Wrestlemania Review

League member Mike O. had a chance to play Wrestlemania in Pittsburgh on his way home from a long trip.  I asked him to write up a review of it.  He did a great job of it and told me I could post it to the blog.

I stopped in at KickBack Pinball Café (http://www.kickbackpgh.com) in Pittsburgh as I was passing through and had a chance to play the new WrestleMania (Pro) pinball from Stern. I think they had just installed it the week before. I should preface this by saying that I thought WrestleMania was a pretty lame theme. I’ve never been a wrestling fan and wasn’t excited to see that this was the newest pinball to hit. But I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to play the newest table out.

Surprisingly it was a lot of fun and I ended up playing it more than a few times. Not enough to know what I was doing really, but I was starting to get the hang of things. Wish I had watched a Stern video beforehand. I did manage to get a bunch of multiballs and a few replays.

The predominant feature on the playfield is a wrestling ring upper playfield that dominates the upper table. It’s not difficult to get into the ring either from the plunge or using the left and right ramps. The angle on the ramps was not difficult. Once you get in the ring, the two near ring sides have flipper-actuated bumper-ropes (the “slammers”) that allow you to skillfully hit the ring targets and pin your opponent in the top saucer. Lots of ways to exit the ring that kept things chaotic but it wasn’t too hard to keep it going in the ring. I think there are rules and wrestling skills you can gain through gameplay that will allow you to pin easier when you make it into the ring – but nothing I could figure out yet.

There’s a nice u-turn inner-loop that runs under the ring that you can hit a few times for “Ref” multiball. It’s a harder shot than the ring ramps but seems worthwhile.

It seems like you start off facing one opponent (I had no idea who he was) and the idea was to pin him and move on to more opponents (supposedly can get to famous ones like Hulk Hogan, the Rock, and Andre the Giant). I know there’s a lot more depth to get to championships and such, but it would take me a few dozen games to get there.

I liked the skillshot – a pretty steep ramp that you have to get about 80% of the way up without going over. Lots more switches that don’t seem to be activated yet – for later code releases I guess. There’s a triple drop-down target right in the mid-playfield that I couldn’t figure out a purpose for.

I would definitely play it some more to try to get in some championship rounds and to get to heavier opponents.


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