(Topic ID: 139587)

Full Throttle - 1 Month Later (Now 1 Year Later)


By frolic

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 98 posts
  • 52 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by HeighwayPinball
  • Topic is favorited by 7 Pinsiders

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There are 98 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
54
#1 3 years ago

Well, the game has been in my house for over 4 weeks, has hundreds of plays, as well as went through an intense evening of play during our Launch Party for it. Here is where I'm at with it. I'm leading off with the negatives just to be fair and not seem like a cheerleader, and these are constructive points. I believe ALL the negatives can be fixed or addressed.

The Bad (nothing terrible):
-Definitely not enough light in a zero light room. I added 2 spotlights to the game. In a lineup of all new games, mostly new Sterns, Full Throttle appears dark. This is probably not unlike the issues with WOZ being underlit and how it appears sitting next to a Star Trek. I would hope the goal for any new game would be that it needs zero external light. So the options presently are turn a light on in the room or add some extra lighting. For all the criticism Stern gets about lack of this or that, they do lighting really well. They are the standard and their machines are everywhere so I'd be testing how my game looked when sitting next to it.

-"Did they tell you some assembly was required?" - this was a joke a friend of mine made the day it showed up, since we came across some loose screws, an outlane post that slid around. In addition I've had:
-Start button was registering phantom hits, this went away reseating the connections (likely loose).
-I also had to make some adjustments to the left outlane loop to prevent cheap ball drains from returns from the ramp.
-Motorcycle toy came unscrewed from it's "wheelie" swivel and fell apart. I was able to put it back together.
-Pop bumper leaf switch gaps way too far apart, the pops had no action. Was able to fix this with needle nose pliers.
-Sling shot leaf switch gaps way too far apart. Only fired for strong direct hits. Was able to fix this with needle nose pliers.
-Valentino had a screw attaching him that either broke or fell off or something, so he didn't spin at all (even though his programming is yet to come). I happened to find a spare screw in the cabinet that fit his base and was able to tighten him to his gear so he rotates again (randomly).

None of this was terrible and easily fixed, but could be tightened up at the factory.

The Mixed:
-LCD could use more animation and excitement. The animations that are there are good, the racing for example, but "Ball Saved" is just the text "Ball Saved" that appears, with no flourishments. There is an audio call out "I'll get another bike for you" or something similar, so why not take advantage of that and tie it with an animation.

-Same goes for pop bumper animations, there are none. I think of the pistons firing on Metallica, showing your points, or on Walking Dead the zombies busting the door down or eating that guy. On Full Throttle the pops are important for revving your engine and shifting gears, but all you get is the needle moving up a notch. Maybe even something like an effect of the tachometer "bulging" or popping out, or doing something to highlight your pops and add excitement.

-Things like the bonus count have a nice guitar riff going on, but the text is flaccid and boring. Overall I'd love to see more text effects. The Walking Dead has bodies dropping while the bonus builds, and that is dmd. So why can't we get cool exciting LCD animations for bonus building?

-The initial engine rev when you launch your ball is very loud. I think this is good at a show or location, to bring attention to the machine, but in a home environment it stops me from turning the audio very loud to enjoy the rest of the game, because that rev just fills the whole house. I'd like to see that mixed down, or alternatively add a software adjustment to override it depending on the environment.

-The dashboard that sits on the screen most of the time is kind of plain. Yes, the information it has is good, but it could really be amped up with some more polish. Both in appearance, and effects, like numbers jumping out, particle effects, explosions, who knows. Again if I compare it with an existing Stern DMD, scores on the dmd have a little bit of animation to them, the fonts are animated, there is that line effect that runs through them. All of that adds life to the display.

The Good:
-The game shoots awesome. The geometry is rock solid. I commend Dave Sanders on his first game. He will be a force to be reckoned with in coming years as he matures as a game designer. Almost all the shots can be backhanded easily and all of them flow really nicely.

-Visitors have all enjoyed it and feedback has been real good.

-It is a super fast game, but satisfying. I often think of Tron in this regard, not a ton of modes, all easily started, but you still feel good if you have a 5 minute game.

-1 month later and ZERO critical issues that have kept the game dark or unplayable! For the first machine out of a brand new factory!

-Light show, music and sounds are all excellent and very immersive.

-Game feels super solid, I often will ask pinheads to grab the apron to lift it, just to demonstrate how solid and reinforced it is, and they are always impressed.

-I don't see a lot of dimples, so the wood/clear seems solid. I know much has been said about this in the past, but compared to Star Trek which started showing dimples right away I'm just not seeing them on Full Throttle.

-The glass magazine is a winner. People are caught up with the width of the bezel, but that really has no affect on visibility of the playfield, and it is really convenient to lift the playfield up. Not to mention all the possibilities that will open up for pinheads in tight spaces, now that they don't need 3 feet of clearance in front of the machine. I also like that the magazine saves the glass from grubby finger prints that you normally get lifting glass. Also the protection of not putting a glass edge against the floor when propped up.

Overall:

I'm super happy with the game. I don't mean to make this a huge negative list, it is me trying to be constructive and honest. As I said, just about everything on this list can be fixed and really are minor compared to all the things that could go wrong with pinball.

I took a chance ordering it first, but I was excited to be involved with a new company doing something different. I respected Heighway's business model of not crowdfunding, that he and his investors were confident enough and saw something, that made me hopeful. I also knew if the game wasn't totally awesome, it was the entry point for me with the Heighway cabinet system and I'd be getting more playfields down the road.

#2 3 years ago

Great and fair review! The shots on this one look like a lot of fun. I'm sure as Heighway progresses they will only get better! Having one cabinet for many games should not have been lost for so many years after Pin2k.

#3 3 years ago

Thanks for writing that honest review Frolic! Heighway is only going to keep getting better @ building pins! I'm excited to receive my FTse soon, & look forward to writing my own review. The animations will keep getting better with software updates I'm sure.

#4 3 years ago

That's a really nice objective review. Thanks for sharing.

#5 3 years ago

Nice review, glad you're enjoying it. I especially enjoyed seeing your comments on the LCD screen stuff. Helpful to think about as I'm art directing Alien animations.

#6 3 years ago

Having dumped around $20 in one on location now (over 3 different days), I've experienced a few things Frolic mentions about gameplay, but like he said, the Pro's far outweigh the Con's.

The image he paints of the skill shot in a HUO environment made me laugh. The skill shot is loud on route. Very loud. I love it!!! But I can imagine someone upstairs in a home thinking "is there a motorcycle race outside or something?"

The LCD art package could use some improvements over time, agreed, but I bet that will come in time. I still love the soundtrack.

My "on route" gripe is that each time I've gone to play it, if I dump in 4 tokens too quickly, it will only register 2 or 3 tokens inserted. This has happened a few times. I obviously know now to slow my role, but it was worth noting.

But the game itself is still fun as hell. Tons of shots, and with the speed of the game, it presents an awesome challenge.

41
#7 3 years ago

Some very good points Chris, and we are addressing many of them now.

My own personal gripe at the moment is general illumination lighting. We will make sure that this improves significantly

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Some very good points Chris, and we are addressing many of them now.
My own personal gripe at the moment is general illumination lighting. We will make sure that this improves significantly

Please also send Chris a proper switch adjusting tool. At least he didn't use vice grips.

#9 3 years ago

FYI their were a few people that asked me at Pintastic if the revving noise on the skill shot could be tuned down as well. This could be a adjustment. Great idea.

#10 3 years ago
Quoted from dannunz:

FYI their were a few people that asked me at Pintastic if the revving noise on the skill shot could be tuned down as well. This could be a adjustment. Great idea.

If people at a show comment on how loud it is...yikes. Hopefully this will be on the software update list soon. My 100 year old house is not so good on the soundproofing.

#11 3 years ago
Quoted from btw75:

Please also send Chris a proper switch adjusting tool. At lease he didn't use vice grips.

lol , Nice that the Company knows him by first Name and appreciated his comments and did not call on Robin to Block his account!!!!
Say anything negative ,even criticism in a Stern Facebook picture= Banned ,, Not a good business model..

Way To Go Heighway Pinball Co !!! Super pleased

#12 3 years ago

The one I just helped set up a few days ago is having trough issues,does yours.
It would eject a ball,you start playing it ejects another.

We went to open it the usual way,lift the box straight up from the base,dropped the head on the ground.
Minor scuffs,got lucky.
There should be mention of the lose parts on the box.
The play field glass insert fell out,during shipping.
The slings needed adjusting ,like yours no action.

Overall game was in great shape,plays fast
Glass is a great idea,easy to set up.

#13 3 years ago

Can't the illumination brightness (both gi and controlled) be ajusted in the menu? If I recall factory setting is only 50 percent?

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from dannunz:

FYI their were a few people that asked me at Pintastic if the revving noise on the skill shot could be tuned down as well. This could be a adjustment. Great idea.

At the UKPP recently you could hear 2 things over everything else, Black Knight 2000 and Full Throttle skill shot

#15 3 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Some very good points Chris, and we are addressing many of them now.
My own personal gripe at the moment is general illumination lighting. We will make sure that this improves significantly

I like when a business takes feedback on board and doesn't get all defensive. Hope I can get a chance to play a FT here in Australia at some point.

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from btw75:

Please also send Chris a proper switch adjusting tool. At lease he didn't use vice grips.

#17 3 years ago

Thanks for your ongoing commentary, Frolic. Very balanced and informative.

#18 3 years ago

Thanks for the review

I've really been itching to play one of these.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from pingod:

The one I just helped set up a few days ago is having trough issues,does yours.
It would eject a ball,you start playing it ejects another.

Are you using factory balls or did you put new balls in? When I first got my game, I put in silverjets, which became magnetized very quickly by the game and created trough issues. Once I put the factory balls in this problem stopped.

#20 3 years ago

Yep. Thanks for the update. The spooky threads like this eventually led me to buy one.

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Can't the illumination brightness (both gi and controlled) be ajusted in the menu? If I recall factory setting is only 50 percent?

I raised it to 100. The light tubes simply don't throw enough light, combined with the color changing light show, so often they are orange or other dark color, which also makes things seem dimmer than if it was blasting white light.

I added a spotlight at the left ramp exit post, feeding the wires through the slingshot, aimed at the girl and at the bikes, and that helps a lot, throwing light across the playfield.

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from Nevus:

The spooky threads like this eventually led me to buy one.

The AMH "honest review" thread is what inspired me to do this. I'd rather have people value my honest opinion and I think its better for everyone.

#23 3 years ago

That's awesome that u gave a new company a shot and bought their machine to let ppl play it and those that haven't or can't play it. An honest review to help others decide.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Are you using factory balls or did you put new balls in? When I first got my game, I put in silverjets, which became magnetized very quickly by the game and created trough issues. Once I put the factory balls in this problem stopped.

You probably already know this, but for magnet games my favorite balls are Pinball Life's ultra glossy balls. Shiny and look great, but don't get magnetized. It's all I use now, so I can just put the same balls in any game, without worrying about magnets or not.

#25 3 years ago

Great review, great constructive critique.

#26 3 years ago

Kudos to frolic.

This review and all the other reports you have given us regarding Full Throttle really is appreciated.

#27 3 years ago
Quoted from karl:

Kudos to frolic.
This review and all the other reports you have given us regarding Full Throttle really is appreciated.

Totally agree it's really appreciated. Heighway should ship him the first Alien too. Good job Frolic

+1 hoping you will have the option of throttling back the skill shot revving sound effect.

#28 3 years ago

Great review Frolic. Thx for being a guinea pig

I know Andrew is gonna tighten all that shit up

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Are you using factory balls or did you put new balls in? When I first got my game, I put in silverjets, which became magnetized very quickly by the game and created trough issues. Once I put the factory balls in this problem stopped.

Factory balls are being used,we figure faulty trough board.

10
#30 3 years ago
Quoted from pingod:

The one I just helped set up a few days ago is having trough issues,does yours.
It would eject a ball,you start playing it ejects another.

reflowed the solder on the opto boards... All good now. I also had to adjust the pop bumpers and slings. I also find it dark, but that will be a easy fix with strips and spots lights. I will wait until the software update to see if it improves. I also blew the 70V fuse. Emailed Nitro, Don called me within minutes. Top notch sales and service from Nitro! So far I like the game, great flow, shots and fast.
Tomorrow it will get played a lot!!!!

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from pinmanguy:

Hope I can get a chance to play a FT here in Australia at some point.

Zax Amusements in South Melbourne have one on the showroom floor.

#32 3 years ago

Frolic, what adjustment did you have to make to the left outlane loop? I love that shot and want to make sure it shoots as well as possible.

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from EJ:

Frolic, what adjustment did you have to make to the left outlane loop? I love that shot and want to make sure it shoots as well as possible.

The problem I was having was when a ball jumped the outlane gap, it would ricochet against the back of the slingshot and then drain.

The solution was to push the left side ball guide (the one before the jump) up. I removed the plastics, to access the screws, loosened the screws and then pushed up and rescrewed while it was pushed up. When I needed more I bent the ball guide forward, continually testing by dropping a ball into the ramp and letting it roll. It didn't need a lot of adjustment.

#34 3 years ago

I just want to be clear as well, I often deal with NIB issues even from Stern. On TWD LE, the bicycle girl ramp was digging into the playfield and created a gouge, the Well Walkers belt buckle ripped apart, people were reporting the crossbow not aiming the ball properly at the ramps, the drain issues from the pops when not leveled correctly, etc.

Then we look at the WOZ issues, with the light boards, GI lighting, etc.

My ST LE led rail light board blew and needed replacing.

My MMR had the slingshot "gouging" problem, the GI was also dark and needed spots added, as well as a flipper mech fell apart.

So I went into this "eyes wide open" that getting the game first there was bound to be things that slip by. I hoped and expected the support I got would cover it, and that nothing would be terrible, like blowing boards and having the game dark for long periods.

So, despite my little list, these are all minor issues, and easily fixed. The fundamental game, the shots, the speed, the flow, the things than cannot be changed, are all great.

#35 3 years ago

Thanks for the review. Full Throttle will only get more exposure once more games are built for the platform (looking at you, Aliens!)

Quoted from frolic:

So the options presently are turn a light on in the room or add some extra lighting.

This must be quite the quandary for you, knowing your history of being a staunch advocate against turning on the gameroom lights. Even at the expense of the TOPL presidency!

#36 3 years ago
Quoted from spiroagnew:

This must be quite the quandary for you, knowing your history of being a staunch advocate against turning on the gameroom lights. Even at the expense of the TOPL presidency!

Gerry @ Multimorphic has named his zero light engineering test after me... it is "The Frolic Test".

#37 3 years ago

Frolic you should be a QC tester for all manufacturers! Great feedback and your insight is making every future FT owners experience better. Hats off.

#38 3 years ago

Thank you for the review! Still looking forward to playing this. Time flies by, I was surprised a month had gone by already!

IMO anybody with any amount of pins needs this leaf adjuster tool:
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1518

I bought it years ago, and probably have had dozens of "easy" adjustments no matter the switch location.

#39 3 years ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

IMO anybody with any amount of pins needs this leaf adjuster tool:
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1518

I had one of these but it was brittle and broke. I see they have a new model so maybe it will hold up better.

#40 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I had one of these but it was brittle and broke. I see they have a new model so maybe it will hold up better.

Same here.

What you want is PBR's L Contact Adjuster tool.
http://www.pbresource.com/tools.html

#41 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I had one of these but it was brittle and broke. I see they have a new model so maybe it will hold up better.

Good to hear I wasn't the only one. I have broken 2 so far, great tool, but very fragile.

#42 3 years ago
Quoted from parabol420:

Good to hear I wasn't the only one. I have broken 2 so far, great tool, but very fragile.

Weird I've been using the same leaf tool since November 2010 when I bought it and hasn't broke on me.

#43 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I had one of these but it was brittle and broke. I see they have a new model so maybe it will hold up better.

Mine also broke fairly quickly. I took it to the local machine shop and said "make me one of these that won't break". $15 later I've got a leaf adjustment tool that will outlast me.

#44 3 years ago

I heard that about the Pinball Life tools too, and that Terry fixed it. I've had the same one for years, no issues.

#45 3 years ago

Yeah, same here. I have had mine for longer than I can remember. 6 years? But it definitely sounds like there was a bad batch. I have been always tempted to get a second one in case I misplace the first, but I figured if push comes to shove I could always make my own.

Sounds like that is an option if you want the "souped up" deluxe version

Coming up: Limited edition chromed / powder coated leaf switch adjusting tools...

#46 3 years ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

I have been always tempted to get a second one in case I misplace the first, but I figured if push comes to shove I could always make my own.

I use to borrow/steal my wife's eyebrow tweezers and would piss her off whenever I forgot to put it back

#47 3 years ago

We had our launch party a few days ago and I got about an hour of playtime in. Made it to final race second game so experienced most of the code, I guess.

I have to say that I think the playfield layout/geometry/play and look is outstanding. Really quite amazing for a first effort. So much of the widebody space is fully utilized. Lots of shots with a nice mix of longer shots and that sneaky cool inner loop that rockets the ball back around (I'm thinking it might even be accelerated?). Makes it really interesting in multiball and we saw lots of people losing balls so fast that way as they weren't expecting it. I did find as I learned the game you could play it in a way that slowed it down quite a bit by using backhands and sticking to the outside shots.

I don't think I looked at the LCD in the playfield once, and I probably never will unless all manufacturers change over to this, just an impossible habit for me to adjust to.

Code is similar to any new pinball machine released - feels like it could use a lot of additions and tweaks to make this a really great game. Everyone found it pretty annoying to see what the scores were throughout games, and the entering of high score initials was pretty comical as it can display a score unrelated to whose initials should be entered .

Anyway, super first effort, and curious how the code will mature over the next couple of years, I really think this could be a top title from the last 10 years if the code can live up to the playfield.

#48 3 years ago

Thanks for the review. Great feedback.

Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Some very good points Chris, and we are addressing many of them now.
My own personal gripe at the moment is general illumination lighting. We will make sure that this improves significantly

And instantly picked up by Andrew. How great is that.

#49 3 years ago

I have been playing the ones at nitro a bunch and I agree with pretty much everything in this thread. Some serious potential here!

One other comment/complaint I'd like to add though is that the callouts do get pretty repetitive. It'd be nice to add a few more so you don't have to listen to same thing over and over.

It's a super fun table still and I am really looking forward to seeing how it develops

1 week later
#50 3 years ago

Played Full Throttle for the first time yesterday at algrande's place (thanks Al!). Really like how it was put together and how it shot. Only had about four games on it though, (was just there on a short break from work), but first impressions were all positive. The layout was definitely different, and fun. As others have said, it doesn't play like a wide body, it is really quick.

Ball times were really short, partly because the shots are so different and partly because I lack skillz, but definitely left me with wanting to play more.

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