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.
-The main bathroom is closed for the moment. Everyone that is in the arcade area have to travel to the front of the arcade to use the restroom
-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.
-The place is still setting up games and parts of the arcade. The Big Dog basketball game is not fully set up. The game is sitting there taking up space for the moment.
-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.
When I visited the arcade at Little Tokyo Mall in 2010 I found it full of fighters and niche machines, was a fun place to visit. Is it still there? Not a big fan of redemption. Great to see Pump Infinity being represented though, that’s new and rare. Also, why would people Japan Arcade or Super Arcade to shut? Btw Animal Kaiser tournaments running in the UK this week. Cheers!
Why would someone want Super Arcade to close?!
Super arcade and Japan arcade MUST NOT SHUT DOWN!!!!
If they went ticketless they wouldn’t have to have all the redemption games down. Card system up and running, that move would be easy peasy even if only temporary.
Someone obviously spent some big bucks on the place, the games alone look like several hundred thousand dollars with some high dollar individual pieces. They have a Wizard of Oz coin pusher, which are very pricey. (Heard great things about the earnings, but not a piece for everybody to pick up…)
If anyone knows another outfit trying to do something like this, I’m in the market for a new job…
When I first starting reading this article, I was saying to myself “hey isn’t that the same mall where Japan Arcade is?”. Sure enough the article confirms this later on. I haven’t been there in over 2 years but I enjoyed myself the last time I was there. A lot of games were poorly maintained but there were a few Japan titles that I haven’t seen anywhere else. What’s the reasoning behind people wanting the arcade to close?
And how would we go about asking Phil why he wants Super Arcade closed? I see no email or twitter or contact info for the guy listed.
He usually reads the comments here but he also has Twitter here: https://twitter.com/iTossWomenSalad
He hasn’t tweeted anything in almost a year and a half so hopefully he will respond here.
In all honesty, I always felt that arcade needed to closed since it was the laughing stock of arcades until people had to settle for the joint…..After Arcade Infinity and everyone else closed, everyone settle for this since its the last one left. But I see the community keeping the arcade up as long as possible and working their asses off.
I respect the team that’s keeping Super Arcade alive. I don’t know much behind what went down between the current Super Arcade Team and Ralf/form Owner of Super/FFA Boss/current Japan Arcade owner. Because there’s a lot of bad blood right now with people wishing Japan Arcade to fall as if its some great empire. I haven’t talked to Ralf about it….at some point I will.
Hopefully both sides settle things at some point.
Thanks for this review. I heard this place opened through this week’s issue of LA Weekly when i was heading to work. Got online asap to see if there were pics of the arcade but this confirms how bad i thought it would be. Guess i’ll save the trouble of going, especially since i don’t like being near those weaboo /cgl/ retards. I probably won’t ever visit either as i’m retired from the arcade scene ever since Ken closed down AI and Jason stepped away from Super. I heard FFA recently closed down too but this about Ralf not being the current owner of Super is news to me. Who runs Super now? My guess is X Lanes will pay a visit to Round 1 someday and try to copy everything they do and indeed cater to arcade gamers. Guess Japan Arcade won’t be closing down anything. Such a shame, that place also sucks balls ever since Jason left. That place is full of minions and egotistical faggots now. Thanks again, guess Round 1 is the only place worth visitnig, despite not have gone for months now. People need to wake up in LA, this isn;t an acrade scene anymore compared to the east coast that has great places like Richie Knucklez and Fun Spot.