(Topic ID: 156830)

Hobbit review: Fun, beautiful, impressive


By PanzerFreak

3 years ago



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  • 99 posts
  • 45 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by PanzerFreak
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There are 99 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 3 years ago
Quoted from Bobby:

Just unboxed a Smaug Gold SE and set it up in my pinball room. I played it at the Ohio show and my wife took a liking to it ( a big + for me!). At any rate, 10 days later and I just played my first 3 games on it. Out of the box, I had one small issue - start button wouldn't start a game; the switch had worked itself loose just a bit. Pushed it back in and it showed on the diagnostic board as working and that was it, frankly not bad!
Game is gorgeous for sure. Playfield clear looks good, ramps are deep chrome and it has a solid feel to it; reminds me of older wide body Williams game in feel. Certainly doesn't feel cheap. The pop-ups (4 total) remind me of trolls on Medieval Madness. Ball seems to rollover them with no diversion (again like MM). On slower rolling balls, the rollover buttons (again 4 I belive) will divert ball; on faster rolling balls it doesn't seem to.
This game was made on March 29th and is #281, but by serial number is 46th one made.
I'm at the .81 software and will do the update by this weekend. For now, just enjoying it for what it is.
More to follow,
Bob

You played it at Ohio and have it already? Wow.

#52 3 years ago

Yes. Played it on Friday and ordered then. Emailed on Tuesday to get a feel for timeframe and they had one sitting there. Paid in full on Wed morning and shipped same day. I picked up today at trucking center instead of waiting 2-3 days for at home delivery. Got lucky!

#53 3 years ago

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#54 3 years ago
Quoted from Bobby:

Yes. Played it on Friday and ordered then. Emailed on Tuesday to get a feel for timeframe and they had one sitting there. Paid in full on Wed morning and shipped same day. I picked up today at trucking center instead of waiting 2-3 days for at home delivery. Got lucky!

Just curious, but who did you buy it from?

#55 3 years ago

That's gotta hurt someone that's been waiting for 3 years.

#56 3 years ago

Brucipher - I sent you a PM.
Falcon Punch - I agree; I would be pissed.

I have no idea JJP's order of making these. Dealer I bought from may have had a customer back out, I simply don't know. When I put down deposit, I expected a 2 - 4 month wait.

At Ohio show there were 2 X Smaug Gold SEs and 1 x LE.

#57 3 years ago

It's understandable, I think everyone knew it was going to happen.
Code still isn't complete so I don't think an extra month or so is that painful for those that have been waiting that long.

#58 3 years ago
Quoted from FalconPunch:

It's understandable, I think everyone knew it was going to happen.
Code still isn't complete so I don't think an extra month or so is that painful for those that have been waiting that long.

Not sure why, maybe because it's so close but the last month has been the worst for me. Been in since November 2012. Found out this October my distributor wanted to wait until a couple hundred games shipped out before his were built...I get it, just sucks. Been told late April but not holding my breath. Glad some of you guys are getting your games!

#59 3 years ago

Had this happen on a local machine, it was like that when I stepped up to it and no amount of wailing on it could get it unstuck (even rolling over the lit Spider inlane didn't free it, the popup just kinda wiggled under its trapdoor). Kinda surprised the game wasn't going into ball search. Played two decent games on it anyways, even with the handicap it's fun. I can't think of another game like it.

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#60 3 years ago

I don't believe the machine you played has the latest software version. The game I played over the weekend has version 1.01 and when a ball jammed in a pop up the machine performed a ball search.

#61 3 years ago
Quoted from PinScott:

I don't believe the machine you played has the latest software version. The game I played over the weekend has version 1.01 and when a ball jammed in a pop up the machine performed a ball search.

Um beta code had ball search too. And the machine I played got a ball stuck in a popup once the whole night it was played and the ball search wouldn't free it up. Curious if this will be a widespread problem. Once every 50 games isn't bad for a HUO game, but I couldn't imagine it being good for location games.

#62 3 years ago

The code update states "Beast mechs now check up switch". I assume that to mean a fix to the jammed ball issue. On the game I played, the ball jammed twice, and both times it went into ball search to successfully release the ball. I had played the same machine previously with old code and a ball jam required the tech to remove the glass.

#63 3 years ago
Quoted from PinScott:

The code update states "Beast mechs now check up switch". I assume that to mean a fix to the jammed ball issue. On the game I played, the ball jammed twice, and both times it went into ball search to successfully release the ball. I had played the same machine previously with old code and a ball jam required the tech to remove the glass.

Good to hear!

#64 3 years ago
Quoted from PinScott:

The code update states "Beast mechs now check up switch". I assume that to mean a fix to the jammed ball issue. On the game I played, the ball jammed twice, and both times it went into ball search to successfully release the ball. I had played the same machine previously with old code and a ball jam required the tech to remove the glass.

I'm actually curious to find out if this does fix ball jams. Come to think of it, the machine I played beta code on was trying to cycle Orc pop ups but failing due to the ball be so lodged in. Guess we'll find out with more up to date code reports.

#65 3 years ago

It's interesting that the machine could start a game with a missing ball.

#66 3 years ago
Quoted from trunchbull:

It's interesting that the machine could start a game with a missing ball.

Most multi-ball games will start a game with a missing ball with some software compensation to deal with it; it often goes wrong if the stuck ball gets unstuck in hilarious ways. Heck, there's some 80s games had a spare ball in the trough in case one went missing.

#67 3 years ago

The game will start if is missing a ball. When I played,a ball was stuck on the right plastic and was firmly lodged. I hit start 3 or 4 times to get it going.
The same machine also had a broken spring on a drop target. Easy to fix and no big deal but it will probably be smart to keep extra on hand given the amount of cycling they see.
This was in a high volume arcade so this may never be an issue in the home.

#68 3 years ago

It looks like the new code update has added about 6 modes, that's almost as many modes as some other newer pins come with, lol. I recall David Thiel talking about "reward stingers" or something for each of the modes, basically when you hit a mode shot there's an audio clip + animation affect for successfully making the shot. I'm not sure if these "stingers" are in every mode yet.

Also, is it just me or does the audio from a modes movie scene not play as that mode progresses? As of today it seems like when you hit the next shot during a mode the corresponding movie scene changes but a clip from the audio for that scene does not play. Having an audio clip play from the segment of a scene when I shot is hit would help make the modes more immersive in my opinion.

#69 3 years ago

It seems that some of the modes have this audio attached and some at this point just have video. I'm sure eventually it will all be there.

#70 3 years ago
Quoted from FalconPunch:

That's gotta hurt someone that's been waiting for 3 years.

That should teach them to preorder.

#71 3 years ago
Quoted from trunchbull:

Had this happen on a local machine, it was like that when I stepped up to it and no amount of wailing on it could get it unstuck (even rolling over the lit Spider inlane didn't free it, the popup just kinda wiggled under its trapdoor). Kinda surprised the game wasn't going into ball search. Played two decent games on it anyways, even with the handicap it's fun. I can't think of another game like it.

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Couldn't you bang it out with another ball?
The games I played had a ball get stuck in the same place but ball search got them out.

#72 3 years ago
Quoted from SilverBallz:

That should teach them to preorder.

The game was most likely a spot from a buyer that backed out. If it was an early $7500 spot the distributor or whoever sold the game could likely have sold it for $8500+ at this point considering how quick the game could be delivered. If it wasn't a preorder spot then I agree that is wrong and isn't fair to preorder customers. Hopefully that wasn't the case.

#73 3 years ago

Nice review and discussion, I believe this pin is starting out with a handicap.

Horrendously late, like late, to make people not care about it. It's announced at same time as The Avengers pin.

People (some) don't like the movies. I'm not alone in who have watched one film and kind of could care less about the other two. Might be the other two are better but Peter Jackson butchered the movies in so many ways as to make it into a whole different animal than the book.

Some people don't like the gameplay, ramps, layout whatever. I've played a grand total of 2 games on it (2-ball at that). I was not blown away in the least. However that was last year at a pin show and didn't really get much of a feeling for it. Much like TWD I think some people would dislike it initially and later do a 180 after code and more play time.

I've had many experience where I love a game from the get go: Tron, IM, Met. But I've also had games I was meh or disliked initially that later I love such as tspp, ST, XM. I think TH is for me in the side that I'm on the fence/dislike but I wouldn't doubt given time my opinion could turn on a dime.

#74 3 years ago
Quoted from SilverBallz:

Couldn't you bang it out with another ball?
The games I played had a ball get stuck in the same place but ball search got them out.

I hit it a couple dozen times hoping to do just that but it was pretty well lodged in there, and the pop-up itself was jammed.

#75 3 years ago

I just had the spider trap door grab a ball for the first time. I am running software 1.01 and after a few seconds a ball search began, the spider popped up and freed the ball. No problems! Except of course that I was so surprised that I let the ball drain - oh well. Looks like the new software has addressed this issue.

#76 3 years ago
Quoted from SilverBallz:

That should teach them to preorder.

Yep, that model is dead.

#77 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

The game was most likely a spot from a buyer that backed out. If it was an early $7500 spot the distributor or whoever sold the game could likely have sold it for $8500+ at this point considering how quick the game could be delivered. If it wasn't a preorder spot then I agree that is wrong and isn't fair to preorder customers. Hopefully that wasn't the case.

Or A distributor bought a bunch of them on day one and he's got them in stock. Nothing Wrong with that.

#78 3 years ago
Quoted from txstargazer3:

I just had the spider trap door grab a ball for the first time. I am running software 1.01 and after a few seconds a ball search began, the spider popped up and freed the ball. No problems! Except of course that I was so surprised that I let the ball drain - oh well. Looks like the new software has addressed this issue.

If it happens again and it frees, let us know. The trap doors can grab a ball and ball search could free it on the earlier code, but the problem is that when the ball gets really lodged in the door, the ball search would still engage but the pop-up was so tilted because the ball was lodged in that it doesn't have enough to go back up to release the ball. So it really depended on how far back the ball lodged in the pop up.

#79 3 years ago
Quoted from SilverBallz:

Or A distributor bought a bunch of them on day one and he's got them in stock. Nothing Wrong with that.

Nah. Don't make excuses. The same thing happened on my woz. Local distributor calls up an says he will pay for 10 games but needs them now. He will get them preorders or not.

#80 3 years ago

Look at what I will have Friday night to play. My hobbit will be landing tomorrow.

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#81 3 years ago
Quoted from Skyemont:

Look at what I will have Friday night to play. My hobbit will be landing tomorrow.

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Congrats! Game looks great. Very high quality powder coat.

#82 3 years ago

Best score I can do so far.

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3 weeks later
#83 3 years ago

Played a Hobbit this evening running version 1.10 and wow what I big difference from .8x (the last time I played it). TH is getting better with each code update. The game is certainly opened but there's still so much going on, especially when the pop ups activate during modes / hurry ups. The new Beast Frenzy mode is very cool and is the best use of the pops up yet in my opinion. Two of my favorite things about the Hobbit so far are variety in terms of how modes play and the unique rule elements that Keith is putting into the game. Keith has created some of the best uses yet for a lockdown bar button with it interacting with animations on the display.

After playing The Hobbit today I think I'm going for one again (this may be my 4th preorder attempt, lol). I really enjoy games that make the player feel like they are a quest and TH certainty does that. If the game is playing this good already just wait until the code is complete.

#84 3 years ago

I hope to own TH some day.

Beautiful pin

#85 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Played a Hobbit this evening running version 1.10 and wow what I big difference from .8x (the last time I played it). TH is getting better with each code update. The game is certainly opened but there's still so much going on, especially when the pop ups activate during modes / hurry ups. The new Beast Frenzy mode is very cool and is the best use of the pops up yet in my opinion. Two of my favorite things about the Hobbit so far are variety in terms of how modes play and the unique rule elements that Keith is putting into the game. Keith has created some of the best uses yet for a lockdown bar button with it interacting with animations on the display.
After playing The Hobbit today I think I'm going for one again (this may be my 4th preorder attempt, lol). I really enjoy games that make the player feel like they are a quest and TH certainty does that. If the game is playing this good already just wait until the code is complete.

Very good points. 1.01 to 1.10 is a huge improvement. I love it. Smaug definitely has alot more callouts. It's fantastic.

#86 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

After playing The Hobbit today I think I'm going for one again (this may be my 4th preorder attempt, lol).

There boils be no need to preorder. The loca distributor called and ordered a few last week and low and behold they're on the way. He will have some in stock next week it sounds like. You should be able to call around and find one. Just like with WoZ, new order distributor cash is taking priority over preorders. JJP rule: preorder and you're last in line.

#87 3 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

There boils be no need to preorder. The loca distributor called and ordered a few last week and low and behold they're on the way. He will have some in stock next week it sounds like. You should be able to call around and find one. Just like with WoZ, new order distributor cash is taking priority over preorders. JJP rule: preorder and you're last in line.

Are you sure it wasn't a distributor who was just getting games they ordered a couple years back? I've heard of that occurring.

#88 3 years ago
Quoted from Skyemont:

Very good points. 1.01 to 1.10 is a huge improvement. I love it. Smaug definitely has alot more callouts. It's fantastic.

Absolutely. I noticed the additional Smaug callouts as well. As the code progresses I'm sure we are going to see the Smaug toy used in more modes as well.

Do you recall Jack or someone else from JJP saying they were looking into custom Smaug callouts from a voice actor a while back?

#89 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Absolutely. I noticed the additional Smaug callouts as well. As the code progresses I'm sure we are going to see the Smaug toy used in more modes as well.
Do you recall Jack or someone else from JJP saying they were looking into custom Smaug callouts from a voice actor a while back?

I do remember something in regards to callouts from a actor but it's been awhile.

#90 3 years ago

Very cool TH is definitely on my radar. I would really like to get some quality time on one before I jump.

#91 3 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

There boils be no need to preorder. The loca distributor called and ordered a few last week and low and behold they're on the way. He will have some in stock next week it sounds like. You should be able to call around and find one. Just like with WoZ, new order distributor cash is taking priority over preorders. JJP rule: preorder and you're last in line.

Wow...the ultimate slap in the face. Hard to believe JJP didn't "fix" this practice after doing it to early WOZ adopters.

#92 3 years ago

Don't forget, there are some of us that are intentionally putting off our Hobbit delivery until manufacturing issues are worked through ... on advice of our distributor. Not sure how much of an effect that is, but it is something.

#93 3 years ago

I called my distrib and he purchased more than half of his games for inventory day one. Not hard to see why games are available. It comes down to order date.

1 week later
#94 3 years ago

My Hobbit LE arrives tomorrow! I had to sell a game to make room and free up some pinball funds for the game so my XMEN LE has been sold to a new owner. I'll miss that game but enjoyed my time while owning it.

I'll get a lot of games on TH over the next week and expand on the review now that 1.10 code is out. A lot has changed with the game since .8x. Overall the unique layout, shot + mode variety, tech (LCD, mini LCD, 100% RBG insert lighting), incredible artwork and sound sold me on the game.

#95 3 years ago

Once the software is mature this game is gonna really shine. Jersey Jack is doing awesome things.

#96 3 years ago
Quoted from Bobby:

Yes. Played it on Friday and ordered then. Emailed on Tuesday to get a feel for timeframe and they had one sitting there. Paid in full on Wed morning and shipped same day. I picked up today at trucking center instead of waiting 2-3 days for at home delivery. Got lucky!

Bobby,,, I have a similar story: (but this was from a few years ago. About a similar JJP experience)

I have an Amazing story to tell. This just happened to me. This is a 'Happy' delivery story to bring smiles to all who read it, and especially my wife, whom will never read it, but has the biggest smile of all.
So, as the story goes, I have been interested in the Wizard of OZ for a little bit. Kinda started with my interest in The Hobbit and my questions and concerns regarding pricing, ordering, pre-order cash installments, wait times, etc. Throughout the reading of many posts it was decided that I should wait on The Hobbit. Perhaps I could take my money and do more with it until the actual product is released and reviewed. So I focused my efforts towards WOZ. Reading, discussing, calculating differences among the various models, pricing, and delivery times. Should I put a deposit on a Standard?, a Ruby Red?, or purchased a used Limited Edition (which are all sold out, however not all have been delivered as of the date of this posting).
Hmmm,,,,, what to do. This has been on my mind for awhile now. Should I pay a Premium for a used WOZECLE, place a deposit on one of the others, or outright purchase a NIB from a distributor that has one in stock. So, I have been going back and forth, trying to make a decision. Been keeping in touch with a distributor that has them in stock but just needed to get the nerve to pull the trigger.
I have read nothing but GREAT reviews of the product, and customer service of JJP, but have read so much from folks expressing displeasure with the actual delivery schedules. In fact they are downright mad about not receiving a product that they had preciously paid for. (and rightfully so.)... But those that have finally received their pinball machines quickly went from dis-satisfied to extremely HAPPY!... So there lies my indecision and where can I just smile through the whole process and not deal with the frustration of 'waiting'. Hmmmm.... back again, to the distributor, NIB, in stock.
I had full confidence in the distributor, I had the funds available at the moment, the wife has given her blessings, and the stars were aligned and brighter on this night then I have seen in along time. Time to pull the trigger!
And so I did! Pulled the trigger!.... Contacted the distributor Saturday AM (04-26-14).... Received WOZ in my home at 9:58AM Sunday AM (04-27-14), NIB, numbered plaque, signed by Jersey Jack himself. Invisiglass, Shaker motor, and 5 bright new shiny balls!......... WHOO- HOOO!
I cannot express my appreciation enough to Buddy Heron of Mountain Entertainment (authorized JJP distributor), David Wagers, and Dakota. These are fine people that you want to meet someday.
In my home: 9:58AM Sunday.....

(like I mentioned this was a few years ago when WOZ was first released.,, I think I might pull the trigger on Hobbit.)

#97 3 years ago

Buddy it the greatest!

#98 3 years ago

I have had nothing but good things to say about my RR woz, and it still amazes me. I'll be pulling the trigger on th tomorrow hopefully.

#99 3 years ago

Well, Hobbit LE #437 is up and running. Wow what a great game.

I just posted most of this in another thread but wanted to post it here as well as they are my first impressions after playing the game in my home.

One of the first things that surprised me about the game is just how cool the Smaug toy is. The Smaug toy is extremely detailed, and has a wide range of movement and lighting effects. Does Smaug interact directly with the ball? No. However, I much rather have the Smaug toy as is today then just be a stationary dragon that you would shoot balls into it's mouth and it would spit them out. JJP created a very cool toy with Smaug.

The 4 pop ups are very slick as well and are not your typical pop ups as they seem to have the ability to move differently at times, have flahsers built in and can be hit from the rear for "back stab shots". The games 11 drop targets are also used in many unique ways. I've never had this much fun hitting drops before and that is due to them being integrated so well with the games modes. The ring button is very useful and it isn't your typical lockdown bar button that just serves one purpose. The ring button interacts with modes, the kickback, can delay locks and start modes, is used for a mini outlane game and more.

Overall I think The Hobbit is a very well designed game. I certainly do not understand the few complaints about the game have a sparse playfield. One minute the middle of the playfield seems open and the next it's jam packed as the pop ups are activated. The game is loaded and we have still yet to really see the games subway (between both VUK's and Smaug), orbit magnets, and middle ramp integrated into modes.

I don't think we've seen anything yet in terms of just how much fun The Hobbit will become once the code is complete. So far The Hobbit is one of the most impressive and fun pinballs machine I've ever played.

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I have this sign hanging in the landing as you go into the basement, haha.

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