Konami has announced that the long-awaited Arena mode will be coming to beatmania IIDX 27 Heroic Verse on Thursday, February 20th. Arena mode made its debut on Heroic Verse this year at the Konami Arcade Championship, where players used the play mode to challenge each other at the game. In previous versions of beatmania IIDX, Arena mode offered players the ability not only to challenge people across the world with its online capabilities but also be able to earn new songs to play within the game. Some of these songs could be long-requested revivals from previous versions of the game such as “VJ Army,” which made its debut in IIDX 6th Style. Other songs could be completely new tracks such as the Arena mode theme “Lethal Weapon.” Both songs in my eyes are worth grinding out Arena mode. Not to mention you get the opportunity to earn a bunch of in-game currency to purchase the songs that you weren’t able to unlock from the previous version.
Aside from new songs, Konami completely overhauled the Arena mode matching interface as now it is for better or for worse, significantly flashier. They have also incorporated the Groove Radar so players can know precisely what their soon-to-be opponents excel at and what they are less than very good at. This could be really useful if you’re trying to get that top-ranking badge for your local area. They have also added a couple of new playlists to the song select wheel. You will now have the ability to play the songs that you have won on in Arena mode, as well as the songs that you have lost on in Arena mode.
To top things off, there will be a new feature coming exclusively to the Lightning Model cabinets, and that is the ability to turn the touch panel off while playing a song effectively. Konami is calling this “Concentration Mode” and is enabled by tapping the toggle switch on the top right or left of the touch panel, respectively 1P and 2P. When Concentration Mode is enabled, the touch panel will be black with the words “Concentration Mode” front and center. Written under this in Japanese is, “You can return by tapping the screen.” So it looks like it’s quite easy to enable and disable. I have never really had any issues or distractions from the touch panel on the Lightning Model cabinets when I have played on them. Still, then again, I am nothing but a single player and could be an outlier for this.
Both of these new additions come to the game on February 20th, and you can tell if your machine has them if it is running the build number of LDJ:*:*:A:2020021800 or above. (The asterisks indicate different regions, so your area will have a different letter. The critical part is the “2020021800” portion. It will be fun to see what new content players will be getting and what songs Konami will be bringing back. I’ll keep whispering “Giri Giri Daddy” in my head until it happens.