Sure, Museca isn’t quite original in terms of cabinet design and gameplay that it is one of the controversial music games Konami had made for the arcades but there’s an official news stating that it is going to be discontinued at the end of this month in favor of Bishi Bashi Channel which recently came out last week. I suppose that it’s a good move this time for some reasons.
- The controversy can be undone with the discontinuation of Museca although what cannot make the controversy undone is that there will be an offline version of the game. It’s a similar fate to Future TomTom and Dance Evolution Arcade getting offline kits and licenses. Well, without them, the game will be useless at the end of the support period. You can’t even start the game at all as it uses E-Amusement Participation service in which the game must be online and supported to start but the offline kits and licenses remove this requirement.
- This marks the return of Bishi Bashi series ever since the last game that started in the arcades in Japan and Asia 9 years ago. Bomberman already made a comeback with a few recent Bomberman games and it’s the same for Bishi Bashi series although Konami did the wrong thing with Metal Gear Survive which continues its franchise in a wrong way.
- From what I’ve seen, Konami has done the right thing this time with Bishi Bashi Channel. The Bishi Bashi has some disturbing parts like the use of Otomedius characters but that’s for the Japanese version. The Asian version uses Beatmania IIDX characters for that mini-game instead and even then, some mini-games like that are unspeakably stupid.
There might be English versions of the previous Bishi Bashi games in some Asian countries in the arcades as well as the European releases of the ones for consumer systems although the Asian arcade releases of some Bishi Bashi games are fully voiced when compared to English Playstation releases of Bishi Bashi Special series.
Those who have been playing Museca are likely to feel disappointed over its discontinuation but to cuss Konami over this without knowing that one other franchise is making a comeback is outright ignorant. Nostalgia for the arcades proved to be Keyboardmania’s return and spiritual successor like a manageable game so it’s another good move for me.
Some of the mini-games in Bishi Bashi Channel are direct references to various Bemani rhythm games and such appearances have been around ever since the previous Bishi Bashi games with DDR and Guitarfreaks mini-games. This has the mini-games based on Beatmania IIDX and Sound Voltex although the Sound Voltex one is more like something straight out of Sega’s Ongeki than Sound Voltex itself until the end part. One funny mini-game is the one that makes the Somebody Scream meme official where you stack up multiple ice-creams while the music still goes. Unfortunately, the Beatmania IIDX related mini-game is shoehorned with the weird and stupid ch**r squad part but its in-game UI and Stage Result screens are quite good looking and even then, this is one thing that suits some BMS Players like Lunatic Rave 2 or something else better than the actual games as Beatmania IIDX is supposed to be a DJ-themed rhythm game where you expect some electronic music but no, you don’t get that music in that mini-game.
Other mini-games are not quite new as they first appeared in previous Bishi Bashi games in addition to the new ones exclusive to Bishi Bashi Channel. There’s also the grading system which changes depending on how well you do as well as the player-saving feature which I guess if you do well, you may have saved the other players who can’t make it. Like the previous Bishi Bashi games, you must fulfill the stage objectives and there’s no rule in outscoring other players like in The Bishi Bashi.
Lastly is the game’s official art that has two hosts and the other characters on it. I guess that this kind of art brings you back to the time when Arcana Heart 3 Love Max came out in the arcades and on consoles and computers.
If there are flaws in the Bishi Bashi series, it will have to be regarding some mini-games that are unspeakably stupid. Plus, some of the mini-games don’t end until you run out of mini-game lives. Maybe there should be a timer to make things quite fair or something. Another flaw of Bishi Bashi Channel is that there’s only one E-Amusement Pass Reader and it can be confusing to know which player side belongs to who or some sort. Many other games have multiple E-Amusement Pass Readers for each player side but this one has ONE E-Amusement Pass Reader and FOUR-Player support. Perhaps, I can assume that Bishi Bashi Channel has like two flaws but it’s still made the series a great return in the arcades.