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Review: Levi Nayman on 08/09/2004
||Seems like Mark borrowed a bunch of ideas from his brother Steve's F-14.
Symmetrical playfield, no ramps, mini-type playfield up top (minus the pop
bumper). I really like the light show, all those flashers.
The sound and music are excellent. The art and theme are a little odd, but
they really made it work. Translite is a bit violent, but there are a few
light touches. The commander seems to be enjoying a cocktail for
The cannons are a really nice effect. I can't believe they actually
Things I really like about the game: The mini upper playfield. There is so
much going on up there that it is really a hoot. I like how you have
several tasks up there that can be accomplished, when the designers could
have easily rested at one. You have to knock down all three drops on one
side in a very short amount of time. Then, in another timed venture, you
must make the loop to advance bonus X, which is pretty tough. You can also
shoot the troll target for a sizeable bonus or to light the extra ball. I
think it's a nice touch that there are two different rewards up there
instead of one. It's a lot of fun seeing how long you can keep it up there.
Of course you can also shoot the top for multiball or bagatelle. I also
really like the multiball sequence.
Trying to shoot the side pocket right in the beginning, or up top if you
missed the time frame, to go invincible... and then having just 12 seconds
while "invincible" to shoot the lower guards to save the queen... very
intense, very well thought out multiball. "Invincible" is a bit of a
misnomer which I like, if you aren't careful you can still lose balls down
The jackpot rules are great also. Unlike games like Cyclone, where the
jackpot only really builds if a bunch of poor players goose it up, the Big
Guns jackpot can easily be built during a game by a good player. The
jackpot only raises during multiball, when a player hits the guards. This
means that even if you don't successfully win the jackpot, you are still
building it up significantly.
Another example of a good sys11 rule set. Not terribly deep, but not easy.
I love how the good system 11 games give you a few evenly balanced goals
that aren't that easy to achieve.
The skill shot is very difficult. A challenge every time, I like it.
Things I don't like that much... DARK! Wow this game is dark. There are
hardly any GI lights on it. It would have been nice if they stuck a few
down at the bottom. The bagatelle game is a neat throwback to the past
games like Apollo, but it kind of slows down the pace. It also tends to
misfire, so the ball goes back into play when the bagatelle is firing for
the second time, which can be distracting.
Anyway, a solid game, very intense and fast paced, and very tough. MUCH
harder than High Speed of Cyclone, that's for sure. I think Big Guns is
among the top of the heap for system 11 games.