It barely feels like five minutes since we were last talking about a new location test game here on Arcade Heroes. But today, we have yet another to exclusively reveal. Not that this is a bad thing – it’s always great to get a glimpse at arcade games that are still in the works for the near-future. This time around, the test has been taking place on the other side of the world in Japan – and as has been frequent there of late, comes courtesy once again of Bandai Namco Amusement.

I’d say it is a little surprising to see another new game out there from Bamco already. We were reporting on the tests for GoldStorm Pirates and Bike Dash Delivery not that long ago too, and those still haven’t even been released yet! But we were told back at IAAPA they had more in store than just those, and this would appear to be part of that. Like the other two new BNA games, it’s a revisit of a familiar style and concept from their past. Read on to find out more about Jump Racer.

Note that the following shows a game on location test. This game could change significantly from what you see here to final production. It may not even be released at all; it may only be released in Japan. Thanks to post contributor Ted here at AH for the find, and someone at BNA themselves for the photos.

Jump Racer

So what is Jump Racer? We don’t have much to go off of at the moment, but from this immediate first impression, it appears to be a return to the old top-down racer genre. Those on top of their Namco history will think of certain classics there, such as Rally-X. It’s often among the first to crop up in discussions of these topics, especially in terms of Namco’s early 80s ‘golden age’. Developed in response to Head-On, and following in the footsteps of Gran Trak 10, its maze-drive gameplay and very early use of video game background music made it an instant success in 1980. Since then, top-down racers have gone up and down in popularity. Yet as proof of their endurance, Bandai Namco are going back to them here:Jump Racer, recently on test in Japan by Bandai Namco.

The game was placed on test at a Namco location in Yokohama at the end of March. This single photo of its cabinet we have here is from one of BNA’s own development managers. They made a public Facebook post announcing it, though as this came from their personal account we have elected not to make a link.

The cabinet and game still look like a basic prototype; Bandai Namco logos are not even visible, but it is almost certainly by them. Otherwise, scant details are again only available here. From what one can see of the above and below screen closeup, however, it is a simple 2D four player F1 racer. The game HUD suggests it takes place in a straight line, though this may just be one track. To judge the title, cars may be able to “jump” as well? If so, then perhaps it’s a little Pole Position meets Bump ‘N Jump.

Thoughts

Thinking about this particular concept and the wider scheme of things in arcades, it’s interesting that Bandai Namco would go for it right now. Though the Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune series continues, Bamco’s arcade creations haven’t been exactly “immersive experience”-heavy of late. As mentioned in a recent Newsbytes, support for the Gundam Pods have ended, and that VR Zone concept is long gone. Their last advanced entry in the Ridge Racer lineage – Real Drive – quietly disappeared. With more things like this, it again seems like they’re going back to simplicity.

Having said that, if any developer still standing today has the right to return to top-down racers, it’s BNA. Plus, multiplayer racing cabinets in this style have been trending upward in popularity of late. After Adrenaline Amusements released Hot Wheels, tons of similar pieces came out of China, e.g. Nitro Speed, Bump N Smash. This is a more traditional and basic approach to the style than even those, which have generally used 3D graphics. But it could do decently out West as a lower cost option. It’d especially go down well if they offer a videmption mode here too…

What do you think of Jump Racer? Does this new Bandai Namco game interest you?

About the author: arcadehero View all posts by

I’m a lifelong fan of video games and I have been operating my own arcade, Arcade Galactic in West Valley City, Utah since 2008. Soft spots in my heart for Atari, Sega, and Nintendo.




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