Star Wars returns to the world of arcades with the latest product from Bandai Namco Games, entitled Star Wars Battle Pod. The revolutionary dome screen arcade unit allows fans to immerse themselves into the most iconic battle scenes from the old trilogy. Navigating with fan favorite vehicles, such as X-wings and speeder bikes, players dive into new and entertaining experiences.
“Star Wars…has not just provided unique film releases, but it has also provided a universe of things, such as comics, books, toys, games, and other media. Today, I have great pleasure in announcing that Bandai Namco would like to introduce to you Star Wars Battle Pod. Star Wars Battle Pod is coin-operated/card-operated, physical battle game,” said the President and CEO of Bandai Namco Amusement America, Inc., John McKenzie.
The cinematic dome screen from the arcade unit uses panoramic optimization display technology to provide a 180 degree horizontal view of the entire game. With five levels of varying difficulties, ranging from Yavin to Vader’s Revenge, players have a first-hand experience as a member of the Rebel Alliance by destroying enemy crafts with a flight stick control and throttle.
When asked about including the prequel trilogy, developers Kazutoki Kono and Kazushi Imoto stated the desire to capture the most iconic scenes from the Star Wars galaxy and sharing those with the audience. To follow up with the topic, the developers asked me what I wanted to see from the prequel trilogy, and I mentioned the magnificent podraces from Tatooine in The Phantom Menace and the Battle of Coruscant from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
The pod itself is most impressive with dimensions measuring up to 74″ (1,880mm) in width, 63.7″ (1,620mm) in depth, 100″ (2,540mm) in height, and 804.6 lbs (365kg) in weight (specifications are subject to change). Other technological features include controller and seat vibrations, bursts of air, and 5.1ch surround sound for a complete immersive environment.
During the hands-on portion of the event, I selected the Yavin level. Sadly, I failed the first time, but I recovered and won for the Rebel Alliance after a second try. The game itself, like most arcade units, guides you along. For a quick round of entertainment, Battle Pod successfully takes you to the Star Wars galaxy and back unlike previous Star Wars arcade games. For an additional perspective on the game and the event, check out TheForce.net‘s report.
Coming January 2015, the arcade games will be distributed to Dave & Buster’s restaurant locations across the United States. Starting today through November 2, 2014, Star Wars Battle Pod will be available to the public at Midtown’s Dave & Buster’s in New York City.