Okay – no bashing. I have spoken to few folks trying to decide so I thought I would provide my subjective thoughts about these having now played both machines. If you don't care about my opinion, stop reading now. This is no way meant to be gospel for anyone.
Let me be clear up front, this evaluation is premised on the assumption you have a GNR without playfield issues and it is calibrated correctly. I will tell you I have yet to come across one that meets this standard out in the public. This is based upon my CE being properly calibrated at home. Fortunately, I do not have any playfield issues and installed clear PETG washers early that have worked well. I have had one spotlight arm break, one board go bad and one LED light strip go bad since I bought the machine in May. In each instance, JJP customer support was outstanding and Ken was awesome to deal with. All issue fixed within days.
I played Godzilla Pro extensively yesterday and it is a GREAT machine. If you are looking to be able to make specific calculated shots and to be rewarded for combo shots, I don’t think I have played a better machine. The theme is great, the code is good and the overall experience is great. It is by far the best Stern I have played. Jurassic Park would be #2 on my list for frame of reference.
All that said, I continue to prefer GNR for a number of reasons:
(1) While not as crisp, GNR has a great variety of great shots. You have to master the orbits, both ramps, the inner loop and the scoop to succeed. The upper playfield is continually in play and continues to be a fun challenge;
(2) Every song is a different experience. Accordingly, you have 22 mini games with different objectives and light shows that draws you in. You have to incorporate different combinations of shots throughout. On top of that, the multi-ball modes and risk reward system create adrenaline rushes like no other machine out there;
(3) There are multiple video modes that are each incredibly unique and different; and
(4) This is by far the most entertaining machine for bystanders to watch when they are not playing.
In addition, the call outs are great and the sound, especially if you add the Pinwoofer system with a Sub, make this the best sounding pinball machine on the market. As Kaneda says regularly, you have an experience when you play this machine. It can be a blast, and it can also be one of the most frustrating experiences you ever have. Regardless, it will constantly leave you wanting to come back for more as there are so many different objectives to achieve.
From a straight pinball experience, I am sure the mechs in Godzilla are going to make it even more fun than it is now – but it does not provide the same adrenaline rush of GNR. It shoots much faster than GNR, but the game does not have the variety of modes GNR offers. If I get a second machine, it will be a Godzilla Premium as I believe it is the most complete pin out there next to GNR – and its not even close.
Most of the criticisms of GNR that I read relate mostly to quality issues and I cannot discount that for those that have had negative experiences. Once working and properly set up, however, I think it is the greatest game built yet. The main question is can you get it there. If you don’t want to risk having to make fixes to playfields or spotlights, go Godzilla. Others that criticize the game tend to be pinball purists that enjoy the feel of clean shots and combos more than the chaos GNR creates in its multi-ball modes. It is the adrenaline rush that GNR creates through these modes that make it in my mind the most unique playing experience out there. Godzilla Premium/LE will be a unique experience as well, but for different reasons.
Good luck to all making their decisions. This is all subjective, just have fun with it. I hope this post is useful to some.