December 29


Guardians Title

In this video we unbox a Guardians of the Galaxy LE pinball machine.  The game plays really well.  The artwork on the cabinet and playfield looks great.  The video and sounds of the game also are well above average.  The code seems to still need some tweaking since video and black screens are noticeable while playing the game.  We updated the code to the most latest available from Stern, 0.81.0.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons that I encountered while playing.

I want to start off by saying that after playing the game, I did not think GOTG played anything like Metallica or Iron Man.  The game feels like a brand new design by John Borg.  The shots are tight and very gratifying, especially when the ball enters the ramps on the left and right of the play field.  The ramps on both sides are extremely long and winding.  The molded plastics for the Groot mods are made extremely well.  Heavy and strong to deflect air balls from breaking or chipping the plastics.  Speaking of air balls, not many were to be had during my game play of GOTG.  The ball tended to stay on the play field after many blistering shots to the stand ups and rubbers on the game.  The only downside of the molded arms of the Groot toy were that the shots are a bit hidden under the plastics.  But, overall the Groot plastics do look great and it is something you will master through time.

I am not that familiar with the rules in the game but in general it seems that the game holds two to three multi-balls (Groot and Orb multi-ball), 8-10 game play modes, and a couple wizard modes thrown in.  The Groot multi-ball and the capturing of the balls is something to be seen.  It is a rush when Groot releases all the captured balls from his mouth at one time creating chaos on the play field.

The display screen and sounds in the game are stellar.  People are complaining about the voice overs, but I have never seen the movie so I have nothing to compare it to.  The choice of songs and sound effects are good.  The sounds are crisp and clear, as are the four pre-set songs in the game (Cherry Bomb by The Runaways, Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede, I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 1969, and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell 1967).  The video used on the DMD display of the pinball machine is awesome.  Stern has used clips from the movie that really add to the experience of the game.  The video display is clear and sharp.  Kudos to Stern for the addition to these video screens in the new Spike and Spike 2 games being produced.  The color LEDS under the inserts and light shows during multi ball look great.

The artwork on the play field, cabinet, and back glass are stellar.  Chris Franchi is the artist who produced the fantastic artwork all around the game.  The images and theme really engross you throughout the game.  I am looking forward to future releases as Chris produces more stellar artwork for upcoming titles from Stern.  The gold rails on the game look really good also.  People were mocking them upon first reveal, but they tie into the overall theme.  The gold in the rails are metal flake and have a nice gloss to them.

Overall I really like the game.  Guardians of the Galaxy probably will not be purchased for my game room, but I will really enjoy playing it at other locations.  The theme does not relate to me leaving me with no connection to the theme or movie franchise.  The game is fast but not brutal such as Star Wars.  The game also does not seem to have any design flaws such as Star Wars and Ghost Busters which is nice to see. Playing brutal games all the time can lead to frustration, GOTG leaves you somewhere in the middle of the frustration level.  New comers to the hobby as well as experienced players can both enjoy the game.

If you are into the Guardians of the Galaxy theme, then this is a must for you, but if you are not into the franchise, it is still worth seeking the game out and playing it.  Well done Stern and John Borg.