Virtual reality meets old school gaming in new Tokyo attraction
Want to step out of the analogue world to engage in immersive virtual adventures? Blurring the line between what's real and what isn't, Bandai Namco's newest Virtual Reality (VR) Zone introduces a futuristic amusement park that plunges users into a deep gaming experience. +
A new Virtual Reality attraction, Mazaria in Tokyo's Sunshine City allows players to become part of some of their favourite anime and gaming worlds.
Mazaria spokeswoman Kumiko Yoshinari says that the experience is designed for visitors to "enter into this world and have a great time alongside their favorite characters."
One such visitor, Momiji Fukatsu, says that she thinks that because Virtual Reality as a new technology is not readily available to everyone, "having a place like this where you can try it out with lots of different games is great."
The centre is made up of four zones including an "Adventure Zone", "Panic Zone", "Science Fiction Zone" and "Festival Zone".
In the adventure zone, players can stay in the climatised comfort of the great indoors while immersing themselves in games with fishing, rafting or skiing themes.
The rafting game, known as Rapid River, allows players to row while sitting on a moving platform that mimics the movements of a raft.
Ami Tamaki, who tried out the game, says "it was really fun. It was super realistic and there were a lot of times where it really felt like you were going to fall. That made me feel really immersed in it."
The Panic Zone is an area for those who love even more of a thrill.
This section is made up of mostly horror games and looks almost like a haunted house, complete with dim lights and scary music.
One of the games in this area is the Hospital Escape Terror, where players wake up in an abandoned hospital and have to escape to avoid a monster.
The Science Fiction Zone is a popular area for lovers of anime and film alike.
This section is made up of several VR games that are based on Japanese pop culture phenomena such as Godzilla, Evangelion, Gundam, and Galaga.
The last and perhaps most popular area is the Festival Zone, where players can find entertainment games such as Mario Kart, Taiko, and Pac-Man.
The Mario Kart game is a VR version of the original popular video game.
The game allows up to four players and is played by utilizing the VR controls and steering wheel. Players are able to race against each other in various environments.
"I have always dreamed of being able to be inside a game, so I really enjoyed that", says Mikiko Yoshida, who works in sales.
Pac-Man VR is interactive game where you can play the role of Pac-Man.
To the naked eye, the gameplay area appears to be a group of squiggles on the floor, but once the VR goggles are on, players are transported to a maze area where they must run around and capture the balls while avoiding the ghosts.
The VR Park also includes a gift shop and a restaurant that serves many Bandai themed foods such as Pac-Man curry and ice cream.
Mazaria opened on 15 July 2019 as a permanent attraction located in Tokyo's Sunshine City complex. Tickets are about 40 US dollars for adults and 20 US dollars for children for a full day-pass.