Tokyo's first Virtual Reality Arcade centre, "VR Zone: Project I Can": Review

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Yassss! Bandai Namco's virtual reality centre opened its doors from mid-April and will last until mid-October 2016. It was definitely a must-go for me as it fell nicely within my travel dates.

Before you visit, please make reservations via their website. I had a friend make the reservations for me online, to book the date and time. You will need a Japanese number to complete booking the session, though. However, they will not be calling the number at all unless, I'm guessing, you're a no-show.

Click here to make your online reservation!

Online reservations can be made up to 1 month in advance.

Once the online reservation has been successfully made, you receive an email from them with the booking number.

No payment need to be made at this time. For me, I printed out the email and booking reference, and brought it with me to the VR centre. Of course, you can also show them the email booking.
Once you enter, you will need to purchase a card for 300yen. This card will be used to top up your BANAcoins, which will be deducted from the card each time you enjoy a VR experience. (I figure that the naming of BANA coins came from the name combi of Bandai and Namco. ^-^) 

Note: No refund for the card or the BANAcoins!

Don't have enough coins? Hey hey hey, don't panic. This is Japan! They have thought it all out for you. Here's a coin changer, for all your coin changing needs.

Also, safely lock your bags in the lockers provided. On a side note, you'll notice that all photos taken in this post are using my handphone, as the camera was too cumbersome to lug around as I did my VR experience.

There is a time limit for entry to the VR centre, only 1.5 hours each session, to ensure others can try it out as well. Once the time is up, your card will no longer be able to top up and you will not be able to play the games.

There are a total of 6 VR experiences within the centre.

Fear of Heights Show: 
Rescue a cat on a thin wooden plank about 200m above the ground
Cost: 1000 yen.
Exp time: 7 minutes

Although many have said it was scary (especially to those who has fear of heights), my friend was totally not scared and finished it within 3 mins. Can't say it was scary for her, but she said it was fun. :)
My friend attempts to save the 'kitten'. She picked up the cat easy-breezy.

Sports Driving: 
No F1 driving in Singapore! Our roads are too small. Fulfill your F1 driver dream with this ride, complete with a 180 degree field vision from the driver's seat and a dome screen!
Cost: 700 yen.
Exp time: 14 minutes

Train Meister: 
Always wanted to know how it'll be like driving a public train? This experience will give you just that. You'll be the driver on the JR Yamanote Line, which is one of the busiest trains in Tokyo.
Cost: 700 yen.
Exp time: 9 minutes

Argyle Shift: 
Into the cockpit of a giant robot! You'll be fighting alongside a pretty AI Humanoid 'Eine', who awaits as your partner. She will sit with you throughout the ride! A fun mecha battle simulation where the both of you takes on another giant robot.
Cost: 700 yen.
Exp time: 7 minutes

May I also point out that the graphics for this VR mecha battle experience was put together by a production team that produced animes such as Tekken, Ghost in the Shell series, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and Appleseed? From companies such as Bandai Namco Entertainment, Production I.G. and Sola Digital Arts!
2 photos (left) Argyle shift experience. Photo on the right - Ski rodeo experience

Ski Rodeo: 
Too scared to try the real thing? Now you can still get the experience skiing off a vast snow-covered mountain, with steep cliffs!
Cost: 700 yen.
Exp time: 6 minutes

Escape Ward:
Escape the ward! A horror game set in a giant abandoned hospital. A side note, I have never heard so many guys scream and shout together. Sorry I kept laughing at them, but their reaction was GOLD. LOL.
Cost: 800 yen.
Exp time: 9 minutes

There is also free wifi available (with password) within the VR centre. However, I didn't use it so I can't comment if it's good.

Retail therapy!
If you feel the need for retail therapy within the centre, they have a small corner for special items purchase (bags, etc) and also a purikura (photo booth) designed specially for your VR centre memories!
Purikura (Photo Booth)
Here's the trailer for the VR centre, if you'd like to get a feel of how it is:

After this VR experience, we got hungry and walked around the mall. Bumped into the EatYourKimchi (or well, EatYourSushi now) Youtubers, Simon and Martina, and took a photo with them. They were rushing for a recording session and was really nice to have stopped to take a photo with me.

Here's the photo!

If you want to visit the VR centre, do so quickly, at least before October comes!

VR Zone: Project I Can
Location: Diver City Tokyo Plaza (Odaiba), Level 3, 1-1-10 Aomi, 江東区 Tokyo 135-0064, Japan (東京都江東区青海 1-1-10ダイバーシティ東京プラザ3F)
Google Coordinates: 35.625074, 139.775538
Operating Hours: 10am to 9pm
Website: https://project-ican.com/