Rhythgaming in 3D, Chunithm
There are lots of different types of games. Even in the arcade centers of Japan, there aren’t only fighting games. In recent years, rhythm games have taken over whole floors in them. Every now and then, a completely new game comes out or an older one gets an update. One of the new games that came out in 2015 is Chunithm, a game with real 3-dimensional gaming.
The concept of Chunithm is simple, the technology is a little bit more complicated. Instead of a touch screen like certain other games, you have a slider in front of you, with the playing screen being just as wide as the slider. On the screen, bars come towards the lower edge and a line near you tells you, when to hit the slider where. So far, so simple. What’s more is, that it’s not just simple hitting the slider. There are holds, where you holds the area down. And a little bit more demanding, holds, where you have to move your fingers on the slider. Since it’s not an array of buttons but really one big touch panel, you can touch any area without breaking the contact. Now for the little bit more complex part. Together with the slider in front of you, both left and right next to you, there is an array of sensors to register the high of your hand above the slider. This is used for moves called Air, where you simple lift your hand to get points and also holding it in the right high to get points. Sometimes pushing down again, as if you were hitting a button.
The last move, that you need is the Flick, instead of just pressing down on the slider, you flick over it, as if to swipe away dust. But this only comes in when you play Master level or higher. Of course, the harder the song, the more you encounter two or more of those moves at the same time. You need both hands to play. And it helps, if you can control your fingers perfectly, to hit various places of the slider with one hand.
But let’s start in the beginning. First, to enjoy playing the game and saving your progress, you need an Aime card. This is the card that you need for most rhythm games in Japanese arcade centers. There are some exceptions. Once you did that, you enter your name and get the first character for your play, the mascot, a little penguin. As you play, you gain points for your accuracy. This points fill up a bar and for every time you fill it up, you get one point. The harder the song, the more of those points you can get, if you fill up enough bars. Those points then let you walk, much like rolling a dice and moving your figure on a board of Monopoly or a different board game.
As your character goes along, you encounter events that give you money or encounters with other characters. To get them, you have to beat their level. Then, you can play as them with their special ability. Or you can choose an ability of a different character that you encountered.
The abilities vary from character to character and can either help you gain points for certain moves, for accuracy or even let you clear the song unless you don’t hit enough times. There are also skills that make the game even harder by letting you fail, if you miss too many hits.
There are certain events, that you can play to get certain characters. For example, a Touhou Project event, where you can get those characters of Bakemonogatari and Madoka Magika. Each character has an individual skill, though interchangeable. But the unique ability only stays with that one character. Even after the event is over, you can keep the characters you unlocked.
The more you play with those characters, the higher their level gets, their skills become better and more effective and you as a player level up as well. To help you with leveling up either you character, yourself or play songs on higher difficulties, you can buy tickets with the money you earn from playing and encountering an event. Or you can play together with up to 3 friends and gain additional experience points for yourself by playing as synchronized as possible.
You gain 1000 EXP per times you play. Additional points for clearing with Rank S of higher, getting a Full Combo or better and achievements for playing together with your friends. Each time you level up yourself, you get a ticket for one extra song. You can choose, when to use which ticket, so no need to rush.
Let’s play Chunithm together. It’s only 100Yen for one round of 3 songs and a lot of fun. But it’s very technical, in more than one sense.