Monday, December 30, 2013

Round 1 Arcade Beyond LA Lies A Great Arcade

Beyond the city of LA are the surrounding far off lands seldom people visit do to the constant local news telling of murders most foul. For those brave enough to venture beyond LA to the City of Industry you'll encounter the most up to date arcade featuring the newest machines from Japan in the LA area.

On a recent quest that did not end enjoying the tastes of the Magic Bathroom Cafe, a mere mile or so from the location, some friends and I were presented with one of the finest arcades and entertainment centers that begs the questions, "Why didn't this place open in Hollywood and Highland?" or "Why isn't this in the valley?"

Round 1 Bowling & Amusement
Puente Hills Mall
1600 S.Azusa Ave. Suite 285,
City of Industry, CA 91748
(626) 964-5356

We parked on the wrong end of the lot. We missed the majesty of a giant bowling pin. The comfort of sliding doors. A commercial explaining what the place was. We missed the wall of what new machines were in. We missed who the bowling champs were.

We explored the mall first until we saw the massive entrance. I stopped to behold Sega's Dream Raiders, which I had only seen on the Arcade Heroes web-site. One of the only new arcade machines brought to America from Sega last year. We were in awe.

For the first thirty minutes we explored the vast nature of Round 1. My party or to write my best friend's birthday party had driven forty miles, passed two major accident (one expected, because it's LA) and one dead duck left on the side of the freeway on metal railing, it looked like it was killed with a vendetta, all to traverse this wonderful arcade.

Stumbling passed the Sega's Dream Raiders we entered the redemption center. Toys and items that would be cheaper to buy instead of going after in the arcade. We went further into the redemption games. Beyond that were shooters I had never shot. So many brightly colored guns to hold. So many different set-ups, so many ways to shoot killer robots in the future.

Passed Mario racing Pac-Man was the fighter section. You can actually get the Tekken Banapassport card to save your progress and level up your fighter, I don't believe there are any LA locations to do so.

Dueling guitars from Gitadora.

What's that sound?

I'm listening....

Where have I heard this before?

Oh, my G-d!

It's the theme song for Humanity Has Declined, "Real World" by Nano Ripe. Gitadora was playing the opening theme from one of my favorite animes that just got released in the US.

Is this place magical?

Taiko Drum Master!

They have a brand new Taiko Drum Master with Doramon and Naruto songs.

I thought I'd never see you again after Japan Arcade closed old giant drum friend.

After the sheer joy of getting to play Taiko again swelled my heart, further did I wander and marvel at all the glorious games to try. From the entrance I could see the bowling alley,I had passed it  the arcade calling was to loud. Bowling, next to billiards, ping-pong and rooms and rooms of karaoke.

This isn't just two lanes or a few rooms, karaoke and bowling dominate an area of the amusement center. If you enter from it's real entrance you'll pass them as you get to the arcade area.

Food is found inside with it's own greasy food area and a few tables. There's even a locker area to stow your belongings to free up your hands.

Now after just accepting I was in a real honest to goodness arcade again I had to get a card. Quarters are dead. You've got to put credit on your card, which cost a buck to activate to play these games. In the next two hours I spent fifteen and played everything I wanted to or I probably spent more. Time and common sense died when I just walked around looking at all the new machines.

You also have the ability to pay for an hourly rate for playing the arcade machines, you lose redemption machines and perhaps more with this offer. Just ask the staff.

Staff interaction was minimal. I could use a kiosk to put points on my card. The times I talked to them they could barely understand me over the noise of people.

I can't recall if anything was even broken other than one air hockey machines. There were a few minor scrapes hear and there. The test your strength hammer looked like a dog got to it. Clean arcade approval.
The settings for Pac-Man Smash were stuck on normal though. A game where the rules of normal air hockey should not apply as muliple tiny discs are suppose to be flinged on the board so you can chomp up points faster by scoring them into your opponents goal. This option was not open and normal "classic mode" was only allowed on these machines.

Sticker picture machines for girls, claw machines to win prizes for girls and boys. Music games to play out your rock star fantasies with racers nearby.

Let's get gaming!

First to play was the Let's Go Jungle 3D game. No glasses required, I played along side a friend the poorly written shooter where you shoot starfish and squids down for ruining your vacation. It's a game I played before, not in 3D though.

I will stick to not playing it in 3D. The screen had some sort of a streak in it, which wouldn't be too damning if the 3D wasn't so bad.

This ridiculous shooter with bad acting cut scenes of an Australian couple has other units to play on, I suggest you play on them instead.

Dariusburst Another Chronicle wanted my butt to start shooting aliens mutant robots. The four player side-scrolling shooter had me teaming up with friends destroying a giant whale robot and satellites in space. Four-player weapon enhancing via tiny glowing orbs action. There's even a button to raise sound on your side of the machine.

There was nothing stranger or fun to watch then Elevator Action Death Parade. An arcade machine with real closing elevator doors you could open and close with the push of a button while shooting bad guys and monsters. The name alone will have you wanting to try it off in the corner in the back.

Dream Raiders, the machine that first encountered my eye was another insane concept from Sega. Enter dreams and shoot things. There are a lot of robots in dreams no matter if you're on a race track or your in the old west. This shooter takes two players and features  rumble seat to feel every car after your or UFO ride. I remember racing away from meteorites on the road.

Dark Escape 4D has two units to get trapped in. Put on some 3D glasses then get stuck in a nightmare where the machine "monitors" your heard through the shooter controllers. It's "4D" due to surround sound and air blowers to get you when your crawling through crevices or zombies are breathing on you.

Zombies in this are heavy. No flailing, it more like your hitting something with with no ligaments, a big heavy piece of meat. A horror shooter that be fun to master along side a friend who likes scary movies. With authentic 3D that gets all that gruesome close to your face.

Animal Kaiser makes it's appearance. Another game I never thought I'd see in America an to my knowledge weren't in the US until that day. Play as real world animals with unrealistic attacks against other real world animals with collectible cards. This machine scans real world cards. It's a gamble, you just have to hope whatever your number lands on is higher than your opponents. This machine does something most others haven't in the US. Give you a new card after playing. A new animal, attack, and super attack might fall out. You'll get a free card to start with if you ask for one behind the counter.

Watch as real world animals perform Dragon Ball Z attacks on each other for your pleasure.

They day grew short and we never go to bowl or sing or even play ping pong. There were other machines in photos I took I forgot to play. All that means is I have an excuse to go back.

This arcade amusement center comes from Japan, sort of like a test to see the market of America and how well there brand might work. There are two other locations further away from LA. The one I went to has been going since at least 2010 and into 2014 I hope to hear news of it moving closer to my city.

One of the best arcades I've gone to, blowing any other in LA right now. If you want a real arcade then it's worth the drive.

*You could still put this in the Arcades in LA series.

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