I found myself in Buffalo for work and decided to stop by the place shown on the recent Buffalo pinball stream to try out Alien. The place is called Pocketeer billiards and it has a ton of really good games. Met the owner of the machines who was really nice and helpful.
I was VERY impressed with Alien. The stream really grabbed my attention but to see it in person and someone that was critical of it's looks, I can say it's a very nice looking machine. I own a RR WOZ which I consider to be one of the nicest looking pins and I would compare this to that but in a very dark and twisted way - essentially the horror version. It's widebody but def needs it all, the screens are super clear and although I didn't think the screen on the PF was necessary, I'll take it. The cabinet was also much nicer in person.
The music and movie integration is amazing. I love how there are two different music themes for either movie (which you pick when you play a new game) - the effects are just amazing and the sound quality is insane. Prob the best integration I've seen period - topping Indy (although that is a close one).
The shot variety is very impressive too. That shot which flips up and then comes down back to the flipper is very cool. So many flippers, so many shots.
On the negative side - I thought the quality was good although not as solid as JJP. Better than stern though. I wish the pops were a little more intense. The game is DARK. I'll compare it again to WOZ in that you wish there was more GI although one could argue the light show makes up for it and I will say the color changing RGB really does a fantastic job accenting the modes.
Here is my bigger concern though - after playing almost 20 games, the machine froze on me and I couldn't do anything. In fact before I played the game, the ball wouldn't come out to start and the owner had to open the game up and replace a fuse. He mentioned that support is few and far between as well and he seemed very frustrated. For any Alien owners out there - are you experiencing the same?
With all that being said, I'm so impressed with this game that i still might buy it now. It's prob one of the best I've played (although I should mention that I love the Alien series so I really value the integration and I love mode games). On a side note, my time with Dialed-in confirmed that it has one of the best layouts in recent history however I just don't like the theme at all. The cell, the call outs, the music, it just takes away from what is a really good shooter. Removing this game from the list has really put the spotlight on Alien which is why I might be joining the inevitable club soon.