Friday, October 25, 2013

It's really too bad Namco never released a console port of Tenkomori Shooting

Earlier this year, when my husband I visited one of Seattle's best hang-outs, Full Tilt Ice Cream--which not only serves up some wonderful ice cream (I'm looking at you, salted caramel) but also offers patrons a slew of pinball and arcade machines--I encountered a game I'd never seen or even heard of before.

That game: Tenkomori Shooting, a curious, Namco-made coin-op that first appeared on the scene (in an extremely limited number of North American locations, I'm sure) in 1998.

I didn't sit down and play this shmup-centric mini-game collection on that occasion, but I vowed to do so the next time we visited.

Apparently it wasn't meant to be, as I quickly discovered during our next ice-cream outing that the powers that be at Full Tilt had replaced Tenkomori Shooting's PCB with that of some other, far less interesting game.

That fact didn't depress me as much as you might think, as I was pretty sure the title must have been released for the PlayStation (in Japan, at least) at some point--meaning I could just go home, head to eBay, and order a copy for my collection. Heck, it even looks like it might have been made using Namco's System 11 arcade board, which was based on the Sony's hardware.

So, imagine my surprise when I found out it wasn't released for Sony's first console--or any other console, for that matter.

Thankfully, MAME's always an option, so if I get desperate for some Tenkomori Shooting action, I can go that route.

And I may just do that sooner rather than later given some of the curious-looking mini-games that are included in this arcade release--like the amorous one shown at the 3:00 mark in the video above, or the sushi-focused one at 3:34, or the Dig Dug-inspired one at 4:17.

Have any of you spent time with Tenkomori Shooting--either in an arcade setting or in your own homes (via MAME)? If so, what did you think of the experience?


michaelstearns said...

I haven't played this, but I have been by the Full Tilt in Ballard. We didn't actually go in (sad!) but I peered in the windows and was surprised and kind of happy to see (at least at that time!) that all the visible arcade cabs were Sega racing games. Nothin' but Blue Blue Skies! :D said...

Yep, the Ballard one is the one I'm talking about, Michael! And I do believe a Sega racing game is right up front at the moment--Out Run 2, I think? I'm actually kind of mad about that, to tell you the truth, as that giant cabinet replaced two NeoGeo cabinets :| Oh, well. I guess I should be happy they care enough to switch out their selection (as opposed to leaving the same games in place for months and months on end).

michaelstearns said...

Oh, bummer!

From my perspective (not knowing what they'd had before) I figured that most small arcades would be very usual to have anything other than racing and shooting games, so to have had ones I happen to like I felt at least showed that the owners had good taste. ;) But that we're even in that kind of state where I can look at an arcade and think "well it's all racing games, but at least they're good ones" is an indication of how sorry that state is in the first place. said...

It's OK, really. I'd much rather have an arcade where the games are "refreshed" fairly regularly than one where the games are allowed to stagnate--even if one of them is a game I like or I'm interested in.

Also, I have to note that Full Tilt has more than shooters and racers. There's a Bishi Bashi Champ cabinet, for instance, and a House of the Dead 2 or 3 as well. And then there are three generic cabinets that are switched out pretty frequently. One of those housed Tenkomori Shooting, for instance, while others house games like Street Fighter II (can't remember which one) and other titles.

michaelstearns said...

Yeah, that was just what I saw from the window--we didn't have time to stop in, unfortunately. The main thing: I liked what I saw. ;) said...

Well, you need to actually stop in next time. The ice cream is amazing, and the selection of pinball machines, especially, is great!