Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wonder Mountain’s Guardian Review

Knott’s Berry Farm recently announced the addition of a new dark ride, Voyage to the Iron Reef, and I couldn’t be more excited because last month I got to experience its predecessor, Wonder Mountain’s Guardian at Canada's Wonderland. I got to ride Guardian twice, once with the standard version and once with the zombie overlay - pretty cool how they can instantly change the media. The roller coaster portion is pretty weak, the vehicles don’t track well at all, lots of side to side vibration, but that's not the reason for riding, the game is. The shooting part is much better than your average Sally shooter. It’s like a video game in that if you kill all the bad guys in a scene it automatically generates more of them for you to shoot at. You load the vehicles sitting forwards or backwards. The frontwards side is way better because once you enter the dark portion the seats rotate to face either side of the track but on one side the screens are continuous (though there’s no shooting during the curved screens). The cars are propelled by drive tires down the straighaways and gravity in the curves.

Overall, I am really impressed by Guardian but I hope they improve upon it in future iterations. In one of the articles about Knott’s ride they said “The ride vehicles will rotate, change speed and even briefly pause as they move between video screens separated by three-dimensional themed sets.” The 3 dimensional sets part has me intrigued because Guardian has none, it's all screens. Two other improvements:
the clarity of the images and the ride length (though I think the limiting factor on the ride time is battery capacity for the guns).

Anyone else rode Guardian? What did you think?