(Topic ID: 243809)

LOTR 2.0: WOZ, Hobbit, or Pirates?


By PanzerFreak

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by Reznnate
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Topic poll

“What Keith JJP game is considered LOTR 2.0?”

  • WOZ 13 votes
    31%
  • Hobbit 18 votes
    43%
  • Pirates 11 votes
    26%

(42 votes)

#1 5 months ago

It's been over 15 years since LOTR pinball came out. The deep coding work by Keith Johnson, Chris Granners music / sound work, and custom callouts by John Rhys-Davies have made LOTR one of the best pinball machines all of time. For a home buyer LOTR is a game that you can own for years and not see everything. A cousin of mine purchased a LOTR shortly after it was released in 2003, has 5,000+ plays on the game and only a couple years ago reached Valinor not knowing a game he had for 10+ years contained a mode he had yet to play. To many pinball players LOTR is considered the pinnacle of ruleset depth and variety.

Keith Johnson has now been the lead on 3 JJP games since the company was formed in 2011. The three games are WOZ, Hobbit, and most recently Pirates. On a Head2Head Pinball podcast last year Keith described WOZ as LOTR 2.0 and Hobbit as WOF 2.0. Just to note, Keith's comments were made before Hobbit received several final massive updates, most or all of which had a lot of code work added / polished by Ted Estes in addition to Keiths work.

Hobbit in my opinion has the best theme integration out of the 3 games with actor audio, and video assets from all 3 films as well as multiple takes on a licensed music track thanks to David Thiels incredible audio work. Those assets are used in all modes including 30 book modes, the games main multiball (Smaug MB), the 3 Arkenstone wizard modes, and the final super wizard mode "There and Back Again". The 3 Arkenstone wizard modes in Hobbit are unmatched in terms of depth with each containing multiple stages along with unique assets. Like LOTR the main modes in Hobbit are progressive based meaning you need to perform specific tasks on the playfield to complete them rather than just hitting the same shot again and again or hitting random switches.

WOZ is another extremely deep game. There are assets from the movie but not as much contained in Hobbit which to be fair makes sense as Hobbit is using assets from 3 considerably long films. Some, but not all, of the modes in WOZ are progressive based including Emerald City MB, Castle MB, Munchkin MB, Fireball Frenzy, and the games mid wizard mode Battle the Wicked Witch. There's also around 10 switch based modes (crystal ball, munchkin, haunted modes) which while fun are not progressive based. Personally I view WOZ's code as a mix between LOTR and Simpsons meaning progressive and switched based modes are equally split throughout the game. WOZ like LOTR has players completing tasks on the playfield that are all building towards the next level of progression in the game.

Pirates is Keith Johnson's most recent game and some would argue his deepest game to date. Pirates ruleset contains 100 chapter modes, 5 movie mulitballs, 5 wizard modes, and while not yet coded a super wizard mode. Unlike LOTR, WOZ, and Hobbit that contain licensed assets featuring film actor audio and video Pirates contains limited licensed assets. However, Pirates is still considered one of the deepest games in pinball partially due to the character select feature that changes how the game is played based on a characters abilities. Chapter modes are not progressive based in the sense of LOTR and Hobbits main codes but are also not switch based. Instead chapter modes in Pirates have the player hitting specific shots on the playfield representing the characters from the scene the chapter is based on. Movie multiball modes are somewhat progressive depending on the one played and all 5 wizard modes are entirely progressive based with multiball stages. All modes feature callouts from an actor from the films, Kevin McNally, and custom music created by David Thiel.

Before Hobbit's code was completed I could WOZ being my choice for a successor to LOTR. However, after the last few updates I think Hobbit, not WOZ or Pirates, stands as the true successor to LOTR.

What do you think?

#2 5 months ago

I have LOTR and Pirates. I haven’t been able to play DI as I haven’t found one in the wild. The WOZ and Hobbit I have played are poor broke down examples that I liked but were hard to judge due to condition.

Therefore I am not going to try to answer the question but just add an observation. LOTR has everything you could want in a game. It is top to bottom fun and complete. Pirates is so amazing it made me instantly think of buying one of JJP’s other offerings. (Currently searching for a DI) What I realized more than ever after buying Pirates is personally I want games that feel like they are a labor of love for the people creating them not the next labor the boss handed me to complete. LOTR and Pirates make you feel that the team was all in to give you the best product! That’s what I want and I am willing to pay a premium for that. Nothing against some of the simple/beta coded games that are tossed out nowadays but I am done buying games that I don’t feel the designers/company releasing them are all in on. The titles mentioned above have an incredible feel. Some of the older games like Williams IJ have this feeling as well. After experiencing great games it is hard to settle for average.

#3 5 months ago

Hobbit is terrible, Pirates is a bit overbaked for my tastes, and lotr is too much of a slog for me. I’d go with WOZ here. Good rules great package all around.

See, it’s possible to do this in only two short paragraphs!

#4 5 months ago

I always felt like hobbit was LOTR 2.0 my reasoning behind it is both machines have amazing theme integration and are both super long playing.

#5 5 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Hobbit is terrible, Pirates is a bit overbaked for my tastes, and lotr is too much of a slog for me. I’d go with WOZ here. Good rules great package all around.
See, it’s possible to do this in only two short paragraphs!

Always being classy Crazy lol. Yeah, WOZ is tough to beat.

#6 5 months ago

WOZ - beautiful game - clunky game play, mini pf is underwhelming to the point I don't want to use it.
JJPOTC - Underwhelmed me and I'm a huge POTC fan. (love the swamp shot and 3rd flipper). Every single time I hit the shot (whatever it's called) where the post comes up and the ball bounces around, when the post drop the ball went SDTM. Not to mention the clear coat issue happening ....yikes.
TH - it's different than LOTR (I own both) in several regards to it being a wide body slowing action, it has a 3rd flipper so you're not always waiting for the ball to return to the flippers, killing smaug is WAAAAY freaking harder than destroying the ring, 31 modes needing to be finished to make it to TABA making it way deeper (thus making it LOTR 2.0). People who hate TH either disliked the movies and/or haven't played with the latest code. It's truly a great game. IMHO having to make the ball slightly leave the right flipper to then backhand it to Ratagast is one of the most satisfying shots in pinball. It's too bad you can't do the same with the left flipper to hit Balin without jacking up the coil voltage and then dealing with the ball leaving the hobbit trail. Dislikes - damn rollovers are too high and it feels like the E and N drop targets can't be hit with a direct flipper shot - feels like you have to wait for a rogue ball to hit them.

#7 5 months ago

How am I supposed to judge code when i am a mediocre player and never get to see the wizard modes? I could watch the streams but I would love to accomplish on my own. LOTR definitely holds up its one of my favorite Stern machines.

#8 5 months ago
Quoted from Greenandwhite:

How am I supposed to judge code when i am a mediocre player and never get to see the wizard modes?

With all due respect - why should you then judge any machine not knowing what it's fully capable of? It's kind of a double standard don't you think? Play pinbal get better - go further. That's just how it works.

#9 5 months ago

None of the above

#10 5 months ago

I vote TSPP

#11 5 months ago

Nice write up Panzer, but for me it’s like asking which of your kids do you like better

#12 5 months ago

I have a soft spot for WOZ, my first JJP and my first real modern game. Plus the first real modern game I was able to play. I love the theme, the integration of assets and the deep ruleset. I am always learning new things and getting excited about my play. DI is a decent game but the overall theme lacks a bit in general excitement and engagement. Pirates does a great job of extending rulesets and making variations on the game but I am disappointed that a deep licensed game like this is missing real movie assets. It's sort of half baked in that way, I mean who wouldn't expect Johnny Depp to show up on a POTC game? I had high hopes for Wonka but seeing the gameplay on video I am a little underwhelmed. Maybe it's the cutbacks for making a $7500 game, not sure why exactly I am underwhelmed but I took my Wonka money and put it towards a POTC and am happy I did. For some reason I am finding POTC playfield and lighting lacking a bit in comparison to WOZ. Maybe WOZ is just special to me but the light show it puts on is way more interesting, bright, exciting than POTC. POTC feels more like a Stern game to me in that regard. I am not a fan of Hobbit the movie in general so the game doesn't strike a chord with me and have only played it a few times.

#13 5 months ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

I have a soft spot for WOZ, my first JJP and my first real modern game. Plus the first real modern game I was able to play. I love the theme, the integration of assets and the deep ruleset. I am always learning new things and getting excited about my play. DI is a decent game but the overall theme lacks a bit in general excitement and engagement. Pirates does a great job of extending rulesets and making variations on the game but I am disappointed that a deep licensed game like this is missing real movie assets. It's sort of half baked in that way, I mean who wouldn't expect Johnny Depp to show up on a POTC game? I had high hopes for Wonka but seeing the gameplay on video I am a little underwhelmed. Maybe it's the cutbacks for making a $7500 game, not sure why exactly I am underwhelmed but I took my Wonka money and put it towards a POTC and am happy I did. For some reason I am finding POTC playfield and lighting lacking a bit in comparison to WOZ. Maybe WOZ is just special to me but the light show it puts on is way more interesting, bright, exciting than POTC. POTC feels more like a Stern game to me in that regard. I am not a fan of Hobbit the movie in general so the game doesn't strike a chord with me and have only played it a few times.

WOZ is just a very special game that rekindled the pinball industry to it's next level of excellence which enabled games like POTC to be born. Kind of like what I remember High Speed did when it came out way back then (yes I'm pretty old!).

#14 5 months ago

Hobbit - it brings the cinematic adventure pinball of LOTR to a modern machine. POTC with its lack of assets and narrative disqualify it from being the next LOTR. WOZ is OK, but from theme to execution, Hobbit is truly the LOTR followup.

#15 5 months ago

Hobbit I beat pretty quick so let me go with Pirates. Need more time on WoZ.

The great thing about modern pinball machines is they're never truly done.

Who's to say down the line a deal can't be struck for some more licensing, or perhaps when Bruckheimer passes on maybe his successors aren't as hardcore about not licensing out "He's a Pirate."

#16 5 months ago
Quoted from apinballwiz:

WOZ is just a very special game that rekindled the pinball industry to it's next level of excellence which enabled games like POTC to be born. Kind of like what I remember High Speed did when it came out way back then (yes I'm pretty old!).

That makes sense. It definitely rekindled my interest after having a bunch of older DMD games and getting a bit bored. I actually have been having a lot of fun with it without reading the manual, wanting to sort of discover how to enact the modes. I'm not a great player by any means so even if I knew all of the shots to make I wouldn't be able to do it, so working on my skills while discovering the game has been really fun.

#17 5 months ago

Based on rules alone, I’d say The Hobbit is LOTR 2.0. That game features very unique modes that do not feel repetitive. Each mode is differentiated from the others. It is incredibly deep with the mini wizard modes and There and Back Again. Long ball times on the Hobbit offer the possibility to eventually see the 3 mini wizard modes and There and Back Again.

Pirates is extremely promising with the depth of the code, including the 120 modes and 22 characters to choose from. I really enjoy the character selection, and believe that this is the best overall pin of the bunch. Although the code is incredibly deep, at this point, the modes do not feel unique. That is perhaps due to the lack of an ideal licensing agreement. The game has a lot of multiballs, and collecting super jackpots is important for later in the game. Another great code set, but lacks the overall character of The Hobbit.

I’ve played WOZ on location several times, but have not experienced much of the code due to quick drains. The crystal ball modes are great, however.

#18 5 months ago

I made this decision recently (although I already had a WOZ, and LOVE the Tolkien themes). I understand the idea of this thread is to discuss code, but I think all of the games being discussed have fantastic code now.

The thing that sets POTC apart from most any other pinball (and Hobbit in-particular) is the fantastic playfield and shots. It's doesn't really 'feel' like a wide-body pin. The extra space was used to stuff additional, properly-sized shots, without sacrificing flow and speed. I bought POTC and have no regrets, although I may add a Hobbit someday too.

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