Keeping an eye on the coin-op gaming scene
It’s been a quiet few years in the arcade scene for Taito. Acquired by Square Enix in 2005, it has spent recent times working more on smartphones than coin-ops. Three years on from its previous arcade outing, Left 4 Dead: Survivors, Taito is at last making its return to the scene. And, inevitably, it involves virtual reality.
And as is rapidly becoming the fashion, it’s a platform, rather than a single game, which Taito is focusing on. VR Game Stage is a cluster of four enclosed spaces, each with a single raised display, in which players can choose from a selection of preinstalled games. The obvious highlight is Oneman Vurger: also available on GearVR, it tells of a man, George, who loves hamburgers so much he opens his own restaurant. No one wants to work with him, however, so he must cook and serve burgers to order by himself.
Seven other games have been confirmed, ranging from the predictable (swordfighting, archery) to the gently intriguing (a music game called Electric Knight: Cyber Club VR). And, of course, to the creepily Japanese: one game has you play basketball while girls in skimpy outfits try to block your shots. It is called, inevitably, Basketball Babe. It’s disappointing that Taito hasn’t elected to put some of its own weight behind the platform’s software offering: all the games so far are made by thirdparties. We have no idea how Bubble Bobble would work in VR but we hope someone, somewhere, is trying to figure it out.
Game VR Game Stage Manufacturer Taito