So I got my Star Trek pro today. My impressions:
- The game has the best shot flow Ive ever seen. First, I love Spider-Man. Perhaps my all time favorite game. This layout is simar. But there are some major differences. This game shoots like acdc but with a third flipper. The ramps are easy backhands with wide openings. It's extremely easy to flow shots. Spider-Man shots are way tighter. The upper flipper ramp shot is quite smooth and getting combos to this is similar to say no fear. The risk is that you really get the ball moving and may lose it when you miss. There were no cheap drains like acdc. The game is so smooth. I think layout polish wise, this is Steve Ritchie's best work. I can't stress enough how easy and fun it is to flow the shots. There are several very satisfying shots here.
- Playfield is not as ugly as I had expected. Artwork wise, it's the worst looking stern playfield since acdc, but its nothing like say wheel of fortune. It actually is ok.
- The sounds are great. Very satisfying. With a shaker and sub, experience is good. Shaker could be better utilized. Unfortunately, the call out variety is lacking. I heard the same call outs multiple times per game. Sounded like direct movie quotes. I didn't hear any dubs or actor hired unique recordings here. There's no sound directing you like in sone games. But it's pretty obvious what to shoot at.
- ball times were somewhat long. I may need to open the outlanes more. But the game definitely does not punish you for missing shots as much as other Ritchie games. It could also be that its so easy to make the shots that I wasn't missing as much as normal.
- software feels solid but there doesn't feel like much to do. They need to get more added or the game will not be interesting enough for the long haul in spite of the awesome shot layout. Some good foundation here though. I was able to stack some multiballs and it seems they draining the ball doesn't end your current mission, pretty neat. I didn't see how you can do 3 sub modes per mission. It seems like only the 6 missions and multiballs are implemented. Oh and a decent combo system.
- The lock down fire button is under used. It seems to just randomly start flashing and I get to take a shot at the ship.
- The color changing inserts are great. The rest of the game just uses cointaker doubles and all white in GI. The game is bright for a stock game thanks to two spotlights. I added a lot more lighting to even out the lighting in a dark room. But it's way better then most out of the box. I found the spinner flasher blinding and replaced it with a different style. The orange ship flasher was dull. Replaced with red and now the ship glows like its on fire when it flashes. Looks awesome. The pro LEDs are mostly replaceable 555 bulbs. The game doesn't ghost with regular LEDs. So no need for non ghosting replacement bulbs. I replaced a lot of the cool white inserts with color matches with some pinball bulbs LEDs (blue on blue and red on red mainly). At least you can do this on the pro.
- The ship and ship movement is pretty good. It seems to move a lot more than attack from mars.
- I like the speaker panel. It looks nice in person. The new hinge bolts are a hassle. It took a long time to get the left one lines up to go in. Bolts are in goodie bag. The speaker panel folds out way nicer than older games and is easy to put back without too much fiddling.
I said I wouldn't get an LE earlier at $8k. But this played so well that I ordered an LE.
Edit: sold my tricked out pro for $5200. I get to keep it in my possession until the LE arrives. Bringing the game for everyone to play to the Portland gong show this weekend.