(Topic ID: 129985)

KISS on location in Madison: Let's talk first impressions


By Whysnow

4 years ago



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25
#1 4 years ago

Madison Pinball now has a KISS pro on route
https://pinside.com/pinball/map/where-to-play/schwoegler-s-bowling-entertainment-madison-wi-united-states

I was able to play about 5 games on it yesterday and sometimes it is fun to list out some first impressions.

First off as many know I am not a big fan of most Stern machines, a licensed theme means little to me, and I am not a big Kiss band fan. In other words I may have a slightly more critical eye when stepping up to a new Stern game.

In short, this is a fun shooter and has better than normal code (running 0.92) than the least few release coming right out of the gate. Code still has a LONG way to go but out of the box it has more going on which os a good thing. I assume/hope the code will get some depth and strategy over time. Pretty sure Jack worked on Mustang so hopefully he has some fun strategy and tricks ready for Kiss also.

The great : The art really looks fantastic! The translite pops with the spike LEDs in the backbox. The side art looks better in person then in photos. Teh pf art is so nice and I hope we see more hand drawn art from Stern. I am not a huge fan stylistically of the art but the quility and colors are great

The good: Code out of the gate actually has some stuff to shoot for. A few multiballs and everything at this point is fairly intuitive to shoot for. The use of the color changing LEDs in arrows and in pops is already pretty decent and if coded well could be great. The pops with color changers is a very cool thing and I hope they expand on this. The game feels like an older style B/W to mean in many ways. If you had not realized, the spike system now incoporates 3 lug flipper coils and this is a good thing in my book. The game also has way more random action which I like. The spinner under Gene head does a great job of putting action on the ball and TONS of english. I also liek the exposed pops as they create more random action.

The through pops shot is always fun and I love the full orbit and hitting teh spinner on the back side.

The ramps feel clean and have nice return and moevment. The ramps feel pretty easy to hit the center and a little more difficult to hit the right at first but both are nice and both have protectors at ramp entrances.

The Gene head spitting out balls was pretty fun and did not seem to give any cheap SDTM drains when the game is properly leveled. The VUK Gene mech seems wel built and in general some of the mechs seema little more solid in this game.

The sound system is very nice. Seems like they have done a better job of using the capabilities of SPIKE since WWE. The game has clean sounds and in your face.

Overall I enjoyed shooting this game and even found myself cheering along with some of the cheesy tunes and callouts. Hopefully more comedy will come as more callouts get incorporated. I liek the shot layout and depth of some of the shots. It is still just another fan layout but atleast the shot entrances are at different depths on the playfield so it feels like some variety and a bit different.

The meh: The strachild shot is the more difficult of the entire game and not musg skill involved in hitting the switches. Just dump the ball up there, nudge to keep the slammers hitting and hope it eventually hits the right switchs and lands in the scoop up there. I am not a fan of luck shots but this will liekly be a nice place to dump a ball during multiball and a spot to aim for during mutliball (assuming you can progress starchild hits while in other multiballs?) As of now my first impression is that this is just kind of there.

The game feels like it is just missing something. I am not sure what but the layout is all there and pretty straight forward. Maybe a return to inlane shot would have been cool? The standups on the right and left take up all the side shots and are nto that fun to shot for. I am not sure what it is but this game just feels a little less compelte. Like it needed one more cool feature.

If I had one negative about the art it was that teh cabinent art blacks were not dark enough. They are more grey black than black and it would have looked beter with a really dark black background.

#2 4 years ago

I hate return to shooter lane shots, one of the most horrible options on a design that kills flow!!

And that "one more cool feature" is why I buy LE's/premiums.

#3 4 years ago

Thanks for adding to the conversation...

side note the game appears like it may have a real skillshot incorporated int he future as there is a switch at the top right orbit which can be hit but not have the ball go around to pops but drop back down to spinner. Mayeb something fun with that?

#4 4 years ago

anyone else been able to play a few games?

what do you think?

likes/dislikes?

#5 4 years ago

Picking one up today or tomorrow

#6 4 years ago

Sorry if this was covered elsewhere, but can someone explain the significance of the return of 3 lug coils on the flippers - when did this go away and how does it affect the flipper action?

#7 4 years ago

my cursory understanding is the older two lug plan of full or half power (pulse or hold) was based on the CPU pulsing the power inroder to hold.

my cursory understanding of 3 lug it that there are 2 internal windings and pulsing one (or both?) give pulse power and then the EOS switch tells the game the flipper is being held up and it switches to just one winding to maintain the hold of the flipper.

To me this is the root of the difference in 'feel' for a Stern mech and B/W mech. It also means no more aweful buzzzzzzz when holding a flipper up.

#8 4 years ago

I'm impressed that you guys keep buying new pins and putting them on route, glad that is working out for you. Nice to hear people doing that again more and more!

#9 4 years ago

By just viewing the playfield, my gripe about this game is the Star Child area. The whole thing just seems dumb and anti-climatic. The main premium/LE difference is delivery to this area via the magnet show or through the drop target so it should be a big deal (like the mini playfield on TZ). It just seems that this playfield has "luck" features unlike the controlled kickers in WWE.

#10 4 years ago

I have a few games on KISS and completely agree with your review. I ordered an LE and am really hoping that "one extra" toy is there to send it over the top. Sound and art are an A in my book. Layout is a solid B and fun factor is a C+ (maybe B- with upside to an A) so far.

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from dkazz1:

I'm impressed that you guys keep buying new pins and putting them on route, glad that is working out for you. Nice to hear people doing that again more and more!

It is a hobby and not a money maker, but it is a lot of fun. Trying to build more of a local cummunity has been a blast and I have made lots of new friends from it. Side benefit is we all get to play some new games when they first come out. I know I would never personally be able to/want to buy these expensive games for myself.

There is substaintial risk so it is not for the faint of heart. For example, we took out a loan to buy WWE and that did not turn out well. We ended up selling for a loss after seeing the game was not getting played much. Luckily a local was happy to get the game and all were happy.

Initial impressions from the players on route is they are more pumped for Kiss, so hopefully this one will turn out to not be so risky and stick around a little longer

#12 4 years ago

Thanks for the review! Much appreciated...

Brian

#13 4 years ago

I ended up meeting Timmy out at Schwoegs to play late last night just because I couldn't wait to play it! I agree with your review and have a few things to add.

I'm really glad they included a spinner and color changing leds. Both add a lot to the game and the leds are already used better than some of the previous games that have them.

Layout just has a great feel to it. Shots flow well and doesn't have much clunk to it. Love the shot through the pops and the Starchild area. Right ramp shot is tight but satisfying to hit. There isn't much I don't like besides that the standups on both sides are too dangerous to shoot for as the game is deadly once you get side to side action. The scoop is also a dangerous shot to try and shoot dead on and can result in a SDTM drain. If I were to make a comparison to Metallica I would say that met looks great on paper but feels kind of clunky when you play it. Especially the orbit shots. Kiss doesn't feel this way at all and it just feels tighter and flows a bit better.

Right now the game seems heavily weighted on Demon multiball but I'm sure this will change as code progresses. I do like the collect instrument combos (right ramp and alternating shots) and I think if you get 5 of them you light extra ball. I also like how the lights change color for combos and you can build up your score pretty quick by concentrating on them.. the starchild area is also a fairly tight shot and I actually like the way it works. It is somewhat random but is something unlike anything I've really seen before. It does seem to take a lot effort to build the love gun meter for starting mutiball. I was able to qualify it once but the right ramp didn't light so I'm unsure if lovegun is actually in the code yet?

I did notice that it gives you a small amount of points (100 or 150k) for the skillshot of hitting the right orbit switch and having it fall down.

I also found that you should save the backstage pass scoop for multiball as it will give you an add a ball vs. A random award. I was awarded an extra ball once randomly though!

Overall I think it's a solid Pro from what I've seen so far. The layout and art are already great and I think the code will really be the driving factor for the games potential!

Here was my top score from last night. Not great but starting to get a feel for it...

IMAG1742.jpg

#14 4 years ago

I played a dozen or so games on it (somewhere else) on Saturday. It seems pretty decent. It seems like the layout wastes a lot of space though. The starchild area and the whole section around the gene head just seem like a lot of wasted space.

#15 4 years ago

Glad you and Tim were able to get out and play it!

I was able to get love gun but it warded at teh scoop hole in starchild area after enough star switch hits.
That right ramp is tight but very satisfying to hit.

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Glad you and Tim were able to get out and play it!
I was able to get love gun but it warded at teh scoop hole in starchild area after enough star switch hits.
That right ramp is tight but very satisfying to hit.

I know the rulesheet states that you can start it at either the starchild saucer or right ramp but didn't light the ramp for me and I was unable to get it in the saucer.- Not easy since its random... Hopefully they make lovegun easier to start as it currently isn't worth all the work of getting there.

#17 4 years ago

Great review and very objective. Not what I expected do to all the pre-announcement talk that you gave the game. I'm glad you gave an unbiased review. Thanks!

#18 4 years ago

Mike,

How do you light the backstage pass? I was not sure of that.

I will say I hope cliffy makes a scoop protector ASAP as it will get blasted quickly just like the one on TAF at the spot does. Close shot and a nice "Thunk" when you slam it in!

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Mike,
How do you light the backstage pass? I was not sure of that.
I will say I hope cliffy makes a scoop protector ASAP as it will get blasted quickly just like the one on TAF at the spot does. Close shot and a nice "Thunk" when you slam it in!

Pretty sure you light it by completing both stand-up banks. Once lit I try and save it for multiball.

I also noticed that when you select your song at the start of the game (right flipper button). You can also select a city using the left flipper. Still not sure how song/city selection factor into the rules?

#20 4 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

I also noticed that when you select your song at the start of the game (right flipper button). You can also select a city using the left flipper. Still not sure how song/city selection factor into the rules?

Yeah I noticed that but then also some some odd behavior where it did not always allow you to change the city. It was bizzare.

I get the general idea that not only are you touring and playing different songs with different goals but you are trying to get the crowd all pumped up at each locaiton possibly?

Could be some cool interplay of rules with this and I love the idea of MORE choose your own adventure style of pinball with code. Hopefully Jack is going to dig deep on this one.

#21 4 years ago

Can someone get Trent A or one of the top guys to shoot some video on this??

#22 4 years ago

Hoping to get out on Thursday to play it....maybe even tonight. The reviews from Hilton and Mike on the gameplay are very encouuraging. The animation is very lackluster - and hopefully updated codes will rectivy this. There is so much potential to incorporate the band's live show (which is what started their career with Alive 1), I hope this does not become a wasted oppourtunity.

Most of the call outs are not intergrated very well. Dont' know who wrote the script, I would think the band had imput.

#23 4 years ago

I forgot to mention the animations and band callouts in my post. I thought the animations were pretty lackluster thus far especially compared to TWD. They are pretty sparse and quality is on the poor side. Hopefully these improve with newer software updates.

I do like the custom band callouts from what I've heard so far. Most seem to be from Gene but I think I heard a couple of Paul ones as well. They warn you when you have tilt warnings and also scold you when you tilt out.-which I seemed to do often.. tilt is setup rather tight and they swapped in those silicone outlane posts which make the outlanes quite deadly!

#24 4 years ago

Nice balanced write up -- it mirrors my thoughts from watching the latest movie or two which really show the game play well...
KISS looks "almost" very good -- one concern I have is I see too much battling with the Gene area, and I'm looking to see some player POV shots to know what's under the head, and why that area seems to deny a lot of shots.

Say, whatever happened to the ball hugging the rear wall like a BSD effect?
-mof

#25 4 years ago
Quoted from spanks_4:

Can someone get Trent A or one of the top guys to shoot some video on this??

Here's some footage of Robert Gagno playing. Not very much was recorded, unfortunately. I would've like to see his whole game. But regardless, it is video of a top player playing Kiss.

#26 4 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

tilt is setup rather tight

I forgot to mention one other con. It is really not related to Kiss but more so to the new Spike system. These games are super light. The tilt is actually very far open and we closed down th outlanes from what they came from the factory.

However, the game it SO VERY light that even a small nudge causes a great movement. I set all our plumb bobs and this one is set further down then all the other sterns. I noticed that this game really will be hard to dial in given its light weight.

My general rule of thumb is that I should not be able to right outlane dead save without tilting but it should be close, and that is what I aim for when setting sensitivity. I also think a player should be able to get away with 1 good harder save but that it is.

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I forgot to mention one other con. It is really not related to Kiss but more so to the new Spike system. These games are super light. The tilt is actually very far open and we closed down th outlanes from what they came from the factory.
However, the game it SO VERY light that even a small nudge causes a great movement. I set all our plumb bobs and this one is set further down then all the other sterns. I noticed that this game really will be hard to dial in given its light weight.
My general rule of thumb is that I should not be able to right outlane dead save without tilting but it should be close, and that is what I aim for when setting sensitivity. I also think a player should be able to get away with 1 good harder save but that it is.

I think you have the tilt set up correctly and the game pitched and leveled how I like it . I think it's more a combo of having the bouncier outlane posts, steeper pitch and a new game that hasn't settled down yet. its just playing very fast and unpredictable right now... Once it gets a few hundred plays it should settle down some.

#28 4 years ago

Nice review. Thank you !
LTG : )

#29 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I forgot to mention one other con. It is really not related to Kiss but more so to the new Spike system. These games are super light. The tilt is actually very far open and we closed down th outlanes from what they came from the factory.

Played a WWE on location last Friday and it was one touchy SOB! Now I know why. It was just setup right before our league played.

#30 4 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Say, whatever happened to the ball hugging the rear wall like a BSD effect?

On Premium and LE versions only.

#31 4 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

steeper pitch

pitched around 6.8-6.9 which is about where I like em'

#32 4 years ago

I just placed my order for a KISS Pro. It's shipping Thursday! I'm so excited. Un-boxing and gameplay videos coming soon to my Youtube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA3XIAHfFPT3NeBoQdbgpSw

#33 4 years ago

my dad and I are going to play later tonight
(i hope i can see the love gun muti)
lastly when our premium comes, i hope you all can make the party(TBT)

#34 4 years ago

Mine should be here tomorrow. Can't wait!

#35 4 years ago

I am really pulling for this game to be a hit. Looks like the bones are there. Given the atmosphere right now, if Stern would pull their heads out and get the code up to the potential of the designs they are getting out of Borg, they could run away with this hobby.

#36 4 years ago

Must make my way to Madison only a hour away

#37 4 years ago

Good input.

#38 4 years ago
Quoted from hassellcastle:

Mine should be here tomorrow. Can't wait!

Did your pro come in today? Waiting for one to get to Houston to check it out.

19
#39 4 years ago

Played it today. Good flow. Rules could be deeper.

$_57.JPG
#40 4 years ago

Nope not today. It was wishful thinking that it would come today considering it left Stern on Monday.

I think tomorrow will be the day.
Fingers crossed.

#41 4 years ago

Played it today at Kidforce Collectables in the Cleveland area. Great flow, lots of fun. Rules are shallow but it's enough to do for now.

#42 4 years ago

I played it ~ 5 times at the NW Pinball show. I like it, seemed to have more potential in terms of layout than Metallica, at least in terms of interesting shots.

I am sure the game(s) (they had TWO to play!) were not level, but I had a bear of a time making the right ramp. And the "spit out" from the ball lock was a near guaranteed drain unless you shook the game on eject on at least the one I spent more time on.

Looking forward to more completed code and some legit game reviews that include strategy etc.

If I had one big complaint is the dots so far seem pretty weak. Mustang and TWD dots in comparison seem positively epic.

#43 4 years ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

I played it ~ 5 times at the NW Pinball show. I like it, seemed to have more potential in terms of layout than Metallica, at least in terms of interesting shots.
I am sure the game(s) (they had TWO to play!) were not level, but I had a bear of a time making the right ramp. And the "spit out" from the ball lock was a near guaranteed drain unless you shook the game on eject on at least the one I spent more time on.
Looking forward to more completed code and some legit game reviews that include strategy etc.
If I had one big complaint is the dots so far seem pretty weak. Mustang and TWD dots in comparison seem positively epic, even in their initial code versions.

#44 4 years ago

edit failz

#45 4 years ago

I like it so far. The sling shots in the Star area was a nice surprise. The pf was drilled and had the t-nuts for service sliders. The cab and translight artwork look really nice in person. I think this will be a good seller like Metallica. The hand drawn artwork plus the Kiss fans will make this a good title for Stern.

#46 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

The meh: The strachild shot is the more difficult of the entire game and not musg skill involved in hitting the switches. Just dump the ball up there, nudge to keep the slammers hitting and hope it eventually hits the right switchs and lands in the scoop up there. I am not a fan of luck shots but this will liekly be a nice place to dump a ball during multiball and a spot to aim for during mutliball (assuming you can progress starchild hits while in other multiballs?)

Every video I have seen so far, the players have struggled to shoot the starchild area and when they do, the ball doesn't stay there long. When I first saw the layout, that was the one thing that stood out which I had reservation about. On the Premium and LE there's a blocking target there too I believe. As if it wasn't difficult enough to shoot?

Rob

#47 4 years ago
Quoted from Rob_G:

Every video I have seen so far, the players have struggled to shoot the starchild area and when they do, the ball doesn't stay there long. When I first saw the layout, that was the one thing that stood out which I had reservation about. On the Premium and LE there's a blocking target there too I believe. As if it wasn't difficult enough to shoot?
Rob

It is a tough shot to make - you can only make it from the right flipper and it's narrow. I love tough shots, so I see it as a positive. Decent code could make the game a great title. They also need to add more songs, change Calling Dr. Love during Demon multiball to God of Thunder, and do a massive improvement on the DMD art.

#48 4 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

It is a tough shot to make - you can only make it from the right flipper and it's narrow. I love tough shots, so I see it as a positive. Decent code could make the game a great title. They also need to add more songs, change Calling Dr. Love during Demon multiball to God of Thunder, and do a massive improvement on the DMD art.

Quoted from BC_Gambit:

I played it ~ 5 times at the NW Pinball show. I like it, seemed to have more potential in terms of layout than Metallica, at least in terms of interesting shots.
I am sure the game(s) (they had TWO to play!) were not level, but I had a bear of a time making the right ramp. And the "spit out" from the ball lock was a near guaranteed drain unless you shook the game on eject on at least the one I spent more time on.
Looking forward to more completed code and some legit game reviews that include strategy etc.
If I had one big complaint is the dots so far seem pretty weak. Mustang and TWD dots in comparison seem positively epic.

This is Beta release code. The dots will come with the next couple updates. People shouldnt be surprised that right now there arent many dots in the current code.

#49 4 years ago
Quoted from smassa:

This is Beta release code. The dots will come with the next couple updates. People shouldnt be surprised that right now there arent many dots in the current code.

Oh I don't think anyone is surprised

Rob

#50 4 years ago
Quoted from Rob_G:

Oh I don't think anyone is surprised
Rob

Obviously some people are from the comments above.

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