Seven years after its initial release, Play Mechanix has announced that, in 2020, Big Buck HD will be seeing what may be its biggest update yet.
Big Buck Hunter: Reloaded follows an esteemed legacy of timed content releases, including Duck Dynasty Edition, In Case of Zombies: Doe of the Dead—both making up the “Wild” update—and Buckzilla. This latest offering, though still iterative, is borderline sequel in scope.
Take a gander at the trailer. (For reasons unknown, the Reloaded trailer is currently only uploaded to the Arcade Heroes YouTube channel. I’ve been told by the Raw Thrills/Play Mechanix Social Media & PR Manager that it will be uploaded to the Raw Thrills page soon.)
Reloaded will implement the following currently unveiled additions:
Bow Hunting Mode
Full Zombie Deer Adventure (separate from Doe of the Dead)
In Case of Monsters: Lost Island (also separate from Doe of the Dead)
Terminator Salvation: Delta Mission
At-A-Glance Player Stats
Express QR Code Login
Making this update even more enticing is the new cabinet design being released alongside it. Seen briefly in the trailer, the variant boasts the following changes:
Unique cabinet art
Colored LED strips (because of course)
As a note, arcade operators will not need to purchase the new cabinet to get Reloaded. All online-connected Big Buck HD units will receive the update. (Another reason why, if your machine isn’t online already, you’d better get on that.)
Pricing has not yet been confirmed for the new cabinet (nor the decal kit) but will vary from distributor to distributor.
Now, let’s dive into my thoughts so far.
This, my friends, is a packed update—I mean absolutely flippin’ loaded. While the Wild update and, to a lesser extent, Buckzilla were no slouches, Reloaded is filled to the brim with new features and gameplay. After the barren wasteland that was Super Bikes 3, seeing genuine content in a Raw Thrills game is a delicious treat.
As minor as it may seem, I think Bow Hunting Mode will do wonders to shake up the 20-year-old formula. I certainly wouldn’t mind trying it out on, say, Zombie Deer Adventure or Lost Island.
And including a gosh danged Terminator Salvation mission is a power move unlike anything I’ve ever seen. But it also has me thinking…what if more Raw Thrills/Play Mechanix shooters were included in the package? Like Invasion: The Abductors? Or Johnny Nero Action Hero? Or even…Target: Terror?
I can dream.
With all this content, I’m a little disheartened Reloaded won’t be a full-on sequel, especially considering how quickly the graphics are aging. Sure, Big Buck HD is a phenomenal base, but it seems we’re overdo for…like, Big Buck Hunter 9. Keep in mind this is a very minor qualm.
Apart from the meaty gameplay—the only aspect that truly matters—I’m also losing my mind over the new cabinet. Not only is the art just gorgeous, it feels that Raw Thrills is finally listening to our requests for more space-conscious machines. Plus cup holders? That’s a real luxury.
All in all, I’m hugely excited for the 2020 Big Buck update. Though we already had plenty of game at our disposal, Play Mechanix is on a legendary roll.
Big Buck Hunter: Reloaded will be showcased at the Raw Thrills booth during IAAPA 2019. If you’re going…please play it and tell me about it.