I’ll post some thoughts i feel about JJPOTC in regards to Kaneda cause i think he may learn a thing or two here. Now, i could care less if he or anyone doesn’t like the pin - after all, it is pinball. But, i’d Like to tackle this from a different perspective in hope’s to open up the third eye:
First, JJPOTC vs. SFII the arcade game. I grew up in the 90’s and spent many countless hours in arcades, mainly playing the SFII & MK2 games. Heck, i even worked in arcade for 10 years and eventually became a store manager before moving on to my current career. That said, arcade games were very linear structured games, basic storylines, intuitive rules and understanding, and very story driven. Then along comes SFII; the story lines and single player progression was very weak compared to most arcade games, but what SFII had was character selection with very deep rules which began a saga of pvp. Then came SFII Chapmions edition with even more characters, and eventually Marvel vs SF and capcom vs SF with loads and loads of character selection. And now to this day, because of that, video games have endless possibilities for character selection, development, and depth. You pick a few characters you relate to, and master their abilities and style. It wouldn’t be til countless weeks or months of playing that you would veer off and try different characters and specialties. Now onto JJPOTC - a deep rule set but like SFII, it has many characters to choose from and for you, the player, to specialize & focus on your path to ruling the pirates universe. Do you bring in a character like Salazar and focus on movie 5 objectives and go for its wizard mode, or do you pick a more general character like Elizabeth swan able to progress steadily on all movie objectives? Or perhaps you go with a fan favorite like Captain Jack Sparrow and benefit from the luck of the draw like he seems to in the movies and rely heavily on tortuga mystery awards? Or do you take captain Barbosa who rules the ships and treasures (i.e. the multiball jackpots)? So many possibilities; like SFII, you wont learn each characters strengths and weaknesses in a day of playing. It will take many many games than that.
That brings us to Theme Integration. If this game was based on Curse of the Black Pearl; then yes, it would make sense to make this a more story driven game. But, it’s not. I may be in the minority, but i happen to like all the Pirate movies. Are they the best movies ever made? Not by a long shot. They are fun and campy pirate movies. That said, the movies aren’t just focused on Captain Jack Sparrow. There are so many sub plots, and sub stories that focus on all sorts of characters. And in the movies, each character has a different pirate like personality that is brought to life and plays a roll in each scene. The pinball takes advantage of this allowing players to take on one of these characteristics to battle in the pirate universe. In the movies, each person (or pirate) has their own agenda for acquiring what they want most which is what the movie is mostly about. So who are you going to choose and which direction are you going to go with? To me, the JJP team did a fantastic job of incorporating the theme to this game.
Lastly, many JJP games (JJPOTC is not alone here) have problems on location. I think Dialed in is their worst of the 4 pins by JJP, but it’s also the best for on location as it has the fewest issues. Ive played finely tuned JJPOTC’s and not so fine tuned and there is a major difference; just as the same with stern games. And i think Kaneda has no room to talk about ball times when comparing it to BM66, holy marathon ball times Batman!