This whole string is getting stale.
I want more talk on the features and what people think about them.
I may as well start...
Ramp diverter: I like it. It gives options. Not sure if it will be player controlled or not. It could have been better if it was controlled by Smaug himself (seemed like a good idea).
Pop up monsters: Potential to be awesome if programmed properly! At worst, an annoyance that just keeps getting in the way of flow.
Playfield LCD: Nice to have but not a must. I guess it depends on how it is used. Right now it's taking away from the waterfall/barrel scene may have been better placed in the apron, imho.
Drops targets:I like them, and being individually controlled is even better...but is it too much when you add in the pop up monsters?
Spinners: Always cool
Ramps: I think they are very good (love metal/wireform!) even if they are a bit symmetrical to each other. Would be better if you could hit one of them smoothly with the upper flipper...
Ball lock area: Would have been nice to see Smaugs claw hold back a few balls waiting to get released (even better would have been to see Smaug fire them out...but we have all bashed that idea enough). Instead looks like we'll have to settle for the indiana jones ball tumble theme...
Jet Bumpers/ barrel area: Was looking pretty good until the mini LCD squashed it. Still needs some wall dressing to make it look more like the waterfalls battle area. (The "modders" shouldn't have to take care of it)
Artwork: Overall no complaints, LE or SE both great.
Right Outlane: Not your regular plain drain-out. It has a Ball save feature, so that is good.
Left outlane: Kickback save and windlance feature... still a bit of a mystery what is going on here..may be interesting if you have to use the third flipper as a "one timer" to shoot Smaug... (but I thought JJP wasn't allowed to shoot Smaug...hmmm )
Backglass LCD: Way cool and a nice feature. Seems to be getting better too.
Third flipper: ........ I've beat that dead horse enough...
Shot variety: Depends how you look at it...lots if you count every single drop and pop up target, or average if you just count the symmetrical shots to the ramps, loops and holes. Downside, many of the shots seem identical i.e left/right ramp, left/right loop, left/right scoop, left/right pop ups...so I do like the added shot to the jet bumpers for that reason, however, i don't know if that shot looks very interesting...hard to say.
Smaug..... it's ok but still underwhelming...that has been beat to death...
Bagend area... not sure if it qualifies as an area just yet...hoping something to look at there...
Programming/code: Not there yet but I'm sure will be excellent!
I believe a persons overall impression on the game can be swayed in one direction or the other simply if the individual has been following this project from the beginning or not. If you were following from the beginning (and you were like me) I let myself get swept away with all the dialogue and the hints (real or not) of a truly impressive and interactive dragon (so the individual looks at it more critically). If you started following later you got a good looking machine that has some nice features (expectations were not over hyped).
Anyways, that's just a quick dump of ideas didn't hit everything. (ummm...now that I look at it, not such a quick dump...sorry)
Feel free to blast away as only pinside can.
For the record, I'm fully paid on the Hobbit but ... keeping my options open.