My roamings at Round1

"Dumping my paychecks to play japanese rhythm games im not good at."

A Round1 arcade in my state finally opened up after being announced and promptly going AWOL for 4 years. If you don't know, Round1 is a chain of arcades originating in Japan and relatively recently expanding into the U.S and unlike other arcade chains here in the states they don't suck.

Notable (but not exclusive to Round1) are the imported Rhythm games, a myriad of music and weird controllers not released statewide are found here and are typically the only way people can play them here barring smaller, local arcades that want to import them. I'll mainly be talking about these games and a few other ones in this page.

Note that I'm viewing these games as someone who would like to improve at the rhythm game genre.

Rhythm Games

games i didnt try

other stuff

Sound Voltex Exceed Gear

The game was created by Konamis Rhythm Game branch, BEMANI, and presumably took rhythm gamers by storm. At my Round1 location and every other time I see this game I feel it's the most constantly played machine that isn't a step type game so I imagine it doing something right. Atleast in my mind, it's classified as one of the "hardcore" games in its genre.

The machine is cool and very flashy, and the machine, atleast when selecting options and selecting songs is ear shrillingly loud, that and the navigators you get to choose being cutesy, scantily clad, and with the magic of Live2D, can move and more notably have jiggle physics that make you insecure about playing the game.

Making fun of anime girls aside, games quite fun, It's a 6 key game (4 square keys and 2 rectangular "FX" keys below them) and uniquely uses 2 dials on the left and right side for gameplay aswell.

controller visual aid from reddit user cellowest

The Knobs give the game a unique freshness to it, while it can feel a bit unnatural for me personally to take my hands off the key are and twist a knob I do still think its fun, and makes charts feel more engaging.

Given that it's BEMANI, the songlist is expansive, though also a given since I'm just getting into the game, the songlist is a bit too expansive for someone like me. (This will likely be a trend for the rest of these games.)

I'm familiar with some of the songs by camellia due to middle school squabbles with osu, and theres like a bunch of undertale tracks (that seemed to attract alot of people to the machine on its own) but I'm not familiar with most of the other artists, I'm sure I'll enjoy whats there once I'm more intimate with playing the game and/or just taking a listen to the OST whenever.

Oh yeah, another "gameplay" thing is the Navigators on screen you can select, as far as I'm aware, they serve no actual gameplay purpose. I think their... interesting to say the least, I do like the idea of a character greeting you or cheering you on as you play, but I just don't dig alot of the designs in this game. Alongside that are the characters move via Live2D, these gals got alot of jiggle physics and you certainly won't stop noticing it, these just ain't it for me.

Aside from thaat though, the game is visually a treat to my eyes, it runs at an incredibly smooth 120fps and the flashyness of the menus and games really does it for me.

Should also mention that this is one of the more accessible rhythm games in the states, this machine allegedly is at like every Round1, and this is one of the few rhythm games that also has a PC release (albeit via subscription.)

Wacca Reverse

This game was created by Marvelous; the first rhythm game by them, and is one of the more recently made games in this list. Characterized by it's intriguing shape and pulsing colors on it's highly unorthodox circular controller, this game is probably the most eye grabbing of it's kind.

How the hell do you play this? You just touch, tap, hold, flick, and slide the respective notes on the gigantic circle controller. Very easy to get into actually, I was a little iffy on these kinds of "touch" type games but its very responsive which is good.

I enjoyed this very much, arguably would've been my favorite to play if it werent for one big thing regarding the game (which ill get into soon.)

It's just a very fun, smooth, and satisfying game to play, due to the controller being a full 360 degrees the games charts really get your upper body moving. I was really getting into the swing of things in this game. The game had a good aesthetic aswell, the controller pulsing colors as you touch is really cool.

I was genuinely happy with my results with this game so I even took photos of my scores.

So I sang my praises, so why did I mention earlier the reason why this game isnt my favorite?

Unfortunately, Wacca, Is a dead game, It was discountinued on August 31st 2022, nearly 3 years ago at this point, meaning no new versions, or new content for the game has been released since.

I'm a bit unsure on as to why specifically, but I've read that while the western community enjoyed it, It didn't gain much traction in Japan (alledgedly, it was too similiar to other rhythm games such as CHUNITHM and maimai and were much more popular), that and the fact that this came out in 2019 and then the pandemic the following year obviously didn't do much to help, mean't that the game was a little bit doomed. While I stil enjoy the game of course and will continue to play when I'm in the arcade it is a bit demotivating to play knowing this news.

A shame, cause this game apparently was doing very well overseas, but alas all the current machines were put into an offline mode. At the very least, theres some private networks you can hook a Wacca machine to for score saving and english translation. Sad to see that Marvelous' first foray into the rhythm genre had to end so soon.

Still, If you ever see this one around, I Implore you to play it.

Chunithm Paradise Lost

Don't mind the inaccurate machine image I used to the side, I surprisingly couldn't find a good render of the machine my arcade had.

This game was developed by SEGA, probably considered the other big name for arcade rhythm games with BEMANI.

Chunithm I also quite really liked, characterized by it's controller being both a touch/motion sensor, very simple to control game but also satisfying and rewarding to play.

It's another touch game though, so It's an easy schtick, notes fall down vertically, and you hit them via touch/tap/hold/slide/flick, notably though since the games controller also detects motion, theres the addition of AIR notes, which involve raising and/or lowering your hand to hit notes, a very nice twist to the game.

This is a very smooth and satisfying game to play, with the addition of the motion sensor as part the controller this games wants you to move your arms/hands very swiftly to play which is actually very fun and touching the sensor almost feels piano like somehow. The hitsounds are also very nice being like hitting a tambourine.

I quite liked the songlist in this game (although unfortunately my machine was in offline mode, meaning a more limited song list anyhow,) while I feel other rhythm games lean in on a more EDM type tracklist, Chunithm goes for a more Pop/Upbeat songlist, and more Licensed tracks from games and anime, more to my tastes I'd say. Still alot of variety though.

This game just like, feels exciting to play, not to say anything of the other rhythm games, But this game just makes me feel joyous, I'm not sure why but I ccould attribute it a bit to the motion sensors on the controller ,I think If my Round1 had the newest version (Paradise lost is from like, 2021) this very easily could be my favorite game there.

Oh yeah, this game also has a character system, and they actually do something. I believe they give you bonuses based on your result or can activate a skill that affects the game (ex: a skill that gives you a game over if you go below a certain note threshold.) I don't have a full understanding of these since my machine was offline and therefore couldn't select anything else but the defaults, I think they do other things aswell but again, limited understanding of that, apologies.

At the very least though, theres an official Page where you can see all the characters usable, I quite like most of them, alot more variety and moreso since different illustrators are on board aswell. These peeps get my approval.

Play this game.

Chrono Circle

This game was created by company Andamiro of Pump It Up fame, their second Rhythm game to be exact. Chrono Circle takes inspiration from SEGA's maimai games and being another one of "circle" rhythm games with the main kicker being the fact you can literally rotate the controller.

It has a touchscreen for part of the controller, touch the notes on screen to the timing of the judgement line, which takes form of a sort of clock hand unlike other games, the notes on the touch screen take the for of Pop, Hold, Knock, and Slash. The other part of the controller, the huge rotating wheel, can spin 360 degrees and also has silver buttons. The wheel has 5 notes to hit Tick, Tock, Drive, Spin, and Tack. It's kind of alot, wanna say the most kinds of notes in any rhythm games. (Apparently as of a recent update, Knock and Slash don't appear in lower difficulties, apparently to make them easier.) I Implore you to watch the How To Play Video to understand the game cause again, It's alot.

While i did find the game neat and had some fun with it, it didn't really leave a mark on me as a game I'd keep wanting to play, despite the controller is just, didn't really feel notable to me? I don't even remember what songs I played. It felt a bit jank is all I can relly say but then again I was only playing on the easy-ish charts so I probably aren't one to say.

At the same time maybe others shared the same sentiment, Unfortunately, this game is already in the motions to cease operation of it's servers ending in January 31st 2025, with the last content update being in Decenmber of 2023. Just wasn't very popular I guess.

Like with Wacca, It's a shame it's gonna go offline even If I didn't particularly like this one.

Tetote Connect

This game was made by Taito, I didn't like this one, just getting that out of the way now.

From my understanding, this seems to be one of the "next generation" type of rhythm games that involves a large screen and dancing, though if anything this game is like, big touchscreen osu.

Circle notes pop up on screen and you tap/hold/slide to the timing. It felt a bit hard even on the easiest difficulty setting though somehow, It was just a bit too fast and I couldn't keep up, skill issue maybe, but was a bit unfun.

The big notable thing about this game is the fact that you get to choose a character on a screen to "dance" with you, the problem is is that the character designs are, to be as kind as possible, weird.

I think this is something they really dropped the ball on, they look really uncanny, they look like something out of a persons first model out of Vroid studio with some extra budget slapped onto it, they even made the character who just a Gorilla dude look weird in my eyes, and I love Gorilla dudes.

The cast of this games selectable characters.

Yeah, I don't know, I didn't like this, If I kept writing It would just devolve into me riffing on the characters more, sorry.

The machine was ear piercingly loud, that was something.

Beatmania IIDX 31: EPOLIS

One of the forefathers of rhythm games, created by BEMANI, Beatmania was one of the the rhythm games I was excited to get my mitts on even If I was gonna perform badly on.

It's a 8 key game with 3 black keys on tip and 4 white keys on the bottom, with a turntable to the left side (right if player 2) where scartching it acts as the 8th key.

Given how old this game is and how diehard the community is, I was admittedly a bit intimidated by the prospect of playing this game, but surprisingly this was the least busiest of all the rhythm games I played, atleast on the days I went.

Upon burning through my first credit the first time I played I felt a bit confused, just because of how I was supposed to layout mmy hands to the controller, but once I figured out that the 1048 layout was the go to, I found myself playing alot of comfortably, even if It was still a bit finicky for a beginner.

I def wanna try to get better at this game, It was quite fun, It's also the first game I tried using my eamusement pass with which was neat.

I didn't have much to say about beatmania atm mainly cause I know I can get more intimate with it.

Gitadora Fuzz up (Drummania)

Created by BEMANI, unlike their other games the controllers for this game take the form of a guitar and a drum set.

This will probably strike something in your head as being very similiar to Guitar hero controllers but this came way earlier.

I played specifically drummania since I wasn't too interested in using a guitar controller in all honesty

It was pretty cool though, unlike a Guitar hero drum controller it felt alot more tactile, likely due to the much higher quality and lights flashing when you hit the drum/cymbal. A bit of challenge came when it came to the foot pedals though, Hand eye coordination is one thing, Hand/Eye/Foot coordination is another and It threw me off alot, though still fun. This is one of those games I can definitely see myself grinding in the future, though hopefully they replace the drumsticks; the first week and the tip of the right drumstick already chipped off.

The symbol for the respective part of the drum drops vertically and you just have to hit that part of the drum to hit the note, simple as.

Also, there was an awesome arrangement of Last Goodbye from Undertale I didn't know existed, really good.

mUSIC dIVER

Created by Taito and fully redeems themselves after playing Tetote Connect, Music Diver is a game in where the controller almost acts like a steel drum, with special drumsticks provided, this game is great.

Theres 2 parts to the controller, the inner screen, and the outer edge and they each have 4 edges to hit notes with. Pink notes are the inner screen and blue notes are the outer edge, notes come at you from the background.

This game I probably put the most credits into, theres an innate satisfaction into hitting the screen and edge and the difficulty I played at was just fast enough to where I kept going higher and saw genuine improvement in the times I played. It may draw an inherant similiarity to Taiko no Tatsujin, but I say this can very well stand on its own.

I felt a similiar feeling to when I was playing Chunithm where my movement felts swift, though I choked alot more in this game than Chunithm.

This games actually connected to the internet and still is getting support so I can actually look forward to playing this more and more in the future.

Play this game.





























Dance Around

BEMANI's newest game and also the only dancing game I played during my time. I felt a bit weird playing Dance Around but I didn't dislike it.

You stand within the pad and it tracks your movements, and you copy the movements pictured on screen to the timing. You can choose an avatar while 2 of the main character mascots of this game are like your backup dancers.

The technology used by this game is similiar to say using a Kinect if you remember those, except I believe this uses multiple cameras.

Naturally due to the gigantic screen, alot of people get enticed by this game, me included, but I also see alot drop out midway.

This is one of those games you gotta be confident with, you don't have to copy the movements exactly, but you kind look like a fool if your just trying to trigger the camera for your inputs. I've seen online people actually doing the dance and kicking ass in the game.

I feel for the average arcadegoer, this game will make you feel a bit awkward, I certainly did.

I have a bit of incentive to go back however due to the song unlock system being timed to burning calories (probably doesn't accurately track them) as indicated at the end of the song.

Cool game, maybe not the target audience, not sure who the target audience is, but I'll come back to it.

I didn't play the DDR type games yet sorry

Nothing against these games, but admittedly these games felt a bit more intimidating/daunting to play, also the dancerush stardom machine wasn't on for all the days i went for some reason.

I will try to play these next time I'm there though.

NesicaXLIVE2 Fighting Game Cabs

I shouldve taken a photo but yes, In a tiny little corner next to the bathrooms were 8 NesicaXLive2 Viewlix arcade cabs, 4 of them were Street Fighter 6 and the other 4 were Multi game cabs containing.

Blazblue Central Fiction

Blazblue Cross Tag Battle

King of Fighters 14

Samurai Shodown (2019)

SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy

If I were still super into fighters I'd probably be more excited to play these... But admittedly I just spent my time there basically spending credits to lab bbtag, alone.

For now, the machines taunt me, waiting until I play fighters again, saying.

Smash Stadium

I forgot that Konami was a money grubbing company, spent an embarrassing amount of credits on this machine, I thought coin pushers were boring, til I played this one. Evil.

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX

You can find this game at like any notable arcade in the states but I actually have a bit of a soft spot/appreciation for this game.

The arcade Mario Kart games are primarily made by Namco instead of Nintendo, and therefore take alot more creative liberty. Such as the myriad of unique items, karts, courses, and notably the inclusion of Namco characters like Pac-Man ( the gross modern version ) and Don-Chan from Taiko no Tatsujin.

I mostly enjoy the Namco fanservice in this game, side from the aforemention inclusion of the characters, theres courses for Taiko no Tatsujin/Pac-Man, and a bunch of items and some karts referencing other Namco games like Rally-X. The music created by Namco in this game is also underrated. I feel theres alot of potential for Mario Kart if development was outsourced to another company.









Closing

Arcade games be fun, play rhythm games, thank you for reading, If I get too into these I'll probably update or even make another page. Peace.