Anime Expo: The Arcade

This article was originally published for Site of the Gaming Dead, a now-defunct video game blog on July 7, 2010. I have done my best to recreate the original article here, complete with images (when possible).

Contrary to what Adam said in his last post about the Anime Expo arcade-that-almost-wasn’t, enough people seemed to like Arcade Infinity’s presence at Anime Expo near the Concourse Hall to keep the open-area game center packed throughout most of the con. However, since it almost wasn’t at the con at all, the only way to know the arcade’s location was by accidentally stumbling across it or by word of mouth. For a more comprehensive review of the arcade, read on.

The arcade did somehow seem bigger than last year’s, which was actually inside one of the meeting halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center, but that could have been an illusion created by the lower level “lounge area” that the arcade was contained within. Still, it was consistently packed with people and didn’t appear to have any staff on hand to answer questions, fix broken games, or handle any possible issues with change for the machines.

The selection seemed intentionally built to appeal to a select crowd: games included Bemani rhythm-and-dance favorites like Dance Dance Revolution (both Extreme and SuperNova 2 were present) and Para Para Paradise, alongside more traditional arcade games like Monkey Ball and Guilty Gear XX. The chances that you would –or even could, given the crowds–transition from one game to another seemed fairly small.

Because of those crowds, I wasn’t able to accurately assess how well the games worked or whether people liked the prices set, nor was I able to find someone from Arcade Infinity to ask about their participation at Anime Expo. If you missed the initial announcement here about the arcade’s presence, the short story is that AI came to AX so the expo could have an arcade, which is always a popular venue. Arcade Infinity is a Rowland Heights-based arcade that’s faced some financial difficulties and the hope is that their participation at AX would help out the physical arcade outside of Los Angeles and keep hometown arcades running. We have yet to find out whether being at AX actually helped AI any, but if you stopped by their expo arcade, tell us what you thought of it!