Quoted from jar155:
Got a chance to put some good time in on an LE version of the game. The game was obviously rushed to get out for the 30th anniversary milestone, and it suffers greatly for it. Some of the problems will get cleaned up over time via code updates, but some are permanently baked into the design.
First of all, the LCD integration and presentation is nearly perfect. The size of the screen, and the placement of the screen, is far better than what anybody else has done so far. It's nice having it lower on the backbox, so you can glance up easier. You have to look too high and take in too much screen space on JJP games. Stern absolutely nailed the screen. They just need to clean up the moments when it's displaying the old DMD dots, which will obviously happen with updates.
The art looks fantastic as well. I wish that the artist could have used the machine as his canvas instead of providing a file of clip art, but they did great with what they had to work with. I really hope that they give the artist a shot at doing more art for a future title. While the colors look oversaturated in pics, they look great in person.
I have mixed feelings about the music. There's good variety there, the melodies are solid, but the jazz style is a bit rough. It could grow on you over time or get more annoying, but that's just a personal preference thing. Probably not a deal breaker for most people.
I'm not even going to critique the code, because there was so much missing. Certain things do absolutely nothing, and there's obviously a lot of things that are going to change. The game is surely still in beta, and it has a long, long way to go. Ran into quite a few bugs, but again, that's all WIP at this point.
The real bummer is the actual geometry of the game. That left orbit is awful. It's partially blocked by the blue nub, but even if it wasn't, the angle of entry on it is bad. The ball enters sharply, so you rarely get a smooth transition form the main area to the orbit, and you get rattles. It's just poorly laid out and the orbit entry needs to be lower.
The left ramp is nice when the ball stays put, but it flew off often during play. Moving the nub from the outside of the ramp to the inside seems like a bad idea, as that ramp shouldn't be tightened up any more than it is. I love the shape of the wireform. Very pleasing to watch the ball roll along. I know there are fixes for the ball flying off, but that's insane that it left the factory as it is. That ridiculous nylon tie also got the ball stuck in the left orbit more than once. WTF IS A NYLON TIE DOING THERE?!
The turntable is a mess. Not a good shot on any side. On the magnet side, you get really goofy action, and there's too much dead space. The sides with the targets have dead space around them too. The spinner side is the worst, as the clean shot just dumps with a thunk into the orbit, and a spinner hit barely spins the Batmobile because of the dead space around it which causes the ball to deflect back into the spinner before it dribbles down the middle of the playfield. Often times it would tell you to shoot the phone and not have the phone facing you. The phone is also ridiculously loud and annoying. The ball often got stuck on the lip of the turntable, and it causes airballs too. Neat idea, but bad implementation.
The right ramp is weak. it's this tiny little climb up, which often gets made by ricochet (a ramp should never be a ricochet shot!). Feels ok to hit though. Feels good to combo from the left ramp and vice versa.
The right spinner is really poorly integrated. That target right behind it often stops the ball and causes it to roll back through the spinner. Other times you get just messy action as it bounces around up there as the ball has to make a sharp direction change right after hitting the spinner. Feels like it was just tacked on for no real good reason.
The half scoop on the right was a little odd. Feels like a full scoop would have been better. We had a screw fall into the spot and had to pull the glass to get it out.
The right orbit is the best shot in the game as far as entry goes, but it's still not as smooth as most orbits should be. I noticed that a lot of orbit shots fed into the slings often rather than coming reliably to the flippers. I hope that was just a problem specific to this machine, because that would be an unforgivable design flaw.
The gadget stand ups should have been drops. It's a shame that they went cheap there. Oh, well.
The game just geometry problems that aren't going to be fixed by code. Yes, the game will get MUCH better as the code evolves, but it's never going to be a smooth or great shooter. Gomez has really struggled to get a smooth game out the door in recent years. Transformers, Avengers, and now this are all rattly and kind of janky in their flow. I don't know what happened after Lord of the Rings, but everything since then feels pretty much half baked. Maybe he's not getting enough time, or maybe his attention is divided, but B66 definitely feels underdeveloped in many ways, mostly on layout. Had to pull the glass off often throughout the night.
I fear that this might be a casualty of just hurrying a game to production. It's not Avengers or Transformers bad, but it's not going to settle very high in the rankings of modern Sterns. Do your magic, Lyman, because this game needs it badly.
Oddly, alot of what you address (beyond qc and obvious rush in release) are what intrigue me when I play this game.
a) People who call this "just another fan layout" are dead wrong.
b) The tight left ramp is easily addressed by moving the blue nub (that ramp entrance has a huge opening, btw). A non issue for me, as I can hit it pretty smooth now.
c) the left ramp "flappy plastic" should have been handled with a better habitrail to contain the ball...definitely QC, and suspect I will eventually get one made for mine. A nice, flowy shot however.
d) The right ramp shortness, with spinner behind the u turn is quite interesting....allows for several ways to get around that area, I find it alot of fun.
e) The airballs causing early dimples (mine have not been crazy with over 200 plays now) are also caused by the crane bash toy, which I love.
f) Turntable - once the pitch was set to just over 7 degrees, I've had almost zero hung balls there, with a slight nudge freeing them.
g) Left and right side of rotisserie are definitely tight, but then again, somewhat mysterious in behavior. No stuck balls there after pitch adjustment.
h) Music and callouts are fine now, and code WILL help in this area, as well as ball lock, and other aspects.
The game is stunning, in it's campy way...freakin love looking at the thing.
I guess my point - I like it BECAUSE of it's different, sometimes clunky type of play, as it's so different than my other machines. It's going to really be a nostalgia hit with finished code, and always be a viable choice for a few games in the rotation.
Hell, I spend time on it now just to hear the clips I've missed...and i'll point out (for a final time)..once the TV becomes truly interactive, the rotisserie is going to be quite relevant and enjoyable.
Would have preferred having it "done" before I received it, but glad I've got it.......