Ok so for most of us over 50 people we don’t have the time to get out there and play video games. Not to mention that some of us may not even know where to go to play them. Outside of Dave and Busters there aren’t a whole plethora of places to go to play but this past Friday my wife and I went to Lucky Strike in Novi and experienced the Star Wars Battle Pod for the first time. I know this game has been out for almost four years now but this was the first time I have ever seen or experienced it.
The Pod itself was just amazing to look at even from the outside. The interior was even more impressive with its 180 degree curved display. This machine has a retail cost of $35,000.00 out the door and is available for purchase by ANY individual with delivery and set up options. The total weight of the game is just under half a ton (845 lbs.). The interior is set up for a single individual with seating for one through a privacy door on the left hand side (shown in the picture above). There is enough room for a single observer who might be able to video some of the play for you. If you would like to purchase one feel free to contact Bandai.
BANDAI NAMCO AMUSEMENT AMERICA INC (U.S.)
The game has multiple scenarios of different adventures thus different ships that one would evidently fly, but without getting into too much of the game itself I wanted to discuss the controls of the game. They are lacking in my opinion.
Apparently Bandai wanted to keep this as simple as they possibly could. There are no pitch or yaw controls and as you can see in the picture above this is just a simple 1980’s style forward/reverse joystick on the left and aim and fire joystick on the right. The controllers are supposed to make one feel like they are in control of the game they are playing; however, this game is pre-designated. There is a set pattern for where the ship will fly, what ships you are allowed to go after, and how the story will play out. I tried to steer the ship but the game wasn’t having it I began losing interest. Don’t get me wrong, the experience of the game is wonderful but if I am flying a ship I would prefer to be allowed to venture where I want and pick my own battles.
The purpose of the joysticks are to allow for interaction and control over the game but when the game has it’s own agenda the controls don’t quite appear that important. The look, feel, variety of scenes and design of the game are wonderful, but I feel it could have used a little more. I mean for $35k a little rumble in the seat or controllers would have been nice, but alas that wasn’t an option. It is a good game to play, again don’t get me wrong…I will probably go back and spend more money on it. I just feel they could have stepped it up a little more. We have so many options out there in 2019 and I think that there are many Gamers who would appreciate alternate options to make the game more immersible. They could allow for “simple” game play for the novice or, given more controlling features like additional flight controls, weapon controls, start up options, flight check features, operative fuel gauges and other gauges for effect, or maybe even a “Siriesque” Droid that one might give commands to against a display that might show certain damage of the vessel as the fight plays out.
Overall I would rate this game as a 7 (out of 10) and only losing three points for the controls and lack of some type of rumble pack. The game is great otherwise and, as mentioned, I will be back to play it again.
I added this video to give an idea of game play. Trust me, this video doesn’t do this Pod any justice because it doesn’t capture the full screen at all. Note that the volume is pretty quiet in there though.