Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival is Legit

I miss the arcade scene. When I was a kid, you could find cabinets in all sorts of places, not limited to the arcades themselves — restaurants, bowling alleys, airports, even gas stations. Now a ton of arcades are gone and withered, crusty buildings are in their place.

Luckily, places like Dave and Buster’s revitalized the scene a bit, although they did so in expensive fashion. In Denver, Round 1 recently opened, featuring hundreds of machines, a bowling alley, a karaoke room and other diversions. Inside, they had the arcade version of Theatrhythm, and I had the chance to try it out while I was in town.

The game plays pretty similarly to the two DS versions, with a twist: two joystick-like apparatuses that function as the directional swipes. It’s all in Japanese, which makes it a little tough to discover some of the other modes and menus, but choosing which songs you want to play is as simple as listening to the preview. I managed to take a video of some intermediate tracks, and posted one to our YouTube channel (see below); playing with one hand isn’t too bad except for the couple times you need to hit boy joysticks…even my giant hands can’t pull that off.

All-Star Carnival was a lot of fun…I spent about $10 on it and got nearly an hour of playtime out of the experience. Round 1 as a whole was also solid, especially with the benefit of being relatively new. That meant the machines were in good condition, with very few noticeably worn controllers. There were a ton of interesting games that you don’t get many chances to see in the States, like that weird but hilarious table flipping game and the Gunslinger Stratos shooter that looked like a ton of fun. I’m definitely going back the next time I’m in town.

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