The Japan Amusement Expo (JAEPO) is approaching fast, and in the run-up to that, we’re getting more announcements and arcade game releases for the Land of the Rising Sun.
First let’s start with games that are arriving this week to Japanese arcades:
Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 6R (Bandai Namco Amusements)
For the sixth installment of Namco’s star racing title these days, it now operational in Japan. This adds a National Highway Challenge, changes to how VS races are balanced; new vehicles and more. Unfortunately for those of us in the States hoping for something – anything – on an update to Maximum Tune 5, there is zero indication that Namco is doing anything with that. :/ It would be nice to be surprised though…

Poker Stadium (Bandai Namco Amusements)
Revealed last year, this interesting game resurrects non-gambling card playing, something that we haven’t really seen in a long time. It can link up to four units, and features a number of different characters to play as. While I really doubt that this will show up in the States, it would be cool if Namco at least tested it here to see how it would do. Granted, the issue here is that even as an Amusement-only game, many operators and/or customers would assume that it’s a gambling device. This will launch on January 22nd.

WACCA S (Marvelous)
It’s standard practice in Japan for major updates to rhythm games to be treated as their own new thing, and that’s the case with this and the next game we’ll mention. WACCA is a pretty neat take on the arcade rhythm game, offering an interface that, while derivative of Sega’s MaiMai, it’s different enough to stand out. The base game WACCA is available in the US through Round1USA locations (I am not aware of any US distributor that carries the game),