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Video Game / Pocket Arcade Story

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Every geek's wet dream
Pocket Arcade Story (original Japanese title ゲームセンター倶楽部 - lit. Game Center Club) is a simulation game released by Kairosoft, originally released on NTT DoCoMo i-mode phones but have since been ported to Android and iOS, and saw an English release on June 29, 2016. In it, you get to fulfill every geek's dream of running and maintaining an arcade. However, like other Kairosoft games, the mechanics of the game is extremely deep and complex. Aside from trying to build and run a successful 5-star arcade, you have to build friendships between your patrons, holding events, as well as partake in tournaments and high score challenges, all to unlock further arcade machines, vending machines and vendors, as well as deco pieces, to furnish your arcade with. And as with all Kairosoft games, you do this while trying to balance a very thin bank account.

The tournament portion involves a game that's most certainly not Street Fighter II called Road Fighter II: New Kairo Fighters. There are nine characters, but you don't get to control any of them directly. Instead you can only tell the player-side AI in the game what actions to pull off through the three buttons on the screen. Needless to say, it's harder than it sounds. Winning a tournament for the first time usually nets you cash, but any replay will only result in satisfaction points to put towards high score challenges and mixer events.

Has an Updated Re-release called Pocket Arcade Story DX since 2018. This release changes some aspects of the game and rebalances the game mechanics somewhat (namely, tournaments are now multiple-choice and is accessed via a town map). The non-DX version in the meantime has been ported over to the Nintendo Switch as of April 2020.

Insert coin to trope

  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Let's get this out of the way first: Yes it is, during tournaments. Your player tend to have a crap AI that you have to tell the player what to do constantly, and that depletes a "stamina bar". If the bar gets depleted your player's fighter become stunned for a bit. The computer side's AI is far more competent and do not have a "stamina bar" to bog him/her down. It becomes extremely egregious in the final tournament in that the computer's fighters have a permanent power boost... and your player's fighter doesn't.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Rivals who've lost to you in tournaments will become patrons of your arcade and player-side A.I.s.
  • Expy: The first three fighter characters you'd most likely encounter in the game in fighting mode are Ryuchiro, Speedy Joe and Chunchun- expies of Ryu, Guile and Chun-Li respectively.
  • Freemium: DX. It's a free download, but to unlock the rest of the game a one-time in-game payment must be made to unlock the ability to play for longer than 3 years and/or progress further in tournaments.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Several of the player-side AI can be this, especially if they hadn't been trained in mixer events at all. Which makes it even harder to win a tournament.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Secretary. She moves fast, and hits hard.
  • Market-Based Title: The original title in Japanese is Game Center Club. It was changed to Pocket Arcade Story due to the rest of the world being more familiar with Kairosoft's <x> <y> Story naming scheme and due to Game Center being the Japanese Gratuitous English term for arcade.
  • New Game Plus: When you complete a 16-year game, you get to restart over with your player-side AI retaining their level of training and unlocked themes. Unfortunately, unlocked game machines are re-locked.
  • Nintendo Hard: Both the simulation and fighting aspect of the game. On the simulation aspect, you need to maintain your balance sheet to make sure you don't fall into the red. On the fighting aspect, you need to match the computer AI against a capable fighter of your own, and intervene in such a way that you don't deplete your stamina and still win in the end.
  • The Power of Friendship: A gameplay mechanic. You need to form bonds between the various patrons to your arcade by holding events and participating in high score tournaments to unlock new game machines, vendors, vending machines and deco for your arcade.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: The special move of Guile expy Speedy-Joe.
  • Shoryuken: Both Bun-Chan and the unimaginatively-named Ryuchiro have this as their special move.
  • Stone Wall: Mochipon-Jet. While his attacks are on the weak side and he's slow, his high level of defense more than makes up for it.
  • Updated Re-release: Pocket Arcade Story DX, which was released just two years after the game was ported to Android and iOS but a decade after the game originated for NTT DoCoMo i-Mode Phones.