alveolus's ratings

Pinsider alveolus has rated 28 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms alveolus's personal top 28.

Rating comments

alveolus has written 28 rating comments:

2 years ago
Target Pool is a very unique and entertaining machine. Scoring well requires equal parts skillful nudging and flipping. Lighting those roving arrows and hitting them for the ever-so-satisfying “gong gong gong” is very rewarding. I modified my machine so that specials would also fire the gong as I didn’t like how the specials were worth nothing when the machine was set to free play. But that was my only gripe.

This is the one game that I’ve sold that gave me seller’s remorse. I will have another someday!
2 years ago
Top tier game that is hampered a bit ny bad photoshop art and some clunky features. I love the theme and theme integration. Decent flow though certainly not Gomez’ best. Balrog Bash toy is a bit awkward, as is the Path of the Dead. Ring magnet toy is fantastic as long as the flipper has enough power to make the shot which often requires upgrading the flipper coils. Rules are epic and I hope some day I can own this machine and give it a proper run.
5 years ago
This was a difficult machine for me to get a good handle on, playing it here and there at shows. It wasn't until I had 2 in my possession for full tear downs and shopping out that I developed a full understanding of the rules and features and was able to understand why this is such a revered title. It is a LOADED machine with motors, diverters, subways, physical ball lock, and that fantastic powerfield. That is without a doubt the most entertaining mini-playfield in pinball. It is always satisfying when you make the top hole. TZ makes excellent use of the widebody geometry. The rules are deep for a '90s B/W title and the modes are nice and varied. I'm more of a "flow" guy so the game is a bit too stop-and-go which limits its visceral impact for me. Still, I know a masterpiece when I see one and TZ certainly is!
5 years ago
WCS is a fantastic casual pinball experience. Shooting the lit GOAL! is always satisfying. The ramps flow nicely but the rest of the layout is just so-so. The spinning ball does very little for gameplay. The game is very fun if ultimately a bit shallow and repetitive. The World Cup Final mode is a blast. Call-outs are entertaining and funny. It isn't exactly a looker, but it certainly isn't offensive. Overall a great pin and a perfect first machine.
6 years ago
I'm sure most of what I can come up with has already been said about MM. Yes, it is crazy fun, with wonderful humor, and one of the best toys in pinball. It is not quite as fun as AFM, and not nearly as beautiful as MB, but it is probably the best overall package of the "Big 3". I am thrilled that these are being remade, and if MB didn't exist, I'm sure I would own one.
7 years ago
A classic in every sense, and the title that I would choose for the Smithsonian if they wanted one pin to represent the iconography of pinball. It also has the best toy in pinball and is a blast to play! A must-have for me some day!
7 years ago
Solid first effort from a home-brew manufacturer, which unfortunately cut some important corners with tremendously amateur voice work and an art package ranging for ok(playfield) to atrocious(backglass). Lack of lighting and sound effects further drag this machine down from its considerable potential, considering the cool theme. The shots are actually pretty fun, and there may be a very good game in there somewhere, but the tremendously off-putting sensory experience in continually pushing me away.

Edit- I read that there are no true flashers in the game(which I have not been able to confirm yet) which to me is an indefensible design choice if true( and would totally explain the anemic "flasher effects"). That cuts your energy/excitement potential by half, right there, Stupefying decision.
8 years ago
This is a machine I had little interest in until I played it. It has fast, smooth-flowing gameplay with a compact-feeling and fairly unique layaout.. The LT-5 toy doesn't do much for me, but I love the car racing toy, despite the fact that I can never watch it as the races require intense concentration. I find the machine to be punishing in general with brutal outlanes, but it inspires me to try to get better. Overall the aesthetics are just OK. A great player's machine!
8 years ago
I'm a huge George Gomez fan, and I really thought Avengers had a cool layout until I played it. Shots are very tight especially th BW ramp, which even when made does not feel smooth or satisfying. The Hulk is a great toy, despite the ball hang ups. I dislike how you cannot directly shoot the Hulk saucer, however. Sounds and music are good. I especially like the Hulk's speech. Lighting is weak on the pro version. Nice artwork. Rules seem repetitive, though admittedly I have not been able to make much progress due to the difficult shots. Maybe you need to be a high level player to better enjoy this game.
8 years ago
This was a dream theme for me and I had astronomical expectations. Too astronomical, as it turns out. The layout is ok. Combos are fun to shoot. I like the disc, though beyond that the playfield seems a bit lacking. Art is good but docked due to the photo elements. Speech is very repetitive, although I do like the girl computer voice. Music and sound is fantastic. This machine needs LEDs which is why I gave it a 4/6. The rules are nothing special, with the exception of the Sea of Simulation mode, and otherwise are a bit of a negative. I feel like I am playing the same game every time, which would be ok if it were really fun, but alas....
Most other Tron geeks really enjoy this machine, but it falls flat to me. While theme execution is fairly well done, the game feels lifeless and sterile and I'm not sure why. Maybe the canned speech.. Dunno.. Overall, I feel this is a solid and fast machine, but just nothing special despite the awesome theme. But maybe it's just me.....I really wish George Gomez had had a crack at this one.
9 years ago
Full disclosure: AC/DC is my second favorite band, so I have to give theme and music a 6. That said, this game still totally ROCKS! It is a smooth-flowing symphony of sights, sounds, and music. While the layout is derivative, it is perfect for the speed and excitement of the game. The lighting deserves special mention. The color-changing GI and inserts is a total game-changer, paradigm shifter, or any other way you can think of to say it. All previous machines seem lacking in this area by comparison. I have to dock the art a bit due to its photo-collage nature, but with the lighting, it still looks beautiful. While I still struggle to fully comprehend the rules, I marvel at the complexity, uniqueness, and cleverness of them. No end to replayability or variation here! The VIP pass implementation is brilliant. I love the return to hand-drawn animation and full screen utilization on the display. The sound effects, call-outs, and guitar riffs round out the immersive experience. My adrenaline and testosterone levels are rising just thinking about this masterpiece!
9 years ago
This and Pinbot are the machines that originally drew me in to pinball. This is a simple and straightforward layout. In hindsight, it could have used another major shot and at least one flowing shot. Nevertheless, a great theme with nice playfield artwork and totally killer early 80s Williams sound. These were played to death on location. I hope to have a restored one in my gameroom someday for the nostalgia factor and fantastic sound package.
9 years ago
I am fortunate enough to have a fine example of this machine on location nearby. This is a suprisingly addictive machine. Excellent widebody layout. Lots of fun shots including some satisfyingly long ones. Great ramps and wireforms with numerous divertors. No orbits is a minor gripe, as is the lame skill-shot. But the fun left plunger shot makes up for it. Very unique/kooky theme, but I really like the road trip aspect of the theme. Art is good overall, but unfortunately the hideous Red head knocks the aesthetics down considerably. Music is another issue and the country music during multiball/jackpot is a bizarre choice, though I have to admit refreshingly original. Well-integrated shaker is lots of fun.

As a route machine, I give this one a 9.5. As for owning one, the oft-maligned linear progression through the same modes might become an issue in a smallish collection. However, I enjoy the ride so much, I don't mind the repetitive scenery.
9 years ago
Definitely a classic machine. I was fond of this one back in the day and owned it for awhile. One of the best skill shots going. Very charming game. Fun to loop the comet ramp and combo the ramps and ferris wheel shot. Mystery Wheel is clever and fun. Unfortunately, it suffers from a fairly shallow rule set even for system 11s, and lack of multiball. Sadly, not a keeper for me.
10 years ago
Disappointed in this one. I'm a big SW nerd and even liked TPM. This game should have been better. I'm not a big fan of the mostly symmetrical playfield layout. The modes seem uninspired and it seems like you are not encouraged to do much beyond shoot the ball up the middle. Lock shots seem to require luck as direct shots mostly bounce out. It looks nice and sounds great, but I would sick with Revenge from Mars instead.
10 years ago
A very unique pin with somewhat mixed appeal. I sorta like the old west saloon piano music. Bar brawl theme is similarly interesting. Jump rope is a clever toy. However, I would worry that the features that make this game unique would also become repetitive and less interesting with time. Seems like a great location pin if fully working, but to thrive in a collection I suspect you would need north of 20 pins.
10 years ago
This game did not particularly grab me. Perhaps the dark, movie-based theme is a big part of it. I like the above-the-playfield action, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of satisfying shots. However, this game does have the single-most, coolest, bitchinest gimmick in all of pinball: Mist multiball!!!! I was in elated disbelief the first time I saw that possessed ball traversing the playfield! I hope to put some more time on this pin someday.
10 years ago
Biggest problem with this game is it is based on the movie rather than the TV show. Thus, I have to dock the rating on art and theme. I love how the ramps can feed either flipper. Ingenious! Bowling is a lot of fun and is a game by itself. Rules are a bit shallow, though it has a couple fun modes. I like the center jackpot shot, but would prefer that it also had a standard orbit shot. Fun pin that could have been considerably better.
10 years ago
Very ugly widebody, although +1 with full LED conversion. Smooth ramps and great flow save this one from being a dud. Still not sure about the left side of the playfield, and can't comment much on the claw since the diverter doesn't work on the machine that I play (or else I'm a far worse player than I realize;). Definitely fun to play on route, but could never own one due to theme and terrible art.
10 years ago
This game has a magical hold on me. Stunningly beautiful all around, with a fantastic campy monster theme combined with rock-n-roll. Smooth flow with great wireform ramps and up to 6 looping shots. Wonderfully cool toys.... Yes, I would prefer a manual plunger and real skill shot and the rules are relatively shallow and good players will claim to beat this game on the first ball... But fun is FUN! This is a pin to enjoy the ride rather than the destination. Brilliant!!! ....... Update: Finally added MB to my collection! I see to reason so far to change my rating. So fast and smooth with a great fun-factor that puts a smile on my face every time I play it.
10 years ago
A classic from my youth. One of the few machines that grabbed me at the time as I was still more into vids. I loved to shoot those ball locks. Still my favorite skill shot in pinball! The gameplay doesn't quite hold up so well now, with only one ramp and not much to do with the left flipper. However, the music and audio is still fantastic. Space/robot theme is well done. Would love to have one of these someday, although I might end up with a Jackbot instead.
10 years ago
Fast. Fun. Flow! Seriously, a masterpiece of flow and the smoothest game I have played. Not a very complicated game with a limited ruleset, but would be an essential part of a large collection. Good pin for beginners and a great value. Art is fairly drab, but add 1 to rating with a full LED conversion which gives it a much more futuristic look. I wish I could play it right now!!
10 years ago
Cartoony western theme is a hoot! Nice shots with lots of ramps. Pretty machine. Incomplete software brings it down a bit, but overall a very charming game with a great fun-factor. Wish they had made a lot more as I'll never be able to afford one:(
10 years ago
Perhaps the coolest toy in pinball! Nice theme. Nice art. Unfortunately, nearly non-existent flow and repetitive shots keep this one from greatness. Still love to blast away at that ship, though!
10 years ago
I love the campy sci-fi theme. Basic fan layout, but great flow with smooth ramps. Rules seem pretty basic, though I am unable to make it to RTU due to the wicked outlanes (set to wide open on the local machine:(.... as well as numerous SDTM drains when I have a weak moment and decide to shoot the saucer. It's also a shame the artwork is so ugly, with boring inserts as well. This keeps this pin from true elite status in my opinion. Nevertheless, the perfect execution of theme and smooth flow make for a seriously fun time.
10 years ago
Not a pretty game, but lots of fun with a nice skill shot and flowing ramp shots. It keeps me wanting more. A true system 11 classic!

edit: Spent some more time with this one on Pinball Arcade and was able to appreciate the music much more. The music is just outstanding and just makes me want a Taxi that much more.
10 years ago
Great theme, but I don't like the shots. Too stop-and-go for my tastes without other redeeming traits. Monster Slide ramp is nice, though.
10 years ago
Finally played a really nice version of this game at the PHOF. Smooth ramps, excellent campy humor. Tense Stiff-o-meter mode. Game seems a bit shallow/repetitive and would work best in a larger collection. Overall, just excellent fun!