I put only about 5 or 6 games on SW the other day. Most my pro's and con's falls in line with everyone else's - and 5 or 6 games is nowhere near what's needed to give any game a full honest review. But, here's my initial impressions from what i gathered:
- First off; yes - game loooks sparse, art is average but better in person. But all of that - ALL OF THAT goes out the door once you plunge your first ball. When the ball is in play, nothing about the gameplay feels sparse or lacking, and the art fit in perfect for how fast you need to be to track the ball.
-Multipliers: I was skeptical but really like the implementation. It was fast, fun, and exciting to lock on/off multipliers and move them very quickly and get them locked in before the next shot. I was having a hard time to follow what my multiplier was at even though its center stage on the screen. This would probably become second nature after about 20 or more plays though.
-Tie Fighter Button Mashing: Loved it! It was quick; only lasts like 5 secs and really keeps you on your toes. I take back all my opinions on this mode and fits perfect. Plus, to boot, in my 5-6 total games, twice did i drain the outlane during this tie fighter mode and got multiball going to save my drain. So yea, i really like this but i did notice my hand getting weaker and slower from game to game.
-Scoring: Unlike GOT, i had a hard time watching the screen and seeing big scores pop up and knowing whether the 40X shot i just made was the right choice or how much i got from it. It was very hard to follow my scoring on the screen. I imagine this would get better over time - like i said, only put on about 5 plays; and i do have over a thousand plays on GOT so i know when to look up and see what point value i got for a shot - but it would be very cool if the mini screen showed the major jackpot or 20x/40x cash in shot values with a pop up; or some kind of sound queue to let me know i should look up at the display. I also think bonus scoring is out of whack. Once in these 5 games i got 1+ billion bonuses TWICE; and one of those times the ball wasn't in play for more than 30 seconds. I didnt feel like i deserved a billion point bonus, but got it. This was a turn off and hopefully gets balanced in future.
-Shots: Every shot felt sweet to hit. Loved the outer loops. Loved the inner loop shot. Ramps felt good with their long shots and fast returns. The death star captive shot was awesome! The drops felt great and the 3 bank shots was good and didnt feel out of place at all. I loved the side to side movement action as well; I couldnt find anything bad with how the game shoots. I felt the ball is in the pops for an appropriate amount of time - i dont understand the criticism's ive read about the pops on this game, they felt great and i understood quickly (maybe cause i know dwights programming?) when the ball should be in the pops and not, but overall it didnt feel like it was in the pops area too much or too little.
- Call outs within modes. #1 complaint is i didnt know what to shoot for. I agree with other complaints mentioned that the display is information overload. There's no way to follow the instructions with the speed of the game. In every game i played i had this annoying count down timer sound; i say annoying because its a standard mode or hurryup count down which i like, but there was no indication of what to hit within that time. I was shooting flashing shots but didnt seem to be progressing in anything and just kept hearing the count down. I think i eventually figured it out that i had to hit the FORCE drops; but a call out when a count down starts of what to hit is much needed. Like '...use the force' - indicating to hit the FORCE drops. But even on one game i think i hit the FORCE drops and i still heard the count down going; and even then i was hitting flashing shots but didnt feel or hear any type of progression in the modes. I know this would come over time in a home environment; but still, there was one mode that said shoot the orbits 4 times - i did that once in 4 shots (game flows nice) and it felt like nothing happened. It was very unclear when i was progressing in a mode, completing a mode, or a mode ending. Something to say, 'one more ramp' or 'one more loop shot' or 'one more orbit' or 'hit the targets', something! The only thing that helped me in this department is my knowledge of GOT and dwights coding with those modes.
- Theme integration: I now understand others' complaints about the theme integration. You really don't feel immersed into the star wars universe, and i agree with this complaint. There are times where i did, like when i was fighting darth vader, that felt good - but still there was a lack of info through call outs on how my battle with vader was going. It was all display information overload. I think there's a severe lack of call outs going on in this game. Sound effects, display, shots, speed, layout, rules, and code were all top notch; but the lack of helpful info call outs of what needs to be done and general call outs felt severely lacking.
My best game in 5 plays was just over 4 billion. No HS initials which made me sad but also made me think, is 4 billion even a good score on this game? I laugh when people say they got 2 or 3 billion on GOT thinking they know the game now that they got that score.
So im thinking 4 billion on SW is average...but it sure felt like i had to work hard at getting that score. And I know a lot of my cons would be solved over time with more plays. But i really do think the call outs are severely lacking; even the jackpot call outs didnt feel good. And what i think may be missing the most more than call outs is that holy shit wow moment of cashing in a 20x or 40x shot like in GOT. For example, when i got the extra ball, the game went ballistic and i was like 'oh yea, here comes the cash in of a major shot....' then it was just an extra ball. Like that scene, those explosions, that drama, that build up and intensity of an extra ball is what's missing for major cash in shots on this game. If i hit a 20x or 40x shot that cashes in a shit load of points, i want to be made aware of it some how, some way, in some form.
Overall, the game is great and i had a blast. In my limited play, the rules seem legit and awesome with LOTS to explore. But holy hell i was sweating after 5 plays. This game makes you work, and sweat. As much as i enjoyed the game, i didnt feel like this is something i had to have in my lineup; at least not yet. But for just over $5k, this is a fantastic value and great machine to have compared to everything else on the NIB market.