Let's be honest. Most people just aren't into pinball. In my game room, the video games get more run than pins by my guests. That said, let me tell you, if there's one pin in my small collection that converts folks, it's NBA Fastbreak. First, the scoring is easy to understand. If you understand basketball, then you understand scoring in this game. Twos, threes, 'and-ones', score just like a regular basketball game. Secondly, the integration of the hoop toy is so intuitive, it's impossible not to understand what you're doing. From making hook shots, to shooting up the middle, to passing the ball around to evade the roving defender to make a shot, this toy integration was very well done. My guests walk up to this machine and just get it. Third, the mini-game in the backbox is awesome fun. You shoot a ball into a hoop to make as many points as possible until a timer runs out. Add to all of this the ability to pick real NBA teams, with real NBA players harkening back to one of the golden eras of NBA Basketball, a real NBA JAM announcer, and a 90s era soundtrack, and you have one helluva fun game.
This is a crowd-pleaser in my game room, and is a great intro to pinball for non-pinheads. I can honestly say it has actually converted some of my guests into the pinball world.
japespin has owned this game in the past. This rating has not been approved yet, but we're already showing the review.
This game has plenty of variety. 4 planet multiballs (Hoth, Death Star, Tatooine, and Endor), with each planet having 3 mini sub-missions/modes, Lightsaber duel (which is probably my favorite mode in the game, from a presentation point of view), Escape from Boba Fett, Tie Fighter multiball, Hyperspace multiball, victory multiballs, Jedi multiball (dual vs. the Emperor), the quest to become a Jedi Master, and of course medals based on your play and actual completion of modes. And then you take in the ability to choose characters, which alters your approach to all of the above. There’s some serious depth in this game, but it’s not as complicating as some people make it out to be.
Folks on Pinside bitch about having to take their hands off of the flippers to move multipliers on the fly, but to me that’s part of the beauty of this game. It takes fast reflexes and decision making to properly move that multiplier without draining. It’s not guess work. It’s just learning how to properly use a new mechanic in pinball, and that’s a good thing. That’s like complaining that there are 3 punch buttons and 3 kick buttons in Street Fighter, after playing Kung Fu Master on the NES which has 1 punch button and 1 kick button. It’s a welcome addition to me that opens up game play. I hope Dwight uses it again in a future game.
This game is fast and addictive and does a great job of immersion with the video clips and the light show. It’s really fun to watch, let alone play.
The one negative I will echo with the detractors is that this pin is missing is that ONE shot for casual novice players. There’s nothing that sticks out to play or shoot for if you don’t know or grasp the rules. AFM, MM, heck even GOTG has that one shot, where even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you know by shooting for that one thing, something cool might happen. I say this after seeing the reactions of guests at my house. If I take the time to teach them what’s going on, they get into it. If I don’t, they lose interest after getting over the lightshow, because they have no idea what they’re doing or what to shoot for. I honestly believe that’s the one miss Stern made on this pin. That one easy, casual, “showy” thing, whether it be a toy or a “force” magnet, would have been perfect, especially for a theme as universally beloved as Star Wars.
Nevertheless, for me... a non-casual player, who loves pinball, enjoys learning rules and strategy, appreciates depth... I played one on location so much that I ended up buying one. This is a GREAT home game. Take the time to get to know it. Once it clicks, it’s hard to stop playing.
japespin currently owns this game. This rating has not been approved yet, but we're already showing the review.