Monday, July 1, 2013

Wizard of Oz Pinball (Version 1.12)

On Saturday I took a trip into New York City yet again to check out Jon and the crew at Reciprocal Skateboards where they just welcomed their new Wizard of Oz machine. In fact if you go down a few posts you'll see a video that Jersey Jack posted a week ago from Huffington Post/AOL called "How I Did It" where they show workers in the factory and Jack delivering the game to Jon with them setting it up. As of right now the current software in the game is Version 1.12. Their rumored to have another update for it out soon that will add in more. This current version added in the new "Horse of a Different Color" mode where you can shoot the ball underneath the top right flipper back into the shooter lane for a bonus. If you'd like to read more in depth impressions on the newest version of the game, feel free to hit the jump!

Welcome to the jump! I've been playing pinball since I was a young boy as the song goes. So normally whenever I play a pinball machine the game is finished. Nowadays we've got machines that you can upgrade with a USB stick so if they ever uncover any bugs they can simply update it. Or with Stern, you release the game totally bare bones and work on it years and months after the game's released. So for me it's different playing Wizard of Oz from it's prototype phase at the New York Comic Con, then again at the Jersey Jack factory, another time at Two-Bits and Pinball Wizard's Arcade and finally on Saturday when I played a fully finished factory model. So I've been following the game since they announced it all the way up till the final models got shipped out of Lakewood New Jersey.

With this current version 1.12 they finally implemented in a couple of new features. First off the two outlanes now have their modes so you can get your ball back. If you go over all four rollovers on the right and spell out TOTO you'll get "Toto Escapes" where you get only a few seconds to shoot the ball up the main Twister Ramp in order to save your ball. You only get one "Toto Escape" per game so make sure you don't miss! The State Fair Balloon on the left is a whole different animal. If the ball goes down the left outlane you can nudge to try to get the ball to hit all of the targets in order to start, "There's no Place Like Home". In this mode the whole machine goes dark except for what you need to hit. You have to go through a sequence and hit four different combos. Some want you to go into the Wizard and Crystal Ball Scoop, then the light lanes and finally you go up the main Twister Ramp and you get to keep shooting. At first it sounds like it'll be impossible to do, but watching a friend of mine, Alberto at the skate shop, he was able to do it TWICE. What's really cool with the LED lights on the table is everything goes black and white while the display has Judy Garland singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" when you complete the final shot the whole game goes back into color. REALLY friggen cool. (I have a video of it being completed but I dropped a couple of F-Bombs..if you want to see what this looks like I'll upload it as a private video on YouTube. Just drop a comment below.

They also have a new "Horse of A Different Color" scoring mode where shooting certain shots will light a series of horses on the top right part of the display. From what I've been told by my good pal, DJ who's been playing it at Silverball Museum in New Jersey you get a different color horse every time you hit a certain shot. They'll change colors depending on how many shots have, but nobody knows how many shots make what color and what are the values. Also, shooting them will also turn the horses on the display into cows... (For those of you not in the know, pinball machines and cows go hand and hand. It's a sort of in joke many designers have to hide cows in games as well as other things like "DOHO")

I also noticed that you can also stack multiple modes already in this early version of the game. Spelling out "RAINBOW" will light the Munchkinland mini playfield. Right now I'm not totally sure if the awards work right, but I'm pretty sure you get one of the three awards on the mini playfield for the amount of spins you do on the playfield. The first one is just "Welcome to Munchkinland" that is like a mini-frenzy mode where hitting the RAINBOW targets will increase the value of every shot. So I was able to get that started, then I got "Lights on Multiball" that's a two ball Multiball with double scoring...THEN I stacked that with the main Multiball for going over all of the character rollovers. So I had five balls in play, with double scoring and I was getting the bonus from the Munchkinland mode as well. I was also trying to get Rescue Multiball during the main Multiball but sadly, no dice.

I'll continue to make new videos every time I notice they have an update of the game! So be sure to keep checking back in for more videos of The Wizard of Oz!

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