Played the October 1 newly coded Halloween CE at Crazy Martins in Piqua, Ohio yesterday. Had previously played it at I/O Arcqade Bar in Madison, WI. WE live in Adrian, MI and, yes, we traveled 6.5 and 2.5 hours respectively just for the opportunity to play Halloween. The first time was on CE#2 at O/I. Immediately after playing the game for several days during that Madison trip, we decided we need the game for our small collection and was able to secure a Pre-Order spot in the Mid-250s. A week ago they were producing approximately 20 games a week. In an earlier email, it was indicated that they were hoping to ramp up production to 40 games a week (although some of those might be Ultraman...to respond to a thread earlier about production). The point was that we thoroughly enjoyed the game playing on this CE numer 2 machine that was very early in.
The October 1 code came in, and we made a 2.5 hour trip to Crazy Martin's yesterday, understanding that they would likely update. They had! For all of you Spooky fans out there, let me highly recommend Crazy Martin's. They have an entire room dedicated to Spooky pinball (with an American Pinball Houdini thrown into the corner for good measure). One wall is dedicated to spooky and they have most of the games. Not being a pinball historian I believe that the line up is production order: America's Most Haunted, Rob Zombie's Spookshow, Total Nuclear Annihilation, Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle, Rick and Morty, and Halloween CE #32. Missing titles such as the Jetsons and Dominoes weren't an issue. The ability to play all 6 of these games in one location was terrific; great way to not only compare the machines but to experience Spooky's progression over time. Pretty impressive as a small town pinball manufacturer. Crazy Martin's is a pipe, water pipe, rolling papers, incense, candles, gems and crystals type of store...you get the drift...but they have a great selection of pinball machines (maybe 17 or so) and, again, a back room dedicated to all things Spooky. Check it out if ever in the area.
But back to the code. Although we thoroughly enjoyed CE#2 days after it was received, the difference with the October 1 update is incredible. The game play is smooth, getting to the upper playfireld (the house) makes sense, and the opportunity to get there seems more straight forward. I absolutely agree that, for me, the game staging is not an issue. I can't think of another game that I enjoy where staging is much different. It's just part of the experience, and, frankly, allows you a few seconds to do make some game play decisions and take a renewed look at the playfield during game play. Absolutely, NOT a problem. The movie clips were short but a nice bonus, and I'm certain that there will be more over time. I understand that the callouts also may have improved, but really did not have much of an opportunity to hear them at O/I because we were in a noisy bar setting (also a terrific pinball hang out and highly recommeded with great bartenders). The big bonus is the collection of blood drops which I won't discuss in detail, but they add a lot to the game and give you choices as how you want to use them. A very creative idea and very much in theme.
I highly recommend watching Spooky Pinball's own Bugs introduce the code update. It really helped before playing the game yesterday and really assisted in getting into the upper most playfield house. He does a great job, and the YouTube video is under 12 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=RPxzQc_LJQE
Totally enjoy this game after about 50 total plays and looking forward to having it in the collection (we sacrificed a couple 4 wheelers to make the purchase...the pinballs get more use. Haha.) To all the naysayers out there, perhaps give the game another chance after watching Bug's video or simply decide that it might not be the game for you. We do, after all, have our own preferences. I, for one. thoroughly enjoy the game; theme and all, and feel that the production has been top notch. We are anxiously awaiting having the game in our basement just in time for the holidays (whatever fall/winter holiday that might be). Until then we will take a few road trips to various bars, pinball venues, events to get our Halloween fix. Nice bonus: I also have a new found appreciation for TNA as well which I had previously dismissed. Just never gave it the chance it deserved.
PS: I once posted that the pinball game had a cameo appearance by comedian Mike Myers being killed by killer Michael Myers. Having watched the 1978 film now several times, it's simply a movie clip of Lynda's boyfriend Bob being killed by Michael. I thought it was a clever cameo but now realize that the glass wearing Bob just has an uncanny resemblance to the glass wearing Mike Myers as Austin Powers when viewed in Black and White. I appreciate no one ever calling me out on it. Haha