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video arcades

Jubeat – the arcade game we love

Jubeat is my favourite game

Jubeat is my favourite Japanese arcade game of them all. I first found Jubeat on our first ever trip to Tokyo. What I had read everywhere was that you must visit the video game arcades in Japan. They’re something that you will never have seen before . Floor after floor of ultra modern looking video arcade games to play and prices to be won. Before I had ever played Jubeat, the only real music based arcade game I had played was Dance Dance Revlation, which lets say I was not great at. I think I was born with two left feet.

How to play

jubeat whysojapanJubeat is a game where you use your hands to push on the alighted squares that are set out in front of you on 16 buttons in a 4×4 grid. Jubeat is developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and object of the game is that the squares light up to a song as you play and its important to hit the squares to the time of the beat before the light goes out to gain any points. You can also get more points if you hit it on the exact second before the square fades away from the beat. Sometimes you only need to hit one square at the time, sometimes you have to hit more than one. This depends of the difficulty of the level you have set the game to. There are a lot of songs you can choose from to play and each song normally has a different choice of difficulty to play it at. You can also choose between fast songs and slow ones.

Jubeat is also a network game, which means it will try and pair you up with somebody else in Japan that is about to play the same song as you. Sometimes it can be the person next to you, if you both have chosen to play the same song. Sometimes it can be someone on the other side of Japan.

The game regularly gets updates of songs and sometimes the the way the graphics looks get an update as well. Sometimes an update can be part of a name change, like the latest version which is called Jubeat Saucer.

One game costs 100yen and for that you get to play 2-3 songs. There are a lot to choose from. Most of the songs are Japanese but there are a lot of different genres to choose from like rock, pop, hip-hop, classical and more. There are also coptetitions in playing Jubeat that are very big with a great following, mostly played in Japan.

Jubeat has also been on trail both in the UK and the US, but as far as I know it has not yet been made widely available to the market as of yet.

Save your game scores with E-Amusement cards

To play a game you pay with coins, but Jubeat also uses the e-Amusement card that costs 500yen and are normally available to buy from a small vending machine in the arcade hall. you can pay for your games using this card, after you have set it up via the game and also online. Keeping this card allows you to save your scores and save points towards unlocking new songs. On our second trip to Tokyo we both got our own cards and after using Google Translate we got the cards set up online and on the machine at the video game arcade. So before you start a game you just place your E-Amusement card othe card reader and it will save your scores. The Jubeat game is partly in Japanese, but for a person with no Japanese language experience its not that big of a problem to start a game. Also after some trial and error you can also figure out how to use the E-Amusement card too.

Jubeat on iPhone and iPad

Jubrat has been made in to a iOS game called Jubeat Plus and the international version of the game is called Jukebeat. Both versions of the game are free to download and you get some free songs with them. The main difference being if you download the Jubeat Plus ,which is only available in the Japanese iTunes store, you get Japanese songs, and if you download Jukebeat from the other stores you get English songs. Both version have in-app song purchase, so you can download more songs. I find that the game is more suited to play on the iPad being a bigger screen. There will be a review post of the iPad version of the game coming up soon.

I started off by playing most of the easiest levels. I think we ended up going to the arcade almost every night to play Jubeat. I can say I’m definitely hooked on this game to say the least.

Official site for jubeat http://www.konami.jp/bemani/jubeat/saucer/index.html

So whats your favorite music game?





Posted on by Paul in Gaming 2 Comments

Video game arcades in Japan

arcade why so japan

The Japanese love their gaming

Video game arcades are hard to miss while in Japan and especially Tokyo since theyre everywhere. In the UK and Sweden there are some video arcade centres, but nothing that compares to the size of centre, the amount of games and that most of the machines are very new and up to date games.

In Japan gaming is different in general. Its big business. The Japanese love to play games. If theres not a video game arcade they will be playing some sort of hand held device, like PSP or 3DS.

So the need for the video game arcade is big. Its quite common that you will find a video game arcade that is a multi storied complex. I think the ones that I played in, a lot where at least five floors of games.

Smoking and gaming

arcade 2 why so japanEach floor was dedicated (some time even two floors) to a certain sort of game genre. For example, on one of the floors you would find the cabinet games, where there were a lot of fighting games. What was normally different with this floor was that you are allowed to smoke while playing, which is something we did not notice on the other floors of the video game arcades that we visited. If you was to go to an arcade in the day time around lunch time, you would find this floor normally filled up with Japanese men playing a game and having smoke while sitting there in a suit and tie. I guess this might help to relieve some of the stress before going back to work.

Music games

arcade 3 why so japanThe next floor would be dedicated to music games. Some games were very popular to play and sometimes we had to wait our turn. The sort of games you could find would be games like Jubeat, an up beat game where you have to push buttons in time to music. A very addictive game! We will do a full review of this game in a later post. Another game called Taiko no Tatsujin where you either play against someone, or your own. The aim of the game is to hit the big drums in time to the music. We will also do a post about that game later on. You could also find games like DJ Hero, where you use the DJ decks to control the game. And of course there would be some sort of dancing game. This floor was the floor we could easily stay there for hours and probably did some days.

Loyalty cards for dedicated gamersarcade 3 why so japan

For dedicated gamers there are club cards that can be purchased. Depending on what company that game is made by you have to choose the right card for it. We played Jubeat a lot so we had the card from Konami, who are the makers of the game and their card would work on all of their games that have the card reader function on it. Each time before you start to play you could register your card so you can save over your points and earn extra stuff, like new songs. You can also register the card on the game site which would allow you to log in and see how good you are playing in ranks and stuff, which is another way to get people back into the arcade to play again.

Purikura photo bootsarcade 4 why so japan

There would always also be a floor for the photo booths “purikura” photo club. Those floors are always busy with loads of girls running around deciding which machine to use to take the photos. This is  another reason game arcades are still big in Japan. The photo machines are very Japanese, something thats not seen in many other countries on this scale and its also bringing in girls to the video game arcades, which sometimes feels like a very man dominated place. I’m sure Vega will have a more in depth review about the photo booths in a later post.

Gambling for money

Some arcades also have a floor for the gambeling machines, but since its illegal to gamble for money in Japan you end up playing for prizes. When you win you can choose a prize at the arcade, or you can choose for that prize to be a money token that shows how much you have won. You bring your money token to a little store somewhere outside of the arcade to change it for cash. The most common gambling game is called Pachinko where you shot metal ball bearings around inside a machine to win points. This game is very popular. Ssome places only have this sort of game there, normally called Pachinko Parlors and can found a lot in Tokyo.

UFO catchers

arcade 5 why so japanThe other floors, normally the first floor, would have the UFO catchers, claw machines. In the machines you could find a plush toy of your favourite character, candy, anime figure or even electrical goods like MP3 players. The claw machines are a bit more advanced in Japan compared to what Ive seen elsewhere. Normally you just have a normal 3 fingered claw, but in Japan it can be just one big scooper arm and the prizes might look easy to move but they have stacked the prizes in a way thats hard, so theyre hard to move but not impossible, and the good thing is whenever you win a prize the staff will give you a bag to carry it away in so you don’t have to walk down the street with a big cuddly toy under your arm unless you wanted too.

Play early to avoid the crowds

The video game arcades in Tokyo are open till late, at least till 24:00 or so, most of them later than so. One of the arcades that we played at a lot was Tatio Game Station, which has a lot of arcades and not just in Tokyo. They can also be found in other cities in Japan. Another one that we played at was in Akihabara. Its a video arcade run by Sega where a lot of the prizes in the UFO catchers are be different Sega character, like Sonic.arcade 6 why so japan

We found it easier to go to the video arcades early in the day time, rather than late at night. There were a lot less people earlier in the day, which means you don’t have to queue to play some of the more popular machines and you also don’t feel like a fool when you are trying to understand the Japanese part of the game which most of the time we ended up guessing.

If you like video arcades I really do recommend you to visit one while in Japan. You will be blow away by the choices of games to play.

Have you been to an arcade in Japan? What was your favourite game?

arcade 7 why so japan arcade 8 why so japan arcade 9 why so japan arcade 10 why so japan arcade 11 why so japan arcade 12 why so japan arcade 13 why so japan

 

 





Posted on by Paul in Gaming, Visiting 3 Comments