Wrestlemania (Stern 2015)

Yeah, yeah, yeah! Ohhh yeah!

Should I be worried that http://sternpinball.com/games/wwe-wre/pro has essentially nothing at all on this game, notably including no photos, videos, or other promotional materials, 6 days after its unveiling at CES?

Anyway, although the theme holds zero interest for me, the playfield looks pretty interesting. It’s unusual and fun that (apparently) shots up one ramp can loop around and come back down the other ramp. On the other hand, I’m a bit worried that ramp shots may tend to enter the wrestling ring, get batted around for awhile with the player-controlled slings up there, and then have a nice clean feed back to the lower flippers… this would seem to suggest long ball times. Definitely looking forward to trying it out.

Ah! It’s not clear to me whether the ball can whip around one ramp to the other ramp exit. That would be pretty cool. Otherwise, yes, I’m worried about the ramp returns. Jokerz is the most similar playfield to me, and when you shoot those ramps it drops into the unsafe bumpers. I hope the Wrestlemania ramps don’t have as many rejected shots at the Jokerz ramps.

Pinball News thinks so:

We mentioned the ramps earlier, and they both lead to the top rollover lanes, although they both also have controlled gates which can allow the ball to orbit and return down the opposite ramp during certain modes.

That sounds like it would be pretty fun. A mean body slam, if you will. Hooooooo!

LE playfield. That mini screen over the wrestling ring look pretty cool

Do you smell what the Rock is cooking? I wonder if there is an unlimited Premium version like this somewhere to come.

It does look pretty fun. I thought the spinning disk would be on the playfield, but it’s on the miniplayfield, that’s better. The side flipper doesn’t have much to shoot at, or so it seems.

There was an interview recently that talked about how SPIKE was going to make the games easier and cheaper to produce … but there wasn’t a corresponding drop in the retail price, as far as I could tell.

I took the “cheaper” comments to mean cheaper in time not necessarily cheaper in materials, but I guess we don’t know. At any rate they must have significant development costs sunk into this first SPIKE game.

With any huge change I would expect hiccups in this first game, but I’m really looking forward to Stern taking full advantage of their new platform in subsequent games.

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Actually, I thought the side flipper seemed to have a number of possibilities… the skill shot lane seems to be the main shot it’s intended to shoot, but there are also two target banks that it seems like it could hit, plus maybe also (if Trudeau has been sharing notes with Ritchie) the main right ramp. Since the flipper seems to be fed from an eject hole, I would like to imagine some fun rule like a one-shot attempt at the flashing target/shot to earn some award. It’s also my understanding that the side flipper is attached to some sort of arm that can knock balls off the overhead habitrail, which is an interesting concept.

Ah yeah. I guess we’ll see what it can hit. The skill shot lane looks a little one-way to me, but who knows. Hope to play it soon!

I felt like Stern made the pro version really unappealing to the “older” market. Nobody knows who the new people are in the WWE. They knew this going in and plastered the older generations onto the LE… Marketing strategy? I think so.

This is interesting, but it will be hard to know without playing the final game. It’s possible some of the game’s modes will involve classic characters. Definitely the artwork speaks to the current-gen WWE and not the legends. I think it’s a pretty good strategy: young players probably have no idea who Randy Savage is, unless they like Slim Jim.

I’ll bet if the LE sells out they’ll produce more in the same direction.

I’d love to hear soon from people who have played the game!

Longer gameplay video now available.

As we were discussing a couple weeks ago, it seems like ramp shots do tend to lead to extended time up in the wrestling ring area. And yes, under some conditions, shots up one ramp can loop around and come back down the other ramp. Also unusual: it seems like ball locks are target based, so they can happen without actually stopping the ball at all.

My suspicion is they’re putting the game out with more “ring time” than will be in the final game, to give people a chance to play it and get excited. It looked like the first test (at CES) had only “shoot the ring” as rules.

So hard to tell from the early code. I am worried that “shoot the ramps” will become the core strategy, if only because very little can go wrong. They’re steep ramps (Elvis-style!) and reject drain danger might be high.

Thanks for the link!

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Steep and effectively orbit shots meaning way less power on the flippers. My guess is it will make for some frustrating qualifying attempts later in a day/tournament.

The sound effect on the slingshots is… peculiar

It’s probably a placeholder for the final version. Somehow I feel like I’ve heard the same effect on early-alpha games in the past.


Had the opportunity to play about 5 or 6 games on this today set to 5 ball.

Bonus is significant, which is nice.
The upper playfield is decent, not too boring like I first had imagined. If you’re not in a match and the ball is up there, then it won’t award points. The pin shot in the middle of the upper playfield is tougher than it looks. A completed set of drop targets in the middle starts the next fight, and the upper playfield becomes active. Pinning an opponent gives a little over 2 mil and you get some victory laps for small points in the upper pf.

One thing to note is the four REF ligths on both ramps and inner orbits. Hitting a certain number of ref shots (3 or 4 at first) starts ref multiball. Next time did ref scoring which was very similar to vengeance scoring with a hurry up counting down from a million.

Time to start a new rulesheet!

Here we are.