Japanese arcade culture is very different compared to its quickly receding Western counterpart. There is a prevalent “fight club” culture in Japan, with arcades being highly focused on multiplayer and providing support for spectators.

With that in mind, Square Enix developed Gunslinger Stratos, an akimbo-lightgun 3rd person shooter with online multiplayer and the persistant “NESiCA IC” card system which lets you take your character with you when you leave the arcade. They’ll be sponsoring nationwide arcade tournaments for the game, with cash prizes.

Cash prizes and sponsorships aren’t actually that big a part of the tournament scene in Japan.

As for what the game is like, only this trailer can really explain it. How you connect the two guns at the various lock-points, gives you access to different weapons. Buildings collapse. It’s beautiful.

[youtube]M8vT82_05qE[/youtube]
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