- When I was in Tokyo for TGS last year, one of the most notable things was the complexity of some of the arcade games - here's a blurry pic of one of them, which was a complex battle sim using CCG cards recognized by the arcade cabinet, far beyond beetle or horseracing sims in complexity.

So, the Arcade Heroes blog has pointed out Namco Bandai's New Space Order, another one of those complex Japan-only arcade titles, and they note: "This game was briefly mentioned in reports that came out of AOU 2007 and it raised a few eyebrows by featuring a sit-down arcade cabinet that included a keyboard and mouse, much like CounterStrike NEO."

They continue: "Well Namco Bandai has an official site dedicated to the game, replete with screenshots, videos and even linkage to a subsite that features a series of Flash anime videos that tell an interactive story about the game."

Interestingly, a Highway Games-hosted report about AOU, actually sourced from The Stinger Report, notes: "The game was displayed as a networked Satellite Terminal (ST) space combat MMOG game - using the same cabinet layout as the Counter Strike NEO game with ten connected terminals and a central display and card dispenser, the product able to update LEDZONE facilities with a new game package. The success of the LEDZONE franchise recently reflected in NBG financials."

Hm, I couldn't find info on Ledzone's success in NBG's numbers - can anyone point to them? - but interested parties should check out the Gamasutra report on 'The Localization of Counter-Strike in Japan' which deals with the setup of the awesome-looking custom Ledzone net cafes to host Counter-Strike Neo. This was genuinely innovative work on Namco's part, I think.

[UPDATE - Ah, and I see YouTube has the New Space Order intro movie, which can only be described as 'attractively apocalyptic', as well as a shaky-cam filmed AOU trailer, which shows a bit of the gameplay near the end.]