AR­CADE WATCH

Keep­ing an eye on the coin-op gam­ing scene

EDGE - - KNOWLEDGE TALK/ARCADE -

While ac­cepted wis­dom might have it that the western ar­cade scene is as good as dead, new lo­ca­tions are pop­ping up sur­pris­ingly of­ten in the US – and some a lit­tle closer to Edge’s home. Tamba Ar­cade re­cently opened its doors in Jer­sey; Ver­tigo did like­wise in London’s Whitechapel.

Things are on the up, if only a lit­tle – which per­haps ex­plains why Bandai Namco’s re­cent re­turn to the western ar­cade scene is a cau­tious one. Max­i­mum Tune 5, which is now avail­able in the US and Canada, de­buted in Ja­panese ar­cades more than two years ago. And it’s been pared back some­what for its western re­lease, shorn of half its name, locked – at least at launch – to an older ver­sion of a game that has al­ready been up­dated in its home na­tion, and run­ning in a mod­i­fied ver­sion of the Mario Kart GP DX cab­i­net, in­stead of a be­spoke hous­ing.

Still, it comes with sup­port for net­work cards, dis­pensed on your first play and sav­ing your progress and set­tings through Bandai Namco’s Bana­pass­port sys­tem. That’s an es­sen­tial fea­ture for a game with a vast col­lec­tion of cars (in­clud­ing Audis, BMWs, and Chevro­lets) with ro­bust tun­ing op­tions, and a host of tracks and game modes. On­line sup­port, mean­while, en­ables you to race against ghost cars from all over the world – in­clud­ing spe­cific play­ers. Deep and packed with things to do, it’s just the sort of shot in the arm the western scene needs.

Game Max­i­mumTune5 Man­u­fac­turer Bandai Namco

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