I know it's fashionable to bash on Stern for code, but IM felt further along than Pirates and TNA. Pirates definitely looks to have potential for a really deep game, but definitely felt like a prototype. Some of the characters had a "coming soon" on the selection and really wasn't sure what the triple discs even did. Most of my games the middle of the 3 just spun non stop and never seemed to affect the ball movement. I understand it's not going into the final game, so the excitement of actually playing the original design was not a big deal. I do like the screen by the flippers, but never quite knew when to mash it to collect gold, or if you just push it once to collect. The rocking ship was really cool and added an element to the mini playfield. Also a nice touch were all the holes in the playfield that weren't obvious right away and all of a sudden the ball was gone. The graphics and presentation were excellent, but surprisingly low on video footage from the films.
TNA was a blast to play and you could feel the music and beat and it just added to the tension and urgency I thought. The LCD was almost unreadable though and didn't show a whole lot in terms of graphics. Somebody showed me the co-op mode and it was pretty fun playing a 4-player team game.
I only played Houdini once, but was really impressed. That launching of the ball into the box was pretty cool and the magnets by the hands were a nice touch. What a gorgeous machine though and I'm hoping this gets out there in the wild and finds a lot of fans.
Iron Maiden was drowned out a little by Defender and the other machines around it, but I really liked it. The 2 orbits with the upper flippers were really nice and very satisfying to hit the inner loop with that mini flipper. Definitely a challenge. The metal ramps are so nice, and that pharaoh ramp/jump target was a blast to hit. Really liked the theme and artwork and LCD animations, although I'm not a huge Iron Maiden fan. I'll play some more on location this weekend, but am very tempted to sell my SW pro and grab this one.
The overall venue/show is outstanding and I'm glad I live close enough to attend each year. It's just incredible to see so many pins and they all work. I don't think there was ever a time I could look up and not see an orange shirt either. You guys are on the ball and all very friendly after what must be a very long weekend. Can't wait til next year.