The 6th Japan Amusement Expo (JAEPO) took place Feb. 9-11, and RePlay contributor Kevin Williams told us that a smaller attendance still revealed interest in new games, with Sega, Bandai Namco, Square ENIX, Konami and more releasing new titles.
Sega hyped the crowd with its latest: House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn. The game will be an arcade exclusive at first, with some talk to port it to home video consoles underway. It began location testing in Japan at the start of the year (check the video below to see some gameplay.)
Bandai Namco revealed a new racer, Midnight Maximum Tune 6, as well as relived some nostalgia with a reboot of its target shooting game Shoot Away Pro. The game got a lot of play in Japan in the ’80s and ’90s, but didn’t see much action stateside. According to the JAEPO website, this version will be released worldwide.
Square Enix (a studio focusing on the home market) showed off a motion-based mech shooter called Starwing Paradox that had the crowd buzzing. The game puts players in a mechanized suit and lets them battle it out using unique controls and a moving seat that can’t be replicated outside the arcade. Konami Amusement celebrated the BEMANIA anniversary with an eye-catching Dance Rush Stardom, which reinterprets the dancing stage music game concept. Finally, Taito spent some time celebrating the 40th anniversary of Space Invaders, a game that kicked off the video boom itself.
Williams said the show also saw a major exposure of VR-based amusement products as the Japanese factories continue to jump on the latest bandwagon (the VR turnout was lower than previous years, according to a Forbes article). New Tower-Tag “VR-eSports” was represented by Sega, while Taito VR Soccer offered a chance to score virtual goal kicks. A full report of the show, and implications it may have on Western amusement business, is coming soon.