A couple years ago Bandai/Namco introduced a big fancy new Star Wars game for the arcade market called Battle Pod. I think I did a post about it but don't quote me on that. Well, thanks to a doctor canceling an appointment same day, my son and I spent the afternoon at an arcade and got a chance to check it out.
The arcade that we went to has a lot more classic games than new ones (with the exception of all the fancy new pinball machines) so I was surprised to find it there. It wasn't cheap, $2 a play, so we only played it a couple times. If the levels weren't so short and you didn't have to pay to continue to the next level we might have played it more but it was worth giving it a try. It's a bit hard to tell by my crack photography here but the screen is curved and wraps around you somewhere around 180 degrees. It's not total immersion but it's pretty close. Close enough that when you're making that trench run you definitely feel like you're Red-5 and Darth is on your tail. It might not be the best Star Wars game I've ever played but as far as feeling like you're in a movie I don't think it can be beat. It's a rail shooter so you don't have much control over where you're flying. I feel like if they took the same screen and graphics and just made it a full on space flight sim you'd really have something special. Maybe save the rail shooter stuff for the trench run but also have full space battles where you're actually piloting the x-wing.
Just throwing some ideas out there.
If you run across one of these in the wild I heartily recommend you try it out. It's worth the couple dollars just to experience once or twice. Or if you're a millionaire and had $20,000 burning a hole in your pocket this would make a real nice cornerstone of a home arcade.
UPDATE! These things cost $100,000, that's a lot of wampa pelts...
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