Finally was able to play Houdini today. Drove about 7 hours today to do so (well Houdini and other new stuff they had there).
First off, I'm astonished how different people can view one and the same thing.
Playfield looks incredibly rich, meaning it is full and kinda looks like jewelery-ish... with it's gold tones reflecting everywhere. If Houdinis Playfield was a clock, I would wear it, it's so sparkling. I had (and have) an issue with the used Photoshop effects and partial Clipartyness, but that is about non existant in person. Houdini was Set up next to a Star Trek and Game of Thrones, and compared to that games it looks like pure gold.
Only thing looking cheap (plastic) was that chain hanging on the right ramp,... and *cough* the LCD animations at times.
(Personally I'd prefer good stills over mediocre animation. Magic Girl did that if I remember correctly.)
Next up was playing it of course an altough I'm not a good player I didn't have any problems with bricked shots.
It played perfectly well, so I put some games on it.
Did like the idea for the card trick video mode, didn't like the contextless 'first shoot here then here' type of missions.
Lighting is kinda awesome, like when you hit the stage all the GI turns off, except the one sourrounding the stage.
(Adds to that world under glass feel.)
One big bummer:
Catapult shot was not working. Ball was shot a bit diagonally and hit the left cabinet wall, ricocheting one time in the trunk by accident.
Trunk not fully closing as well, the lid kinda set loosely on the assembly.
So my first impressions compressed is that I absolutely like what I'm seeing but am not 100% sold yet.
Have to play it again with all mechs working and with sound (didn't really hear a thing, wich is sad because I like the sound package).
But seeing it I'm really happy with that spot that AP is setting themselfes in, between Stern and JJP, with a game that is rich but not overly convoluted and expensive. Compared to what's in there Houdini feels like a bargain.