(Topic ID: 162993)

THSE #240 - My review


By dtowndobe

3 years ago



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#1 3 years ago

Well, took Friday off and picked up my THSE #240 directly from JJP. My neighbor also got his THLE at the same time. We had the machines up and running within a couple hours of getting back to our houses.

I deal with freight and shipping for work, so let's just say I'm glad I live close enough to be able to go get the game and not have to worry about freight. Given the size, weight and general *design* of a pinball machine, I know in-transit damage has a decent probability of happening. Happy to report nothing was damaged or loose on my machine. Machines are protected and packed well. Set-up was a breeze. Machine weighs a gazillion pounds - two people is a must, a third to place a support under the back when installing the back legs is key.

Once in place and plugged in, THSE powered up without issue!

THSE is visually stunning. It sits next to my LOTR-LE. Absolutely no comparison. Integration of the artwork on THSE is incredible. Period. Light show - phenomenal. Sound - ditto!

My machine was delivered with the latest code, 1.21, and the new left wire ramp. The beast pop-up insert thingies aren't ready yet so I don't have them. Haven't had a ball stuck in the front of a pop-up yet. Did have one stuck in the back, but that quickly rectified itself with the ball search. Wife had one ball get stuck (don't remember where) but a nudge on the cabinet took care of that. I'll ask her where it was and address it if need be. Only two mechanical issues - one of the pop-ups registers a hit as soon as it goes up, so I think I need to adjust the leaf switch. Should be easy. Other is one of the drop targets sticks in the up position. Not all the time, but often. Not sure about that one - that may be easy too - at least I hope so!

Game play was awesome! It's pretty easy to get Smaug MB, so I adjusted the settings to make it more difficult. Into the Fire MB is absolutely bananas! Main LCD is extremely impressive and overwhelming - so much going on there. The mini-LCD is great and is definitely an asset for the player. It gives you the I don't have any issues hitting any shots/ramps, but I did up the flipper power to 22 for both bottom flippers. Was set at 20 from the factory. The game is fast and furious, especially when you add-a-ball during a multiball. I had all 5 balls going a couple of times and it is crazy. Smaug integration is spot on at the moment, and with more and more sound bites coming, he'll be over the top.

I think the axe slings are cool - they're not loud at all and they add a nice visual aspect to the game. They're no more annoying than any other sling mechanism! The drop targets aren't terribly loud in my opinion. Yes, you hear them, but I don't find it distracting or obnoxious at all. Beast pop-ups are great and already well integrated into play. Very clever usage that will only continue to get better.

I do like the LE armor better than the SE amour. Both are great, but the LE bronze looks better to me. Gold Smaug is nice, I might prefer normal red Smaug though. The Smaug attract video clip is a nice touch.

Flow versus floaty? Well, this game has both! Can it be a little "floaty?" Sure - it's a wide body pin with a fairly open playfield. When the beast pop-ups aren't active, for whatever reason, there are times where play can be floaty. But it doesn't last very long for sure. However, when you hit the ramps and orbits, you've got very nice flow to say the least. I've played hundreds of games on my LOTR - it can be a little floaty and clunky, especially if you're not hitting shots. TH is more floaty, but not much more in my opinion. Way less clunkiness on TH too.

TH is an experience - I think it's a great game already, and it's only going to get better. I'm incredibly happy I stayed in on it - I'll be honest - I was close to bailing. The wait was beyond worth it.

Last thing I'll say: if you like quick, 2 minute games, pins like LOTR and TH are not for you. LOTR is an adventure but TH is an odyssey! TH will be in my house for a very, very long time.

#2 3 years ago

Forgot - will post a pic later.

Also, the upper graphic on the back glass is definitely washed out a little. Will be installing the gel filter ASAP. JJP should be using warm white LEDs or using the gel filter.

#3 3 years ago

Good to hear it's working good. Update on the easy fixes when possible please. This game is looking great.

#4 3 years ago

Also, what did they say about pop up fixes coming? I thought the new builds were supposed to already have the fix.

#5 3 years ago

nice review. thanks for the info!!

#6 3 years ago

The pop up that's registering as it comes up is probably bent forward a little. The face is most likely dragging on the hole's edge as it comes up and causes the face to rebound a bit and registers a hit. Bend the face back a touch and it will clear without dragging. I helped Butch fix that exact same issue at a show.

#7 3 years ago

can u post a pic of your new/updated left wireform?

#8 3 years ago

What would you say in :
-the new left wire ramp?
-The beast pop-up insert thingies?

#9 3 years ago

Will post a pic of the left wire form. Basically, the upper left wire of the wire form is extended towards the ball drop, preventing the ball from falling out on the left side. My only complaint about it is they didn't tie in the wire at the end - it's just extended. You'll know when you see the pic.

Not sure when the beast pop-up insert things are coming. I would imagine soon.

Quoted from jar155:

The pop up that's registering as it comes up is probably bent forward a little. The face is most likely dragging on the hole's edge as it comes up and causes the face to rebound a bit and registers a hit. Bend the face back a touch and it will clear without dragging. I helped Butch fix that exact same issue at a show.

Thanks - will check this out.

I'll report back on the fixes when I can!

#10 3 years ago

+1 for pic of new left ramp !

#11 3 years ago
Quoted from PerfectFlaw:

+1 for pic of new left ramp !

would like to see this also. When are these and the monster hole fixes getting sent out to customers that have there games already?

Also did your game have the monster hold fixes installed?

#12 3 years ago

Glad you got the game Jim - I didn't realize you and Marty went to factory to pick them up already ! Send pics - It was a pleasure dealing with you guys - sorry for the long painful wait, it's over now, time to ENJOY your Hobbit(s)... : )
Joe

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

Glad you got the game Jim - I didn't realize you and Marty went to factory to pick them up already ! Send pics - It was a pleasure dealing with you guys - sorry for the long painful wait, it's over now, time to ENJOY you Hobbit... : )
Joe

Thanks Joe! Worth the wait!

Quoted from mummite:

would like to see this also. When are these and the monster hole fixes getting sent out to customers that have there games already?
Also did your game have the monster hold fixes installed?

Dunno when existing games will get the wire form fix. My THSE was manufactured on 6/17/16 (completed). Neighbor's THLE was manufactured on 6/16/16 (completed). Both have the new wire ramp. Neither has the beast pop-up fix. Also don't know when JJP will roll out the beast pop-up fix. I'm confident it will come.

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from dtowndobe:

the wire form fix

Is it just a post at the bottom of ramp? or a new ramp entirely?

I hope they start getting the popup fix on the new assemblies to prevent future owners from having to remove and correct all 4.

#15 3 years ago

Here's some pics... One shows TH next to my LOTR, another shows the wire ramp fix, last one shows an extra feature I added to make the game more difficult via view obstruction...

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#16 3 years ago

where did you get the Cat Mod?

#17 3 years ago

How's it play next to the Pin? Avengers The Pin I'm sure kicks its butt!

#18 3 years ago

Also, forgot to ask...it may be too early to tell yet but do you think having Hobbit with LOTR next to it is great or just too much on the long ball times? I, also, have a LOTR-LE and I've toyed with selling with my Hobbit coming next month hopefully but I've been nervous that if I do sell LOTR I'd end up regretting it.

As time passes I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

#19 3 years ago

c

Quoted from Hjbondar:where did you get the Cat Mod?

Every PinballSTAR customer gets a free cat in the box.... JJP hates me for it, but it's a great marketing tool... MEOW....

#20 3 years ago
Quoted from dtowndobe:

Here's some pics... One shows TH next to my LOTR, another shows the wire ramp fix, last one shows an extra feature I added to make the game more difficult via view obstruction...

For the LOVE OF GOD get the cat off the invisiglass !!! LOL !

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from Hjbondar:

where did you get the Cat Mod?

You don't want to know - I'm ashamed to admit it, but we're cat snobs!!! His brother was probably getting ready to jump up there with him. When both are up there, you can't see sh!t!! The one in the pic was most likely the runt of the litter - he weighs probably 8-9 pounds soaking wet. His brother? Probably 13-14 after a dump, 14-15 before a dump... It's fun watching them when they wrestle - usually the runt is the aggressor, but things quickly change when the big boy decides to flip the switch.

Quoted from VolunteerPin:

How's it play next to the Pin? Avengers The Pin I'm sure kicks its butt!

Avengers The Pin is actually pretty fun! Haven't played it in a bit because I have to look into a Hulk drop target that isn't working, and I'm too busy enjoying TH.

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

For the LOVE OF GOD get the cat off the invisiglass !!! LOL !

I take one off, the other jumps on - they tag team me.

Quoted from VolunteerPin:

Also, forgot to ask...it may be too early to tell yet but do you think having Hobbit with LOTR next to it is great or just too much on the long ball times? I, also, have a LOTR-LE and I've toyed with selling with my Hobbit coming next month hopefully but I've been nervous that if I do sell LOTR I'd end up regretting it.
As time passes I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

My daughter was playing LOTR last night while I was futzing around adding lighted flipper buttons to TH. To be honest, I don't intend to ever sell LOTR unless a financial situation change occurs. Even then, my next door neighbor has dibs because his kids love the machine. I'll most likely end up swapping with him every so often to try and keep the rotation fresh so to speak. They both can have long ball times, but I'm a sh1tty player so that really doesn't factor for me yet. They are completely different games to say the least. Really the only common aspect is theme.

If you can hold on to LOTR, I would. Then you can compare for yourself and sell one or the other as you see fit. Also, for what it's worth, LOTR-LE is somewhat rare - TH isn't and may not be, only time will tell. It'll be a lot easier to get TH for the next year or two than it will be to get another LOTR LE. Just my opinion.

Forgot to add - I think it's great to have them next to each other.

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from VolunteerPin:

Also, forgot to ask...it may be too early to tell yet but do you think having Hobbit with LOTR next to it is great or just too much on the long ball times? I, also, have a LOTR-LE and I've toyed with selling with my Hobbit coming next month hopefully but I've been nervous that if I do sell LOTR I'd end up regretting it.
As time passes I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

The answer depends on if you still love LOTR.

I sold my LOTR before my Hobbit arrived. LOTR is a fantastic game, but I finally got sick of it after 8 years. It got to the point where I could barely muster any interest to play it.

Even after an awesome high scoring game on it, I just didn't care - it was no longer fun, so out the door it went. No ragrets.

You should keep it if you still have fun playing it.

#24 3 years ago

Congrats, and thanks for the nice review. I agree with most of what you say, especially this:

Quoted from dtowndobe:

I've played hundreds of games on my LOTR - it can be a little floaty and clunky, especially if you're not hitting shots. TH is more floaty, but not much more in my opinion. Way less clunkiness on TH too.

Yes, TH is definitely smoother and way less clunky than LOTR. I mentioned this in another thread and some disagree, but I think your opinion holds more water since you have both pins sitting right next to each other in your line up.

As for the slight floatiness of TH, what is your pitch at? Put it at 7.0-7.2 and that floatiness will almost completely disappear.

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

As for the slight floatiness of TH, what is your pitch at? Put it at 7.0-7.2 and that floatiness will almost completely disappear.

Honestly have no idea what my pitch is... I was too anxious to get the game up and running, that I merely set the rear levelers to about 1/2"-3/4" higher than the front. Eyeballed it! Haven't even thought of checking / changing the pitch since. One of these days I'll get everything squared away and evened out. If I had to guess, I'm probably at 6-6.5 max. Raised the flipper strength to 22 (was 20 from the factory) on both and I have no issues hitting any shots. Bad / weak shots are a function of my skill, not the electromechanical set up of the game. And I don't mind a bit of floatiness in the game - helps break up the crazy pace every so often!!!

Can't see myself increasing the pitch beyond what it's at now - I'm very, very happy with the way the game plays as it sits.

Just to give everyone an idea of how bad a pinball player I am, I've only been able to muster around 60M on LOTR. Grand Champion on TH with 740K. Ooof, I'm bad!! I'm scared to play IM!!!

#26 3 years ago

Decided my office needed some wall art....

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#27 3 years ago
Quoted from dtowndobe:

Grand Champion on TH with 740K

That's nothing to be ashamed of at all.

And wow, thanks for posting the pic of the old pf artwork. Man, what an improvement they made for the production version!

#28 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

That's nothing to be ashamed of at all.
And wow, thanks for posting the pic of the old pf artwork. Man, what an improvement they made for the production version!

:^)

I like the old artwork! Granted, I think the new pf artwork is monumentally better, I find the old version appealing. Looks good on the wall too!!!! Told Jack I was going to build a cheap TH knockoff, with the old design pf and cardboard for the cabinet...!

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from dtowndobe:

Decided my office needed some wall art....

I really wish that they had stuck with this artwork, it's much better, has a classic look to it somehow.

#30 3 years ago

Art is a matter of opinion. But in my opinion the original art work sucks. Smaug art was literally just a place holder until they got assets from the 2nd and 3rd movies.

Edit: it doesn't suck on its own. It's just that it sucks in comparison to what is on there now.

Only thing I can nit pick at is that some of the photoshop art is low res in comparison to other things on the pin. Like the 2x statues next to locks 1 and 2

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from system11:

I really wish that they had stuck with this artwork, it's much better, has a classic look to it somehow.

For me, that was just the first nail in the coffin.

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