcades of today (and arguably, Silver Age arcades even more so...). You have the cause nailed right on the head: the stores haven't changed because the customers haven't changed. There's an apparently endless supply of chumps out there, and for as long as they have money to throw away, there will be those willing to catch it. It's amazing anyone at all managed to realize there's an artform there inside those machines and actually permitted a culture to be born and nurtured.

Actually, the arcade that was physically closest to where I live - and one of the worst offenders in the aforementioned manners - finally closed up shop within the last year or so. They had actually been open since at least the early nineties, if not even earlier, so you'd think I'd have some remorse for the loss of such a long-standing video arcade. Nope! Good riddance. - ZM
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