Anyone care to discuss gameplay features relating to success of the model, instead of badging, armor, Zizzle art?
Almost always when playing SM, the Goblin is the limiting factor to progress. When I'm almost to EB, it's always Unity Day which I need. When it's Battle Royale, it's always Suffer the Children, etc.
The physical response from the Goblin mech validating a hit is SO important to gameplay for me, particularly when the target lights are scrolling, knowing that you got a hit and it counted while also trying to keep a MB active and maximize your other shots, not having to look up, look at the screen, or decipher a certain note from the stacked feature sounds blasting. A great toy? No! A very useful feature? Yes!
Removing that $5 coil/mech is pure and utter stupidity, to me. Everything else is subjective, but to detract from established gameplay features by cheapening out on such an inexpensive mech is pretty unforgivable and beyond argument to me.
You can argue if it looks Zizzle art or not, whether the new sculpts are cool, whether the price is worth it, etc.....but you can't really argue that the physical response from a Goblin hit being removed is a downgrade. Period.
That said, it's a fresh new package of a tried and true game which shoots like a dream, so it'll obviously sell decent. Since all the art is just cut n paste from Ultimate Spider-man, nothing original, and the only changes are some dots/sounds, it's pure profit for Stern. They can change the line like changing their pants, so they're literally banking after probably 10 machines run off the line. It's already a success for Stern, but I wonder with all these VE's and xxx-R's whether it's good for the secondary market long term (which does trickle back to affect Stern's market). Time will tell.
I'd personally like to see more Onward and Upward, rather than the guys at Stern/PPS looking around at the secondary market and saying "Hmmmm, collectors are still paying solid money for that old game....let's go back and remake it!" Ehhh, why not let the secondary used market thrive unmolested and just concentrate on trying to make new great pinball machines and innovations?