Keeping an eye on the coin-op gaming scene
While Episode VII is set for release next year, Namco is focusing on the original trilogy for its latest dome-screened machine. Star Wars: Battle Pod is based on the same POD (Panoramic Optical Display) cabinet and tech used for the company’s Ace Combatinspired Mach Storm. Like that game, Battle Pod is an on-rails shooter that allows some small movement within the boundaries of its set path. You’ll still be able to direct fire, dodge obstacles and choose between routes, but your sweeping passage through each of the five stages is predetermined.
Those stages include Endor, which sits you in a speeder bike as you dodge through trees and knock particularly reckless stormtroopers from the nose of your craft, and also the iconic Hoth battle in which you’ll run rings around AT-ATs in your Snowspeeder. You’ll also get to pilot an X-Wing above Yavin, take on the Death Star II in the Millennium Falcon, and in a bonus stage called Vader’s Revenge you’re even handed control of the Sith Lord’s iconic TIE Advanced x1 craft in a section that follows on from the conclusion of Episode IV.
The pod itself features a bucket seat that vibrates to the action onscreen, while fans blast players with air to accentuate movement. The huge wraparound monitor fills your field of vision, stretching 180 degrees around the seat, and Mach Storm players will feel at home with the controls, which are exactly the same combo of flight stick and throttle lever. The game will hit US arcades in January, with Europe and other territories to follow.
Game StarWars:BattlePod Manufacturer Namco