This to me is the most interesting comment of the thread, at least as of this moment it has 15 upvotes and nobody seems mad at it even though it's pretty derogatory towards a game that's been popular. Looking at the names it's not just the usual JJP boosters upvoting. I've seen the sentiment in other threads.
Both feature hand drawn art, in a similar comic-booky black line style. The main 'interactive toy' on both games is even exactly the same, which is just weird. Spinning discs are hot now. Avengers has a decent sized LCD, it's no longer JJP's screen vs red DMDs. Avengers has 3 flippers, the clear subway, cool ramps, plenty of wireforms, it's not "cheaped out" by Stern standards.
Yet people think Avengers looks like a toy, and I'm just curious what prompts that really.
Is it just that JJP really went all out on GNR? Or is there more to it than that?
Here's my suspicion: Yes, GNR is a great package. I was impressed when I first saw the photos. All credit to JJP. But, and I say this as a grown man who still likes comic books fine, I think JJP made a game that looks like it's for adults, and Stern made a game that looks like it's for kids.
I was actually really pleased when I found out Avengers was comic-based instead of being movie-based. Real plus for it in my book. But there's something about the presentation that feels kiddie-like to me.
Part of it is the yellow armor. Taste is subjective, but I don't like it. It just triggers that "Fischer Price" part of my brain, it looks like a bright toy for toddlers.
Again, I like comic art, but JY really leaned into the "make everything bright" theme. The whole game is turned up to 11 in the color department. He says he was looking to make it bright to stand out in dark bars and gamerooms, and I get it, but it's just got this candy-coated for the kiddos vibe to it still. There's no real darkness anywhere, both literally and in vibe.
The last bit, and maybe this is just me, but I wonder if other people are picking up on this too: the style guide ZY used to draw the characters feels like it's from a Disney Store packaging for kids' action figures. The faces and shading and style have this slightly rounded feeling that I associate with taking comics for adults and making the more kid-friendly versions of them. I know all about those because I used to pick them up for my kids when they were younger.
This isn't a criticism of ZY, just noting the vibes I get from the overall package. Bright yellow armor, bright, colorful, super-saturated art, softer character design. Compare this center playfield shot with something from the original comic and see if you agree that the vibe might be part of the 'toy' sentiments.