AR­CADE WATCH

Keep­ing an eye on the coin-op gam­ing scene

EDGE - - KNOWLEDGE TALK/ARCADE -

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

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