(Topic ID: 2786)

LOTR vs. SM


By smassa

8 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 years ago by The_Dude_Abides
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#1 8 years ago

Just wanted to get some of your guys opinions on the 2 games. Ive had SM since 07' & recently purchased a LOTR LE & to me SM seems all in all the better game. Maybe it doesnt have quite the depth that LOTR has but the ramp shots are much cleaner & it seems to flow much faster & the shots do rattle around the loops nearly as much as LOTR.

I really like the Super Hero final mode on SM & even the Battle Royal is a fun mini wizard mode.

Also I have a ? about "there & back again" mode on LOTR....Is this a timed mode or is it supposed to end once the ball is lost? For some reason on my game it just ends abruptly without a countdown like some of the other modes.

I was also finally able to complete the Fellowship of the Ring multiball tonite & it was a very fun and challenging mode but for some reason the way the ball clanks around the loops often not making it at all sometimes as it bounces of the sides of the switch to the right ramp seems like not a very well thought out design. Plus the fact that more then half my shots to the right tower bounce right out and dont register as a completed shot can get very frustrating. Anyone put anything back there to help dampen the ball as it goes flying into the scoop?

All in all both are very nice pins & since they are the top 2 rated Stern games in the rankings I was just looking for some input from those who own both or have played them quite a bit.

I'm debating selling or trading my LOTR & trying to pick up an AFM but am still kinda on the fence about wether I should or not.

#2 8 years ago

I have both and love both but SM is WAY easier than LOTR. I have come close to Super Hero several times but have never come close to Valinor nor seen TABA.
I don't think Gomez slacked on the layout on LOTR as much as Ritchie tweaks his playfields to the nth degree.
Have never had a ball pop out of my Tower saucer but you could try adding Pinbit's ball stop foam.
The sword ramp is a tough shot. The right ramp on my IJ is a PITA too. Have to hit it perfectly or the ball will not make it up. For good or bad that is just the way it was designed.

#3 8 years ago

Dont get me wrong I like both of them if just seems like the ball moves a hell of a lot smoother on SM then it does on LOTR even on solid shots.

The right ramp on LOTR doesnt give me as much trouble as the outter loop shots. The right loop often clanks into wither the outer side of the switch on the right ramp entrance (seems this could have been a very good place for some playfield metal guides) & the left loop I guess is just frustrating cause of all the rejected shots. I will have to look into some kind of dampening device to help that out.

I'd agree that getting to the wizard mode is quite a bit easier on SM but it is a very challenging mode to rack up a good score on. I guess its not fair to compare the wizard modes cause like you I have not made it to valinor yet either. I just seem to spend more time playing SM or CV then I do on LOTR even though its the newest addition to my collection.

SC what about the "there & Back again" mode on LOTR.....Do you know if its a timed mode or does it end when your ball drains?

#4 8 years ago

I haven't gotten to it yet so not sure.

#5 8 years ago

On a side note SC....how do you like your Corvette pin? I had a Vette in the past & was always thinking about picking up a Vette pin but never found the right deal. How good is the gameplay?

#6 8 years ago

I've only gotten to "there and back again" once. i believe it is a timed mode. you have to hit your shots fast to rack up any kind of score. still never got to valinor, likely never will though but always fun shooting for it.

#7 8 years ago

Just checked http://www.pinball.org/rules/ and TABA is a 60 second timed mode.

I like Corvette for its speed, flow and combos. But the rule set is very limited and not deep. There are only a handful of modes which are not random.
Goal is to collect 9 cars to start wizard mode (4 ball multi). Do this by:
Shoot left ramp 3 times to lock 3 ball multiball. Gives 3 cars.
Shoot center scoop for drag race (basically a hurry up mode.) Awards cars if you win.
Repeatable but other car gets faster (less time in hurry up)
Shoot right ramp twice to start simple modes. Awards up to 4 cars total (I believe) if you
complete most of these. Each completed mode usually ends in a 2 ball multiball.

#8 8 years ago

Ahhh that makes sense then....Just the abrupt end to TABA really seems like something could have been added to let you know its coming up. A decent mode but nothing special. Destroy the Ring is cool but again isnt that hard to complete. I guess with it being a timed Champion REcord it makes it more interesting to see how fast you can complete it.

I'll have to wait & see what Valinor brings to the table but none o the Wizard modes seem as well thought out as Super Hero mode on SM especailly once you start to get deeper into it & Sandman & Doc Ock start to move up & down to block the shots.

Guess i'll have to keep at it unless someone has a nice AFM they wanna trade for a LOTR LE.....(=

#9 8 years ago

"I just seem to spend more time playing SM or CV then I do on LOTR even though its the newest addition to my collection ..."

This comment speaks volumes. Generally, I find myself playing whatever game happens to be the newest in my collection most. It's fresh, exciting, and .... well new. If you are playing your other games more, despite the fact that LOTR is your most recent addition, then perhaps LOTR just isn't your cup of tea.

#10 8 years ago

"... it just seems like the ball moves a hell of a lot smoother on SM then it does on LOTR even on solid shots."

Again, I have to emphasize what SC already said about Steve Ritchie. There is a reason the guy is called "The King of Flow". Ritchie's games simply have a certain feel to them that no other designer can duplicate.

#11 8 years ago

I know what you mean GP. I wouldnt say I hate the game I guess I was expecting alot more given all the raves it received from everyone who has it.

I dont regret buying it but I guess I would'nt call it untouchable if the right offer or trade came along. I guess i'm one of those guys who feels a game doesnt have to be super deep to be very enjoyable. Pins like CV & SM arent the deepest out there but are a couple of the most fun that i've come across over the years.

#12 8 years ago

I like them both,Spidey is my favorite game but LOTR is in my top 3!

#13 8 years ago

TSPP, LOTR and SM are Sterns top 3. TSPP, lots of stop and go but the best rules of any pinball ever. I think LOTR is in the middle, decent flow, good rules. SM has the best flow and the most fun shots of any pinball I've ever played. However there isn't much to the rules.

I've owned TSPP, I've got a ton of time in on LOTR and I currently own SM. I believe all three of those games are about as good as the next, it just depends on what type of player you are. I'm a speed freak so I love SM. I'd like to own another TSPP both for the crazy good rules and I like the theme. LOTR is very good as well but I'm not into the theme and feel if I own TSPP and SM I can live without LOTR.

That's just me though.

#14 8 years ago

One observation I have made about LOTR is that there is a lot of stopping and starting and waiting for bits of animation and sound bites. The first time I played it was at a noisy show where I couldn't hear it and I remember thinking to myself "this is a pain, gimeee the ball back why dont you?".

I have since played quite a few times in quieter locations and it doesn't seem a problem. In fact if your a fan of the theme I imagine it will be a positive.

Spider man just hit the right spot right from the first ball.

All great games though. I would like any of them.

#15 8 years ago

''for some reason the way the ball clanks around the loops often not making it at all sometimes as it bounces of the sides of the switch to the right ramp seems like not a very well thought out design. Plus the fact that more then half my shots to the right tower bounce right out and dont register as a completed shot can get very frustrating''

Yes man, I'm so happy, i'm not alone now. That is one of the reasons that i traded LOTR. IMO LOTR not so good. Never played SM, but i think that is a way better game.

#16 8 years ago

As far as depth goes, LOTR unfairly beats SM to the punch. LOTR runs circles around SM, with the intricate way you can destroy the ring, and all the crazy amount of things it demands for the ultimate wizard mode.

I think what makes Spider-Man more fun though, is it doesn't hold the ball as much as LOTR. There are a ton of things that slow down LOTR; (1) waiting for the ball to go down the path of the dead, (2) waiting for the ring magnet to let go of the ball, or (3) waiting for the Smegel VUK to activate, all contribute to slowing down the game. IMO the main thing that does it for me is the Palantir target. It makes the game a bit clunky. I can see them moving it from its current spot, and it would have been a better experience.

Each game has its strong points over the other. As far as a player, I prefer Spider-Man, but appreciate LOTR for what it does for the medium of story-telling. On my top 10 list, SM is followed immediately by LOTR. Top two games by Stern, followed by the super-deep Simpsons Pinball Party.

PS: As far as AFM goes, smassa, you really can't go wrong with it if you are a fan of Spider-Man. I know a lot of people say SM is a clone of AFM (much to how LOTR is a clone of MM, and TSPP is a clone of TZ), but it is pretty different once you get some time on it. AFM is deceptively fast if you are a "Speed Freak", and its well rounded overall (an equally intricate "shooter's game"). Check one out on location, or search out your local area for an owner who can let you check it out. Will make your LOTR trade decision easier in the long run.

#17 8 years ago

A friend of mine had a mint AFM I had played many games on it before he moved out of town. Its an amazing game & if the right one came along i'd pull the trigger. Ive played more LOTR & its started to grow on me a lil. Completed The fellowship multiball & Almost completed There & Back again.

I think I may have started Valinor since right after completing Fellowship multiball it went into a mode I hadnt seen before but as I looked up to see what was going on i lost track of the ball & it drained. Was pretty pissed about that. Its a very good game for sure just a lot of the quirky ball clanks you get on it still have me favoring SM a bit more since as stated above the shots just flow together sooo smooth & I enjoy the Super Hero wizard mode even though I keep blowing it once its started & have never had over a 100 mil score on it yet.

I guess all n all both very good games but the little things seems to keep SM just a nose infront of LOTR.

#18 8 years ago

You were in a "Victory Lap" which you enter after you beat a movie multi-ball.
Valinor requires you to win all three movie multiballs, finish all 6 modes and TABA and collect 6 gifts then finally destroy the ring. If you DTR before completing the other requirements you will have to DTR again to get to Valinor.

#19 8 years ago

I have played both LOTR and SM for the last 9 months or so. Out of the gate , I was really impressed with LOTR. The multi balls, replay graphics and destroy the ring really blew me away. SM has grown on me over time. Tho being redundant to all the other comments, the flow of shots is extremely impressive. What I am finding is that for about every 3 games on SM , I am now playing one game on LOTR. Not sure why that is because the the depth of rules on LOTR continues to impress. However, I line up to SM more often. I have also started working with LED's on both machines to improve the lighting. I believe , I will be more selective in where I put the LED's in SM / LOTR versus significant change outs I have done on some of my other games. My point being, both games are getting better with the mods

As far as selling LOTR to buy AFM, I would try and do every thing I could to keep LOTR and still buy AFM. AFM is now at the top of my list and LOTR is close behind. I have bought and sold a few top 10's and have regretted doing so ( especially TZ). Good luck finding an AFM. I am also looking for an AFM that is in good shape and doesn't require a second mortgage to buy.

#20 8 years ago

Spiderman might be simple in terms of what you have to do but deep in terms of how many times you have to do it to get to super hero which I have not YET!Also there is the combo Multi-ball that I will never make it to.

#21 8 years ago

Welcome to the world of S. Ritchie and the reason why his games continually provide that "woo-hoo" factor. No other designer (NO other designer) lays it out like he does. LOTR is a totally different experience.... Its like reading the trilogy or going on the long journey yourself while SM is still the speed and flow. Its a personal preference or whatever you're in the mood for, but I say when you are in the mood to hunker down and immerse yourself in the epic.... Play LOTR.. and when you just want to zing around and have that instant satisfaction of a shot well made... Play your SM.

They are apples and oranges.

#22 8 years ago

Well put seanymph.

I like LOTR and SM.

I dunno...something about SM...gets my blood pumping. I guess thats Steve Ritchie's magic effectively working on you.

2 weeks later
#23 8 years ago

I will say this about LOTR....it has grown on me a little bit & Fellowship multiball is now one of my favorite Multiball modes of any pin & destroy the ring with its timed record theme really puts you under the gun to not miss any shots if you wanna get a great time. My best time is 41 seconds and that felt like I hardly missed a shot. It is growing on me but If I had to part with one i'd still keep SM.

#24 8 years ago

I really enjoy both games but if I had to choose my easy pick would be SM. I just love the flow, theme, and sound.

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