While it’s getting harder and harder to find video game arcades here in the States, you’ll usually find them surviving in places like Dave and Buster’s, Chuck E Cheese’s, and movie theaters. Bandai Namco isn’t afraid of the lack of arcades and has unveiled a brand new Star Wars arcade game: Battle Pod. From the trailer, impressions, and screenshots I’ve seen so far, playing this before a showing of Episode VII next year seems like a must.
Battle Pod uses a dome screen, which basically envelopes your view including your peripherals, as a way to immerse you in the action. And holy wow, does it look pretty intense, even if it is a on-rails experience. There’s 5 levels, Hoth, Yavin IV, Endor, Death Star II, with one unannounced and a bonus mission where you’re Darth Vader hunting down Han Solo. Han probably didn’t invite Vader to his wedding with Leia, so it’s understandable Vader might not be too happy with the scoundrel. Eric from TheForce.net attended the event, and so did Johnamarie Macias of TheWookieGunner, and both seemed to be pretty pleased with their experience, which Eric sums up in his article. Gaming websites like IGN had very positive hands-on impressions despite them thinking it’s terrifying because of everything happening on screen; I’ll leave this video of Kotaku contributor Evan Narcisse playing it to help you get a good understanding on why Battle Pod looks like a must play. Notice how talkative he is in the first level and slowly goes dead silent to concentrate in the second:
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