BM66SLE Review, gamplay, impressions and issues:
Theme, theme and more BM66 theme … I think Stern NAILED it (images, music, gadgets, BM66 iconography everywhere)
Foil artwork on the SLE is simply OVER the top - wow. Batman driving on one side of cab and Robin as passenger featured on other - small but very cool touch. Nice job Stern and team!
LCD display. Work to do on the asset side but the delivery and implementation of what IS there now is aweswome. Only going to get better. Colors really pop. Size is just perfect and I do find myself checking it as needed and getting the info I need quickly. Something as simple as "Ball Save" feels so much more "alive" when it's animated. Looking forward to an even better implementation on an already good one.
Not like BDK at all except for my favorite part of BDK - the crane!
Signed PF by both Gomez and Lyman (if your into that personalized stuff as I am)
LOVE the Batmobile sounds when you hit the large turntable - the roar of the jet/nuclear engine!
Easy to see what you are supposed to do - hit the arrows or lit inserts - will get more complex I know
The crane! Love it and loved it on BDK as well. Sounds when hit is perfect, and the risk when chasing it is a little high (drives some STDM bounce backs!)
Lock mech is very cool. Right orbit is always tough for most players (including me) - think TOM, GOT, etc. So placing it there is good and the mech is genius and interesting in that the lock can be qualified but will NOT always be present for you to send a ball in as the turntable rotates to a "non-lockable" position … sorry Batman, you'll just have to wait or hammer than turntable and get the lock exposed again.
I also really like the early implementation of the large Turntable mech. It is fun to shoot at and some of the targets (Bat computers) are challenging to hit. I'm bettting this will improve and get even more fun. I'm hoping it stays trouble free as well!
Love the tight right ramp. It's not steep so a less than perfect shot will still make it
Magnet is huge addition to gameplay. Unpredictable but not unfair (drains). I do not own any other Stern titles where the magnet provides such variation to the gameplay but I really enjoy the unpredictability. Cant really count GBLE as those are impacting the sling area but it is similar in it's effect except that the BM66 magnet seems more violent and fast as well.
Outlanes set from factory at wide open are perfect. Drains left or right have been caused by slings more than anything.
The sound/audio is outstanding. Great fidelity and decent bass for no external subwoofer. Highs are crisp and not muted. Voices are easy to understand. The EXCEPTION to this is the original source material like the call out for Multiball - "Get 'em or shoot 'em Pengy … " or something like that is a call out from the TV series and is hard to understand. Maybe a little more processing to clean it up would help
The black armor is perfect. Speckling and the gloss black base fits the theme to a "T"
Easy to post pass and roll passes from flipper to flipper work as well.
As above code and call-outs, but confidence that they will come over time
Answering the phone on turntable will always leave one more ring AFTER you gave completed the shot, sometimes causing you to take another
Exposed pinstriping on lockdown and armor - this needs to be addressed and I've got a fix for mine for the side armor but am going to experiment for the LD bar where all the real risk is. Your hands are on the LD bar 100% of the time and covering a good portion of the pinstriping. Might try mylar later.
The Action button decal on the lockdown bar is a cheap looking decal that could have been a centerpiece jewel of an opportunity to deliver a better more high end experience. I'm SURE the modding community will jump on this to improve. Laser cut stainless, or "black-out stainless" in the form of the batsignal to surround the action button would be awesome!
Related to coding but worth mentioning is the ball clearing logic. When you've got 2 locked balls and the machine goes into ball search and it gets as far as rotating the turntable … you will have only 1 ball to play and you will lose all of your locked MBs. They will be released as the TT rotates but the game is not yet coded to know that this has happened so .. When you drain the first one - they are all gone.
Related to balls getting stuck. I'm having a persistent problem with the smaller turntable. When shooting into the Batcave below the Batmobile the ball will sometime get just past the back edge of that smaller turntable and rest against the edge and just sit there. Appears that the smaller turntable is about 1/2 mm too high. Lifter the PF earlier today and I can see that deep inside that big mech is a post and an allen set screw. I'm not at all sure that this is the way to adjust height so leaving for now. Ball search will eventually clear it after 2 of the quarter rotations of the larger turntable
Timing/Customer Service: Game was supposed to be delivered by Christmas. Why mention that if it could not be done? I got it after I had to get back to work. No extra time to get familiar with the game. No time for friends to come over to enjoy it. I was looking forward to a few days, with few interruptions to enjoy my game over Christmas - no luck.
Finally - no topper. I paid for one (OK perhaps even overpaid), I saw pictures of one but I did not get one with my game. Instead, I received an email from Stern explaining that it would be shipped in January. I'm fairly certain that Stern would not ship me a BM66SLE without me FIRST paying for it. Why is it OK for them to then ship me less than a whole game for that payment. Seems like I should have sent them say $1,000 less than full payment until they were ready to ship? Sound petty? Maybe, but there are leagues of companies out there with reputations for doing it differently and better. Stern could improve SIGNIFICANTLY here. If I was Gary … I would have personally called ALL 80 SLE owners and explained both the Christmas deadline miss and topper issue. Could have said thanks at the same time. It's not WHAT went wrong in business but how you respond that counts.
I still like Stern. I'll remain a Stern customer. I believe the leadership to be good and honorable people. I think they have wonderful programmers and designers - best in the industry … I just think they need to develop a higher level of Customer Service.
Ball times are long as the outlanes are very forgiving due to game geometry.
The flipper gap is 54mm ... compared to TOM @53, FS @53, BOP @49, LOTR, GOT & ST @ 50mm each. My feeling is that the physical width has less to do with center drains than the geometry/design of the game. LOTR has crazy long ball times but the flipper gap is no different than many modern Sterns. Same with BM66. Widest gap of all I measured but I have zero complaints about a high amount of center drains.
Stern is using a Dayton branded driver for the large cabinet "subwoofer" - great quality vs. price combo - good job. Probably should have followed suit with the uppers (vs. Jensen) but the Jensen sounds fine as stated above. (see pic)
Left orbit is very tight at left edge of ramp BUT it's surprising how easy this shot is to make even as tight as it is (barely wider than a ball)
The left ramp appears to be attached to the PF is a new way (new to me) it does not appear as rigidly attached as the right ramp OR any other ramp I have on any other game. Anyone else see this?
Notes to owners/Setup problems:
Check your tilt bob mech. The factory installed mine quite off center and even though the bob was adjusted way down, the tilt was both sensitive and oddly responsive. The ring was way off center (easy fix)
There are no head bumpers/pads for when you tilt the pF up (Stern forgot them?) see pic
You might want to use the center action button to plunge on the "left flipper up" skillshot attempt. It delivers the ball with more force and speed.
My batsignal in the upper right was pointing downward all the time. I tilted it up to the correct position and added a dab of E600 to both hinge areas - now it's perfect
The action button on my LD bar would not do anything when I turned on the machine for the first time. I adjusted the switch and works perfect now (same issue with my ST Premium and points to some QC opportunities for Stern)
The SLE plaque on mine (and on at least one other Pinsiders) had a ton of sticky "goo" on it left after removing the protective covering. Had to use Goo Gone to remove and it was a 20 minute plus effort! (see my post)
I've had one time where the ball was pushed too far back into the "Riddler" saucer hole. Shook the game, ball moved and I was back in business. I share this because others had this issue more frequently and persistently. Looks like an engineering isse that could be fixed with a mod or drop dead foam.
Playfield protectors work and work VERY well. I custom cut my own (see Pinside thread) and I have zero dimples after a hundred games. Mine is cut from PETG that I bought from Amazon. Glad I got it and glad I took 3 hours to create/cut a template for it. Soon I would imagine these will be available from the folks in Germany (Playfield Protectors)
I also created some rail protectors using the same PETG material (see pic)
The 3 translights that come with the SLE appear to have different finishes on each - one has texture and "shiny" areas and the other 2 are simply flat printing. Interesting and not sure why but there you go
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