Keeping an eye on the coin-op gaming scene
Game Museca Manufacturer Konami
Konami’s latest cabinet, Museca, is currently on test in Japan, but its apparent similarity to Neon FM is proving controversial. Like Unit-e’s machine, Museca is an upright rhythm-action game which sports five big buttons below a portraitratio screen. The formation of those buttons is reversed, but the similarities are undeniable. It’s a bold move from a company that previously filed suits against Harmonix, MTV, Viacom and Pentavision over patent violations, even once a closer inspection reveals some key differences.
For a start, those buttons are actually ‘spinners’, which can be rotated as well as mashed, and the game’s characters all wield unique perks called “gifts” – such as the ability to recover HP – which can be activated during play using the cabinet’s foot pedal. Or lost if you can’t quite channel your inner Gloria Estefan.
From an aesthetic point of view, the cabinet is also considerably prettier, sporting a striking angular black-and-white design with red backlighting. Those sleek visuals appear in-game, as well, with gold and blue diamonds making their way down red pathways.
These differences haven’t stayed Twitter users’ wrath, but Unit-e doesn’t seem to mind, saying it’s flattered by Konami’s apparent homage. To be fair to Konami, Neon FM takes plenty of inspiration from its own Pop’n Music series, which debuted in 1998.
Museca doesn’t have a firm release date yet, but expect it to reach Japanese arcades this year.