Very fun game but it can be tough. Might not be for everyone but what game is?
Quoted from Caucasian2Step:
I came down to meet Russell at the 1up Colfax when I heard that he drove up from Colorado Springs to give this game a shot. I was also there when they unboxed the game and set it up on location. Playing this table with Russell (a few doors down from Batman, The Dark Knight) was the second time I had played this game. This game will probably need some tuning as each copy right now is a hand crafted piece of work. Before I wrote my review on this game I came down to the 1up to play this copy of this deck. I did this only after I sessioned it out because I wanted to give an actual review after playing an actual game. Russell is my friend and an incredibly intelligent, considerate thoughtful and overall damn fine human being. I don't hang out with just anyone. I surround myself with the best people I can and do everything I can to earn my valuable time with them. I ended up reading this string twice because the format that we have here does not communicate emotional content very well. Friendly ribbing can be easily seen as more harsh intentions. People can say whatever they want to about his opinions and that is fine. People can like or not like whatever games they want to. That's allowed. The title of the string is "Houdini is tough!". This is an accurate description of this layout. It is a shooter's game. As in... it's a pinsniper's game. EVERY shot was 1 1/2 inch wide other than the ramp (which has a strange apex that leads to inconsistent paths when the ball does not make it all the way around the curve. All in all this game is really tough. The pin-masochists and the people who see more frames per. second (I spoke to Daniele Acciari on facecrack about this after I got to play the table) will have a great time with a layout that appeals to their mindset and talents. I'm don't see as many frames per. second as Daniele does, and my tolerance for pin-pain is relatively good. This game made me look SILLY! To summaraize:
This is a great start that American Pinball has given us. Joe Balcer may be the dark horse that the industry of pinball that people may have to start to take notice of. Look at titles that he has worked on: The Simpsons Pinball Party, High Roller Casino, Starship Troopers, Godzilla and one of the best earning pinball games of all time (while not a fav) South Park (which led to TSPP). I understand that he is traditionally known as an engineer. Which is super old school. This is how designers of the past came to be. They learned how to build a pinball game AND THEN design pinball games. Congrats Joe. This game was originally laid out by John Popaduik. I would be interested in seeing the original layout for this design.
As this game stands right now. Playing Houdini is not fun. Pinball is supposed to be fun. If playing the game is not fun, people will not play it. You can have a weak theme/license, not so great art and a game that plays great (The Shadow, Tales from the Crypt, Laser Cue and for some players, the pointy people games of Marche and Kelley, intelligent) players can get past this and enjoy playing the game. But a game that does not play well is an unforgivable sin to go into production. I hope we have a better layout with Oktoberfest. I will be updating this review after more mileage. Best of luck to the entire team at American Pinball. This is a great start. I see them learning from their experiences and making better pinball in the future."
For me it is simple. Right now the layout is SO tighteous that is is not fun. Pinball is supposed to be fun. Will this opinion change after more mileage? It very well could. This table would probably be best in a larger location/collection where it's qualities can be compared and appreciated by those who enjoy being steeled into a better place playing pinball. I like many games like this (x-men again), but for me this game was not fun to play. Pinball is supposed to be fun and that is why we play it. When a pinball game is not fun, it does not get played. Maybe some more tourney players will dig it, but unless you have the funds to put one in your basement, you are probably not going to dollar/play a game on site (certainly most casual players will not) when you get pimped out in less than 2 minutes. This is shown right next to your score. Right after we played Houdini, we went to another location and played No Fear. No fear was a cakewalk compared to playing Houdini. For reals.
No amount of software will save a layout that isn't fun. For me, this game was not fun. It was a beatdown. I will also admit to the fact that I work on my aiming more than anything else playing pinball. You can't really backhand the light lock and lock shots with consistency. The layout is designed for dangerous across the playfield shots. I WILL be spending more time on it as I know it is going to turn up in tournaments and I must be able to perform well on it to win. I have to. Will I enjoy my time getting there, only time will tell. But right now. Houdini is tough! It is so tough to shoot that it is not fun. Who else wants to play a pinball game that is not fun?
So if I understand you correctly, you think Houdini is fun, right? Ok, I’m being a smart ass. If nothing else Houdini definitely pushed some of your buttons to get so under your skin. I started to count how many times you said that it’s not fun but I gave up. That’s cool, everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I’ve read many of your previous reviews and I can say I respect your opinion more than most on this site but in this case I respectfully disagree, Houdini is incredibly fun. Or I should say it is fun to me. That’s my opinion and when it comes to opinions I’m right that it’s fun for me and you’re right that it is not fun for you.
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