Keep­ing an eye on the coin-op gam­ing scene


The ar­cade scene’s bid to stay rel­e­vant in the modern era means, in the main, ever-more lu­di­crous cabi­net de­signs and a re­newed fo­cus on large-scale VR. In that con­text, Ma­gi­cian’s Dead, from Ja­panese de­vel­oper Byk­ing, seems rather quaint. For starters, it’s played on a Viewlix cabi­net, which was in­tro­duced way back in 2007. The cab’s been heav­ily cus­tomised, how­ever: there’s no joy­stick, and just one but­ton. Your pri­mary in­put de­vice? A thor­oughly new-fan­gled wired Wii Nunchuk. The ana­logue stick moves your anime-hero char­ac­ter through a 3D world; one trig­ger makes them jump, the other locks on to en­e­mies. Mash that sin­gle attack but­ton and they’ll per­form a sim­ple melee combo. On first in­spec­tion, there’s lit­tle in­cen­tive to part with your ¥100 – un­til you see the 3D mo­tion sen­sor that’s em­bed­ded in the cabi­net, which is point­ing up­wards and turns hand ges­tures into mag­i­cal pow­ers. A down­wards wig­gle of the thumb fires sin­gle rounds; sweep­ing laser beams are doled out with swipes. Clench a fist and you can pick up scenery be­fore throw­ing it at a hap­less foe. The best of the lot is an airstrike, as you use both hands to line up the tar­get, then clench and shake both fists for the du­ra­tion n of the en­su­ing bom­bard­ment. It’s pure anime-power-fan­tasy an­tasy stuff, and as such ch un­likely to reach h western shores, but Ma­gi­cian’s Dead d at least shows you u don’t need a VR head­set to bring in­no­va­tion on to the ar­cade in n the year 2016, just a lit­tle cre­ativ­ity.

Game Ma­gi­cian’s Dead Man­u­fac­turer Byk­ing

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