Thursday, October 16, 2014

Star Wars Battle Pod Video Game Flies Into Arcades January 2015

With the proliferation of home video game consoles and the fact that most phones probably have at least one game loaded on them (I happen to have Angry Birds: Star Wars and Star Wars Pinball on my iPhone) you wouldn't consider there to be much of a market for manufacturers to be creating new video arcade games.   Bandai Namco Games Inc. is betting that arcades aren't dead just yet though and has invested in a brand new video game titled Star Wars: Battle Pod.  It allows players to take command of vehicles from the original trilogy of films such as X-wings, the Millennium Falcon, snowspeeders, and speederbikes and race through digitally reproduced scenes from the movies in arcade-exclusive game play beginning in January 2015 within the United States and a global release will follow later in the year.   The Battle Pod features a unique dome screen enveloping a player's entire area of sight that leaving him or her with a sense of actually piloting and taking part in scenes from the film.

"The Star Wars universe is a vast galaxy of memorable experiences and epic storylines and we intend to put that level of fun and control in the hands of fans with Star Wars: Battle Pod," said Satoshi Oshita, president and CEO of Namdai Namco Game Inc., in the announcement release promoting this new video game. "Players can jump right in to true-to-film battles on Endor, Hoth, Death Star II, Yavin, and more."

Today's arcades are different than the ones I went to as a kid.  They are much more focused on providing "experiences" rather than actual game play because it is too easy to play games at home or on the go now.  But you currently can't replicate racing on a mechanical jetski or motorcycle (which seem to be some of the more popular games when my kids and I go to the arcade) in your living room or on a phone.  So in that same light this new Star Wars video game provides a visual experience with its multi-dimensional screen that can't currently be replicated outside of the arcade.  From the video previews it appears this game really lets players become immersed in the Star Wars scenario they select and live out a scene from the movies rather than trying to "win" a game or beat levels.  It appears for a set amount of money you are guaranteed to complete your selected mission in  one take versus having to spends lots of hours and tons of quarters trying to get from one level to the next.

In an interview about Star Wars Battle Pods with John McKenzie, president of Bandai Namco Amusement America and Europe by it was noted by the gaming company executive that there would be five levels to the game that each are designed to be accomplished in one sitting so players can enjoy it within a set amount of time for a set amount of money.  "When you go into an arcade you need something that delivers an experience you can't get at home," McKenzie said. "That typically means these much bigger, experiential titles. Games that feel almost like a theater experience or augmented reality, rather than simply something you play for fun. The added benefit of a game like Battle Pod is that it delivers a set experience, typically three to four minutes long, for a set price."

The Battle Pod game will feature five separate scenes to select from key moments in the original trilogy of Star Wars movies and each featuring a different memorable vehicle relevant to that scenario.  In Endor, players race through the forest moon on speeder bikes.  There is a Death Star II scene where you race around and through the space station in the Millennium Falcon.  You try to repel the Imperial attack of the Rebel base on Hoth in a snow speeder.  You can also pick from either Darth Vader's TIE fighter or Luke Skywalker's X-wing to reenact the famous Deathstar space battle from the original Star Wars movie.

So keep an eye out at places like Dave & Busters or Chuck E Cheese for this new video game. It looks pretty darn cool!  I know for sure my kids and I will be on the look out for it.


  1. It looks cool. I love Dave & Busters.

  2. That looks really cool, bet all the Star War fans will want to play that!

  3. That is very cool! I know my son would love that!

  4. I love the arcade! But I'm more of a fan of the classics... skeeball!! ;-)