Well, I finally played Stranger Things today. Unfortunately, it was only the Pro.... But that was all I needed to play to get an idea for the shots, rules, sights, sounds etc.
Ok first... The Good:
1) Stranger Things theme. Awesome
2) Music when you plunge the ball. Who doesn't like the opening theme song? Just gets you going somehow
3) The ramp shots are smooth. The left ramp flows very nicely, if it would get rejects like apparently some of the LE's have, that would be a bummer
Well, everything else. Keep in mind, if I like a machine I just buy it. I don't have a bias, especially with a dream theme. I normally would just buy it for the theme alone. This one I had to really play first.
Upon first glance when you walk up to it, it's so damn basic. Like, super bare. You can look for 5-10 seconds and see every shot in the game. When you're used to playing MET, IMDN, JP2, etc and a couple machines down there is Munsters (more on that in a bit), Guardians, etc. It really puts things into perspective.
Notwithstanding the ramp shots which I think are good and I don't mind the plastic ramps .. the rest of the shots are so whatever. The right orbit to the pops is so unsatisfying. Shooting at 4 drop targets in the middle that literally result in STDM 40% of the time is just not very interesting.
The main center shot are drop targets. Those should be secondary or some other shots, but not the main ones when a game has no other real targets to shoot at.
Then the ramp came down and the Demo head is exposed. I actually was able to hit it on the 3rd shot so no problem there. But then the ramp came up... And the music got quiet .. and it started all over again. It was a feeling of .. "this is it???"
It just simply was not satisfying to work your way up to the ramp coming down, and then just beating this thing over and over. That's literally the main thing to shoot for in the game and it was less satisfying to hit then the Well Walker guy on TWD. At least TWD had multiple things to hit which offset that. But imagine TWD with only the Well Walker?
The worst thing about is when the game throws a ball back out on the playfield from the left Orbit. You don't see it come out anywhere, it literally just trickles out the side orbit like a lethargic old man trying to get out of his Cadillac. This should have been a scoop of some sort. It's so underwhelming.
The left shot to the Demo head is also clunky and really, totally pointless and it goes under the mech, disappears, and you hear it rattling around a bit .. then.... Trickles back down the playfield.
However, I do like the flow of how the left Orbit works and returns to the flipper.
Overall, this felt EXACTLY like the typical Lonnie coded game... But paired with a very basic playfield. At least Aerosmith had a Borg layout that could really make up for the weak coding.
I hate to say this, but when you have modern day designers like Elwin and you're used to playing his games... Then you go back to the old school guy who tries his shot at a modern pin... It just really felt like the old guy gave it his best but the new guys are where it's at. Like an old boxer trying to get into the Octagon with a new and young MMA fighter .. like, A for effort and I appreciate the effort, but .. it's time to hang em up.
I know people won't like this review. And they'll get angry. I may even get downvotes from those that get anxiety and punch their phones, PCs, tablets.. whatever device when they read this.
But honestly. It's just an OK game. So much more could have been done to this theme.
Then my wife and I played the black and white Munsters.
See, Pinside hates this game. You read things here and you'd thing it's the worst Stern game ever.
Well I never played that one either.
We played that and had a blast! So many more satisfying shots... Faster paced... And the mini playfield with the secondary buttons and mini flippers and balls was actually pretty fun. We left Stranger Things and just chilled on that for a while. It made STh feel so bare and bland.
When you don't play the latest and greatest and you get a chance to play two newer ones side by side for the first time.. and you ignore the Pinside opinion shit... You'd be very surprised what your own opinion will be.
And the crazy thing is... Munsters just seemed so much better than Stranger Things. Which is weird because I love Stranger Things as a theme and I could give two shits about the Munsters show ... But themes aside.. the layout and everything else is just better for Munsters.
I wanted to love STh but man. Such a bummer (in my opinion)