A Game Monkeys Magazine‘s Feature
For this month’s feature, Game Monkeys Magazine went to the Wizards of the Coast Gaming Center in Seattle, WA to participate in the fully functional, fully enclosed Battle Tech simulators they have there…And by the Great Monkey did we ever have fun.
So, to start us off, here are the important points- by the numbers:
1. The Wizards of the Coast Gaming Center: If you’re a Seattle-ite you already know what this is. Basically, it is the largest shrine to geekdom ever created. It is two floors of video games, role playing games, card games, and other nerdish fun. We love it and frequent it regularly.
|2. The Battle Tech Pods: Officially they are called the "Tesla Simulators." What they are, in short, are fully enclosed, fully functional, networked cockpits of amazing proportions. They feature dozens of functional buttons and controls, integrated voice networking, pedals, sticks, and throttles, large display screens, and comfy seats.|
3. Virtual World: This is the company that makes and updates the Pods and the games in them. They are mighty.
4. Battle Tech: This is a fun game created by Fasa that follows a sci-fi story line in which combat is conducted in giant lumbering robots. It is the game that created such computer and console titles as Mechwarrior (1-3), Mechcommander, the Crescent Hawk series, and MechMonkey…Okay, no…Not the last one…But soon we hope!
5. Red Planet: This is another game for the Pods by Virtual World. Where Battle Tech is a giant robot fighting game, Red Planet is a fast, sleek, racing/combat racing game. This may be mentioned but is not actually covered in this review feature.
So, what’s all that come together and mean? Well, you go down to the Wizards center, walk into the Battle Tech Command Bay, pay your $5 per 10 minutes, and become a Mechwarrior. Or, if you’re Cornelius, you become an incessantly smoking stump.
|The experience begins in the Command Center (which is actually just an out of the way corner of the Game Center) that is totally decked out with graphics, schematics, overviews, and key features of the Pods. Here you can also watch a fascinating instructional video starring Judge Reinhold that demonstrates how any lemming with no experience and wearing only jeans and a t-shirt can defend the universe. It is quite amusing.|
After the video and a tutorial from the incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staff, you give your call sign, step into a pod, and you are blasting away at friends, enemies, friend’s enemies, enemies’ friends, friends of friends enemies, enemies of enemies’ friends’ enemies…Well, you get the idea.
| In the Pods you may chose from one of fifteen mechs of various sizes and armaments, configure the weapon groupings and power routings, and then pray to whatever deity you think will save you before entering into an up to 8 player melee.
And now, the reviews from those who survived. We would also like to announce that the memorial service for Hump- the Spanking Spider Monkey will be held next week.
And, now that you know what we think, if you'd like more info, visit these sites:
Finally, before we conclude this feature, there are some huge "Thanks" that must be conveyed. First, thank you to James at Virtual World for not only creating kick ass games but helping us get in, Regan at WotC for his help and making it happen, and last but not least R2, Kitch, Magus, and the others at the Center who gave us Monkeys a fantastic time (and who showed great restraint in not just beating us like red headed step children).