Quoted from mbwalker:
I started writing up my comments...I think it turned into a review. LOL Really tho, just wanted touch all the topics.
Interesting thread. I own Houdini and thoroughly enjoy it. #2 in the 'fav' list but the latest "#1 pin" is still in the honeymoon phase, so not a fair comparison. Only been in the 'home ownership' end of the hobby for 2-3 years, but an old school player for longer than I want to admit. However, the great pins of the 90's I missed entirely until I started up again.
I understand the comments. So here's my take on it, from personal experience.
Is it fun? Not if you just want to drop a couple of quarters in it on location. It would suck. It takes thought and skill (both of which I lack) on the shots and rules. While I don't own a lot of pins (9) compared to many on Pinside, the ones I own cover a fairly wide variety. 70's, 80's 90's, and then jumps to >2010. Some easy, hard, great, and not so great. The easiest? HS2. The pin that will wear you down...LAH at times. Another hard one?...JD and it has staying power in the lineup, for sure. Would Houdini be the only pin I own? Probably not if I just wanted a single pin to slap a game on. That would be MM, AFM, TOTAN, etc. - none of which I own.
Artwork: Completely like it, lots of little details if you look for it. But that's me. I have an AS and really enjoy the completely different style of artwork by Donnie. But Houdini's steampunk style is appealing in a different way. Is it photoshopped? Don't know and don't care, but I can tell the artist has a sense of humor which is subtle. Even more so after talking to the AP guys at recent show. A style that I like. Fonts? What's a font? JK. They could use work (more so on the animations than artwork). Would I ever not buy a pin based on fonts? Seriously? Not really on my 'must meet criteria'. If you ever saw my power point presentations, you'll understand why it's not an issue. But if your profession is art related, then I completely get the comments.
Theme? Watch the Houdini series on Netflix, you'll understand the theme much better. Great movie/mini-series. AP borrowed a lot from that flick and it was fun to spot the similarities.
Software: Deep, as expected. Much more to do than I'll ever finish. I'm not that great of player tho. Josh over at AP really listens (and chimes in) to the forum feedback and has been updating despite another game in the works.
Humor: Lot's of quirky humor in the game, doesn't get old. Plus a little friendly humor poked at other manufactures. Jokes in the artwork, voices, animation. I'm sure more to be found.
Animations: Not the same league as JJ. And neither is my AS, AP mentioned they tried to keep some of the animations 'old school'. I'm OK w/it, but I understand some complaints.
Service: A couple of minor hiccups, but AP (Barry) supported me and took care of an issue when he didn't have to. Much appreciated on my end and it won't be forgotten
Play: Not easy, absolutely no doubt about it. I didn't want an easy game. Already have some. AP did a good job of compensating. Miss a shot? You'll likely get something else important (i.e. a 'SEANCE' letter). Generous ball save, 2nd chances, bonus times, multiballs, etc. So I think a fairly good balance. But still, no doubt about it, it is a game you have to concentrate on the shots to get a killer game. It can be frustrating if you aren't having a good night. I don't get many SDTM balls tho.
Sound: lacking in bass...as in 'none'. I added a sub, wow - huge difference.
I mentioned on another Houdini thread, I had my choice of any NIB pin. Don't regret my choice. Wife enjoys it immensely (that's important since she's the fiance committee)
Again, sorry for what turned into a review. Just my 2 cents. Like any pin, not for everybody.
Good honest feedback. I would agree the cabinet, backglass, and playfield art is stunning. Hence my gut shot reason to buy it without playing it. Art is important to me also but the total package just wasn't equal on many categories so she had to disappear. I can totally see what people like about the game and nobody should need to defend that or prove otherwise. Pinball is a very individual hobby. Appreciate the write up.