There were a few new arcade games made playable at the Amusement Machine Show in Japan this weekend, but only one truly commanded our attention. No, we're not talking about Cho Chabudai Gaeshi, that crazy game where you hit a tea table. Instead, it was Elevator Action Death Parade that stole our hearts.
Now, you might be thinking: "Elevator Action Death Parade? I'm already sold on that name alone!" But trust us, this Taito-developed arcade cabinet truly delivers on its namesake: elevator action and death parades. While the game may look like your an ordinary light gun game from afar, Elevator Action makes use of a unique cabinet that features closing elevator doors, up and down floor buttons and yes, even awkward moments of silence as you wait for the elevator to reach its next destination. Awesome!
We really appreciated how Elevator Action Death Parade demonstrates the versatility of elevators as more than simple modes of transportation. You'll often find yourself using the elevator doors as shields, as you rush into an elevator and mash on the Close Door button as quickly as you can. These timed segments require you to mash the button as quickly as you can, whilst still firing away at enemies with your light gun. The multi-tasking required during these segments really ups the ante; expect to lose a lot of (Japanese) quarters if you fail to close the doors, or fend away any lunging genetically-engineered beasts that are on your trail.
Elevators may be great for defense, but did you know that they can be used as weapons, as well? The first level of the game has players being chased by a towering beast. Players are automatically routed to the next elevator, as they're being chased by a creature that rips cement blocks off the wall to throw at players. (Thankfully, you can simply shoot the debris away with your guns. We love light gun logic!) By the end of the battle, the creature will be trapped in the elevator. Players will then have to fire at the supporting cables to end the level.
While we'll admit that the only reason we played the game in the first place was because of its name, we were surprised to see how solid the action is, beyond its elevator "gimmick." The mix of human and beast enemies make for an engaging experience. While the humans can be easily taken out, the beasts are incredibly fast and require multiple headshots to kill. It becomes incredibly satisfying to mow down a row of enemies, hearing the announcer shout "Headshot" every time you successfully land a bullet between their eyes.
Unfortunately, we don't see a console release likely for Elevator Action Death Parade. It just doesn't seem like an elevator peripheral would do very well at all. Sure, the game could be released simply as Action Death Parade, but that doesn't have the same ring, does it?