(Topic ID: 260985)

Why my first NIB didn't happen: A serious message for Stern,


By Beechwood

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 35 posts
  • 25 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by vireland
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    14
    #1 3 months ago

    I have owned many used pins over the years. I could only dream of opening a new in box, gleaming perfect example of newness. Until now. My wife gave me the OK to buy a theme she and my family loves... Stranger things!

    So I headed down to the local distributor to put my hands on it. I told her I had to really like it as an all around pin before we dropped that much $$ on it.

    It was the first pin in the line, and the first thing I noticed was the muted back glass. Not a biggie, as I don't play the art anyway. Looking at the playfield for the first time, there was one VERY noticeable thing that caught my eye immediately. The metal entrance for the left ramp had 6 or 7 dings in it. Not little ones either, as it looked like someone took an icepick and went Basic Instinct on that sucker. Kinda like looking at a new car on the showroom floor and it's all dented with door dings.

    Game play was underwhelming because it didn't feel like I was part of the Stranger Things world. The call outs were awful if not almost embarrassing. As I went through modes, there was more integration with speech, but it was so hit and miss. There were times that lasted minutes with no clips/voices from the show. Some modes were not bad. Just very inconsistent.

    Game play wasn't bad, but beating the Demogorgan was.. well... underwhelming. There was no cool moment in the whole game. All in all, underwhelming.

    So I came home a little dejected I didn't get my new in box. But after reading all the problems with gates and posts and ramps with this pin, I know I did the right thing.

    It feels like Stern has really turned a corner with this one as far as quality and lack of code at release. I have never seen a pin with dimpled metal ramp like I saw on that one month old machine. And it just wasn't fun. (not $5800 worth anyway)

    I guess I just wait for our next great theme and hope whoever makes it, actually does it justice with quality build, materials, and decent code.

    22
    #2 3 months ago

    That's why you play before you buy!

    #3 3 months ago

    Stern makes plenty of great games that you can buy right now.

    #4 3 months ago
    Quoted from stevevt:

    Stern makes plenty of great games that you can buy right now.

    Refer to my original post... Stranger Things was the theme my wife and family all wanted. I like Jurassic Park, but they don't really (and it's not really Jurassic Park so I don't either) Elvira.. nah. Deadpool?? Maybe if it was really like the movies. Wife loves that but she doesn't like comic dwarves pretending to be Ryan Reynolds lol.

    We wanted Stranger Things so badly to be a bullseye

    #5 3 months ago

    If you really love the theme it might be worth making a note to check on it again in a year. It seems like some Sterns get very poor reception out of the gate only to be loved later (GOT for instance). Anyway, good on you for trying it first, sorry it didn't work out.

    -1
    #6 3 months ago

    It would be good for Stern to recall this Title, admit bad judgment and Re-Engineer the Playfield.It's not too late, would re-energize the excitement for the new and improved as well as create a few Collector Machines from the Pre Run.
    A True Stranger Things pinball machine. Think about it, would be great.

    #7 3 months ago
    Quoted from Beechwood:

    Refer to my original post... Stranger Things was the theme my wife and family all wanted. I like Jurassic Park, but they don't really (and it's not really Jurassic Park so I don't either) Elvira.. nah. Deadpool?? Maybe if it was really like the movies. Wife loves that but she doesn't like comic dwarves pretending to be Ryan Reynolds lol.
    We wanted Stranger Things so badly to be a bullseye

    If they did Deadpool based on the movies it would probably be about as good as stranger things. You should check out the comic version of Deadpool, it’s pretty bad ass.

    #8 3 months ago
    Quoted from iloveplywood:

    If you really love the theme it might be worth making a note to check on it again in a year. It seems like some Sterns get very poor reception out of the gate only to be loved later (GOT for instance). Anyway, good on you for trying it first, sorry it didn't work out.

    If it was just code.. yes. But all the dimples in metal and breaking parts... ugh.

    I wanted this so bad.

    #9 3 months ago
    Quoted from Beechwood:

    If it was just code.. yes. But all the dimples in metal and breaking parts... ugh.
    I wanted this so bad.

    They do tend to go back and make some improvements to later runs of games as well as code being improved. Give it some time and look at it again. It will probably be run for a couple years.

    #10 3 months ago

    I have not got my hands on one yet but code will get better. Could end up being a solid game at some point. I would just find another theme your family likes and revisit stranger things in a year

    #11 3 months ago

    I’ve watched Stern closely since 2004 (when I bought my first 2 NIB games...LOTR & TSPP). They seem to give tremendous freedom to each designer. Whenever an old school designer comes back to pinball, it’s always a risk. When Pat Lawlor returned, JJP gave him the freedom to do great work. Stern is a production pinball company and Brian Eddy’s first effort in many years looks pretty “meh” to me.

    Keith’s JP is the most exciting game I’ve ever played. Strongly recommend.

    #12 3 months ago

    If you think the playfield is crap now, chances are it’ll still be crap a year from now. It won’t matter how many code updates they throw at it.
    Brian Eddy can do better than this. He’s working for the wrong company.

    #13 3 months ago
    Quoted from pipes:

    Brian Eddy can do better than this. He’s working for the wrong company.

    Sorry Pipes but thats real stupid. Kieth put out Maiden and JP both are amazing pins. Why would Brian be held back and how is it everyone knows right away the games sucks. I mean the theme does nothing for me at all and I have no interest in owning SThings but a year from now it could be greatness, how many times has that happened?

    #14 3 months ago
    Quoted from Hazoff:

    Sorry Pipes but thats real stupid. Kieth put out Maiden and JP both are amazing pins. Why would Brian be held back and how is it everyone knows right away the games sucks. I mean the theme does nothing for me at all and I have no interest in owning SThings but a year from now it could be greatness, how many times has that happened?

    Well said, some of the best games started off just like this

    #15 3 months ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    Some of the best games started off just like this

    Too bad the OP was focused only on Stranger Things. JP is already a great game and when Lyman is done EHoH should be terrific.

    #16 3 months ago
    Quoted from Hazoff:

    Sorry Pipes but thats real stupid. Kieth put out Maiden and JP both are amazing pins. Why would Brian be held back and how is it everyone knows right away the games sucks. I mean the theme does nothing for me at all and I have no interest in owning SThings but a year from now it could be greatness, how many times has that happened?

    It seems like Stern puts just a little more in one game every year just so an argument like yours has a leg to stand on. A few standups, pops and a couple of ramps....voila, Elvira, BKSOR and STH...all sparse and boring. Code doesn’t fix that. Anyone could design those layouts...literally anyone. It doesn’t take a professional pinball designer to design the majority of Sterns games. Anybody working on the factory floor could do at least as much. They’re not all duds and I‘m looking forward to their one good game for this year. It hasn’t happened yet that’s for sure.

    14
    #17 3 months ago

    Stern should invest in a psychological trauma hotline so people can call in with stuff like this, and have their issues sorted out by a qualified professional. They owe it to the community.

    #18 3 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Stern should invest in a psychological trauma hotline so people can call in with stuff like this. They owe it to the community.

    I thought Chas was already handling that.

    #19 3 months ago
    Quoted from pipes:

    It seems like Stern puts just a little more in one game every year just so an argument like yours has a leg to stand on. A few standups, pops and a couple of ramps....voila, Elvira, BKSOR and STH...all sparse and boring.

    I love BKSOR. Lots of stuff never means great pinball, I mean just look at The Hobbit.

    and u know for u they haven't made a great game this year. Man in the history of pinball I've only had a handful of greats and even they got boring in time.

    #20 3 months ago

    It’s all good and you did the right thing by walking away.If your gut feeling is not happy with the game then hold on to your money and keep playing and trying other pins that you’ll be satisfied with.Yes a NIB game is a great feeling but it’s even a better feeling when you really enjoy the game.

    #21 3 months ago
    Quoted from pinmike:

    It’s all good and you did the right thing by walking away.If your gut feeling is not happy with the game then hold on to your money and keep playing and trying other pins that you’ll be satisfied with.Yes a NIB game is a great feeling but it’s even a better feeling when you really enjoy the game.

    Ditto

    #22 3 months ago

    I hope Stern makes a game that you like in all aspects. So you can get that new game experience. Opening that box. The smell of new wood and fresh paint. It can be quite the rush.

    LTG : )

    #23 3 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Stern should invest in a psychological trauma hotline so people can call in with stuff like this, and have their issues sorted out by a qualified professional. They owe it to the community.

    True but now there’s competition in the pin hobby and Companies are ‘push,push,sell,sell,sell.

    #24 3 months ago
    Quoted from pinmike:

    True but now there’s competition in the pin hobby and Companies are ‘push,push,sell,sell,sell.

    As apposed to the days of "take ur time, break even" ?

    #25 3 months ago

    You need to buy a used one. Look around and save some money. Most pinheads will fix the issues before hand. You don't like it after while sell it or trade it. Remember it's a family purchase.

    #26 3 months ago
    Quoted from Beechwood:

    I have owned many used pins over the years. I could only dream of opening a new in box, gleaming perfect example of newness. Until now. My wife gave me the OK to buy a theme she and my family loves... Stranger things!
    So I headed down to the local distributor to put my hands on it. I told her I had to really like it as an all around pin before we dropped that much $$ on it.
    It was the first pin in the line, and the first thing I noticed was the muted back glass. Not a biggie, as I don't play the art anyway. Looking at the playfield for the first time, there was one VERY noticeable thing that caught my eye immediately. The metal entrance for the left ramp had 6 or 7 dings in it. Not little ones either, as it looked like someone took an icepick and went Basic Instinct on that sucker. Kinda like looking at a new car on the showroom floor and it's all dented with door dings.
    Game play was underwhelming because it didn't feel like I was part of the Stranger Things world. The call outs were awful if not almost embarrassing. As I went through modes, there was more integration with speech, but it was so hit and miss. There were times that lasted minutes with no clips/voices from the show. Some modes were not bad. Just very inconsistent.
    Game play wasn't bad, but beating the Demogorgan was.. well... underwhelming. There was no cool moment in the whole game. All in all, underwhelming.
    So I came home a little dejected I didn't get my new in box. But after reading all the problems with gates and posts and ramps with this pin, I know I did the right thing.
    It feels like Stern has really turned a corner with this one as far as quality and lack of code at release. I have never seen a pin with dimpled metal ramp like I saw on that one month old machine. And it just wasn't fun. (not $5800 worth anyway)
    I guess I just wait for our next great theme and hope whoever makes it, actually does it justice with quality build, materials, and decent code.

    Hi I had the almost same thing happen too me with my FG loved the game so got one first time owing a new pin got it home opened it up and found lots of flaws on it so it went back so opened the next one there too make sure this didn't happen thought it was all good got it home again and after looking at it for a few days found more flaws ,called Stern and they gave me a decount on it ,enjoyed for many years later then sold it and found a good used one with low plays that's mint and still have it as of today ,but Stern is not making pinball as good anymore rush rush thing and they are Not getting checked as they should be .

    #27 3 months ago

    I've seen this said so many times before and just can't agree. have you actually played JP in any depth?

    Museum mayhem has the T-Rex eating the 2 raptors.
    Secure Control Room - you lock the raptors
    Restore Power mode - is as close to the film as you could possibly be, as is:
    System Boot mode

    It also has DNA combos, T-Rex, Helipad, Raptor Tower - all straight from the film

    Even capturing the dinosaurs in the paddocks, each dinosaur has different characteristics.

    I have to say it is the best integrated theme I can think of in a pinball machine.

    #28 3 months ago
    Quoted from WJxxxx:

    I have to say it is the best integrated theme I can think of in a pinball machine.

    LOTR?

    TSPP?

    STTNG?

    Get outta here with that.

    #29 3 months ago
    Quoted from WJxxxx:

    I've seen this said so many times before and just can't agree. have you actually played JP in any depth?
    Museum mayhem has the T-Rex eating the 2 raptors.
    Secure Control Room - you lock the raptors
    Restore Power mode - is as close to the film as you could possibly be, as is:
    System Boot mode
    It also has DNA combos, T-Rex, Helipad, Raptor Tower - all straight from the film
    Even capturing the dinosaurs in the paddocks, each dinosaur has different characteristics.
    I have to say it is the best integrated theme I can think of in a pinball machine.

    I too was a critic when it first was announced that they wouldn't use any movie footage, but once I played the pro I was hooked. Sterns JP reminds me of all the jp video games I played from NES to xbox. It allows you to explore the Jurassic park world without sticking just to the linear plot line from the movie. Also, the new code and bonus mode for the premium sounds awesome. I personally cant wait to get my hands on a premium.

    #30 3 months ago
    Quoted from fisherdaman:

    I too was a critic when it first was announced that they wouldn't use any movie footage, but once I played the pro I was hooked. Sterns JP reminds me of all the jp video games I played from NES to xbox. It allows you to explore the Jurassic park world without sticking just to the linear plot line from the movie. Also, the new code and bonus mode for the premium sounds awesome. I personally cant wait to get my hands on a premium.

    I can understand how many can enjoy the theme as they integrated it into the pin.

    I, However, really wanted the original movie and the call outs, assets, etc. Just a personal preference (nostalgia).

    It is a great pin to play, no doubt.

    #31 3 months ago
    Quoted from Beechwood:

    I can understand how many can enjoy the theme as they integrated it into the pin.
    I, However, really wanted the original movie and the call outs, assets, etc. Just a personal preference (nostalgia).
    It is a great pin to play, no doubt.

    Still plenty of nostalgia in the music & imagery. For me, it combines the best of both worlds (i.e. it pays homage to the movie but creatively implements a fun game). My 2nd Premium arriving in 20 minutes...it's that good!

    #32 3 months ago

    sorry man, really sucks when your dream theme is a dud!

    #33 3 months ago

    Beechwood that is a real bummer glad you posted your experience. I totally get where you are coming from.

    I bought a Stranger things Pro NIB - my first ever NIB but I knew I would not be happy with it quality wise. I just couldn't go past the theme and know I can custom it out alot to my own taste and liking to improve it for me.
    I never thought I would buy a new pin, especially a stern, as over the last few years seeing my friends buy them and just observing and playing them I thought my god these are cheap and nasty machines, themes aside. There's so many threads and opinions on the playfield quality its really nauseating to be honest. But I do believe it is sub par. That video of Steve Ritchie and his comments, really sad I feel, as I love his early games but have no respect for him now.
    Same with Mel Gibson, love my Mad Max custom pin but he lost the plot years ago.

    Everyone one seems to be crazy in love with Jurassic. I liked playing at my friends but the theme and art to me have zero interest. I guess I would like it more if I was a better player and into the theme and rules, not sure..

    I have tried to de-purple mine as much as possible and have added custom cabinet decals, 2D Translite, speaker upgrades, better playfield leg internal brackets (plus extra brackets), redid all GI and coming shortly magnetic apron cover, custom backboard and some other mods.
    This has made the game experience a lot better for me. I know I should be happy with a new one and not touch it some eyes, but I wouldn't have bought one if that was the case. I guess I summed it up unpacking and looking at the box thinking hey should keep this I guess as some people think it is important, but I just cut it up and binned it.

    I am not a good player - just a guy who loves working on and playing pinball. To me theme, art and sounds are at the front of a game but it has to be fun to play. I am really liking playing this game and it is the first time I am getting aching forearms from too much pinball since I did my BK2000 restore and played the hell out of it. It feel bits of Theatre of Magic and Attack from Mars in it flow wise ( I have these pins already) and I really like it.
    I'm finding it pretty hard, moved by outlane posts in the middle running at about 7.5 deg and it slams me. But I love this aspect like my BSD and Bride of Pinbot.

    So I thought I would just share my experience with you as well. The flipside is both my wife and son now come down to the shed and play pinball, mainly this game. So that is a big bonus as well to me.

    #34 3 months ago
    Quoted from Beechwood:

    I, However, really wanted the original movie and the call outs, assets, etc. Just a personal preference (nostalgia).

    In other words, you really just wanted to hear Sam Jackson say "Hold on to your butts!"

    #35 3 months ago
    Quoted from pipes:

    If you think the playfield is crap now, chances are it’ll still be crap a year from now. It won’t matter how many code updates they throw at it.
    Brian Eddy can do better than this. He’s working for the wrong company.

    Software can work magic on a pinball machine. Deadpool was trash for the first 8 months or so, and I dogged it incessantly for that. Then the software really turned a corner and it's now one of Stern's best of the 21st century that I recommend all the time. Walking Dead - same thing. DISASTER that was not fun for a LONG time, but Lyman eventually made it again one of Stern's best. I'm not a fan of horror - at all - but I recommend it all the time now. Crappy pins that seem to have brick-y or ill-conceived playfields can be made very fun and engaging with great software.

    Now, do I think Stranger Things will get this treatment? Not unless Lonnie gets a hand making it great. If Lonnie is left to finish his code, it will suck to the end of time. It's his way. He's had help in the past finishing games and they eventually got good as a result, but there's no guarantee he'll get help with Stranger Things.

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