A new entertainment facility is open in the Los Angeles area – however from the sounds of it, it’s still in a “beta testing” stage. AH correspondent Phil Arrington takes a look at the new facility that is looking to bring amusement to the LA area.
“In the fall of 2011, people got news of a bowling alley arcade opening up summer 2012 in the ghost town mall that is called the Little Tokyo Mall. The idea of a new entertainment place opening up in Los Angeles is something unheard that got many hyped at the time. It was said to be a bar, restaurant, bowling and an arcade in one place. Usually the people of Los Angeles have to travel to Orange County for Dave & Busters or Long Beach for Gameworks…..which is now KDB (Kitchen, Den and Bar) for this combination of entertainment. And now in Los Angeles we have X-lanes…..an entertainment place operating on hopes and dreams for the moment.
X-lanes had the lamest opening ever for an entertainment center in my view. After a successful soft opening on May 8th and 9th, they had a normal opening a week later – which no one heard about. Unless you visited the site (xlanesla.com/), which many didn’t, you had no clue of this place opening on Friday May 20, 2013. The Facebook page didn’t give an update until 5 PM opening day. This is not a complete build of the place. This is a beta and it shows.
Let’s start with the negative aspects for the place. Here’s a list.
-Trash cans………………..you would think they would have trash cans around. But they don’t. You have to go up front for the moment or the bathroom and use their trash cans…..office bins basically.
-They don’t have a main power switch to cut off all the arcades games. Many people have to plug in the games themselves for them to operational; otherwise, they think the game is broken.
-Over half of the workers know how to add credit to cards from what it seems. They’re pretty much improvising right on the spot and learning on the go.
-The arcade is 70-75% redemption games and all of them are off since they have no “X-lanes” tickets yet. They have an out of order sign on most of them.
-bowling is glitchy……….but people can ignore that for now
-and none of them heard of Arcade Heroes
Ok, now we can focus on the positives of this place;
The place itself is focus more on the nightlife of Little Tokyo which is getting better. To describe X-Lanes, it’s like Dave and Buster is having a friends with benefits relationship with Round 1. Their menu for the moment is small, but good. The bar has a nice selection of drinks. And the employees, with everything that has happen in the last 3 days have not lost their mind yet.
Their arcade selection is small but nice. With heavy hitters that are popular like Pac Man Battle Royal Deluxe, Operation G.H.O.S.T. and the giant iPad games (Fruit Ninja FX and Infinity Blade FX).
There are enough games for your typical casual player but beyond that, here’s a more complete list:
Operation G.H.O.S.T., Let’s Go Island. Terminator, Big Buck, Deadstorm Pirates
SNO-Cross, Dead Heat, Super Bikes 2 and Fast And Furious SuperCars
Too many, look at the photos. Monster Drop and Cut the Rope are the ones that stand out the most to me.
Pump It Up: Fiesta 2 and Infinity, and Guitar Hero
Typhoon: People still lose their sh*t for the game.
-They have 3 banquets rooms and one private room next to the pool hall. However, it still close for the moment
-They have plenty of space to spread their games whenever they get some more
-Their main menu is not up yet, but it’s a couple of pages long and they are trying to compete with the other restaurants (all you can eat BBQ at Manna is popular)
-People have two choices in their gaming. Japan Arcade for their fighting and music game needs and X-Lanes for the night life.
The place in general has a long way to go before it can compete with other locations there. Round 1 is paying attention (since eAmusement hit U.S. ground officially for the second time on the same day X-lanes open….”irony”) and I’m sure they will lose a few customers to X-lanes opening up since some of the customers at X-lanes are some of the same ones that would travel to Round 1.
Japan arcade is still open, and if anything, will increase the business there and not hurt it. While some people want to see Japan Arcade to close, like how I said I want Super Arcade to close a few months back, Japan Arcade will not have a problem anytime soon. If X-lanes wants to attract the Japan Arcade and Round 1 crowd (arcade wise), they need to cater to the need of the hardcore gamers, which it lacks right now.
X-Lanes is huge and the rent, after sitting there for more than 10 “plus” years, is probably so low it makes the owners of Round 1 cringe since they were looking for a place in Los Angeles originally before settling with Puente Hills (they didn’t know about this place, and was going for Beverly Hills or somewhere in Los Angeles. But due to the rent being high everywhere they look, they had to go outside Los Angeles). All and all, the place has potential to be great. For the moment, we have to wait and see how they hold up.”
Editor’s Note: You will have to ask Phil specifically why he feels that way about Super Arcade. His Twitter account is here.