A Day at Power Play - DTJAAAAMJSLM Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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A Day at Power Play

Since I had the weekend off, I decided to journey over to one of the latest destinations for video game enthusiasts in Seattle. I'm talking about the brand new $4 million dollar Power Play arcade in Bellevue's Lincoln Square. I'll start off by saying that if you're looking for an arcade that will hold fighting game tournaments or house the latest space shooters imported from Japan, you're in the wrong spot! This is more of an arcade for the Wii generation.

Once I entered Lincoln Square, I headed up to the next floor and spotted the entrance to Power Play. It was connected to the Lucky Strikes Lanes bowling alley. My first order of business was taking a look around at what the joint had to offer.

I noticed this special version of OutRun 2 as soon as I entered the game center. According to the news articles about Power Play, only 16 of these machines exist in the world.

Pleny of other arcade racing games were lined up against the wall opposite OutRun 2. I wouldn't consider myself a fan of the genre, but if you do like these kinds of games, I'm sure you'd feel right at home.

The arcade version of Guitar Hero was another major attraction listed in various articles about Power Play. A local bowling alley called Acme Bowl happens to have the same machine and it's closer to my home, so I wasn't exactly bedazzled while standing in the game's presence.

Mocap Boxing was a favorite of mine back when I worked in an arcade, so I was pleased to see the game in the lounge. However, I wasn't in the mood to break a sweat or dirty my jacket.

Roaming near the back for a few moments, I took notice of some of the artwork decorating the walls. Eh, I guess this kind of stuff appeals to audience Power Play was designed for.

Now that's more like it! I'd probably say that this is the only piece on display in Power Play that I truly appreciated.

The sports bar at the back of the arcade was empty. Well, it was a Saturday afternoon, so I guess it makes sense that nobody would be here until later in the evening.

To the left of the bar was a whole bunch of redemption games. These are definitely perfect for the casual crowd since they generally appeal to people of all ages.

Even further to the left were several ball-related games. Skee ball was slightly tempting since I haven't played that in years. All the games at Power Play used cards like similar to the kind at GameWorks or Dave & Buster's, so it was time to invest in one!

Going to this kiosk, I inserted my Street Fighter 4 credit card. I then went through the touch screen prompts to order a new $10 card. Each dollar is equal to 100 points, which is the currency used at Power Play. An error message soon came up saying that the machine was not accepting credit card payments at this time. What the heck? I will note that I did refill my card later in the day and everything went fine.

Heading over to the front desk, I was somewhat surprised to see that I didn't have to wait in a line. After handing over my credit card and being told about the $2 activation charge, I received my Power Play game card. The attendant said to have fun as I went in search of the first game I wanted to play.

I wasn't aware that Justice League: Heroes United even existed, so I swiped my card and took a stab at the game. I should have saved my money for something better. This particular incarnation of the Justice League appears to be based off of the animated series, though I was shocked to see that the Flash wasn't included in the list of five playable heroes. I selected Batman as my hero and was soon treated to a fairly simple brawler with graphics from the Nintendo 64 era. After fighting a bunch of the Joker's clown goons, I made it to Harley Quinn before dying and backing away from the machine.

Police 911 2 was the next game I sampled. I always found the original to be enjoyable, and this one was just as good. Unlike the older game, I was given a choice of several characters, each armed with a different kind of gun. I selected the American detective and shot my way through quite a few Japanese criminals before running out of lives. This reminds me, I need to try and track down the Japanese PS2 port of the original Police 911 one of these days!

I'm still a bit surprised that Power Play doesn't have any actual Dance Dance Revolution games, but they at least had Pump It Up. The volume on the game is nice and loud, and the sensors are in great shape. I played Beethoven Virus and two other random tracks that I cannot recall. If you're a PIU fan looking for a good place to play, you may want to drop in for a dance on this machine.

I took a chance and played this game, which involved pressing a button to stop a spinning marker on a wheel. I was enticed by the chance to win a blue DSi, but only scored a couple of prize tickets.

I'm always a fan of random trivia, so I made sure to try this quiz game. I answered all but 1 question correctly and received 30 tickets for my hollow victory. I'm sure I would have felt more pride if I'd actually played and won against other live competitors.

Deal or No Deal basically follows the premise of the show, but you're wagering on tickets instead of money. When the game starts up, the contents of each suitcase are shown to the player and then shuffled really quickly right before your eyes. I was doing quite well up until the end, which is where the remaining suitcases either had 7 or 100 tickets inside of them. The banker offered me around 50, but I got greedy and kept my suitcase. Let's just say I should have taken his offer!

Since there weren't many other games that I was looking forward to playing, I spent most of my leftover credits on this crane game. I managed to snag two of them in a single grab! Sadly, those were the only two that I won, for all the other animals I grabbed endeding up falling out of the claw as it moved towards the drop zone.

I'd say that my favorite activity at Power Play was the laser corridor. For $3, you enter a room and must crawl, jump over, or shimmy past laser beams like a thief in order to reach a "valuable" diamond on the other side. More beams will be present depending on which difficulty you select. While you're playing, your actions are shown on camera to people waiting outside. The fellow in the image shown above blazed through the course on Easy. I tried it on Normal and ended up tripping two alarms. Hey, it's tough when you're in a suit jacket and carrying two stuffed animals!

Before I left, I fed my hard-earned tickets to the ticket counting machine, which digitally added them to my card. After that, I turned around and walked over to the prize counter. As with most arcades, anything that was remotely cool was too expensive. I had enough points to get some candy, but I decided that I'd rather keep them for now.

I wouldn't mind picking up most of these games as prizes. However, it's still cheaper to just go to an actual game store and buy these unless you were having a really lucky day on the redemption games. Even then, based on my calculations, you'd only save about $10 if you magically earned 200 tickets on each game that costs 50 points per play.

Of course, I'm obligated to take a photo of the stuff I brought home. Those are the two stuffed animals I won from the crane game and the card that now houses the spirits of my 41 tickets.

Overall, I hate to say that my experience at Power Play wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I was hoping for more titles that I expect from a typical arcade, like Tekken and House of the Dead. I'm also somewhat shocked that there aren't any vintage titles like Pac-Man or Galaga since those are timeless classics. There are plenty of worse ways that I could have used my money, but I would have had a better time if I'd used my $13 at GameWorks. I won't make the effort to go out of my way for a return trip, but if I'm ever stranded in Bellevue for an hour or two, I'd spend my time playing games in here.

Comments
  • Wow, that was cool. Do more stuff like this, this is cool.

  • I'm seven kinds of envious of you right there, but there was no ParaPara Paradise, was there? X3 OF COURSE NOT.

  • Sounds cool and depressing. Arcades are nothing as they once were. Did they not have PS3 titles for tickets?

  • Thats Krazy kewl. The most we have in Utah is the Nickel arcade. God knows those machines haven't changed since the 90's

  • sure wish we had some sort of arcade here, you can go to the local movie theater but thats a joke and the closest DECENT arcade is about 50 miles away at a shopping mall

  • i like the idea of arcades but unless people take the time to get off there buns from great games like wow or others, and actually go to arcades i think thats about as good as it will get.

  • Mod

    They have that Deal or No Deal game at our local Chuck E Cheese. I've won quite a few tickets for my daughters.

  • I am a child of the 80's.  I grew up blowing my money at the local Putt Putt or Aladdin's Castle.  Memories of the dimly lit atmosphere and sounds of the arcade cabinets still make me smile.  To see what "arcades" have evolved into - line after line of cheesy ticket redemption games - makes me want to puke.  'Tis truly a shame.

  • There use to be an arcade at my local mall and although the room was rather small, it did house some great arcade games.  Every time I was at the mall i would always stop and drop $5 at the arcade and play games like soul caliber, mortal kombat, time crisis 4, and a couple of fps games one of which you used a scope and the other was a standard pistol machine, but each stage was a parody from a movie and I laughed all the way until I lost all my lives. It was truly entertaining.

     Then one day they closed their doors and replaced the arcade with an Eye Doctor office (WTF right?)  I never understood what happened because it always looked like they did alright to me, there was always a steady stream of people coming in and out of the place.  Now I spend my times at the mall bored as I wait for my friends to finish their shopping.