Saturday, November 15, 2014

GameWorks Las Vegas (Nov 2014)

GameWorks started off as the merger of DreamWorks, Universal Studios and Sega. I remember when they started off the whole project. They hyped the opening for months. In 1997 when they opened up the first Seattle GameWorks they even had a half an hour special of the opening of it on MTV complete with celebs like Will Smith playing the newest games like Sega Super GT/Scud Race and a full 8 player race on Virtua Formula. (Virtua Racing Deluxe)

I had the opportunity to visit the original Las Vegas location on my very first trip to Las Vegas. They had a lot of unique games you could only play there. From the full deluxe Lost World: Jurassic Park, Sonic Championship (AKA Sonic: The Fighters) and they even had these couch areas setup. They had games like Virtua Tennis with giant boxed joysticks set up on SuperGuns you could play on a couch and have drink service. They also had a classics area with shrunken down cabs that you could sit at with bar stools.

But..the one game that they had that was a GameWorks exclusive was "Vertical Reality". The game was a giant tower with multiple chairs you would get strapped into. You where given a lightgun and I think the objective of the game was to rise up to the top to fight the boss. I say "I think" because when I went the game was out of order, but from seeing videos on television and on the internet I think that's how the game worked. If you got shot you'd free fall and drop a level and try to work your way back up the tower. It looked really fun and it's a shame it didn't work. I made sure to go a second day on my first trip to see if they had it working and sadly it was never working both times I went. Sadly there isn't any video of the MTV Event or any other video of the game running on YouTube.

According to Wikipedia GameWorks filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and 2010. When Sega merged with Sammy they ended up selling the rights to the chain to an investment group. There where rumored to have being shut down but for many of the owners and managers of GameWorks they had wanted to keep the places going since they had still very good business.

So this summer GameWorks came back and they bought back a brand new location in Las Vegas with a brand new eSports Arena where you can play PC and Console games along with GameWorks other staples like bowling, billiards, pinball, arcade games and of course, redemption games for the kiddies. After talking with many of the workers they told me the place was getting a lot of positive feedback from the community. Their in talks of expanding out the arcade to offer even more games. Sadly due to the size of the roof in the current location they can't bring back Virtual Reality, which I would love to be able to play again. But hopefully they'll bring back more of their special deluxe cabs and collection of mini cocktail classic games!

I just wanted to give a very special thank you to Samantha and the rest of the GameWorks staff for hosting me and for allowing me to film inside the arcade! Make sure you check them out on your next trip!

No comments:

Post a Comment