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Rad Blog, long live The Empire!

 

What, did you think I was some sort of Jedi?

 

I’m mixing up my usual reaction-type posts with an arcade game this time! That’s kinda cool, right?

 

So, now that summer is over (tell that to the temperature), I made my way to the boardwalk which was pretty much abandoned. I walked into one of the arcades and found that there were hardly any people there. Happy, I decided to finally try the Star Wars Battle Pod. When I wanted to play it this summer, there were far too many people waiting for it.

 

Star Wars Battle Pod is slightly unique in that it combines those sit-down shooters such as The Ocean Hunter and Dreadstorm Pirates with a sort of racing game. What do I mean by that? Well, you are a pilot, and you control how you fly your ship. There’s a throttle on the left side, and a joystick on the other that you use to steer your aircraft.

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Throttle on the left. Joystick on the right.

There’s also special buttons that you will press when the game says to press them. There’s a missile button on the top of the joystick, and a lit green one near the throttle which I can’t remember what it does since I didn’t bloody use it.

 

This game is a lot like other arcade games I’ve seen where it uses fans to increase the environment. I always like those because it makes it seem more, I don’t know, realistic?

 

Being realistic is important for this game because it really is trying to immerse you into the world of aircraft of Star Wars. The screen is curved so you get more of that wider range of view. It is actually pretty cool in theory.

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Slightly more of the screen.

 

When I got into the pod, I sat down and admired the surroundings. This is in a closed area so the noise from the other arcade-goers was muted significantly. That was quite impressive for just a plastic door. It really made me think I was going into one of those ships.

 

Unfortunately, I was less impressed by the screen. You ever go to a movie theater where they keep the lights on for the entire movie? That’s what this was like. This game needs a darker environment. The projection screen just didn’t cut it when I played it around noon. I’m sure it would be a lot more impressive if I played it at night. I have to knock it a bit for this because I really shouldn’t have to wait that long. Not all arcades have appropriate lighting. Heck, they shouldn’t even have to have all the lights off just for this game.

 

I did, however, manage to play it fine. The screen was not great, but I still managed to see the cool graphics.

 

The game gives you a few missions. The easiest mission is the Death Star run (somehow). Other missions include Endor speedbiking and Hoth’s snowspeeder. I picked the easiest because how the heck would I know. I never played this game before.

You star off at the Yavin base and the game gives you a bit of an overview like “Destroy the Death Star, you Rebels” then it asks you to throttle up so you can take off and head into space. That was bloody awesome. The fans were perfect. The way you see your other ships take off with you was awesome. The jump between the atmospheres really just made me go “aw yeah!”

We then flew to the Death Star where TIE Fighters shot at us and I was prompted to help my Rebel buddies out. There was a cool targeting system where I had a box for lock-on kinda, except I couldn’t fire any missile ( I think). In stead, I was widely moving the joystick so I could get my targeting on the TIE Fighter and pulled the little trigger to shoot at it. I followed that thing through awesome loops and insane drops. When I destroyed it, it gave me a satisfying BOOM and I flew through the debris like a superhero.

 

we then had to make the trench run where I had to shoot Darth Vader’s ship . I was greeted with familiar dialogue from Han Solo when he came back with the Millennium Falcon going “YEEEEHAW!” Then, like in the movie, I had that targeting computer come up to show how close I was to the hole thing. Unlike the movie, I didn’t turn it off and use the force. I had to line it up perfectly in a set amount of time, which I did. I then blew up the Death Star and the Rebel guy was like “You’re Rad!”

 

Then it was done. The game prompted me to put in 2 more bucks to keep playing.

 

This is my other problem with the game. The mission was so darn short. I swear, I played for maybe five minutes and then it was done.  The price to keep playing was ridiculous. Most of the other arcade games were a dollar or 50 cents. This was a whopping two bucks! If I failed in the middle of the mission, that woulda been like two or three minutes of gameplay.

 

I don’t know if the arcade sets the price of this machine, but I think it was darn high. The game itself was really cool, but it is so short that I don’t know if it warrants the price. Maybe the other missions are longer. As a first time player, I found that it was too short.

 

Was this cool? Absolutely. Would I play it again? At night for sure. For two bucks? No, I would not.

 

I think it would be a bargain if you had some kind of token deal. If you had like 600 tokens, 8 credits doesn’t really seem like a lot. For me, where there wasn’t a token deal, two bucks is kinda steep. That means I have to sacrifice playing other games.

This actually doesn't do anything. It just looks cool.
This actually doesn’t do anything. It just looks cool.

I’ll give it to them that this looks darn cool and the gameplay is rad, but I gotta chop it down on the shortness and the glare. The pictures I posted here showing the screen is what it actually looks like, by the way. That’s how I played the game.

 

I’d say give it a try if money isn’t an object for you. If you want the full effect of this game, make sure it is kinda dark. It probably makes this game feel a lot more awesome.

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