In this video designer Stephen Silver shows us the inner workings of the P3 system. It’s a very interesting and efficient design that makes the game surprisingly easy to service, with lots of features not found in typical pinball machines.
NOTE: This is just an initial “first impression” and I reserve the right to change my mind – the code is very early and obviously unfinished.
I’ve had a chance to put a dozen or so games onto the new James Bond in both the pro and the premium and I thought I might jot down my first impressions because that is also what casual players are first-time players might experience. so here are my thoughts.
Also, after I did this video, I probably put another 40+ games on both the pro and the premium versions. I still think my initial first impression holds… HOWEVER, I seem to recall I had some similar concerns with Gomez’ design on Deadpool (specifically the cross-playfield katana shot that I thought was going to be very difficult to achieve and frustrate players — however, that shot ended up NOT being a critical shot in the game’s progress so even though it was difficult, it wasn’t required). This may be the same situation with the far left ramp shot (that feeds Jet Pack Multiball) but it also seems that this shot may be needed to qualify some of the modes — not sure, but if that’s the case, it becomes more difficult. I do know that Gomez can turn around things like this with tweaks to the ruleset, but I continue to feel, the feed from the plunger/pops to the slings creates a high degree of drains without getting flippers on the ball. This will be a game to watch to see if they can address this via the ruleset… I just don’t know.
In summary, here are some of my concerns:
- Upper skill shots are very predictable and consistent
- Pop bumpers are like Avatar… the ball can get stuck up there longer than is probably ideal
- Pop bumpers feed ball to the outlane or the slings – meaning like Avatar and Ghostbusters, you can lose the ball without ever getting a flipper on it
- To compound the previous issue, the lower left kickout will throw the ball back into the pops regularly
- The left ramp shot is very difficult to make – not only is it very tight, but it requires maximum velocity and if you miss it can go SDTM or to the slings
- It also appears that the left ramp shot may be required to qualify modes – a hard shot that will frustrate players
- The lower left kickout area just looks and feels “unfinished” from a design standpoint – it covers a large area and the ball often falls into it and then kicks up to the pops — it just seems like an odd playfield feature that might have been a cheap compromise instead of something more expensive like a subway entrance or exit
- The upper left flipper has a number of shots to make, but they’re not easy and those right ramp shots appear to be necessary for various modes
- The right outhole shot feels even more difficult than the one on Godzilla (and Godzilla has a pop bumper to help you hit it) and it appears to be very important in starting many modes, so a lot of key shots are particularly difficult
- The center loop shot appears to be easy but it’s much more difficult to hit due to the switch that registers the hit being at the top of the orbit. It has a very narrow feed and not a very wide opening, and it’s slightly angled. This is the lock shot for Bird multiball – the most obvious and easiest multi-ball and it’s frustratingly difficult — and if you miss, it can go SDTM
It seems obvious the software has a LONG way to go, and can fix some of these problems, but I’m concerned it can’t fix others. We’ll have to see.
I finally got a chance to get back to the Houston Arcade Expo, one of my favorite pinball events. I’ve got a bunch of videos I’ve shot of things and here’s the first few.
Ok, here’s an interesting discussion I’ve wanted to do for awhile. What are your thoughts on rulesets and how deep they have become? Do you think you should have to study 20+ pages of instructions in order to fully-enjoy what a pinball machine has to offer? Do you think competitive pinball has evolved from a game of mostly skill, to a game of mostly knowledge and who has more money and resources? Here are some items to discuss debate
I was having weird things happen with my Twilight Zone… what was causing the problem? Optos? Switch Matrix problems? Connectors? LOL… nope
This came as quite a shock. My pristine, Wizard of Oz, Emerald City LE edition, which has basically sat in the same climate-controlled location since the day it was delivered from the factory, seems to have a serious issue….. Are other ECLE owners running into this???
I wrote to JJP weeks ago and still have not received a response.
While this isn’t very pinball centric, it is a rather amazing collection of vintage arcade games worth checking out in north-central Arkansas.