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First Base! (Video Base, That Is)

Tracee and I took a trip out to the Xtreme Fun Center in Largo, FL so we could play at the first Zone location in the United States to have installed Helios 2 with the new video bases that I had seen making their North American debut that same week at IAAPA. I love to be in on a first! After all, I rushed to travel to Lansing, MI so that I could be there first to play the first installed Helios 2 arena in the country, so to find out the first installed video bases were so close to where we were was amazing luck!

Let’s check out these video bases…

Of course there are plenty of game options where these video bases are far more interactive, but for playing in a standard public game it was still pretty cool to see the way they react. The base target is located right underneath the video screen.

The arena has a distinctive neon look and lots of ramps and places to gain higher ground. I love that it is distinctive and unique. So many arenas I walk into have the same CW look that I see over and over again, so when I see something original, both in map design and aesthetic, I appreciate it all the more.

There’s a hand-painted look to these walls and some structures where the bases are now placed vertically a little above eye level. That’s a little different as I’m accustomed to looking up to find the base and I wondered where the bases were previously located.

One feature that I liked was the abundance of cut-out shapes where you could be protected and still see your target.

Many were very thin, which is interesting when juxtaposed with the new Helios 2 beams that were very thick! I knew that these phasers had a wider beam option, but this was the first time I experienced that fully and it felt more like I was wielding a sword than a phaser with the way that wide beam cut through the darkness of the arena…my new codename is now She-Ra, lol!

We left for a bit to go have some sushi and then returned later in the night in hopes of playing with a more competitive crowd. I missed meeting up with Allie (the marketing manager for this site who I had met at the Zone booth at IAAPA) however, the staff was kind enough to hook us up with an extra game so I had plenty of chances to target those cool bases…many thanks!

And after spending a really enjoyable evening tagging video bases (first priority, lol) and players we headed off to explore the boardwalk of nearby Madeira Beach.

I had to take a picture by this gecko pole!

And it rounded out a really nice day spent with a good friend.

Such a wonderful way to end an amazing week in Florida!

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