By: Joette Leshinski
It’s that time of year again! It’s the Arcade Expo in Banning, CA. Being that I had a blast last year… I’ll be sure to attend this year as well. The event will be held from January 15-17, 2016. Check out their website (arcadeexpo.com) as they count down by the second.
What to expect: Fun, games on free play, booze, food, new friends and the list goes on. With special guests including the legendary Walter Day and gaming champion Billy Mitchell… the fun never ends. I mean… how could it? There are 800 arcades and pinballs on free play from retro to modern.
Think you’ve got what it takes? Join in on the 3-day pinball tournament they are calling “It Never Drains in California.” The pinball champion will be crowned after multiple series of rounds racking up a high score based on a point system.
But wait … there’s more! Chill out and party at the VIP “Getaway Party” or test your knowledge with “Pinball Pub Quiz.” You can also game under the stars as campsites are available!
Join in on the fun at the Arcade Expo. I mean, c’mon, they broke the Guinness World Record last year for most people (331 to be exact) playing pinball simultaneously. How cool is that? Join your Arcade Heroes and plenty of others for a night of fun, laughter and gaming and be part of something bigger.
By Cody Warhurst
Let me start out by saying this flight sim clocks in at a whopping $100,000, so if you want to play it, you are probably going to need to head to a Dave & Buster’s or sell your house.
Now that that’s out of the way, how long have you been dreaming about piloting the Millennium Falcon? X-Wing? TIE Fighter? Snowspeeder? Probably since you saw your very first Star Wars movie. Well now is your chance. With the Star Wars Battle Pod, you can do just that and more. SWBP is a sit-down flight sim with an immersive screen that wraps around to cover your entire field of vision (over 180o), making it truly feel like you’re flying your favorite Star Wars ship.
The game itself has five missions: fly an X-Wing at the battle of Yavin and destroy the Death Star (awesome), fly a snowspeeder on Hoth to protect Rebel transports (awesome), man a speeder bike on Endor to destroy the shield generator (awesome), take the Millennium Flacon into the second Death Star (awesome), or play as Darth Freakin’ Vader against the Rebels after the destruction of the Death Star (awesome). Can you tell I’m stoked about this game?
As for the gameplay itself, maybe my high expectations let me down. The missions are few and kind of short. There’s a ton of action and everything happens so fast it’s hard to process what’s going on most of the time. It feels a bit gimmicky to be honest. I was hoping for immersive, complex gameplay, but I was left feeling quite underwhelmed.
Overall, I think this game was fun, but not terribly exciting. If you’re a casual gamer and not a diehard Star Wars nerd, I think you would walk away with a bit of a shoulder shrug from this game. Star Wars fanatics could go either way: either you’re going to go ballistic just to be able to play a flight sim based on the series most iconic ships or you’re going to be let down by the game which seems itself like an afterthought to the price tag. I’d give this game a very soft 6.5 out of 10, with a bit of play depending on the gamer.