I promised a review of the nib alien experience and so I am here to follow through. Here....we...go....
When I received the game from CT, it came a few hours later than expected but arrived on the day of expected delivery so no biggie, it was just like awaiting Christmas morning. I had my buddy Dan come by to help me with unpacking. The box arrived in good condition. As we took everything out of the box, we slowly took each piece upstairs. Being able to bring the head of the game, the legs, and then the glass in its magazine made it really nice to bring a game upstairs!
We took a look upclose at the playfield, the xeno mech and the rest of the ramps, scoops etc. The game is pretty stunning when you first see it. For some reason it appears larger than other games, even wide bodies. I kept telling Dan how much bigger everything looked than in all those videos I saw. The Xeno mech is beautiful and well done. The details really bring it to life. Back alley creations did a fantastic job on the eggs, and personally, I enjoy them even more than the Xeno (perhaps cause mine didn't end up working. =( The cabinet is really special. Seeing it in a home setting and turning the lights down is just a joy. It has this exoskeleton like feel and look. It is super well built and feels like it could withstand any type of punishment.
After we got it up there, setup was pretty straight forward. My game did not come with any "insert these fuses first or any other notes on a piece of paper," like some others have experienced. The game didn't have any goodie bag or manual included. My buddy Dan and I, looked over the entire game and checked for loose connections. We found a few loose screws, but nothing major. We did find that there was only 3 screws holding in my PF screen. We used a extended magnet stick and looked around the cabinet but we unable to find any screw with lock nut (as in in the game). Then we placed some vinyl cling around the pf screen and put some mylar in the appropriate places. Afterwords, we spent the next 5 minutes unscrewing all 10 freakin nuts and screws from the slingshots (be careful) I noticed the plastics are thick but really brittle. I tested out different slingshot protectors from titan_pinball and found that 1 and 1/4 inch protectors are the perfect size. I let Titan know, and they will be made available soon. The ramps on the PF, were absolutely disqusting. They had this sticky substance all over them, they had spots and other grime. I just don't know how else to describe it. Dan spent a good 10 minutes scrubbing and wiping down the ramps with a chemical degreaser and things to get them to a place where they were useable. Additionally they felt really rough and bumpy along the sides. We took some additional time with a cloth and scrubbed them down till it was back to normal.
We lifted the playfield and found that we needed to change over the game from EU power settings to US. (DONT FORGET THIS STEP). Then we connected the cord in the back of the head. The EL blades came preconnected now, so no need to worry about that. Last but not least, we attempted to find place to run subwoofer wires into the machine and decided on the back left grate that is under the PF. It fits 18 gauge audio wire perfect. We then alligator clipped it to the existing sub. Dan and I then took the original glass out of the magazine. It takes about 20 screws to do so, but the glass is held in really securely and it has tape included to reduce a chance of vibration during the bass in the game. Additionally, I noticed that they have included some blue pieces of felt to protect the glass from shattering against the screws during delivery. After we put that back on the game and took a look at what had arrived, we were amazed.
So it was almost time to turn this sucker on. We pushed it into place and went to find the balls and power cord. After cleaning the balls and placing them in the game, I took the power cord from Dan and realized.....IT WAS FOR EU... =( We didn't find an adaptor so I don't know if that was left out or if the wrong cord was placed in the box. So, after having a panic attack and feeling like I wouldn't even be able to turn on the machine even though we just spent nearly an hour setup and cleaning, we realized we could use a computer power cord, so I quickly disconnected my 1000 watt gaming PC and plugged it in.....The game turned on slowly, making some really weird noises as you will see in the video link below, it freaked me out. But finally, the game booted up and all seemed right with the world. The initial sounds and light show were incredible. We played our initial games and just fell in love with the shots, the immersive experience and the audio pumping through this sick sound system and external bass. After a few games....well we noticed some issues that began to appear...but I have spoke about those in previous posts, so I wont drone on about them again here.
All in all, it was an incredibly emotional experience for me. The extra wait to get the game, the late delivery nearly made me go crazy. Then it was followed by elation and excitement once I got to see the machine and the incredible playfield and cabinet. Suddenly a turn to panic as there was no power cord, followed by pure joy the moment that the game successfully booted and played its first game. All in all, this experience hasn't been anywhere near the same as when I have done other unboxings.
Time will tell what the final outcome will be. Currently, I rate the gameplay a 9.5, the sound a 10, the shots and layout a 9 ( I CANNOT HIT VENT 2 for the life of me), theme integration a 10, Cabinet 9, reliability a 5 and customer support.....well that is yet to be determined. So far, ferret bcd and daudioguy have been the saving grace for this company. How Helmut handles my inquiries into a warranty and replacement of the xeno mech and EL inverter will really make my mind up about the future of my purchases with this company and ultimately whether or not I get to keep this otherwise fantastic game.
Last surviving crew member of the Nostromo Signing off,