Re: theme. I think people would be best served by trying to forget about it, at least in the case of Stern, with their rather chequered recent record. Assess the machine on its merits, or lack of.
Let's look at their titles since the beginning of 2015. Some potential corkers here.
Game of Thrones
Guardians of the Galaxy
Prior to revelation, Aerosmith was almost universally panned as a theme, and many ventured that they'd never even consider buying it, no matter how it turned out; almost a crime to even do a machine based on the band and their music. Certainly it was the least popular of any of these titles, pre-reveal, on Pinside.
But, probably the best art package, by far and away the best screen and animations, probably the best sound package (if you ignore the existence of Metallica and Sparky voice being cloned), shoots very well, less engineering / layout issues than any of the other machines (save WNBJM / Pabst), best Stern launch code in the last 10 years, almost undeniably the least gimped Pro and best art on a Pro ever.
A lot of people were blinded by theme, bought based on theme almost alone, and then regretted it, in the past nearly 3 years.
Quoted from Aurich:
I have yet to hear a 'custom' package that sounds as good as the original. Cue points don't match up, things don't loop perfectly, ducking and volumes aren't right, etc. Doing pinball sound properly is an art, replacing stuff after the fact often doesn't work. For me at least it's not a solution to anything.
Quoted from CaptainNeo:
Anti glare glass- no thanks. This shit sucks. People in my house can't even tell what game even has it on. not one person.
This point ... I don't know what to say.
Though I've no desire to see it as a standard feature (would rather buy after market), the contention that it is not noticeable and the average person can't tell the difference is completely untrue.
I haven't seen the Stern product, or the cheapo low quality stuff, but JJP is immediately noticeable and a major improvement. Roman's / PDI / other similarly good stuff, people often forget it's there and smack their hand into the glass. Never heard of someone who isn't partially sighted do that with standard glass.
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.
LOL. They look nothing even remotely alike. Also, if you don't constantly clean them, the combination of dust and reflections / glare rapidly makes it a lot worse.
Quoted from CaptainNeo:
i'm telling you. 100% of the people have failed this test. invisiglass is not as awesome as you fan boys think it is.
JJP Invisiglass is significantly less good than Roman's / PDI or a top of the line 'museum glass' type product. However, I'm sorry, but your eyesight is really quite poor if you can't tell the difference between it and standard glass.
But then I've had people telling me that it's impossible to tell the difference between standard glass (or even the cheapest hazed acrylic) and museum glass / acrylic equivalent for framing art, and who claim their vision is 20:20. Again, impossibly untrue.
Lot of commonality with Metallica.
Groot head & arm sculpts and their finish look really good. The arms hide a pretty large section of the play area from the field of view, though.
The 'MAGNA FORCE' effect where the ball eddies for an extended period of time in tight circles in one spot, with the aid of a magnet, might be liable to absolutely wreck the playfield on any heavily played game. If the finish isn't perfect, and it frequently isn't these days with Stern, it won't be at all surprising to see some location machines down to the bare wood in a few short months. Everyone should mylar this before a single game is played.
Pro art package looks better, though Premium has the better translite. LE the weakest.
LE wears that powder coat a lot worse than Wrestlemania LE IMO.
Not too keen on the playfield art. It's extremely 'noisy'. SW and BM'66 and PotC are of a similar style - (actor faces superimposed onto original art / background). I think all three look better. That the colour is so heavily saturated, and a lot of it clashing, will probably make the light show much less impressive.
Dialing down the saturation a little bit would help hugely IMO.
As it's Borg, it will probably shoot well. Hopefully code is half decent at launch, but do not expect it to be. Lonnie will have had much less time on this than Aerosmith.
My impression is that the Pro's decent, if you compare it to SW or BM'66. Probably considerably more entertaining and diverting. Don't think it will surpass Aerosmith as the 'best' overall package for Spike 2 machines. Chance it's the best Spike or Spike 2 machine.
Comparing the Premium or LE to Houdini, DI or PotC .. it doesn't look good. Premium and LE, again, will not sell in Europe / UK. Way too expensive unless they revise their prices.
Quoted from flynnibus:
Not necessarily. No wear concerns for magnets that just look to move/influence the ball. It's the magnets that try to GRAB the ball that cause wear issues.
No one has mylar'd their twilight zone mini-playfields... for the same reason. It's not unexposed magnets that cause wear... it's magnets that need to grab and the edges of magnets that are wear concerns.
If they aren't looking to grab and hold the ball, rather just push/pull the ball in pulses - the magnets don't need to be as powerful or long pulses and don't drag the ball as much.
It looks like it's circling faster and tighter here, and the quality and durability of pfs Stern has recently been sourcing aren't really comparable to original TZs or recently remade mini pfs.
I'd say it's a concern.
Quoted from vireland:
The beginning of On Stranger Tides multiball in JJP's PotC is a PERFECT example of making content that meshes with the video clips from the movie. It's based on the shot from the movie where the people are falling into the ocean shot from below, but they re-created it in 3D with pinballs falling into the water from a similar perspective. A good example of the imaginative and excellent, seamless art direction that binds the game together.
» YouTube video
I doubt they'd be willing to pay a seasoned pro like JP de Win the market rate, and I highly doubt an enthusiast of his experience and talent (of which there are few) would be given the kind of artistic license he is at JJP to consider a reduced fee.
So I suspect the mess will continue for the time being. How good AP and subsequent Spooky machines look, and how many units CGC sell next year probably determines how long it will take before they do something about it.
I think they're very foolish to be showing it this early, let alone supposedly beginning to ship next week.
Everything else aside, the LCD and audio are an absolute mess. Even BM'66 at launch / first stream seemed more advanced than this.
On a more positive note, typically of Borg, it seems to shoot well.
Quoted from T-800:
So, after 50+ pages of posts, the general consensus from what I've read:
From those that have actually played GOTG in person: "This game is fantastic, the shots are smooth and fast, the sounds are great, it's a heck of a lot of fun, I can't wait to see where they take this game. I really liked playing it."
The stream may have been a little underwhelming in the custom callout department and a lack of complete theme integration with lighting and video at this point, but I'm going to wait to reserve judgement until I play it first hand and get my own idea of the game and where it is going to go code wise.
Ps. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb. Augh.
That doesn't seem very representative of what we've seen so far.
From the mouth of the first and only GotG owner to post about his (delivered) machine on Pinside, in this very thread:
Quoted from hank527:
It's here and the code is horrible on release. Makes x-men release code look good.
Quoted from hank527:
I think its unplayable as is. Played three games and I have no desire to turn it on. It should not have been released like this.
I almost said no to buying, but gave in when I could get one do soon. The people hyping it got me excited. I'm so not happy about that decision as the code is like BM66 and X-men at release. Its probably the worst code shipped on a game ever. It is that bad.
Also, you don't need to play it to see that the audio, LCD and code are all in a terrible state.
I guess code may some day be acceptable, and audio almost certainly will be.
But the LCD? I really, really doubt it. It looks absolutely horrendous. Not just sins of omission. Terrible, flagellation worthy sins of commission.
IMO, this is a game that beyond the initial sales rush, its launch reputation and the cadence of Stern's subsequent releases will completely bury it.
Quoted from ASOA:
Calm down everyone. We have to speak in a way that all of the JJP fans can understand.
Yeah, I think most can understand just how well done the "Everything is alright" (WOZ) film & audio clip are, with awesome integration of them into the game, fitting animation, graphic design, timing and original sound effects.
Things this game completely lacks.
Good point, well made.
It's not lack that's the problem re: the LCD. It's the graphical equivalent of verbal diarrhoea.
The sound ... no callouts, the original music / sfx / film stuff all run together and over each other, without correct cues and ducking. There was also tons of stutter and slowdown.
BM'66 there was a very basic framework that worked, but that was terribly lacking. I don't see much if anything to build on with GotG. It looks like it needs to be done again from scratch.
Quoted from Whysnow:
thanks. I had heard from a typically reliable source that TWD vault was coming where they will have the PRO model with walker bombs, spinner, and extra magnet. I was told the only thing holding it up was that Lyamn is still busy on other titles with code.
If true, it would be enough for me to likely by a TWDve for home finally.
Stern have told distributors that TWD is on last call.
Can't comment on the validity of your Vault theory. I do think they'dbe missing a trick not to do TWD VE with comic book art in future though.
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