I’ve been very interested in StepManiaX since it’s announcement last year. The new five-panel rhythm game—the latest from Kyle Ward and his team at Step Revolution—was poised to be a very solid third pillar to Pump It Up and Dance Dance Revolution in Western arcades. And so far, I’d say the title has delivered. Is SMX a staple of every arcade? Unfortunately no, but it’s slowly and surely gaining traction.
In lieu of this traction, the StepManiaX Twitter page recently announced an official tournament was soon underway. The SMX competition will be a part of Smash ‘N’ Splash 5 running from May 31st to June 2nd, 2019. Organized by Step ‘N’ Splash, the rhythm game division of the event, the contest will take place at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
Making matters even cooler, the winner will walk away with a brand-new StepManiaX stage, $1,360.00 value. (Hoo-boy!) And creator Kyle Ward will be there, as well. Always a good bonus, am I right?
For those, like myself, who weren’t initially in the know, Smash ‘N’ Splash is a national video game tournament held each year since 2015 at the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” in which top players compete in over 13 different gaming clashes. Returning titles include Super Smash Bros. 64, Smash Melee, Project M, Rivals of Aether, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Splatoon 2, and ARMS. New titles this year include Smash Ultimate, Slap City, DDR Extreme Pro, Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Pokken Tournament DX, and, of course, good ol’ StepManiaX.
I certainly can’t claim to be an SMX player—because, honest to goodness, I’ve never seen a cab in my life—but I love DDR, I love Pump, and I love the rhythm game community. That’s why I am in full support of the title and its presence at the tournament. With Konami all but ignoring the Western market, and Pump being the sole survivor year after year, we need another solid rhythm release on the coin-op market. And quite frankly, people like myself need more to play.
Given the right conditions, StepManiaX could be huge, and tournaments like this serve to grow the community. As more people are exposed to the experience, the title grows in popularity. And as the title grows in popularity, more arcade operators see the value in purchasing it. (Unless, of course, they ignore rhythm games for only the highest-earning rail shooters and drivers.) I’m already excited to see SMX coming to Smash ‘N’ Splash. Now, let’s see it at even more competitions!
To register for the Smash ‘N’ Splash 5 StepManiax tournament, visit smash.gg/sns5. And even if you’re not a big SMX-head (or you simply don’t live in the area), consider spreading the word. What Step Revolution with their new dancing game is beyond cool and deserves every bit of our support. After all, we arcade gamers are all about community!
I can’t wait until I get to play SMX, or until I can one day purchase a cabinet for my coin-op route. Until then, though, I’m out. Keep it real, you sweaty flipping nerds. (And I mean that quite literally, too. I hope y’all take good, long showers after the tournament.)