I spent my better teenage years… and twenties years… going to the arcade a few times a week. And I can mostly thank dancing games for that. Riding my bike over to Brunswick Zone to play DDR Extreme, Maximum Tune, and Soul Calibur II. Or going the 5 miles to Odyssey Fun World to play Pump, DDR, ITG, and Marvel. Maybe some Tekken as well.
When I hit college, I didn’t have the time to be running around the suburbs where I lived, because school and all that. So it was ESPN Zone for me and some of the other Chicago peeps. This was my favorite place ever to play Pump. And to make it better, the employees were quite supportive of the repeat customers and the machine was always in decent shape. Not like Pump machines require a TON of work, but still. It was a rarity to have a machine that nice in public and after ESPN Zone closed, that was pretty much it. Dave and Busters isn’t an option for Dancing Games and never seriously has been.
But after my return to Chicago a few months back, I was trying to jump back into the game. And of course I didn’t want to drive all the hell out to Round 1 (as awesome as that place is.) and I was working downtown now. But hey… what’s this FTW place?
Being a movie guy obviously, I’ve been to River East a million times in my day, and even played DDR there after movies. But now, there’s an arcade? Yay!
I’m frequently there alone for my Pump it Up sessions but sometimes a few of the other city folk show up. All and all, I’m able to get my fill in.
I’m not really into the “community” and the “scene” so much these days. Maybe it’s because I’m old. But I just enjoy playing the game and pretty much that’s it. For the amount of time I sit, it keeps me from getting fat, so that’s good.
To be honest, as big as a gamer as am, there’s really not much I want to play except Pump. That Batman game is legit, it just seems to be missing something. Maybe I missed a multiplayer option, I’ll have to give it another spin.
But, it’s a great place to play Pump and that’s what I’m there for. The pads are still good as of this writing.
The more I look at it. FTW and Round 1 are all too similar. Both have Bowling and Pool and stuff (I’m counting Lucky Strike in with FTW). Foodstuffs, and an arcade. I think FTW’s only issue is that it really doesn’t know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a arcade, a beercade, or just a restaurant. It does all those things pretty well but could really do a lot better.
But I could only talk about the better on the arcade side of things. FTW is missing a core part of any arcade. A fighter and a shooter… a real shooter. I’m sure something like Tekken would be poppin’ in there. But the point of arcades is to bring people unique experiences they can’t have at home. So maybe a game like Pokken or even Crossbeats would be a hit. I see people love the touchscreen games anyway.
But that’s all just me thinking out loud.
Anyway, I have a lot of things to do… so I’ll see you all around. Maybe I can get a bigger group with me at FTW, doubt it, but hey… more Pump for me.