On December 18th – 20th, Sega AM2’s Research and Development Division held a special play test session at the Club Sega Arcade Center in Akihabara in which they would be hosting the Kancolle Arcade, one of the highly anticipated game variants based upon the original browser game hosted on DMM. During the time this was going on, many Japanese KanColle players lined up, hoping to get their chance to play. It was reported that some people arrived as early as 5 AM to wait for the doors of Club Sega to open so they might have a chance to play.

Once the doors were open, people who had arrived early were given a bracelet that had a meeting time to arrive at a location where they would pick a number of players to participate in the playtest.

A member of the Kancolle En WikiTotaku, checked to see if there was anyone he knew that would be going to Akihabara on that day. Thankfully he found one person, and he was willing to be interviewed. He will be referred to as “Tom”. To give a quick summary regarding Tom: he’s an individual who has been living in Japan for almost two years now since he got a job there. He’s been a big Kantai Collection fan since he witnessed the game there and has been playing it since he started living in Japan.

Important Notice: According to Tom, those who were not selected to play the Arcade were taken outside of the location where the Arcade was being play tested. They were however allowed to view the Kancolle Arcade in action from a screen display outside of the play test zone. In addition, Club Sega forbids the use of cameras and recording devices in the playtest area and at the display screen. There will be no imagery of the Arcade in its present form from Akihabara, only an eye witness account from Tom. However, to give a good idea how the Arcade looks I will be providing screenshots from the Japanese Amusement Expo (JAEPO) where the Kancolle Arcade made its introduction back in February 2015 where a small group of people were selected to play the Arcade.

While he was not picked to play the game, he was allowed to spectate the arcade and spent a total of two to three hours watching the people play the arcade cabinet.

The following interview is an account of what he has witnessed as he watched the gameplay of the arcades unfold during the two days he visited Club Sega.

Regarding the Play Test Area

Totaku(Reporter): So from what you’ve told me, you got a chance to go to Club Sega in Akihabara, how would describe the crowd while you were there?

Tom (Witness): There were about thirty or so people both days at the Arcade. The attendance was overwhelmingly male, and in the two days I went, I think I saw one girl in the crowd watching.

Totaku: Present in  the Arcade Playtest area?

Tom: Yes; even if it was only about thirty people, it was still a cramped indoor arcade and all.

Totaku: Ah ok. Speaking of which, how many arcade cabinets were there present for the playtest?

Tom: Two.

Totaku: Alright, let’s  discuss the mechanics. So as far as I’m aware, the game is going to be using a GP system. Do you have any idea what it will cost to play it, or is this not known currently?

Tom: I don’t know how much it will cost to play, but players were advised to bring plenty of 100 yen coins.

The Start Up and the Naval Base

Totaku: Let’s move on to about the start up and gameplay. So how would describe the process? Is there a special card that’ll be used for this? Like an “Admiral Card” to keep track of your record?

Tom: Yes; at the playtest, players were required to have Aime cards. These are cards used to track player’s stats.

Totaku: Sounds like a good way to keep track of information. Now as for those who started playing, how was the start-up process to the game?

Kancolle Arcade Screenshot from JAEPO 2015

Kancolle Arcade Screenshot from JAEPO 2015 -Player Start up Screen

Tom: It was very similar to a new player joining the online game. You choose an admiral name, a starter destroyer and then you are sent to your base.

Totaku: Are all the same starters featured? Fubuki, Sazanami, Inazuma, Murakumo, and Samidare?

Tom: Except for the 3d models, it’s very similar to the online game. The interface for building new ships and developing equipment is pretty much straight from the game.

Tom: Yes. Fubuki, Sazanami, Inazuma, Murakumo, and Samidare.

Totaku: From what you have seen, how can you describe the naval base?

Tom: Except for the 3d models, it’s very similar to the online game. The interface for building new ships and developing equipment is pretty much straight from the game.

Kancolle_Arcade_Screenshot 2

Kancolle Arcade Screenshot from JAEPO 2015

Kancolle Arcade Screenshot from JAEPO 2015, showing the naval base composition screen

Totaku: So you get the same Dry docks, docking, resupplies, compositions, and equipment fitting?

Tom: Yes.

Totaku: You mentioned to me before that you also get to move around in the home base.

Kancolle Arcade Screenshot from JAEPO 2015 - showing the hallway of the naval base as you walk to the construction area where you will pick up your recently constructed kanmusu

Kancolle Arcade Screenshot from JAEPO 2015 – showing the hallway of the naval base as you walk to the construction area where you will pick up your recently constructed kanmusu

Tom: To be honest, not really. However, the moving around bit happens when you a build a new ship or get one as a drop: you walk down a hallway in person and  after a turn or two, you enter a door. At the far side of the room, you see the silhouette of a ship girl turn and face you, then she introduces herself. During the walk down the hall, you can talk to various kanmusu; most of them will just salute you or say hello. I think Naka did a little dance if you clicked on her.

Totaku: Ahahahaha, sounds cute. It seems to be more engaging in comparison to it’s browser counterpart, which sounds amusing to me. I assume you also have resources to think about too, right?

Tom: Yes, resources are limited, just like in the game. But you can get more by spending gp to purchase resources if need be.

Totaku: What about Expeditions? Though since this is a play test, that might be a stretch.

Tom: I didn’t see any expeditions, no.

Totaku: So at the moment,  that’s unknown, though it sounds like as an arcade, you might have to be a little more dependent on your GP, at least from what I can see.

Tom: Yeah, There’s not much of a naval base outside of assembling a fleet, dispatching and waiting for them to return.

Totaku: That should cover the naval base for now and I guess these might be things they may consider in the future, but for now it sounds straightforward for the time being in terms of menu interaction.

The Sortie Battles

Totaku: Now I’m aware form at least the promo footage, that sorties look like they’ll be quite different. Just how different are they from the browser version?

Kancolle Arcade screenshot from JAEPO 2015 - Sortie screen

Kancolle Arcade screenshot from JAEPO 2015 – Sortie screen

Kancolle Arcade Screenshot from JAEPO 2015 - The Sortie screen

Kancolle Arcade Screenshot from JAEPO 2015 – The Sortie screen

Tom: In one word, very! They’re a lot more interactive.

Totaku: Mind describing to me about how the sorties battles go in the Arcade Version?

Tom: On the sotie menu, once you choose a map, your fleet sails out and you choose where they by turning a ship’s wheel. The area immediately around your fleet is visible but the rest of the map is covered in fog so you have to find the abyssal yourself.

Kancolle Arcade from JAEPO 2015 - Detecting and locating Abyssal Fleets before the fight

Kancolle Arcade from JAEPO 2015 – Detecting and locating Abyssal Fleets before the fight

There’s also a time limit. The areas where the abyssals are have a reddish tinge so to fight, you need to sail so that the red area is in your fleet’s field of view; once that happens, you actually begin exchanging fire with the abyssals.

There aren’t really set phases of battle as in the online game. In the battles I saw, both sides could use guns more than twice and ships that had them could use torpedos outside of the torpedo phases. I didn’t notice any charge meters or anything like that, so I’m not entirely sure how it worked.

Totaku: So in terms of combat, is there any way to effect certain outcomes of the fights? You mentioned that kanmusus can be controlled via steering and speed.

JAEPO 2015 - Players will be required to use the steering wheel and throttle to help thier fleet manuver against abyssal fire to minimize damage.

JAEPO 2015 – Players will be required to use the steering wheel and throttle to help thier fleet manuver against abyssal fire to minimize damage.


Tom
: Yeah, by using the wheel to steer you can change the engagement type.

If I recall, Red-T Disadvantage, gave the enemy a firepower boost. The game also tells you where enemy shells are projected to land so you can avoid them by steering.

Totaku: Nice.

Tom: There’s also a throttle function that lets you increase evasion but makes your girls more tired as far as I could tell; it didn’t affect fuel use.

Totaku: Ah so it can result in causing the ship girls to become more tired post-battle.

Tom: Yeah.

Totaku: Is there anything else you can add; for instance, were you able to witness any carrier battles?

Tom: Unfortunately, no but I did see heavy cruisers with seaplane scouts.

Totaku: Explain a bit about the seaplane and how they worked in the game.

Tom: When you’re sailing around looking for enemies, Heavy Cruisers could launch their seaplanes to scout out beyond what the ships could see on their own; they could also be launched multiple times per sortie.

Totaku: So you can use them to scout out the area you’re in and locate the enemy fleet if you so choose to do so.

Tom: Yeah!

Totaku: Can they also detect other things by chance?

Tom: Yes, one player used them to locate a green tinged area,

and when he sailed to it, he got a bucket.

Totaku: Nice. So I assume to replace the expeditions, the battles will include obtainable items, like buckets, development materials, and the like.

Tom: That’s what it looks like; if only 1-1 had farmable buckets…

Totaku: Ahahaha, don’t we all. By any chance did you see any ship girls get damaged?

Tom: Yes.

Kancolle Arcade from JAEPO 2015 - Shimakaze following after she has taken damage in battle

Kancolle Arcade from JAEPO 2015 – Shimakaze following after she has taken damage in battle

Totaku: With proper maneuverability, it’s probably avoidable, but if you they can’t dodge the hit, I’m curious how repair processes would work in the Arcade.

Tom: The repair docks are just like in the game but I don’t recall seeing a timer. I think one player spent GP for instant repair.

Totaku: Oh, that sounds logical when you think about it. You can either spend GP or buckets to complete the process.

Drops and Construction

Totaku: Since you can construct and find Kanmusu, how does this process work?

Kancolle Arcade at JAEPO 2015 - Player was rewarded Shimkaze as a drop

Kancolle Arcade at JAEPO 2015 – Player was rewarded Shimakaze as a drop

Kancolle Arcade at JAEPO 2015 - Players can obtain physical cards of Kanmusu

Kancolle Arcade at JAEPO 2015 – Players can obtain physical cards of Kanmusu

Tom: Some players had real life KanColle trading cards and the cabinets had a reader for them, so there looks to be a function where, if you have a card in real life, you can use her in game for no charge.

Totaku: But physical cards? What kind of cards are we talking about here

Tom: I’m guessing they’re machine readable trading cards. I’m guess you can get them printed or something. I recall seeing some pictures of the cards, so I expect you can obtain a physical card somehow.

Kancolle Arcade at JAEPO 2015. The Card dispenser where you can obtain physical cards upon being rewarded.

Kancolle Arcade at JAEPO 2015. The Card dispenser where you can obtain physical cards upon being rewarded.

Note: Due to how the screen displayed the Kancolle Arcade in the Akihabara Playtest, Tom was unable to see the card dispenser which has been mentioned to be part of the arcade cabinet. This portion of the cabinet is where the physical card that you are rewarded as drops will be dispensed upon acquiring the kanmusu if you give permission to print the card.

Totaku: I suppose this might become more clear once the cabinet is released to the public. So let me go ahead and proceed with asking a few selected questions I’ve asked some people to provide me for this.

Fan Questions

Totaku: Before the interview I took the opportunity to ask some fans if they could provide me some questions for the arcade, thankfully I was able to obtain enough to ask a good series of questions, so we proceed to discuss what some fans wanted to ask Tom regarding his arcade experience.

Totaku:Fan question #1:

Among the browser version and the Arcade Version, which version would you prefer to play? And how do you feel about the idea of using cards to play the Arcade?

Tom: Just based on gameplay, the Arcade version looks like much more fun; I’m not sure I like the idea of the cards, though. I mean, randomness is a big part of KanColle and even using real money to buy resources doesn’t guarantee you a certain ship.

Totaku: Yeah I can image that. This sounds like one of those kind of questions that doesn’t have a fully confirmed answer. But otherwise what you provided me sounds fine enough.

Totaku: Fan question #2:

What is the possibility that this Arcade is likely to be seen in other locations outside of Japan? How many years do you believe the Arcade is likely to survive within Japan itself?

Tom: I don’t know about overseas. It’s hard to get more aggressively Japanese than IJN ships re-imagined as girls.

Totaku: So I think it has a chance to catch on here since the fandom is a bit strong. Whether or not Kadokawa would want to bring the game officially outside of Japan is a whole other story.

Tom: In Japan, I think the arcade version could have some staying power. It doesn’t use the lottery as far as I’ve seen.

Totaku: Since arcade are still a big thing over there, Yes, I can see that.

Tom:It’ll be more accessible to children than the other products on DMM. Not every child has a laptop or even a smartphone but the arcade is open to everyone.

Totaku: Yeah I can see that.

Totaku: Fan Question #3:

What’s your take on Sega’s interpretation of KanColle?

Tom: I like it.

Totaku: Cool.

Tom: I think it does a good job of making it arcade-suitable while keeping to the spirit of KanColle.

Totaku: Beautiful, I can understand that.

Totaku: Fan Question #4

I doubt you can provide a clear answer on this one, but are all the current ships present in the Arcade? The last I checked it went all the way up to Akizuki. I doubt for test play you got anything outside the common basics but it’s worth asking.

Tom: For the most part, it looked like just the basic ones: the starters, 6th DesDiv, a few other destroyers like Oboro and Ushio, Heavy Cruisers like Myoukou and Chikuma. There was also another player who had Takao and Atago.

Totaku: Nice!Any others you can recall?

Tom: Light Cruisers Kuma and Tama,  and couple of Nagara-class like Nagara and Natori.

Totaku:Fan Question #5

Do you believe the Arcade version will eventually in the long run have a platform port to a console system like a PS4 or Wii U, etc.?

Tom: I think it’s possible if reception for the arcade version is positive enough, and I just had a funny thought of using motion controls to control a kanmusu striking poses to line up shots.

Totaku: That would be neat.

Anyways I thank you for providing me this input Tom, I really appreciate the time you took to talk to me about the Arcade.

Tom: The pleasure was all mine, Totaku. Thanks for listening to me ramble.

Final Overview
With the completion of the interview, I sit here thinking to myself just how fascinating the Kantai Collection Arcade is now that I’ve heard all that I heard from Tom. The fact the Arcade shows that it’s going to be way more dynamic and diverse in comparison to its browser counterpart shows that there’s a lot in store for the Kantai Collection Arcade.

This especially holds true since the arcade is less RNG-based and with you being in direct control of your ship girls during sortie campaigns. In a sense, the arcade version is a completely new spin on the original game and shows a lot of promise. So people who want to go see the Kantai Collection Arcade, I recommend you pack yourselves with plenty of 100 yen coins and make plans to go to Japan during the Spring of 2016 when this game finally makes its debut!

While I’ve learned a lot about the game from Tom, it’s clear, this is only the icing on the cake and there is likely more to come once the Arcade Cabinet debuts in Japan on Spring of 2016.

Totaku

EN KanColle Wiki Editor at EN KanColle Wiki
Totaku is a active member of the Kancolle EN Wiki and an affiliate of the Himeuta Forum, an English Kancolle focused community that is dedicated to finding out all information regarding Kantai Collection.
Totaku
(Visited 4,184 times, 1 visits today)