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This article was published on August 3, 2016

After seeing this Japanese arcade game I’m convinced Guitar Hero is for chumps

After seeing this Japanese arcade game I’m convinced Guitar Hero is for chumps
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

The Japanese love their arcade games, and what’s not to love about this one? With a smooth glass panel that requires not only stellar rhythm, endurance and the ability to complete rather advanced (at this speed) gestures in a fraction of a second, it’s essentially Guitar Hero if it had gone to college rather than on tour.

What you’re seeing is a Japanese arcade game called ‘Chunithm.’ I don’t have any idea what that translates to, but I can only assume it’s “carpal tunnel syndrome.”

The player, known as ~ë~ in this video, is attempting to hit keys in time to the music in order to secure that coveted “All Justice” at the end. We still don’t really understand what it means, but justice is good, right? All Justice has to be even better.

The basics of the game are simple. In front of you is a touch panel featuring 16 marked areas, although it acts as one large screen without any real tactile feedback for individual keys. Note bars slide down the screen at you, much like in Guitar Hero, and the goal is to tap the panel in time to the music. With me so far? Good, that was the easy part.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

Unlike Guitar Hero, each of the 16 keys can act independently or collectively depending on the note bar. Some require a tap, others demand the user slide his (or her) hand back and forth across the panel (or parts of it) while tapping notes with your other hand. If you still don’t think this is hard enough, some of the notes actually require you to complete gestures with only fractions of a second to react — while keeping up with the notes on the screen with the other hand.

Motion sensors on either side of the cabinet detect these gestures and the notes on screen might require you lift your hand to chest height and hold it there, or hit the note after dropping your entire hand (not just the fingers) from above.

In short, it’s pure pandemonium and nobody makes it out alive.

Except ~ë~, he seems to be doing okay.