Overall, the pin swap trip was a lot of fun. There were quite a few games there for play, and a number of businesses there selling parts and other items. We got a chance to play Wizard of Oz and Space Invaders, as well as a few others (AC/DC, Demolition Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon) and it was great fun. I'll talk about Wizard of Oz in just a minute, but for now I'll mention Space Invaders. The machine was in good condition overall, but the game-play seemed lacking; I think this may be just how the game is. It is a wide-body game, having a width greater than general cabinet dimensions, which creates more open space on the playfield. Additionally, the playfield angle is less that that of more recent games which I'm accustomed to. These two attributes combine to make for a slower-moving game; I think I just prefer the faster gameplay of more recent games.
Wizard of Oz was very visually stunning game, however overall I can't rate it very highly. This may change once the game is officially released later this year, but for now it feels a little too cheap. There were a couple of Vertical Up-Kickers
which didn't work very well
(on can be seen pretty early in the first video in the photo gallery below)
. My view on this is that these machines are brand new (show machines) whose job is to showcase the quality and features of the product. I don't feel like this one is doing its job well. Admittedly, we didn't get much play-time with the table so with more time we may have gotten more into it and been better able to overlook some of these issues.
The display was nice looking with vibrant colors and capable of displaying a lot of information. However again, I feel like its addition is kind of gimmicky; I had difficulty finding game information at times, which was usually not much of a problem on the smaller, more limited screens on the other games. The potential was there, but the implementation was lacking. Perhaps some of these things will change between now and when the game is officially released.
Anyway, the overall experience for the day was a good one. There were a lot of games and a lot of people; it's promising to see such an active pinball community - it may not be very visible in our daily lives, but there a good number of people out there who are interested in pinball. Enjoy the photos.