Quoted from jfh:
Now that Batman is about a year old I wanted to see how owners and former owners feel about the game and where it's going
Are you still glad you got the game?
Would you have still bought it had you known a year ago what you know now?
If you sold it, are you thinking of getting it back?
Do you think the game is a long term keeper in your collection (> 3 years)?
Any playfield or cabinet issues?
(My answers: YES/NO/NA/YES/NO)
Batman has been a tough ride in the last year. I'm very glad I got the game, especially because I was fortunate enough to get an LE. From an art package standpoint I like the LE the best, especially since they put the Batgirl side art on the LE instead of the Premium.
The modders have really improved the turntable - the part of the playfield that Stern really fumbled. The yelobird/docquest options for Atomic Pile, Phone and Batcave sections blow away the stock Atomic Pile, dog chew toy phone and pink Batmobile spinner (and horrible flat black toy car). We are very fortunate to have so many passionate and creative modders that have gone above and beyond for this game.
The early word was that Batman 66 was just going to be a retheme of BDK. George clearly improved the game with the turntable and using the small LCD as a TV was brilliant. Batman was the ideal pick for Stern's first LCD game. And with all the complaints on audio and video assets on recent games, Batman has no limits. It seems Stern can literally use any audio or video from the entire series and they have the custom callouts from both Adam and Burt. Absolutely blows away anything else Stern or JJP has.
Many complain that the playfield is too open because of the crane, but that doesn't bother me. I don't like the clunkiness and instability of the left ramp, but expect the new ramp to take care of that (and look so much better without the plastic flap). My biggest issue with the playfield are the orbit shots which are rarely smooth (even after relocating the blue pad from the outside of the left ramp entrance to the inside).
The code was really wasn't exciting until a few weeks ago. Because of that I really didn't play the game much from January until Thanksgiving. It was a real risk taking a gamble on the box of lights Stern called Batman a year ago. Like many, I only took that risk because Lyman was in charge of the code. Despite Batman being a dream theme for me (one I thought would never be realized), I wouldn't have considered buying an incomplete game if Lyman wasn't involved.
We saw an early surprise with Parachute Pickup mode which was an unqualified winner with everyone. And now it's clear that Lyman is taking theme integration to the max by having each major villian play out an actual episode of the series starting with the Batphone ringing, Bruce and Dick going to the Batpoles and then the exit to Gotham sequence (and the brilliance of extending those segments based on how many times you hit the Commissioner Gordon target), followed by a logical defeat the villian and then the cliffhanger options to continue. About as tightly as you could integrate the series into the game. Which looks to continue with the minor villians.
From a structure standpoint all that's really missing is bringing Batgirl into the game for more than just the cameo appearance in the escape mode. (I would love to see a mode where the Barbara to Batgirl transformation and Batcycle cycle exit sequence takes the place of To the Batpoles/Batmobile exit sequence. Maybe use the Season 3 Penguin Enter Batgirl or the Siren episodes?). I'd like to see some other non-episode based mode (like parachute pickup) and a final wizard mode, but it sure seems like whatever Lyman has in mind is going to be great. Eventually.
Based on my serial number and build date, it seems like I have an early game. I put a full playfield protector on the game after just a few games so I don't know if my playfield is a good one or not or if it would now be full of craters and ghosted inserts. I think my biggest disappointment with the game was that I even had to consider putting a protector on the game in the first place.
I'm glad I got the game and it looks like it will turn out well. It is absolutely a keeper for me. But I don't think I'd want to take the journey again.
To be honest, I'm very bit conflicted at this point, though trending from disappointed to happier lately. The game has made great progress on code recently, though the Summer code gap is still inexplicable. I also still remember all of the loose hardware when I unboxed the game, the left ramp needing to be re-engineered, all of the Mod Couple's necessary mods, which as fitting as they are, point to a poor engineering effort by Stern. The theme is superb, the art is outstanding, the code is getting better finally, but Stern really screwed the pooch here to the point of losing me as a future NIB buyer, though not all is lost for us BM66 early adopters,......just yet. I still worry if Stern will nail the landing though. Code implementation of Batgirl, Batusi, something cool to do outside of the villain modes, etc., are lacking so far. I like where the code has improved lately, though it's still too deep into only 4 different modes, which seems awkward. We really need something outside of the modes to level it out a bit, IMHO.
Soooo, I'm cautiously optimistic at this point which is an improvement from a few months ago, after previously being cautiously optimistic only to become progressively disappointed and then severely pissed off.