(Topic ID: 166690)

Smaug vs GBLE...new ownership experience


By VolunteerPin

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Hdmike444
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 3 years ago

I have recently received both my Smaug and GBLE within a few weeks of each other. I paid $7500 preorder for the Smaug and $8000 for GBLE. Only games I'm playing right now are those two. Here are a few thoughts on my personal comparison:

Out of box issues:

- Smaug: 1. I tightened down all screws under the playfield before ball one was played. All seemed 1/4 to 1/2 turn too loose. I've had no issues. 2. I've had the issue where the glass is a little too wide for the channel. JJP has already sent me a fix for this but I have yet to install. 3. Backlight too bright so I put in a 1/2 NPO filter as suggested in other threads. 4. My left habitrail came with the new design which works 100%. 5. My popups did not come with the fix but I've only had one ball ever stuck so no issues there.

-GBLE 1. Crazy airballs as everyone knows so getting plastic for left ramp standups. 2. Cheap ball hop drains on outlanes so need to buy fix-it kit. 3. Slimer rubs and even gets stuck when trying to go to his "home" position 4. Flaky left ramp switch which needs adjusting as it only registers about 1 in 3 hits. 5. NO insert ghosting for me (yet) 6. Scolari targets spring needs to possibly be changed out due to bricked direct hits not dropping the target. 7. My slings hardly ever work. Must need to adjust the leaf switches. As such, so far I'm underwhelmed with the Magna Slings. Hopefully some adjustments change my thoughts. If not, I'd rather have normal slings.

Game play thoughts:

- Smaug: Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! Game is in no way, shape of form floaty (my pitch currently at 6.9 degrees and flippers at 25 right and 26 left). One potential downside to so many modes is that you almost need a "spotter" to play with to tell you what the heck is going on. Game is very immersive with the light show and sounds. With this title I don't know how anyone can get a good feel for the game at an expo type setting as you need many, many games and good sounds to really appreciate. That said, this is not an in-your-face speed demon and can certainly play longer (though my high score is still only around 750k). I can get numerous games of GBLE in the span of one or two good games on Smaug (not all games lasting long of course)

- GBLE: Again, awesome light show and sounds. Way better than I expected. Game is a little frustrating currently until I get above issues fixed. The flipper gap is real but I don't necessarily feel cheated with it. I may try out the post with the Pinball Life kit and see but currently I feel I might just use the outlane fix. My high score so far is only 27million so I have yet to get any depth in the game. Still trying to figure it out a lot but harder to do with the very short games I'm experiencing. Flow is pretty good and I think this game will really challenge me to get better. Ecto-goggles are WAY cool. Much cooler than I thought they'd be. Subway ramp also neat but those goggles are awesome and very fun.

Overall: At this point I'd give the nod to Smaug as the better purchase. For less money what you get is far advanced compared to GBLE. I think premium GB owners will be very happy (never tried a pro so can't comment). Actually I think these two pins complement each other very well and I'm very happy to have them in my lineup. Heck, right now nothing else is even being turned on.

What say you?

#2 3 years ago

Very detailed. But you gotta get more than 27mil to write a review! Was it meant to be 270mil?

#3 3 years ago

LOL. Nope. GB kicking my butt. Some of it is the cheap drains which sucks but will be fixable as are a lot of the out of box issues. Fun but frustrating so I've been pushing start a lot.

#4 3 years ago

Glad to hear your enjoying them. Glad to hear your leaning Smaug.

#6 3 years ago

Please provide updates once you get a few hundred games on each. Thanks!

#7 3 years ago

Nice review on these two specifically. I agree the two compliment each other well and both are fun. After playing GB at replayfx, I'm definitely happy I decided on hobbit. We still cant stop playing hobbit. Enjoy both.

#8 3 years ago

Good review- nice to hear positives on both titles. I own a GBLE- a fun game but quick to punish (even with the floating centre post!) The modes are fun, flow is fast and it has both a great light show and awesome toys (Slimer is a blast to hit, Ecto goggles are really neat and my magna slings are very responsive, mine are set at '50').
I simply haven't spent enough time on TH to give it a full review- it is definitely a much longer playing type of game; and has a really beautiful & well constructed package.
Have fun with both!

#9 3 years ago

You are lucky to have both. The hotest games are those two. I have played GB and I like it. But, I own the Hobbit and love it. Enjoy both.

#10 3 years ago

I also recently picked up both games.
Smaug modes are pretty shallow. Very brief. This game is a home run once the modes through code update get much deeper. Center post between flippers could be removed. Ball times can be crazy long. If your a really good player you could be playing one game for a lonnnnggggg time.
GBLE is a ball buster. Tight ramps. Plays crazy fast. Most air balls of any game I've ever played which is strange. Flippers are set up on an different angle than I've seen before so it's hard to control the ball.
Modes are tough and great. Killer game.

I personally give the nod to Stern. But Hobbit could possibly be the next LOtR and surpass it with code over time.

#11 3 years ago

Get GB tweaked with those issues and go deeper in the game, you'll love that purchase too Volunteer!

#12 3 years ago

Spent a few hours dialing in ghostbusters. Still getting cheap side drains from jumping the rails but game is great. Love the start of storage facility multiball!

Got to nearly 300 million so starting to see more of the game. I'll say this...plastic over the standups and making leaf switches REALLY sensitive help a lot for fun factor. Oh, fixing Slimer so he doesn't drag is an absolute must as well.

I'll continue updating but what a great 1 - 2 combo with these pins.

1 week later
#13 3 years ago

How did you fix your slimmer? Mine hit on both the left and right side.

#14 3 years ago

Own both as well, all minor issues solved with each. Completely different, but you never tire of playing either.

-4
#15 3 years ago
Quoted from kklank:

I personally give the nod to Stern. But Hobbit could possibly be the next LOtR and surpass it with code over time.

Impossible.

#16 3 years ago

Quick update:

Overall I've been playing GBLE much more than Hobbit. Still loving both but it is easily 3-5 games of GBLE in same time as 1 game of Hobbit. Just put up over 1.1 Billion on GB but not 100% how I did it, lol. Game is certainly growing on me. I will reiterate that these 2 pins are a great 1-2 combo and would be nearly perfect in a 2 pin collection.

When I first started this hobby I started with LOTR and Tron in the same week and had that line up for a little while. Though that was an amazing tandem I do believe this is an even better tandem.

I've had no mechanical or electrical issues out of either pin once I got GB dialed in. I may have raised Slimer just a little too high as sometimes I hit him but it doesn't register (always registers direct hits) so I might lower him a little but I can live with this if it means he doesn't drag his but all over stuff. I'm going to make a few adjustments this weekend and see if I can improve on that.

-5
#17 3 years ago
Quoted from kklank:

But Hobbit could possibly be the next LOtR and surpass it with code over time.

We don't have to wait for time, its already passed. The Hobbit wins!!

-2
#18 3 years ago
Quoted from Skyemont:

We don't have to wait for time, its already passed. The Hobbit wins!!

Why because you own it?

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Why because you own it?

No cause he hates all Sterns. A incomplete game is already better then one of the most well liked Sterns didn't you know???

#20 3 years ago

Hobbit is great and has a lot of potential as does ghostbusters. I own a ghostbusters LE and agree once you dial it in it is brutal but it is so much fun. The plastic over the standup targets by the ramp is a must. I really don't know how stern overlooked that. The music is some of the best in any pin and the art package is incredible. I am still learning the rules but so far it is a keeper.

#21 3 years ago

And lights are blinding on GB...especially during multiball. I absolutely LOVE the start of storage facility mb. Makes you actually feel like ghosts are escaping.

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from VolunteerPin:

And lights are blinding on GB...especially during multiball. I absolutely LOVE the start of storage facility mb. Makes you actually feel like ghosts are escaping.

Awesome start, maybe better than Blood Bath!

And yes those lights will blind you, hard to make shots at the outset of MB

#23 3 years ago

Darin, I don't envy you having to carry a Hobbit up your stairs!

Ooooofff!

rd

#24 3 years ago

Oh boy, now I want a GB...Thanks

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from kklank:

I also recently picked up both games.
Smaug modes are pretty shallow. Very brief. This game is a home run once the modes through code update get much deeper. Center post between flippers could be removed. Ball times can be crazy long. If your a really good player you could be playing one game for a lonnnnggggg time.
GBLE is a ball buster. Tight ramps. Plays crazy fast. Most air balls of any game I've ever played which is strange. Flippers are set up on an different angle than I've seen before so it's hard to control the ball.
Modes are tough and great. Killer game.
I personally give the nod to Stern. But Hobbit could possibly be the next LOtR and surpass it with code over time.

Update: I've now played The Hobbit with the newest code and got a tutorial from Eric with JJP and it's pretty damn awesome. Adding balls to your next mode before you start a mode is so cool. Your essentially creating your own multiball before you activate your mode and once you start the mode, however many balls you locked or added is how big your multiball. Never seen this on a game before. What an adventure. Love it.

#26 3 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Why because you own it?

Nope not just because I own it, I have owned 3 LOTR. I just think it's better that's all. I don't hate Stern, I just like Williams/Bally/JJP better. That's all.

#27 3 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Darin, I don't envy you having to carry a Hobbit up your stairs!
Ooooofff!
rd

Escalera made it easy. Really no harder than any other pin. For me Escalera ownership is a must.

RD, I know you weren't too hot on GB pro. Have you had a chance to play an LE? I've not played a pro but the LE is pretty darn great IMO.

#28 3 years ago
Quoted from VolunteerPin:

Escalera made it easy. Really no harder than any other pin. For me Escalera ownership is a must.
RD, I know you weren't too hot on GB pro. Have you had a chance to play an LE? I've not played a pro but the LE is pretty darn great IMO.

Escalera for the winnnnnn!

No, haven't had a chance to play the LE. The pros I've played have been very frustrating with their power drains, especially off the (normal) slings.

rd

#29 3 years ago

I've never played a pro but it is almost hard to imagine this game without magnaslings which are amazing. I had to make the leaf switch VERY sensitive to get the slings to act like normal slings as they were not sensitive enough out of the box but with that one adjustment I love those slings.

1 month later
#30 3 years ago

How are you liking both games now? Any new thoughts?

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Escalera for the winnnnnn!
No, haven't had a chance to play the LE. The pros I've played have been very frustrating with their power drains, especially off the (normal) slings.
rd

Well wait till you play an GBLE!

#32 3 years ago

Busy life. I've not turned on a pinball machine in close to a month. Sorry I can't update this more right now as I just don't have experience with the new codes.

#33 3 years ago

This may be the most extreme example of the cerebral vs visceral pinball experience.

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