Review: New Star Wars Arcade Game 'Star Wars Battle Pod'; See Photos And Video

Last night, I flew the Millennium Falcon. And an X-Wing. And a Snowspeeder. And a Speeder Bike. And even Darth Vader's TIE Fighter. You can play as all of those ships too in the brand new arcade game, Star Wars Battle Pod, which is currently in Arcades nationwide.

Battle Pod is basically just that. It's a sit down flying/shooting game with a screen that covers your entire plane of vision, over 180 degrees, making it feel like you are inside your favorite Star Wars ship. There are then five different missions you can play. Fly an X-Wing at the battle of Yavin and try to destroy the Death Star. Fly a Snowspeeder on Hoth, protecting the Rebel transports. Man a Speeder Bike on Endor to destroy the shield generator. Take the Millennium Falcon into the second Death Star. Or, in the game's most challenging and exciting battle, play as Darth Vader against the Rebels immediately after the destruction of the first Death Star.

Below, read our Star Wars Battle Pod review and see some official videos and photos.

First up, here are some cool photos and videos of Star Wars Battle Pod.

Here's a better look at the console itself, both on the outside and cross sectioned:

These are the levels.

And here are a few photos from each level.




Death Star II

Vader's Revenge

Thanks to Action Figure Insider for the photos. Head there for many more.

It looks pretty epic right? And it is. On the next page, read about our experience playing the game.

Germain Star Wars Battle Pod

So how is the game? Well, overall, incredibly fun. That kind of goes without saying. The immersive view with huge sound effects really does feel like you are flying these ships. The view is so impressive, it almost feels like Oculus Rift. You can look right, look left, and just everything is in view. It's not quite as crisp as that, or the photos above, but it totally works.

Once you select your mission, you get a few quick cut scenes to set up the scenario. Scenarios that, with the exception of the Vader one, are completely recognizable. You've seen the movies, you basically know exactly what to expect. There's an option to switch between a clean view, where you see nothing but the planet in front of you, or an interior view, like all the photos you see here. That one, to me, was a bit more fun, especially in the Millennium Falcon, with that cockpit around you. There are even buttons on the bottom left and right of the screen that you can't touch, but adds to that cockpit feel.

Star Wars Battle Pod Death Star 1

The controls are simple. You use both hands, but not really. Your left hand is on the throttle/brake. For the most part, you don't really use this as your ship flies on its own, but you can tell speed control is the key to higher scores. Your right hand is you lateral motion as well as your trigger. This is your primary function.

Since you aren't really flying, you are basically just shooting. This is where Battle Pod is a tad disappointing. The machine is flying for you and most of your concentration is on following the guide arrows to find your next target, be it a TIE Fighter or whatever else. The game pretty simply guides you through everything you need to do, and it's just about shooting down enemies as fast as possible.

As you do this, the graphics look amazing, but sometimes things are moving so fast, you can't really keep track. Endor solves this because the mission is bit more narrow, but the space missions, where you're flying all over the place, can be disorienting.

Star Wars Battle Pod Vader 3

Though there is a challenge to get a better ranking, it's very difficult to die in the game. Most games end either with a mission failure or mission success based solely on your ability to target the final target at the right moment. It's pretty easy, even on the higher levels, but is kind of funny when you don't blow up the Death Star or don't take down the shields. It's almost better, cause you see something new.

Speaking of something new, the Vader's Revenge level is insane. It's such a rush to see an X-Wing Fighter in your sights. Or even the Millennium Falcon. Plus, this is a new Star Wars story where you're trying to stop the Rebels from stealing a special laser. Vader's Revenge is the hardest mission so I didn't get to see how it ended, but I'll be going back to try it.

Another note, all of the classic Star Wars dialogue is in there. "Great shot kid, that was one in a million." "Han, old buddy, don't let me down," etc. But they aren't spoken by the actors movie, which is a little disappointing. It still works cause you are in the midst of the game, but it did stand out a bit.

Star Wars Battle Pod Yavin 2

Also, as of now, the game is only these five missions. It's very much built for you to sit down, play a game, and be done with it. There's no real replay value once you've beaten all five missions. That's a little disappointing. Plus, it's interesting that these five levels are all original trilogy based. You'd imagine it would work wonderfully for a Podrace or flying above Coruscant but those aren't options. Maybe an update? Who knows.

Overall, if you're a Star Wars or game fan, you should seek out Star Wars Battle Pod. It's fun, it's beautiful, it's Star Wars. It's got a few small kinks but you won't be disappointed you played. In fact, you're going to want to play more.