FutureFive NZ was kindly invited to play the new Halo: Fireteam Raven arcade game at Xtreme Entertainment Wairau/Timezone New Zealand and it was a blast.
Xtreme Entertainment Wairau/Timezone NZ is the first ever location in all of New Zealand to get this monstrosity of an arcade machine. You can go to the location right now and play it for yourself when you have the chance to go there.
Arcade games in general are a dying breed thanks to many people preferring to own consoles and playing at home. Anyway, it's great to see Timezone New Zealand importing Halo: Fireteam Raven because it's one of the most enjoyable arcade games I have played in years.
The first thing you will notice about Halo: Fireteam Raven is the sheer size of the entire setup. I thought Star Wars: Battle Pod was the largest arcade machine I'd ever seen, but this new Halo game dwarfs it in size. It may not be the biggest arcade game in the world, but it's personally the largest one I have ever seen thus far.
Seriously, you need to see this beast in person to truly appreciate how big it is. The game uses two 65 inch TV screens linked together to make one 130 inch screen enough for four players to play the game simultaneously. Gamers will assume the role of four Spartan soldiers as they shoot their way through the evil invading Covenant alien army.
The screen itself offers a beautiful looking 4K display that is crystal clear with some very loud speakers. This game is super loud as the speakers are right behind you so you can feel every explosion that come across your way.
What I admire most about this game is that it actually has a story mode with lots of cutscenes and dialogue in between the levels you go through. It may not have the most engaging storyline ever, but it was nice to play an arcade game with an actual narrative.
As for the gameplay, it plays similarly to an Aliens light gun game I played several years ago but it's even more fun. You really need to play with three other friends as the game is not as fun without four people playing it together. Everyone needs to work together to help each other out to prevent any teammates from dying.
Another thing I like about the game is that you are able to use many different weapons throughout the Halo universe. This includes the iconic battle rifle, many Covenant weapons and of course lots of Gatling guns and turrets. A lot of things are available for you to shoot here such as Grunts, Elites, flying Banshees and more.
Even though I had a lot of fun playing this game, there are only a few flaws to point out. For one thing, reloading is a bit cumbersome because the button you need to press is in the middle of the gun that you are using. It would have been better if you were able to use your thumbs to reload instead because reloading can cause you to lose a life if you're not fast enough.
Another thing this game lacks is any type of boss battles. It would have been cool if there were some badass bosses for fight, but sadly all you have to shoot is a lot of enemy soldiers and their vehicles.
Despite the minor flaws, Halo: Fireteam Raven is still a great game and it's worth playing if you love old school light gun games. Head on down to your local Timezone New Zealand location and see if they have one of these new machines installed!