Keeping an eye on the coin-op gaming scene
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