Stupidly posted in the Hobbit update thread . DOH!
Artwork and playfield are absolutely stunning . Playfield was shining like a diamond.
Gameplay : I had a lot of fun playing this.
Pop up's were very active and also evident during the Multiball. F
For most of the first game i concentrated on trying the ramps , which i was able to backhand from either side, even on the fly.
The pitch of the game (shallow floaty) and flipper strength (seemed at a weaker setting) allowed for this to occur.
As previously discussed the book was very helpful , when you remember to look at it to know what the rules are for the mode or what shots are active to advance to a lock / mode.
I like the lock rollovers on this much better than WOZ (which i am not a big fan of) because of the placement in the middle of the field with nothing directly behind. You can hit the rollover and get a hit on something else.
Multiball was a real blast and it seemed like there was an initial maybe 2 ball multiball with added balls for achieving (i dont know) ?? Not sure which multi i was in but the pop ups were a big part of it and it was really fun knocking them out of the way and watching them being taken down by software to open up lit shots behind them.
The kickback lane was used nicely to hold balls to start whatever mode is associated with it. You can fire the ball out of the kickback with the Ring button. Sorry i didn't get a good handle on the rules . The operation of the game was impressive though do to the variety of places the ball can go. I like games that hold the ball to let you view animations with the ability to cancel out etc..
Captive ball was not installed , so i don't know what happens when you hit that.
Had the mode with the moving target and it seems like sometimes you hit the target right as its gonig down and you don't get credit. I could be wrong.
Side targets seem like they would be very hard to hit without a cradle. it's the only reason i could see setting up your game "floaty" or shallow. The inlane ball returns on this (especially right side) were almost stopping the ball. might have been due to white fluffy rubbers, but it seems like an area of concern for flow.
The sound was incredible and is begging for a sub , although the stock sound comes very close to reproducing a bass deep enough. When smaug speaks there is a ton of bass , so i can see a sub giving you the "shaking the floorboards" feeling we all know and love. This is why my ears are ringing constantly.
I only remember trying for bag-end shot once but it is a nice long shot and challenging. There is a lot more to do on this pin (shot-wise) than i initially thought , especially with the kickback lane being used for starting things.
Feel of the game was solid like woz which is no problem at all. layout is much better IMO and the theme rocks. It was a bit overwhelming trying to learn rules and i was just batting the ball around waiting for stuff to happen. luckily the pin can deliver in that aspect for newer players to enjoy it.
The ball did not get stuck anywhere while i played.
That's about all i can remember. Purged my brain shortly after.
Thanks to Al (pinaholic) for inviting me down and i hope my non shaky and maybe even rotated shaky video helps people that are waiting for this pin.
For someone like me who wasn't very excited for this pin , i am very excited to possibly own one in the future. Keep the faith .