Double inlanes, and an apparent fan layout, but it's hard to tell.
I have one request...NO MAGNET BASH TOY. I think we could use a break from those right now.
I can't help but be excited. I'm guessing that IAAP will be the first look at a fully populated game, but it would be great to see something sooner.
I wonder if those are inline drops or a Danesi lock. Either way, good stuff. I freaking love inline drops.
Quoted from Fytr:
This game could be a real treat if Stern treats the material with respect and leverages the humour and music.
If the game isn’t riddled with movie callouts from all the main actors, why even make it? (See TWD random fake southern accent guy).
If the game doesn’t have the music from the movies, why even make it? (since the soundtrack is so integral to these movies).
I really hope it’s funny. Almost all the top rated games of all time have a huge humour component to them (AfM, MM, AF, etc.). They really need to get Chris Pratt to do custom callouts for the game, that would freakin' make it.
...but I really doubt they will 'cause $. Here's hoping I'm pleasently surprised.
All that would be great, sure, but doesn't really impact the gameplay. Presentation is nice, and I hope they nail it, but just give me a good player. I need a good palate cleanser after Star Wars.
Quoted from Arcade:
What a tough ass group.
All I am saying is Stern used to add value to their LE’s with actual upgrades.
If you want to pay thousands more for new artwork and signatures I’m not stopping you.
The LE has no compelling argument anymore. The price hike is not even remotely justified.
Quoted from CaptainNeo:
bullshit. I could have you stand in my gameroom and tell you to tell me which one, and I guarantee you will fail the test.
Lighting will determine everything. On my WoZ and DI, it's crystal clear and I sometimes get that "oh, the glass IS on..." effect. But at TPF, they had a Ghostbusters with the HD glass and it looked the same as any other game in the area. That said, when my glass is freshly cleaned on both sides, even the standard glass looks very clear. I just don't have many lights that would cause reflections to begin with.
CAN WE STOP WITH THE MIDDLE BASH TOYS, BORG?!
It looks fun, and I'm excited to try it, but holy crap does Stern need an injection of new ideas. They apparently design with templates over there.
Quoted from Pimp77:
Borg is sterns ace and the best designer out there...
At this point he's not even designing anymore. He's taking the same 3-4 ideas from all his games (and 1-2 from other peoples' games) and putting them in slightly different spots on the playfield.
The game looks fun, but there's absolutely nothing new or exciting here. At all.
Sucks that spinners are missing from the pro. That will be the only real noticeable thing missing, I feel. Yeah, the lighting is going to be way better on the premium, but that doesn't change gameplay the way spinners do.
Thanks goodness we got what we got. TWD is great, and the turntable on B66 is problematic at best. Sometimes simplicity is very much for the better.
Quoted from guyincognito:
Why can "Hollywood Records" license the tracks from the movie and sell a CD for $11 on Amazon, but Stern can't sell a $6,000 to $10,000 toy with the licensed music?
amazon.com link »
Different types of licensing rights, I'm sure. I think selling 4,000 pinball machines would demand a higher cost per item to license than selling tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of CDs. I don't know though, just a guess. Licensing is weird and pretty dumb.
I don't like the hands. I'd take the spinners, the extra lighting, and the other premium extras, but you could keep the hands off.
Quoted from CrazyLevi:
My god. He’s right!
Stern have been engaging in a sick, nefarious plot to offer more features for MORE MONEY.
And all this time. Right under our noses!!!!
This apologist act sucks. It IS stupid that Stern creates a gameplay split between their models. It splits the code base (thereby slowing down code updates)and it artificially increases the costs of getting a fully featured game. They should have gameplay 100% equal between models and make all the differences cosmetic. Holding back a few dollars in features to charge a few thousand more to have them is honestly the worst thing any manufacturer is doing right now.
But go ahead and keep making apologies for it so Stern doesn't have to change. That'll continue being GREAT for pinball.
Quoted from jgentry:
You people really get worked up about some spinners. It's not like back in the 1980 Bally days when they were some of the main focus for points. In most stern games they really do not do a lot. The only one I can think of is War Machine on ACDC. Otherwise its just a thrown in add on with minimal scoring.
Yeah, and that sucks too. Spinners and pop bumpers are horribly implemented by Stern these days. Pop bumpers don't do anything but give you random awards inside a closed in nest. They put them in there for bullet points. All Stern really cares about these days are ramp shots, orbit shots, and bash toys.
Despite my claims of sucky spinner usage or removal, I'm still excited by this machine. I want to get time on a premium so bad. It looks like just straightforward fun.
Quoted from flynnibus:
If you only thin selfishly as a customer... maybe
If you step outside yourself and look at it like a business... you'd realize your ideal is far from it. Which is why most industries have tiers of product. "One size fits all" is usually a stupid idea... because not all buyers have the same interests, tolerances, and motivations. The key is making sure the gain from the tiers does not outweigh the costs of doing so... in both your net and in confusing the market. Which is why the more distinctive the tiers are... and better aligned with the target customer tiers... the better.
It's not one size fits all. It's keeping all the core functionality in line. It's actually harder on Stern themselves to split the code base. They have two targets to code for, rather than one.
JJP and Spooky have one target. They differentiate their lines through cosmetic differences and they still make their LE/CE models mean something to the buyer. You would end up with better code, which is again better for EVERY owner, regardless of which model they have.
How you can possibly think it's "better" to split the feature and code base is beyond me. It's literally worse for every party involved. Buyers get less for their money, and Stern has to do extra programming because they have two different environments. Premium features get underused, because they are often a minority feature, so there's not as much motivation to code up those things. The Ecto Goggles were criminally underused, but if they had been in every model, I'm sure more would have been done with them.
When I play a Dialed In, no matter which model I step up to, it's going to be the same game. There's a lot to be appreciated by that. With a Stern, there is going to be some arbitrarily cut feature (spinners or drops, usually) or some shoehorned extra (GoTLE upper playfield) in there.
Let the designers make the best game possible without having to come up with something to cut or something to add. Let them build the best game they can with the BoM allowed, and then sell the premiums and LEs for extra by adding more detailed toys, trim packages, and unique cosmetics.
Quoted from jgentry:
It's pretty silly just how upset some of you are about spinners of all things. GOTG looks like a loaded pro and you lose almost nothing game play wise when getting a pro.
Spinners are only lame these days because Stern makes them lame. They were once a really well integrated feature in pinball.
Quoted from Dr-Willy:
well if they are lame then why the bitchfest over the pro not having them? As you upset about the lack of spinner on the pro or the way stern uses spinners period?
Both. They should be there. If they were on every model, the coders are more likely to use them meaningfully. It's not just spinners though, it's any gameplay element that they strip out for the pros. They don't need to do that. People still buy LEs/CEs from JJP or Spooky despite no differences in gameplay.
Give LEs and premiums these sorts of things:
- Power coating
- Mirrored backglasses
- Higher detailed toys
- Included shaker motors
- Included headphone kits
- Easy subwoofer connections
- Unique art
- Extra swag (exclusive t-shirt or art print)
Stop taking away gameplay features. That sucks.
Quoted from chuckwurt:
I don’t want a 8k Pro. Strip away!!
They don't have to. That's the point! Are you guys all dense? For real.
It doesn't add $3000 to put a couple of spinners on a game. Stop pretending that it does and stop giving Stern a pass. Given how cheap the components they use, they wouldn't be eating into their margins much at all. Heck, by simplifying development, they could possibly save money over time.
We're at the prices we're at for stripped down pros because we allowed it to happen. Apologist behavior got us here.
Quoted from fosaisu:
Look, I get why you don't like this policy. If Stern would change its ways you'd never consider buying anything other than a Stern Pro. But that's the point, right? Stern's job is to make it hard for you not to buy the Premium.
Both my JJPs are LE models. My last Stern NIB game was an LE, only because I preferred the LE art package over the premium. The argument doesn't hold weight that people wouldn't buy pros, because JJP and Spooky still sell their LE models just fine. There is always going to be a premium trim buyer.
Heck, even location JJPs are usually LE models that I come across, and they have almost no reason to upgrade to LE to put a game on location.
Quoted from flynnibus:
"it only costs them $5" - the voice of someone who never has done product management or development.
Except for that I do. I am part owner in a company that manufactures and develops its own product. Oh, and my dad owns a manufacturing company. I grew up my whole life around it.
We offer 4 models of our core product. Prices range from under $2,000 to over $5,000, and the core functionality is the EXACT same on each, but they differ in ways that are only meaningful to peoples' individual circumstances (some like stainless steel over powder coating, for example). The lowest-priced model is not our top seller, despite it doing everything people need it to do. People pay for luxury, but they also appreciate that you don't arbitrarily strip out features that don't cost the company any meaningful amount to implement. We've had those conversations with customers a million times.
Quoted from fosaisu:
Put all the fun to play stuff on the cheap model! Put a bunch of non-interactive "bling" that half of the pinball community doesn't care about on the expensive model! Sit back and watch sales of your Premium machines plummet!
Great advice from the buyers perspective. Lousy business advice for Stern.
But...JJP puts all the gameplay in their standard model and it's still not the most popular one. They still sell more LEs than standards. It might actually get more people to buy a new machine rather than a used game or two as well. When the new game has a no-compromise (in regards to gameplay, anyway) entry that isn't much higher than a lot of new games, the new game looks more attractive. Stern had no trouble selling out the Black Spider-Man or the Gold Lord of the Rings games. Neither offered more in regards to gameplay.
Quoted from John_I:
You mean the $8500 standard model? What do they put in their $5500 model?
You're missing the point. People still buy the $9500 model anyway. And adding a couple of spinners won't jack the price up to $8500.
JJP games cost more because they're smaller run and they put much nicer components in them. They have a much higher bill of materials due to several factors. It's not because they don't rip out $20-$30 worth of parts from the standard.
Quoted from John_I:
Actually you missed the point. JJP doesn't have a Pro model. They basically have a Premium and an LE. On DI they added a third level similar to the BM66 SLE.
AND PEOPLE ARE STILL BUYING THE HIGHER TRIM. WHAT IS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND HERE?!
Collectors will still buy whatever is perceived to be better. You don't have to gimp out your entry model. That. Is. The. Point.
Ah, dang. I thought that those laser cut siderails were on the LE and that the early pics just didn't show that. They're really going to hold that back from LE buyers? I guess they're at least an actual upgrade. The cut rails for Ghostbusters looked like a "My First Stencil Kit" product.
Quoted from Black_Knight:
How is this any different for AC/DC or Met or any number of others? Pick your mode get through them get some multi ball or other mini wizard mode.
AC/DC is unique because you have the option of staying in modes or jumping around them and both decisions can be rooted in an individual strategy choice. The way song jackpots work and the different playfield usage per song really mixes things up.
But man, I'm all for some straightforward pinball these days. AC/DC is my favorite Stern, but 90% of people will never understand that game fully. If Guardians of the Galaxy is just good, straightforward fun, then bring it on. I forgot how a good layout and a simple ruleset can be such a clear winner against games that overly complicated for their own good.
Quoted from kklank:
It's fun but after a while I couldn't keep it around. It was a cookie cutter effort but it was a lot better after getting bent over by stern previously at the time with bm66le.
I like Aerosmith, but it definitely isn't the type of game to hold my attention long term. I think it's a great location player. The theme/music is terrible, but the layout is challenging and you can pick up fairly quickly what you need to do.
Quoted from jdpilot:
They are both Disney. Lucasfilm was purchased Disney in 2012. Disney is a HUGE pain to work with. I have two separate friends that own companies that have to deal with Disney for licensing , and both had said dealing with the Mouse is so much worse than LFL ever was. Doesn’t matter that SW is 40 now. It’s Disney. They don’t make things easy for ANY of their properties, which is a little surprising considering how long they’ve been around. But doesn’t mean the people in charge of those areas have been I guess.
I can’t speak for STERN in this matter. My point though is just because SW is 40 and GOTG is 3 (cinematically), wouldn’t make a difference.
Part of the reason Disney properties are so timeless and valuable is because they are very cautious and controlling of their brands. It's not fun for people to work with them, that's for sure, but it is more valuable to Disney to protect their value over the long term than what they can get by loosening the reigns for short term gains.
Licensing is super weird in the digital age too. There are so many more levels of likeness, distribution, and usage rights. I would hate having to work with licenses on a regular basis.
Quoted from kermit24:
Jeff, why do you always feel the need to s*&t on everything?
That really hardly qualifies as "everything" in pinball.
I should probably add that KISS armor too. I hadn't seen that. That's pretty bad.
Edit: And Batman '66, but that's legit the dumbest thing I've ever seen in pinball from a real company. So that's fair game.
Quoted from DCFAN:
Code and sound will likely make or break this game for me. I like GOTG as a theme much more than Metallica. The art is nice. I like the layout since it is similar to Metallica which I enjoy the gameplay. I like that they took some of the best features from IM (the cannon kickback) and ST (locking drop target) and added magnets, so hopefully ball times will be a little shorter than MET having the kickback and magnets add more randomness. Also, it appears that the Groot head is positioned similar to Sparky with a guide on the right side where the captive ball is located in MET that greatly reduces SDTM drains when shooting the center.
I do worry about the Spike system node boards and feel Stern needs to make them available much cheaper or have a board trade-in policy for a reasonable cost. It would also be nice if they were made easily repairable and all the same.
If the code is up to par with Metallica, they'll sell a ton of these. I am not a big Metallica fan either. In fact, their music is kinda grating to me, but the game is undeniably fun and one of the best modern pinball games. That's a tough task to try and make something that is coded as well as Metallica, but it's a worthy goal to shoot for.
I have to imagine with each release they're getting a bit more experienced with Spike. I hope that leads to fewer problems. It's kind of a scary platform.
Quoted from jdpilot:
Timeless is one thing, and you can keep a strong brand, but trust me, with the stuff they pull (stuff completely unrelated to quality of items produced), they are one of the worst to deal with...which is truly a shame.
Some of it is just "don't forget, we're in control" BS. Pretty infuriating. Remember when Stern got the Rolling Stones license and they gave them the same art assets to work with as the Monopoly board game? That was a bummer.
I'm interested to see how they'll use the songs in the game. Some of them could be pretty fun for pinball. I wonder if you can select your track, or if they'll be triggered by modes and game state.
Full RGB inserts are great. I wish all games had them as standard. They can do so much to help indicate what to do.
Is filming allowed at IAAPA? I know sometimes certain exhibitors allow it and others don't. I'm wondering if you have to be there to see it in action or if we might get a bit of cell phone video.
The biggest problem with Spike is that it's not named Son of SAM. Oh, and the node boards.
Quoted from Sinestro:
One of the most ridiculous and preposterous comments that circulates among Stern bashers is that the SPIKE system is somehow junk.
SPIKE is vastly superior to SAM, and any other assertion is asinine.
Dude, no. SPIKE is objectively a step backwards in nearly every way. Higher failure rates, inability to diagnose, more expense for the end user over time, more difficult to repair, less friendly to modders, and far less interchangeability between games. You often like to blindly defend things, but SPIKE is one that is best left undefended until they make it reliable.
SPIKE is still unfinished and they've been using it for years. Kind of a crazy thing to think about.
Sinestro, buddy, you're kidding yourself if you think SPIKE is better than SAM. Your experience with it is not everybody's experience. Your reality is not everybody's reality. It's great that you haven't had problems, but many, many people have. There's a real concern about the long-term viability of SPIKE. You can't come here and stomp your foot and thumbs down people and throw around terms like "hater" when there's a mountain of evidence to contradict you. It just makes you look like an apologist. And what's crazy about that is that you're not getting anything out of it.
I never had to worry about game code updates blowing out my driver boards before SPIKE. Now it's a real concern. With SAM being properly fused, board failures weren't nearly as common. I've seen SPIKE games taken out of the box and before the first play they've been completely unplayable due to a dead node. They're finicky and fragile. And worst yet, if you short one, you're not replacing a simple fuse or transistor, you're sending the entire board back for replacement. It's not a great situation for the operator or the hobbyist.
Forget it. For those of us that have been around in the hobby to watch things go from Whitestar to SAM to SPIKE, the differences have been obvious. I'm not interested in arguing a point with someone who is irrational and so blasted defensive. You're acting like I'm calling your mom flawed or something. The emotional attachment is extremely weird.
Yes, the guy giving examples of problematic aspects of the SPIKE system is the emotional one, not the one who is calling people delusional, accusing them of lying, and basically saying, "nuh-uh!" Cool story.
Back on track. SPIKE can be discussed elsewhere anyway.
On the Stern of the Union when they mentioned that the game will have pop songs in it, did they clarify that it came from the film? It was kind of weird to label them simply as "pop songs" and not "songs from the film." I would doubt that they would be using songs that don't have anything to do with the license, but found the wording strange.
I don't know that Stern was being so specific to only say that they're including songs in the pop genre though. I think the wording was just a little funny. At least I hope not, because Spirit in the Sky and Cherry Bomb would be two songs that could be used very well. I think they were just trying to be non-specific, but we'll all find out soon either way.
Quoted from LOTR_breath:
I have no facts, but I seriously doubt that a node board bought through a Stern dealer is $300.
Individual boards currently run from $139 to $999.
I wouldn't be afraid to buy a SPIKE game if you know the risks and they're acceptable to you. You might experience some downtime, but Stern has been good to address issues. For those that had problems with the fork ramp on Star Wars, they all got new boards. If you're the type that doesn't want to have to poke around much under the playfield, I can understand the hesitation.
For me, even though I'm experienced working on machines, I just didn't want the hassle or the potential headache. Selling GBLE was kind of sad, but I didn't want to get left with a problem on my hands. Sure, Stern would replace things, but GB is on its own SPIKE board revision, I believe, which might make it a bit of an outlier down the road for long-term support. I imagine that replacement boards will always be available on some form, but the costs could get steep once you're out of warranty or if the specific boards your game needs aren't in regular production.
I have to think that the newer stuff will be more compatible and the boards will be more swappable, so having good amounts of stock on hand is less of a worry.
I wouldn't tell someone not to buy a Stern because of SPIKE, but for myself, I prefer not to have that worry. As time goes on, I will probably get over that worry. I'm just not there yet.
I can see not liking Guardians of the Galaxy, but generic? That's probably something the series is rarely accused of being.
I like how Ghostbusters handles skill shots. You have to really intend to hit it, but you still have options based on what you want to do that ball.
Quoted from Pinballmike217:
You have nothing to worry about. Stern is making so many games now that there will always be an aftermarket industry to support it even if for any reason they are no longer in business. I had the same fears around the year 2000 when I started collecting and Bally Williams went belly up. Their product was so good the collector market would not allow the games to die. The same thing will repeat itself in the future if something happens to Stern. The cost of future repairs will be as negligible on Sterns then as it is on Bally Williams games now. The only potential problem might be some waiting for parts to get reproduced, same as it is now.
If we get documentation and if working on surface-mounted components becomes more common. Even then, those boards are not super friendly to poke around on. Right now there's no way for anybody to act as a third party without documentation. We need that first.
But yes, your point works out if a few conditions are met.
Quoted from Pinballmike217:
No sense worrying about ten years from now when we can enjoy what we have in the present. In the unlikely event Stern can no longer supply parts in the future there will always be the gifted few who can easily reverse engineer ten year old technology for those in need. Pinball is flourishing right now, not fading. There's no need to worry about the sky falling anytime soon.
It's not just 10 years from now that you should be worried about. It's after the game leaves the line and it's not being supported actively anymore. For now, warranties are covering most issues, but that certainly won't stay the case. It's as much of a short term issue as a long term one.
Rules seem similar to Aerosmith. The mode select looks like the song select. That's not a bad thing, I like Aerosmith. It's impossible to tell how much it might differ based on a short clip, but the Dead Flip stream should really show how things are working.
Still lots of placeholder stuff in there, and there's a lot of dead time on the LCD. Should be fun watching as things are added leading up to launch.
Based on the score card, it's Aerosmith rules on Metallica's shot layout. I'm excited to play it, but I've yet to see a single thing on the game that's unique. Nothing that defines this game. It's all X shot or Y rule from game A or B. I hope that doesn't make it a flash in the pan.
It's legit copy and paste though. Rules are Aerosmith. Missions are songs, Upgrade is Crank it Up, the Hadron is the VIP, the multipliers, the multiballs, and the wizard mode are the same. I hope there's more coming.
Quoted from Rarehero:
We all want games to be Lyman masterpieces, but the reality is that takes 2+ years. As someone who works in an industry with tight deadlines & watch people burnout trying to accomplish too much within an unrealistic timeframe, I know what it's like to pick your battles. On that level I respect that Lonnie has made a template so he can get a game done under Stern's short schedule. IMO that template will work better with a story based game - but we'll see.
Today we have better development environments, better software, and better overall resources. Williams didn't need 2-3 years to finish a game, and they were all very unique. I'm legit bothered at the lack of ambition by anybody here.
At first I gave the layout a pass, figuring they would do something at least interesting with the code. They've gone full cookie cutter though. There's no ambition.
I'm not saying this won't be fun, but Stern is going straight up paint by numbers here. No creativity.
The modes should trigger a lot of great clips. Ghostbusters aside, Stern hasn't had a license so rich for pulling one liners or sight gags for a while.
Quoted from Black_Knight:
You are right there are better tools today, but the rules are more complex, LED lighting is more complicated, and display integration is better.
Net net, it takes significantly more effort to deliver the software today than it did in Williams' time.
Uh, you think it takes more time to clip videos than to animate things with dots? The LCD simplifies that process a lot. And rules are deeper on some games, not all. B/W developers had to deal with more archaic audio systems, smaller storage space, lower bandwidth hardware, and lots of challenges that have been solved with improving technology. It was harder back then than it is now.
At some point you have to be honest though. Stern isn't even trying to do anything unique here. This is a legit recycling of code and just changing the name of things.
VIP - Hadron
Crank it Up - Upgrade
Choose Your Track - Choose Your Mission
You qualify multiballs the same basic way
Playfield multipliers function the same basic way
Templates are great for marketing and sales reports. For pinball? Eh, that's weak. Pace of release is an excuse, not a reason. What we end up with games that play just fine, but they're ultimately disposable. I guess that's fine if you're a location player, but it's not the best for building a collection around.
That's all I really have to say on that. Keep making excuses for Stern and giving them a pass though. That will make them REALLY start to push themselves and get creative.
Is Baby Groot on the shooter rod an indication that there might be possible content from the second movie?
The layout looks great, but it looks like a long way to go still on code. Since it's borrowing heavily from Aerosmith, it probably won't take as long to get there as other games. But still, the game needs time to bake.
Good work on the stream. Much appreciated.
Code will come, and it will be fine in all likelihood. HOWEVER, I wish people would stop buying games in this state. Stern doesn't care about the state of their games when they ship anymore. Anything to keep the assembly line moving. People really need to start sending a message that they're not going to buy until code is improved. We had people placing orders on Star Wars while the code was literally burning out node boards. Why? Why are we supporting such lazy product development? There's absolutely no reason to do this anymore.
Hold off on ordering until the code is more mature. Otherwise, this is how it's always going to be with Stern Pinball.
Right. Let operators get the line moving and hang out a bit. It would surely cut down on the code angst posts.
Quoted from chuckwurt:
Hahaha. Yeah right. It would just breed another type of angst posting from the same ole debbie downers.
Honestly though, Stern has left a lot of owners out in the cold with code. I think people have shown good faith and kept buying, but Stern is showing no signs of getting better about this. People can either keep rolling with it or they can force a change.
Quoted from flynnibus:
There really has never been a reason to rush to buy these games... yet look at how many people are "In!!" after just seeing photos of a game? Seems people are more addicted to having the latest and greatest toy and less about having great pinball machines.
The LE rush sweeps people up into ordering pros and premiums as well, I think. When everybody is putting money down, and there's the risk of having to wait for 2nd, 3rd, or later wave shipments, people get impatient. I get it, but it does more harm to get your game early and support bad release states than to just wait. Also, 2nd run and later games generally have improvements in manufacturing. My Dialed In LE game with all the tweaks that make it play great, and it had hole protectors from factory. On the other hand, my GBLE was a build disaster. I learned the hard way that early isn't always better.
Quoted from chuckwurt:
Sorry but you get what you get. Stern is under no obligation to make a game what you hope it will be. Every single early adopter knows exactly what they are getting. Buy for what the game is, not what you hope it will be.
Buyers getting “burnt” is no one’s fault but their own.
I think most Pinsiders know at this point, but I know buyers who aren't on here. Their distributor just emails them when a new game is coming out and they buy one here or there. Batman took a couple of these guys by surprise, and I'm sure this will too.
But the overeager nature of people buying before a game is in an acceptable state is absolutely holding back progress. Stern has no motivation to be timely anymore. They take a few negative posts here and on their Facebook page, but people keep buying. So why change? The community really needs to buckle down. Stern WILL change if they have to, but that hand hasn't ever even been close to forced.
Quoted from ASOA:
Calm down everyone. We have to speak in a way that all of the JJP fans can understand.
Why do you always have to go fanboy? Stop.
Quoted from chuckwurt:
I think you’d be better off going with a spooky or JJP game. They have all their ducks in a row on the things you find most important it seems.
I’ve always preferred the play of Stern games, beta code or not. Would it be awesome if every game stern released was amazing from start to finish? Sure.
But to just keep hoping and hoping and hoping stern changes to your liking, it’s a waste of time imo. Just enjoy pinball for what it is and support the companies that have the same viewpoints as you do.
I have more Stern games than JJP games. More Stern than any other manufacturer, actually (I think, I should count). Games don't have to be complete on release, but they should be release ready. Guardians is shipping really thin. People rushing to buy it will just validate that choice. I don't know why you need to play it RIGHT NOW and not in a few months. I don't know why you think that Stern wouldn't adapt their model if people put their foot down. It happens in every other industry.
Quoted from hank527:
That's easy as I love Jon Borg designs and the theme. I just did not expect a box of lights.
It'll get there. It probably won't ever have the depth of Metallica or AC/DC, but it will be a complete package. Aerosmith is a good example of what you'll end up with, except for with a FAR BETTER theme. Hopefully it comes together quickly.
Quoted from Whysnow:
I honestly have paid very little attention to BM66. It was out of my price range and I played one locally that did nothing for me. Was BM66 really worse than this appears currently?
Far worse. Literal bare bones. I honestly still can't understand how they pulled the trigger on that game with a straight face. Lyman will probably get good code on there at some point, but the geometry of the game will be forever busted though. Just played a few more games on it again a few nights ago. It's one chintzy and underbaked game from the physical design to the current code.
Stern's last 10 aren't a bad or a great run. Probably better than average, but there are some real ups and downs there.
Last 10 games stern has created
10. Star Wars - Pro is bad, Premium/LE is worse.
9. Aerosmith - Fun, yet shallow game. Great player and I like it.
8. Batman 66 - Truly awful. Code is improving, but the layout is a dog and the turntable a physical mess.
7. Ghostbusters - Very good game that needs a desperate final pass on code to clean up bugs and to finish the wizard modes.
6. Spider man VE - Not as good as the original, but still a very fun game. Overpriced.
5. Who Nellie/Pabst - Underrated, mostly due to the cost. Fun game that could have done better at a lower price point.
4. Game of Thrones - Fantastic game at the pro level, but a big step down at the premium/LE. Still, a legit great.
3. KISS - Boring and lame. Some of the laziest/worst DMD animations ever.
2. Wrestlemania - Interesting effort, but it doesn't come together well. Not good.
1. Walking Dead - Amazing game that keeps you coming back for more. Addictive despite being brutal.
We'll see with Guardians. It's a recycled effort on layout and code, but it's drawing from good inspiration. I can't wait to see it in a matured state.
I can't stop laughing at bobalee bo bo. Not because it's funny, but because the situation is hilarious. They'll definitely remove it in the future, but let's just laugh at the ridiculousness right now.
Bobalee bo bobalee bo bo.
It's not just that the callouts aren't by original actors. In many cases, that can't be helped. It's that those callouts are totally disjointed, annoying, overly used, overly repeated, and practically nonsensical in the flow of the game. It is just a bunch of constant noise right now.
But why put these out there like this? Look at the reaction it drew. Within 5 minutes I knew Pinside would be angry about it.
The code will get there. It's just unintentionally hilarious right now. I'd save the anger for another day. If it becomes nothing more than an Aerosmith retread on the code front, at least it will have the superior shot geometry of Metallica. The game will be fine, but the rollout has been nothing short of goofy so far.
Maybe Stern needs to cut one game from the schedule each year and let games release with more maturity. But whatever the situation is today with GOTG, it should round out to be a fine game in the long run. I hope so, at least.
Quoted from Who-Dey:
How does the code differ from AS? I haven’t played the game yet but it kinda seems like you pick a mode and shoot for the lighted inserts. Once you clear that you pick another mode and shoot all of those inserts etc. seems to me like it’s just more of the same compared to AS which isn’t a terrible thing, just nothing new or fancy. Am I wrong about that?
No, as it stands, pretty much everything is modeled after Aerosmith.
Songs = Missions
VIP = Hadron
Multiballs and Multipliers are very similar
Wizard mode qualifications are very similar
It's not a bad thing, it's just what it is right now. Many Lawlor games had a pretty similar model. Heck, Dialed In's progression is very similar to old Lawlor games, but there is quite a bit more nuance layered in.
I like both songs, but they should probably be specific to a mode or special state in the game so that they don't repeat so often and aren't always so cut short. It makes them feel a little disposable. That treatment worked well for the Ghostbusters theme because they cut the vocals and it was good background music to stitch together other audio tracks that were designed for that specific theme.
Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:
Picking your mode/mission before plunging the ball is mostly just lazy code.
“I can’t think of anything interesting for the player to do to qualify - EARN - a mode. Hey! Why not just let them pick the mode up front?”
Gary: “Yeah! And then we can just recycle that code for all our games!”.
I guess it works on a music pin to some extent, as it gets you into a tune right away. But again, better to make the player work for that tune!
There are ways to do it right. AC/DC has you select your song, but you need to make a key short or two in order to really get the mode rolling. Maybe things could evolve in that direction a little bit.
Part of the bobalee bo bo gag is how terribly they recreated the scene. In the movie he's not so forcefully saying it, and the totally went heavy handed with the delivery in the pin. It loses all its feeling and just turns straight obnoxious. It also plays way, way too much.
I'm ok with voice actors. Often times you end up with a license having variations with character voices and likenesses between movies, TV shows, comics, animation, etc. What they need to do is make the callouts more indicative of what's going on, however. We need more "shoot the left ramp" lines and less unrelated voice clips.
The game is still a ways away from 1.0. There's a lot of refining to do on the sound package.
EA is in hot water with gamers because they are not only guilty of rampant loot box abuse, but they also love to buy up great game studios, force them to milk their franchises to death, farm IP out to shoddy studios, and then shut down those formerly great development houses. It really, really sucks.
I'm excited to see the premium/LE lightshow. I know it has little impact on play, but on some games the lighting upgrade is pretty big. Also, spinners. Long live the spinner.
I'm still interested in playing it, but people I trust that have experience with it aren't giving me the best reports. I'm hoping that by the time I play it, the code will be in a better place.
Borg's willingness to recycle/lift other designs shouldn't be used as a defense. The big issue with Guardians is not that it just has a recycled layout, but the code is recycled from a very recent game too. There's a long time between Funhouse and Tron, and at least Tron also has code differentiation going for it. I still want to play Guardians, but I'm sure it'll feel very familiar from the get go.
Our league location got one and I went in with high hopes, but the game is brainless. The updates so far do very little to fix any of its actual issues. They REALLY need to step it up on the road to 1.0.
Rules: Terrible. The game needs balancing more than any other game out there right now. The easiest objective in the game is the highest scoring. The hardest objectives are the lowest. Modes need far more weight to them than they have. It is also really lame that they shoehorned Aerosmith's rules directly into Guardians. Aerosmith wasn't that long ago.
Sound: Easily the worst of ANY pinball machine. Even the most simple solid state games made sounds that were indicative of the shots you make. Guardians just plays FREAKING LOUD video clips that are totally disconnected from what you're doing. You just want it to shut up, because it's distracting, annoying, and there's no logical sense to do what they did with the audio package. There are no acceptable audio cues for what to shoot for.
Video: Still tons of missing assets and most of what is in there is looping videos from movie scenes. Again, there's no logical sense to do this. Who wants to watch a movie out of order and missing tons of lines during a pinball match? They took the shortest, easiest path to getting assets on the screen, and it sucks.
The & #@*ing magnet! What a terrible implementation of the magnet. 7/10 times you hit the Orb shot, it flings the ball out the left outlane. Not fun. Borg's obsession with shot magnets has to stop. I get that he's not the most original guy, but c'mon, every game? Cheap drains.
Stern has got to get this game to a better spot. It has a good, albeit recycled, layout, but they really tripped over themselves with their rules copy/paste job with poor score balancing. They need to undo the video dump to the LCD and get some useful and dynamic information on the screen.
The layout has potential, but the lazy approach to software is pulling this game down enormously.
Ghostbusters is one incredible sound package. The music is amazing and the sound effects are great.
I update my reviews with major code updates, but as it is now, GOTG is failing to impress. It's a one note game with Groot multiball being so heavy handed on the scoring.
Quoted from frankmac:
I can assure you that GOTG is not a #146 game.. It should be somewhere in the #40 and up with the .87 code. I rank it around #30..
Say what?! Top 30 of all the pinball machines ever created? I actually think it's lucky to be a top 200 game, given how new releases usually have inflated rankings. That code is an outright mess. Yeah, there's room for improvement, but they painted the game into a corner pretty early with some odd decisions.
At the very least they need to balance the scoring. It's the most unbalanced game out there right now. It's been left that way for too long.
I don't care about the actors or voice actors. That has no bearing on the actual gameplay. What is super annoying is that the game NEVER FREAKING SHUTS UP. You start a mode and it's constant movie quotes that are independent of what you're doing. It's so unbelievably lazy and sloppy. But that's still not the main issue, that's just an annoyance. The real problem is that the scoring is wildly imbalanced and it plays super long. For a game that plays long, balance is very, very important, because you need variety. As it is now, the game lacks any dynamic feel. Shoot Groot. Do it again. Again. Again. Even in multiball, do it again!
Stuff can be improved, but they've ignored some glaring issues and that's fair cause to worry.
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