jubeat (UBeat in North America and Europe, pronounced you-beat), is an arcade music video game developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, and is a part of Konami's Bemani line of music video games. The game went on several location tests in Asia since December 2007, and was released in July 2008. A North American location test for the game as UBeat was announced in August 2008. The cabinet utilizes one 16:9 screen in portrait orientation which is split into two main areas; the top 2/5 of which is used for displaying scores and information, and the bottom 3/5 of which is split into 16 panel areas arranged in a 4x4 grid where the main part of the game takes place. Aside from the main game the bottom screen and the panels are used for menus and user interactive sections.
The basic gameplay of UBeat is similar to Nintendo DS music games such as Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents and can be considered to be similar to Whac-A-Mole. Animated explosions or other animations, called "markers", that can be chosen at the song select screen are shown within the panels synced to a track of the player's choosing; when they reach a "hot point", which is dependent on the marker chosen, the player must tap the corresponding screen to score points. Taps can be judged as either Perfect, いい感じ (Good), 早い (Early), or 遅い (Late). 3 difficulties (Basic, Advanced, and Extreme) are offered for each song.
Online and local multiplayer are available when the machines are connected either to each other or to the Konami network respectively. Once connected in a Local multiplayer game all players will play the same songs on the same difficulties. Whichever song and difficulty gets chosen the fastest is the one that will be played. (As of jubeat copious, players may choose their own difficulty.) In the multiplayer environment, icons appear above the song sleeves on the song select screen to show that someone is waiting for other players. If nobody is waiting when the player chooses a song, the game will create a session and wait around 30 seconds for other players. If no other players join within the roughly 30 second wait then the song is played as it would be in single player mode.
Unlike in most other BEMANI games, which use a lifebar to determine whether the player clears the song, clearing songs is achieved by achieving a score quota. (See below)
If during a multiplayer game the player fails a song, as long as another player that is playing with them has passed the song, the player is "saved" and play can continue. The only time that the player can be "saved" when not playing multiplayer is on the first song if the player is not using an e-Amusement pass.
When the song is finished, the player will receive a score up to 1,000,000 depending on his/her performance. A letter rating will also be assigned based on the score:
- E - Score under 500,000.
- D - 500,000-700,000.
- C - 700,000-800,000. You must achieve a grade of C or higher to clear the song.
- B - 800,000-850,000.
- A - 850,000-900,000.
- S - 900,000-950,000.
- SS - 950,000-1,000,000.
From jubeat ripples onwards, an SSS rank is earned for scores of at least 980,000, and a score of 1,000,000 is awarded the EXCELLENT (EXC) rank.
When used with an e-Amusement card, the game will save statistics to the e-Amusement servers. As with other recent Bemani games, e-Amusement is also required for some unlocks.
North American Location Testing
A North American location test for jubeat was announced on August 26th on the DDR Online Community site, and was held from September 8, 2008 and ran until September 14, 2008. at a Boomers! Parks location in Irvine, California, and was accompanied by a location test of Dance Dance Revolution X AC. For the North American market, the game had been renamed as UBeat, which is pronounced the same way as jubeat. The songlist for UBeat wass also considerably different from the Japanese version, containing new licenses alongside some of the original songs present on the game.
A second, unannounced location test occurred at Sherman Oaks Castle Park in November 2009. The game, tentatively called Jukebeat, featured a wider array of licenses and several songs from jubeat ripples.
For songs exclusive to these location tests, refer to the game page for jubeat.
European location test
A European location test for UBeat was announced on October 10th on DDRUK, running through into the school autumn holidays. As the North American market, the game was also renamed to UBeat. The location of the two UBeat machines is at Tenpin Bowl, in Acton, West London. 2 Ubeat machines were also placed in the London trocadero but have since been removed as the location test has ended.
Currently, there are five arcade versions (plus three append versions) and two CS versions of jubeat.
- jubeat ripples
- jubeat ripples APPEND
- jubeat knit
- jubeat knit APPEND
- jubeat copious
- jubeat copious APPEND
- jubeat saucer