BriannaWu's ratings

Pinsider BriannaWu has rated 18 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms BriannaWu's personal top 18.

Rating comments

BriannaWu has written 18 rating comments:

76 days ago
All modern pinball games have a certain threshold of quality. The rules hit a certain threshold of complexity, the music has a certain level of quality, the flippers and table geo is generally good.

Which is why Wonka is so surprisingly terrible. This is a bad game with instadrains, maddening geometry, bizarre board flow, and a complete lack of polish.

Not trying to disrespect the developers. I've never played any of their other games, but I'm truly shocked by how bad this game is.
76 days ago
Is the Demigorgon the greatest gimmick in pinball history? Very arguably. If you haven't played this, there's a projector screen which lowers. There, behind it is a shaking giant monster. You have to shoot the ball up the ramp to land in the Demigorgon's mouth. It's a thrilling moment.

But, beyond that amazing moment, the rest of the game feels lacking. There aren't great missions. So much of the playfield is monopolized by the screen, that you're just chipping around the edges.

If you see it on location, be sure to play it. But, it's not one I would add to my home.
78 days ago
Great table concept that is absolutely ruined by poor voice acting. It's not just that this guy is not Ryan Reynolds. It's that his work and the lines are so phoned in, it destroys what would otherwise be an EXCELLENT table.

The good: I LOVE THESE GAME RULES! The idea of setting up fights is great. The 16-bit era display animations are 10/10. When you're in a fight, it's clear what you need to do - and there's a straightforward way to do it. The ideas behind scoring are some of my favorite in a table.

But, they also included some of the worst, most annoying characters in the Deadpool universe. Why is Baby Deadpool in this game this much?!?! The jokes just aren't Deadpool quality either. Every single line in a game like Star Trek TNG is memorable. The lines here are just mildly amusing.

If they'd spent more time on the sound design, this could've been a true classic.
78 days ago
I am not the target audience for this game, and frankly the absurdly sexualized backglass would make this too embarrassing to have in my collection, like something a 12-year-old would love. That said, this game punches way, way, way above its weight in terms of fun.

I saw an interview with the actress behind Elvira, and she seems like a really fun person. That charm oozes into this game and her video clips. I'd probably go as far to say that she is one of the more talented actors doing shot callouts in any Stern title. Compare her "jackpot" lines to the ones in Turtles, Avengers, Deadpool, and it's very clear who has talent. It genuinely draws you in.

Which is why it's a shame the table layout is so basic, and the gameplay is a bit slow. The shots are not particularly interesting, nor are the ramps or toys. The main interactive feature are the fun video clips and the voice acting.

Overall, this game adds up to way more than the sum of its parts.
78 days ago
This is an above average Stern, but the phoned in theme stops it from truly being a table worth your time.

The good is that the shots are an absolute delight when you hit them. The ramps are extreme, and the whole table has an excellent feel. The bad is the voice acting. Why can't Stern hire better voice actors? It just feels phoned in and low rent.

The rule set is incomprehensible. If I added this to my home collection, I'm sure I would learn it - but to play on location, it's just too much.
80 days ago
How can this game be so much worse than Halloween?! It's just astonishing. I played these two identically laid out tables side by side - Halloween is amazing, Ultraman is a total fail. It really shows how much sound design, theme and rules shape a game.

Stern's Godzilla shows how to tell a giant monster story on a pinball table. You talk about the destruction, introduce the monsters with fun clips. There's none of that on Ultraman. In fact, if you look at the display - you will lose a ball. So, you don't even have a chance to perceive the theme.

There is a repetitive chime sound from the show that plays every four seconds and will drive you absolutely crazy.

The good is if you have a "control" playstyle like I do, the layout is EXCELLENT. When you drain, it feels like it's your fault. The shots are tough but fair to hit - and there's nothing on the table that's unreasonable to do.

But unless you have a thing against horror, there's no reason to get this over Halloween. It has better rules, better voice acting, better sound design, and is just wildly more immersive.
80 days ago
One of the greatest games ever made for a reason. Buttery smooth gameplay, fun scoring, a deep ruleset. There's not much to say about AFM that hasn't been heralded for decades.
80 days ago
This is not a good table, and frankly it fails the theme. Gameplay is basic, the playfield is a fail, and Stern missed the mark.

Sometimes, you play videogames where they oversimplify mechanics to reach a casual audience. That feels like what Stern has done here. I can imagine someone who doesn't seriously play pinball having fun, but for collectors - this table doesn't have substance. Just a real disappointment.
80 days ago
I've never given a pinball table a perfect score before, but Godzilla more than earns it. This is one of the greatest tables ever made, if not the greatest table.

I've never had a game enthrall me like this. The callouts are amazing. The music is simple, but creates intensity. The shaker motor set to high creates incredible immersion.

I care much more about shot layout than toys, but the toys on this table are incredible. Mechagodzilla, the bridge, the building, the axis magnet - they bring you joy when you play it. I cannot imagine the building collapse ever getting old.

Stern knocked it out of the park, here. Just amazing work.
80 days ago
Halloween is exceptionally good. Comparing this to the Ultraman table really shows how much music and theme shapes a game. The feel of the gameplay is great, and really rewards a tightly controlled playstyle. Unlike a game like TMNT, Halloween always feels like you are responsible for what happens in the game. Ball drains feel fair, and the scoring doesn’t feel gimicky.

One way they make it feel like a horror game is you never really know where the ball is going to eject from. They have a tendency to appear out of nowhere and drain. You can’t watch the display because you need to focus on the playfield.

The Donald Pleasance soundalike isn't great - and the voice acting overall is off. But the music and sound design is so strong that it more than makes up for it.

After playing it in person, I immediately ordered one. This is an amazing game.
3 months ago
I think this is an inferior game to STTNG pinball, though well above average. The missions feel generic, and the sound design falls flat for me. The playfield art just feels generic.

That said, the gameplay is smooth, and there’s a much stronger rhythm to playing.
3 months ago
Weirdly compelling, but objectively a very dated game. Half the balls that you launch you don’t even get to swing at. The fact that it’s electromechanical pushes the fun factor.
4 months ago
This really is one of the most classic pinball games ever made. Funhouse seems like a property that has always existed, despite only being in this single pinball game - which is a real credit to the design work.

The gameplay is really tough. The rules are archaic. But that’s part of the fun of the table, slowly uncovering the mystery.

I’ve always been surprised this one isn’t ranked higher.
4 months ago
I think this is a better than average pinball table, but suffers from a poor layout and generic sound design. It’s really hard to find rhythm or flow on the table. It’s really a shame because with a few tweaks to the game design this could really be excellent. It does fit the Starship Troopers theme very well.
4 months ago
I don’t understand why so many people feel this is better that Star Trek: Next Generation Pinball. It’s got a lot of the same ideas, but while the gameplay is stronger, everything else feels weaker.

Designed by the same person as STTNG, it’s faster gameplay with more animation and variation. But it just lacks the magic. With STTNG, it's recreating classic tropes from the series. In this one, the modes are all forgettable moments from the 2009 film. Destroy the Drill? I don't even remember this scene. Space jump? Sure?

Also, STTNG playfield art is classic, this is just plain clean graphics. It's so boring.

The flow of this one is drastically better, but everything else is worse.
4 months ago
Xenon is my guilty pinball pleasure. It’s a historically important game, one of the first with voice acting and the sound design is too notch. The artwork is breathtaking, everything I love about 70s sci-fi.

But it’s not a good game.

The path is so straightforward to win. Sink the ball in the cup three times. Do tube shot. Repeat. Multiball. That’s it. And yet, that simplicity makes gameplay flow. I love the game, though it’s not a defensible opinion.
4 months ago
I've owned this game for a while, and wanted to update my thoughts.

THE GOOD: Literally the best artwork of any pinball table, great voice acting. 3D April can be modded to be a FANTASTIC representation of the character we all know and love.

I also appreciate how many modes there are. All pinball games should have a cooperative mode for playing with new people, and the half-shell challenge is excellent for teaching you the shots. Owning this game WILL make you a better player for all pinball games because it is so hard.

THE BAD: TMNT is a good game to have in your collection, but it's also flawed. This is unquestionably the most unforgiving pinball game I've ever played. It's frustrating that your score in this game comes down to a few make or break moments. Don't have octopus for your multiball? You wasted your time. Can't hit the spinner for multiball? You wasted your time. Like all Borg games, this is very dependent on stacks. And if your stacks are set up and you drain? Well, I've been tempted to break the glass before.

There is no shot in this game that hasn't upset me, because they are all hard to hit consistently. But, that's also what makes you return to the game over and over.

TLDR: I call this "TurtleSouls." It's brutal, unforgiving, but rewarding to master.
4 months ago
This machine is a nightmare to keep running. But, in my opinion it’s one of the greatest pinball games of all time. I think it’s mostly the sound design, which really keeps you engaged in the Star Trek universe. Every line in quotable.

The rules are straightforward, almost to the detriment. There’s one correct decision to make whenever you have an option. This is good and bad.

The play speed is also slow compared to modern games. But, there is so much magic in the layout. Hitting to Picard Maneuver is ALWAYS a thrill.

The opto circuits are quirky, and if you own the table be prepared to become an expert at maintaining them. Parts are not terrible to locate, but not plentiful either.