Quoted from Frax:
Our local arcade got one yesterday. Went and played it. I have mixed feelings. My wife asked if it was the pro or the premium, which is a good sign for sales of the Pro. Stern has done a HORRIBLE job on selling me on mini-playfields with recent games, and looking at this one I'm not sure the Premium would be worth the money.... when a "super VUK" (OH NO A VUK WITH A STRONGER COIL?!? SSUUUUUUPPPEEEEER PREEEEEEEMIUMM!!!) is listed as a defining feature, or it's 8 RGB LEDs versus 14 (wow that's a whole 5 dollars of savings guys, thanks for the coded obsolescence), and questionable upper playfields for a LOT more money.. ugh. Come on.
So, basically... the good:
1. Game shoots well. Shots are tighter than they look, especially the orbits and that center ramp shot is no 'gimme' like the one on Kiss.
2. Code already supports things like double scoring (My wife got it off mystery award), mystery add-a-ball for multiball, shot multipliers.
3. You're not locked into songs for ridiculous lengths of time if you can't make the shots. Most modes seem to consist of two timed portions from what I think I saw.... one where you build the value of the shots initially, then a second phase where you collect shots.
4. The toy box lock is pretty cool....if it works. If it doesn't the game is smart enough to try to reload it for mulitball up to the number of balls it needs for the active player. If someone else locked more balls in there than is needed? Shut the lid, jester gets balls to the face.
5. Shaking motions of the jester are kind of crazy, way more active than a lot of Sparkys I've seen, and Stern has upped their game on magnet manipulation of the ball as well, using lessons from the ghostbusters magnaslings and applying them to a normal playfield magnet.
6. Right lane software ball save "VIP Pass"...analougous to the "Lord of Light" from GOT or the left side save on KISS/ST... game I played outlanes were open wide, so having a ball save was nice, and it lights from the two chicklets on the either side of the toy box, so it's not horrifically dangerous to try to relight.
7. The Jester animations are great, IMO. Really liked the Extra Ball one and the lock videos.
8. Elevator is fun to shoot at, I like that the ball gets ejected at a higher trajectory and up and over....stays away from the exposed wood lip. Might help with wear in that area?
1. The shot for the toybox lock is not easy to make directly. In that regard I would rather have had a scoop or something. The ball will frequently bounce in there from the exposed pop bumpers or a flubbed shot to the toybox or elevator, but trying to shoot it directly and you screw up is usually a drain as you hit a mini standup or post and then to the sides it goes.
2. Game has *severe* delays while the machine calls up a video or decides what to do. Every time it ends up in the ball lock area, there is either a 2-3 second delay before it kicks the ball back out if it's unlit, or if it is lit, then there's a VERY long animation that feels like it's probably about 7-10 seconds, then the animation stops, and there's a good 2-3 seconds of the game just sitting there doing nothing while it figures out if it needs to load the box or hit the Jester in the head. Mystery animation and extra ball animation seem to have the same problems. They're long, and there's always a little delay after they play before the game does anything further. All of this SHOULD be fixable in code?
3. Jester's voice is SUPER whiny and flat. I'm sure this game is running factory code not what's been updated apparently so this is a minor nitpick for the time being.
4. Game needs a clear callout when it's time to change songs, and when phases of modes are ending. Right now it just says "Time's up!" or something like that with no explanation of what just ended.
5. Wow...the exit from the pop bumpers is BRUTAL with the outlanes open. It's seriously every bit as bad as Walking Dead. Hope you love not getting to flip the ball, because it happens quite a LOT, IMO.
6. Standup targets on the left side below the pops are like....you ever shoot those intentionally, you're an idiot. Those things are way too close to the flippers and it's pretty much a guaranteed STDM if you full power shoot them directly. Just brutal.
7. Elevator multiball is REALLY difficult to qualify on the pro. From what I can tell you need 3 shots to both the left and right orbits, both of which are really tight shots and the left side goes through the pops, so you're repeatedly putting yourself at extreme risk of the ball exiting the pops straight to an outlane. Neither my wife or myself got it, so I hope it's very lucrative on the points side for the stupid amount of risk compared to shooting the relatively safe toy box to qualify locks...
Thanks for the great summary!
How did the song & MB stacking work? Similar to KISS, where whatever song you're playing rolls into whatever MB you start, and you want to always make sure you have started a New Song prior to starting your next MB?