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  • Nick Montano

Pump It Up Turns XX; Andamiro's 20th Anniversary Software Takes Giant Step in Arcade Dancing Genre

Updated: May 14, 2019

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA and LOS ANGELES, CA--January 31, 2019-- This year, Andamiro's Pump It Up music and dance videogame celebrates its 20th anniversary. Therefore, it is no surprise that Andamiro's Music Business Team has created a completely new software system, adding lots of new music and stunning graphics to mark the game's milestone, and to give both dance pros and casual players something special.

It was also no shocker that more than 40 Pump It Up speed and freestyle enthusiasts, known as "Pumpers," made the trek to Orlando's IAAPA Attractions Expo in mid-November to be the first to try out the dance game's 20th Anniversary edition, dubbed PIU-XX; click here to see live stream of contest events. Changhee Son, who heads up Andamiro's M-Business team, was on hand in Orlando to monitor the new game. A Pump It Up trial followed in South Korea in December and final touches were made to the 20th anniversary game in January.


Rejoice! Pump It Up 20th Anniversary started shipping on January 29 and should begin to appear in U.S. gameroom locations soon.

The world's No. 1 dance simulation game, Pump It Up was originally released in August 1999 in South Korea. The game immediately became a huge success in its home market, and it soon after reached North and South America, and Europe, as well as other parts of Asia. Today, Pump It Up is a pop culture icon around the world and commands a zealous fan base.

Andamiro M-Team leader Changhee Son

The new edition introduces several features to the player interface. These include renewals for song and step difficulties, and more than 100 reward titles. Both renewals and reward titles are key parts of the XX interface. Renewals allow players to continue (or "renew") song-and-dance sessions from where they left off. Reward Titles are designations assigned to a player's user ID; they could include "titles" like "advanced," "specialist" and "newbie," among many others. PIU-XX also has an online matchmaking system, which can "match" players of similar abilities and styles.


The 20th anniversary software is shipping in Andamiro's current Pump It Up LX cabinet equipped with 55" display. Upgrade kits with the new software and "20th Anniversary XX" marquee are also available; upgrades support PIU cabinet versions CX (43”), TX (55”) and FX (42”), along with the current LX model. Coinciding with the release of PIU-XX for arcades, Andamiro is expected to introduce a Pump It Up mobile version. Dubbed PIU-M, the mobile game underwent an alpha test this past summer in Korea and is expected to begin a beta test soon.


"Pump It Up enjoys a rich history and has a very bright future," said Andamiro USA marketing director Nick Montano. "With the 20th Anniversary edition, Andamiro's development team is at the top of its game and the Pumper community has never been more energized. Additionally, the new game will have greater appeal to casual players.


"A dance game devotee recently explained to me that one of the best attributes of Pump It Up is that it allows players to grow with the game as their abilities advance," Montano continued. "They can move up through increasing levels of difficulties on the same song for which there can be as many as 30 levels."


FLASHBACK


Andamiro's first game was named "Pump It Up 1st Dance Floor." The Korean gamemaker has updated and improved the series annually, with major system introductions rolling out every other year. Notable highlights in the line's timeline include Pump It Up Zero for arcades and PlayStation Portable, released in 2006. Later that year, Pump It Up New Genesis, or NX, arrived. Zero introduced previews of background videos and the ability for two dancers to play on separate difficulties. The NX release shipped with a new mode with nonstop remixes. Pump It Up Pro series, co-developed with Fun in Motion, was released in 2008 and was designed to appeal to "four-step" dance-gamers.

Introduced in 2008, Pump It Up NX2 added support for Andamiro's proprietary USB flash drives, which saved a player's progress and worldwide ranking.

In 2010, Pump It Up Fiesta marked the game's 10th anniversary. Fiesta introduced two new mission modes, Quest and Skill Up, and removed difficulty levels in favor of chart options. A Fiesta sequel in 2012 featured a wide selection of music. Pump It Up Infinity rolled out in 2013 and, like Pro, it boasted a "basic mode" to draw in new players. Infinity featured songs from all Pump It Up versions. Then came Prime in 2014, which commenced the global ranking mode. With Prime2 software in 2017 and 2018, Andamiro piled on features for all player levels. For beginners, there is a "how to play" mode. For core players, a rival system was added, while a continuous play option kept them on the platform longer.


The current LX cabinet – with a large 55" screen, powerful sound system (four speakers and two subwoofers) and greater Internet capacity – was unveiled two years ago with Prime2 software and music. A.M.Pass card for players has since replaced PIU's flash drives.


FROM K-POP TO PACHELBEL


Pump It Up songs are mostly derived from Korean influences and licensed from K-Pop artists. K-Pop, by the way, has been growing in popularity in the U.S. and around the world for the past five years. During Pump It Up's early years, much of the game's music was created in house by artists known collectively as Banya. Two of Banya's members, Yahpp and Msgoon, eventually became independent artists. Despite limited access to licensed music, Pump It Up offers abundant songs in many genres, which lend themselves to a dance game environment. PIU's music diversity covers everything from general pop to heavy metal to hip hop, along with a wide assortment of jazz, folk and ska. Some of Banya's songs covered great classical pieces, including Johann Pachelbel's "Canon in D" performed in a symphonic rock style.

The 20th Anniversary game ships with 500 songs, 100 of which are new releases. This is the largest volume to roll out with a new Pump It Up version. Andamiro release music updates with new songs every two months.


FACTS & FEATURES


Here are few Pump It Up facts and features that have made it stand out for two decades.


» The Pump It Up music videogame was developed by Nexcade and published by Andamiro in 1999. Among its distinguishing features are five arrow panels on the dance stage, compared with four on other models. PIU's arrow panels are up-left, up-right, bottom-left, bottom-right and center (which is an optional step in many song/step combos). Additional gameplay modes employ two five-panel pads side-by-side.


» Pump it Up caters to both freestyle and "technical" (or speed) players. It is known for its freestyle-friendly charts, appealing to dances who prefer the freestyle and breakdancing disciplines. However, PIU's vast collection of songs with challenging step charts appeals to technical players.


» Pump It Up is one of the few dance games that officially features "hands" play in some of its stop charts. "Hands" are part of PIU's unusual steps in which three or more arrows must be pressed at the same time. This is supposed to be accomplished via pressing two arrows with the feet and the extra arrows with the player's hands, hence the name "hands". Using carefully positioned feet to hit multiple arrows at once is also acceptable.

Pump scenes during IAAPA expo in Orlando, FL

Visit the AndamiroPR YouTube channel to check out some of the PIU-XX action that shook the Orange County Convention Center's floor during the IAAPA Attractions Expo. If that is not enough, Andamiro recently launched a YouTube channel dedicated to the 20th anniversary game.


Headquartered near Seoul, Korea, Andamiro Co. Ltd. designs and manufactures ticket redemption amusements, prize merchandisers, and sports and video games, along with the world-famous Pump It Up dance stage. More information about Pump It Up can be had by contacting the company's U.S. division, Andamiro USA, at (310) 767-5800 or sales@andamirousa.com.


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© 2018 by Nick Montano.  Created with Wix.com

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