canea's ratings

Pinsider canea has rated 22 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms canea's personal top 22.

Rating comments

canea has written 20 rating comments:

1 year ago
The very definition of a C list Stern game from an era when the games felt cheap and phoned in. The theme is OK with a whiff of colonialism that isn't aging well. If anything, it could stand to be MORE weird. It's sort of cookie-cutter weird.

The layout is OK, but can be frustrating. The scoop and the vari-target can both be difficult to hit at times and both are what you really need to advance the game. The game is near impossible to collect RIPLEYS - letters awarded for completing modes - with standard adjustments. You need to nail every shot in a very short time frame to collect a letter and too often the ball will get stuck in the pops making it difficult. Even with each mode made easier in adjustments, it's very challenging.

There are no toys. The temple is just a dumb way to give you mystery awards, none of which are exciting. There are two magnets, two ramps and a lazy physical ball lock. That's it.

The sounds are at times campy and at times just awful. The rasta head call-outs are pretty bad, some especially terrible (when he counts down, he sounds like Arnold Schwartzeneger). The constant gasps and screams are annoying - particularly in modes like North America. The gasps on the drains are cringeworthy. Call-outs like "Weird gravestones - my favorite!" are endearing in that so bad it's good way.

Overall, just OK. Still fun, but...
1 year ago
A really attractive, colorful, bright machine with a lot going on and plenty of rules to back it all up - and of course, a great theme that is very well integrated. As a game it feels very complete and solid.

GB is a difficult game, but not really any more difficult than most modern Sterns - though it's tough to argue that a standard flipper gap wouldn't have been an improvement. For a good game, you'll need to do some quick, aggressive nudging... and have a little bit of luck. This title really seems to hinge on that latter element more than most, which can be frustrating or rewarding depending on what side of it you're on. I lose balls down the outlanes as much or more than SDTM - the low inlane/outlane guides really are a design flaw.

The Pro doesn't really have any mechs except Slimer and Scholeri Bros (now kept to a minimum thankfully), but there's always plenty to do. There are some tight shots for sure, like the right ramp, which seems really wonky at first, but eventually grew on me a lot. The ball spends a lot of time in the pops, but otherwise no complaints on flow - very fast and fun, sometimes too fast.

Music and callouts are top notch and varied. They really brought together the first two GB movies in a nice way.

A pin that was passed over by many when it initially came out, but as time goes by, and with the completed code, I think this one is here to stay.
2 years ago
That SCREAM when you hit the trapdoor in multiball... hard to argue that that's not one of the greatest moments in pinball right there. Classic.

Funhouse hits the sweet spot between being easily understood and difficult to master - and yet, not too difficult. An intermediate player can see 99% of the game in a single, decent game. Would love to see one more bonus/wizard mode somehow laid over the top of what's there, then it would be perfect.

As it is, tons of fun, a lasting theme with a handful of satisfying solid shots, some great combos, and valuable Million shots available in multiple modes. Takes the fun factor of a System 11 game and really perfects what makes those games great. A chaotic lower playfield that you'll want to escape with clean shots to the upper playfield, pop bumpers well integrated into the scoring so you'll actually want to hit them, and the double bonus of the Mirror rewards and the Steps make plenty to shot for.

I personally love the music and the call-outs, but can see how they might be grating to others. Whenever Rudy calls me "Chucky" that's my cue to smash him in the chin.

Stands up to almost anything that followed it for the next 30 years, and that's saying a lot.
2 years ago
Great effort by Stern and Co. on this machine. When you first step up to it, it feels deep and busy and immersive. I was a little skeptical of the theme at first and the playfield art doesn't really do it any favors, but when you come down to it, the core of the game is perfect: chasing and catching dinosaurs. Who doesn't love that?

Plenty to do at all times as you progress through the paddocks, and if you play it right, you'll be triggering multiballs and frenzies as you go along to keep it interesting. The shots are tight and make the game very challenging. Should keep home players interested for a long time.

Pros: Fun. Fast. Lots to do. Premium has some cool toys, including the moving Trex, but I'm sure the Pro is right up there without the Trex, and probably even faster. Theme that is evergreen at this point.

Cons: Drains harder down the outlanes than any game I've ever seen - and that's with them closed up. Hard, thwacking-against-the-wood outlane drains. The ball is usually moving so fast horizontally in the bottom half of the playfield that no amount of nudging can save most of them. Can be very frustrating to have a good ball and then watch the next few blast down the outanes. Maybe that's just pinball...

Some of the call-outs are laughably bad with weird accents. "Shoot the Seat Trap Targets!" "Save my stttttaaaaaff." etc.

Art is sorta meh, but better than Photoshop Stern.

Overall, quality stuff here for players of all skill levels, with an emphasis on more skilled players really being able to enjoy the depth of the game.
3 years ago
A very playable, entertaining game. Built OK for the most part and looks fantastic. Art package, music and callouts, all A+. Not any real toys so to speak. As it stands, the modes are fun at first because the content is good, but ultimately don't feel like they go anywhere. There's supposedly a wizard mode with Love Potion 9, but it feels like another samey-samey mode and times out seemingly at random, leaving an unsatisfying finale. Would be nice to see more of the R & M universe in the game (Beth, Summer, etc.) but seems unlikely at this point, as does some sort of overall cohesiveness.

Biggest thing to address are the unusual shots. I did a little tinkering with the guides, etc. like everybody else, but I don't think shot geometry is the issue with this game. The shots are difficult and they are narrow. I'd even go so far as to describe them as weird and not intuitive. When you make them though, they are smooth enough. They have very small success windows that you'll miss until you get the hang of it. Will they grow on you? Does it feel "good"? Your mileage may vary. For me, I don't think this is a game that will ever feel "good" to shoot. It is what it is.

A lot of owners will tell you this is an amazing game, but what they really mean is that the assets are amazing. Who doesn't like watching Rick and Morty clips? The gameplay, layout and code though? Not so much.
4 years ago
CGC did a great job recreating this classic, and then some. The larger LCD screen really is impressive (though after awhile you don't really notice that it's bigger). RGB color change lighting is spectacular with the different monster modes - well implemented and an improvement over the original though the look might be "too much" for some fans of the original GI.

Gameplay wise, it's Monster Bash as you remember it and always wished you could afford in years past. Flippers feel poppy and a little plasticky - hard to put your finger on it, but it's not exactly like a Williams. Still, after a couple games it feels great and with all the extra ways to dial in the game (varying power to each coil, etc.) there are a lot of ways to customize the feel that weren't available with the original.

Monster Bash is a bit on the easy side, but it has that "one more game" feeling to it that makes it - and others from its era - feel classic. Tons of great toys, great music, modes that are doable and stackable and you've got a very fun, though slightly limited game.

10/10 for the physical remake aspect of this game. Minus a point for lastability and repetitive (though very good) call-outs.
6 years ago
Twilight Zone definitely feels like a classic from the era, and one that I think will continue to hold up over the years. Initially it feels very complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it's not. If you're making your shots everything comes together and feels good. A game that some consider too stop and go really doesn't have a dull moment when you're playing. It's mode-based--sort of--but since there are multiple ways to light door panels you can approach the game from different angles so it never really gets stale.

Tons of toys - everything but the kitchen sink really. Gumball and Battle the Power don't feel particularly relevant to the game (and it's true that neither appeared in the Twilight Zone show), but they're cool for sure. Same withe the clock, a very ambitious, but sort of pointless toy. What makes the game really special is what you DON'T see. The design that went into the complex subway system, for example, or the way the hitchhiker/dead end loop/hole works depending on what direction you hit it from: genius. Magnets, pops, weird diverter, extra shooter, rocket kicker, 4 flippers, powerball... so many great gizmos. The playfield is sort of dark and can feel claustrophic at times--it doesn't really feel like a widebody except the variety of shots.

Playfield art, cabinet art, and translite art are all good. Definitely a nice game to look at.

The only thing I don't like about this machine is the music, and actually I do like the music, I just don't think it really fits the theme very well. Once you learn that the main song is a cover of a song by Golden Earring, it all makes a little more sense, but still it's a stretch since the music sounds more like a NES Mega Man level than the atmospheric Twilight Zone score it should have been. Sound quality on the call outs is also kind of bad and they could have been more varied.
7 years ago
Addictive to a point, but not a really great game. Basically you'll be shooting 5 shots a prescribed number of times to reach your objective (and the game's only toy), the robot reveal. None of these shots are smooth, and the ramps are clunky and slow even when you hit them perfectly. Tons of pops, but you'll get plenty of straight down the middles off the vari-target and pops exit. Depending on how you shot the ramps, you'll be awarded 2 ball multiball occasionally, but since it's not clear how to capitalize on those, you'll need to repeat the robot reveal several times for a good game. It's not difficult by any means, and once you've seen it, there isn't much wow left to the game. The playfield looks good and the light show is surprisingly decent. Though there's no speech, the music is fun and catchy. Translite and cab suck, as everyone knows.

Good: Cool theme, playfield and lights look great, robot reveal is neat (the first couple times)
Bad: Repetitive and limited gameplay, cabinet and translite art
7 years ago
A very good, deep game - and more importantly, it's fun! Feels a bit clunky and cheap at first, but once you get past that, there's a lot to explore. Plays fairly without heavy outlane or SDTM drains. Some describe this as a stop and go game, but I don't feel that way at all. The ramp and upper playfield feed the ball back to the flippers, and aside from a very brief delay for the mystery award there's not much that slows the game down. Great toys that really fill out the theme with the turning Homer head, the skill-based upper playfield, the mini LED screen, the physical couch lock, and the pop bumper cooling towers. Artwork is spot on throughout the game, of course, and the audio is decent, though could be a little better.

TSPP's greatest feature - its rules - may also be its downside. It's not always clear what you're doing. Once you begin to understand, it all makes sense, but getting to that point might be too much for some players. Plenty of room for different playing strategies thanks to this depth however. During an average game you'll see much of the same material, but once you get a good game going the modes really open up and you'll find all sorts of new stuff. Where at first there seems to be a paucity of multiball, you'll soon find that there are lots (couch, I&S, Invasion, mystery spot, pretzel, etc.). Too many great things to talk about really: easy-to-get but hard-to-complete Invasion wizard mode, reversed flippers mode, daredevil modes, funny frenzy mode, CBG hurry-ups, plus all the standard modes which are well thought out and stackable.

Negatives: CBG hurry-ups can get annoying and Secret Stash isn't that cool. I&S saucer is impossible to hit when you want to and seems a bit like a design flaw, Simpsons audio might become grating, cheap build (but also cheap to mod!)

Pros: Unique playfield layout, tons of modes, secret modes, wizard modes, etc. Great integration of theme. Fun!
8 years ago
Love Mousin' Around and finally got the chance to own one. Like other Sys 11 games, this definitely has that "one more game" appeal in a way that modern games can't touch. When dialed in, Mousin' is fast and furious and balls can be over before you can blink (ball save, that's for sissies). Not a very deep game by any means, but difficult to master. Ramp shots are in somewhat squirrelly areas of the play field and can be hard to hit. The center ramp, which is integral to big scores, is risky. Ball locks are on opposing far sides of the play field - also hard to hit, particularly when you're trying to relock for the jackpot. The million shot is fun to hit, but not an overly large payout, so scoring seems balanced. Though you can technically rape the center ramp... why? Doing so repeatedly can be tough and there's more to the game than that.

Overall, a fun theme with simple, yet rewarding play. Everyone understands the concept of locking the balls in the traps and then releasing them again!
8 years ago
Like it, but don't love it. Like Metallica, this one feels sort of cold and empty to me, despite lots of flashiness. No real sense of progression, just another song to get to the next one.

It plays very fast and can drain out so quickly that often you can't even think to nudge, so it can be frustrating at times. The bottom half of the playfield feels restrictive if you're not connecting the shots to get out of it. Not being able to hit the bell repeatedly, but instead having to wait until it stops swinging, drives me crazy. Bottom playfield is kind of a throwaway, but is fun every now and then. The rules are complex and deep assuming you can figure it all out.

Toys and presentation are top notch. Love how the cannon is integrated into the thrilling shot for song jackpot - a real make-or-break feature, and the bell, dancing band, and TNT toys all look great. Stern definitely packed this one absolutely to the max with goodies. Translite, playfield art, and cabinet are meh at best, but hey, that's the theme.

Overall, fun and fast, just not having the same love affair that most seem to have with this one.
8 years ago
I expected this one to be on the level of say, Johnny Mnemonic, but it easily outdistances that machine and other titles in a similar price bracket.

Starting with the theme: we all know the translite falls into the celebrity fathead category, but this is easily remedied these days. Cab is average and the playfield, with it's hand-drawn art looks good. The modes faithfully recreate scenes from the movie. They did what they could with what they had (Khan has to be one of the stupidest villains ever).

Playfield design is solid and has lots of shots. The upper flipper has three (at times four) dedicated shots and with the twin ramp diverters you can really mix it up to ride the miles of habitrail. Though the mini playfield takes up a lot of real estate the design is clever enough you won't notice - inner and outer loops run beneath. The only thing missing are pop bumpers, but something had to go. The left ramp is low (like JM) and can come back at you very quickly. The main scene start saucer is a tough, narrow shot that accounts for a good deal of the game's difficulty. Once you master that shot, you'll make much better progress as the other goals (2 multiballs and defeating the Battlefield) are much easier accomplished.

A couple of great toys to keep your interest. The magnetic Sanctum lock, though hard on the playfield, is a fast, nifty trick that looks great. The ramp diveters are interactive as is the mini playfield, a fun if simplistic break from standard flipper action (if only you could skip the instructions). A single video mode that is basic and tough.

Overall, a solid, fun machine that suffers very slightly from the theme. Or rather, from the movie. The Shadow, of course, always knows.
8 years ago
A very fun machine with personality to spare. The theme is really what carries this (and that's coming from someone who's not terribly fond of Elvira). There are plenty of funny and suggestive call-outs and the only sound effects that are a bit grating are the slingshot monsters' screeches.

There are enough modes to keep things interesting though none of them are very complex and most can be completed just by keeping the ball in play long enough. It's always very clear what you should be shooting for and often there are really only three options, two fat ramps and up the middle. The final mode, Stiff-o-meter, is a timed mode that's progress carries over if you don't complete it the first time. Once completed, the reward is a great one and very much in theme with the personality of the machine!

After that, you get to start over and do it all again. Since it's fairly easy to complete the Stiff-o-meter you'll be going around the horn more than once during a good game. An added bonus is the Spider Wheel in the backbox, which is a fully realized game in itself and difficult to complete for its own multiball (haven't seen it yet).

Pros: Tons of fun, great theme, great playfield build and toys, feels "fair"
Cons: Too easy for some, too expensive!
9 years ago
Theme: I haven't been much of a Metallica fan for the better part of 20 years, but this machine made me revisit their music and remember how many great, early songs they did have. The custom callouts by the band members are well done and there is plenty of variation. Playfield artwork is great (translite not as much), very bold with lots of black to make it stand out. The only downside to the theme is that it might seem dated for the next generation.

Game play: Fast and wide open with quick returns, particularly with the upper post disabled. Bricked shots off the pick targets can come back painfully quick, and the left outlane does drain, but not overly so. FUEL and Mystery Hole are both challenging shots to make when you need them most (while in multiball or when trying to start CIU or claim jackpot) - honestly they're so low they're both a little aggravating. The game progression can be a little bit of a grindfest as you collect the four main items (coffin, gravemarker, snake and electric chair), but you can collect these items while in multiball, which makes multiball seem much more productive than in most games where you're just seeking jackpots. Besides the four main CIU modes, there are several additional modes to keep you busy including Fuel, Seek & Destroy, And Justice for All, and Four Horsemen. Some multiballs can also be stacked.

Toys: A little weak on the Pro imo. Sparky is cool, but really just a bobblehead. Several magnets and the snake kickout, but that's about it. The Premium hammer lock would really round this out toy-wise, but you won't miss it for the price of the Pro.

Pros: Great theme, fast play, well priced for what you get.
Cons: After awhile it becomes very, very grindy. The low placement of the mystery hole and piston target makes hitting them consistently too difficult. Boring mystery hole awards.
9 years ago
Easy to see why this game is a classic. It is beautiful, polished, and full of many extras that other machines seem to have left on the cutting room floor. Some will complain that it's too easy, but for my money it's challengingly but not overly so. I can actually complete modes on this game, which is nice for a change. You will be bashing the trunk frequently, but at least that repetitiveness is kept in check by the very real possibility of draining sdtm with each shot. And truthfully, there's a lot more to hit than just the trunk to have a successful game. Captive Ball for Vanish, Ramp targets to light basement, left and right orbits for Theatre and Advance Clock. Always lots to do.

The game plays fast and fluid with very little to slow it down. The center loop is super fast and rockets back so quickly that it's easy to miss. Great ramps, loops and orbits will keep you busy. The center staircase to haunted basement combo is extremely satisfying when you nail it.

The toys have a great "wow" factor. Trunk multiball is neat (and begins with a fantastic light show), Hocus Pocus magna save is fun (though does miss when the ball is really moving), captive ball, mirror trickery near the pops and spirit ring all are interesting and unique.

The Phantom of the Opera-esque organ music is exciting and catchy. Call-outs are generally good, though I think the male voice could have been better. Animations are excellent, though the video mode sucks (luckily you won't be seeing it very often).

Cap this all off with some of the best playfield artwork (evil bunnies!), translite artwork (yeah, her arm is kind of wooky, but hey, boobs!) and cabinet artwork in pinball.
9 years ago
Joker Poker is a fun, simple drop target game that can also kick your a$$ more times than not. There are three sets of drop targets to shoot for (10, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces), and each ball requires a different set to be knocked down to get the all-important 5x bonus multiplier. Though there are a few other nuances that's pretty much the entire game. It's addictive in that one-more-time way, particularly if your last game served you some tough drains.

Sounds are the classic chime box and work very well with the game for that nostalgic ambiance.

The real standout aspect of Joker Poker is the backglass, which features three busty jester women riding a spacey vortex of playing cards. Does it have anything to do with the rest of the art package? No, not really, but who cares!
10 years ago
Most people have several criticisms of Junk Yard. The first is that it's too easy. This is true. You'll beat Crazy Bob in Outer Space within a week of owning this game. After you beat him, there's not much to do except replay the four modes and beat him again. The second is that there are no pop bumpers. Also true (but not much of loss, imo).

What Junk Yard does have is super fun gameplay that is very engaging for children and non-pinheads. Bashing the crane is always fun, the toilet makes kids laugh, and the four (!) video modes are silly and well-done while riffing on classic pins like CFTBL and AFM. It's easy to trigger multiball (and to keep triggering it), and even missed shoots result in flashing lights and sounds so anyone who plays will feel like they are doing well. While it's easy to have a GOOD game on Junk Yard, having a GREAT game is still somewhat challenging if it's not your day against the outlanes.

The artwork, cabinet, and translite work really well with the original theme and the machine looks awesome. Sounds and animation are funny - some of the opinions of the angel and devil characters come out garbled over the otherwise clear sound effects, which are very cartoony.

The bottom line: A great looker and casual player with an original theme. Pinheads will find it too easy, but still fun.
10 years ago
JM is a fun, fast game that is known for being a flow beast. If you're having a bad day or are new to the game, however, you'll end up bricking almost every shot right back between the flippers at lightning speed. Almost every missed shot - off the lower ramp, off the middle posts, etc. - has the potential to drain and drain quickly. There's nothing better than racking up three or four combos on this playfield, but that exhilarating speed is a double-bladed sword.

Skill shot is a joke (simple lane change), and the modes are all very similar (shoot this or that ramp or loop) so there's no real incentive to choose one over the other on your way to Powerdown. The Spinner Millions scoring anomaly might frustrate some players, but it's really just one more fun thing to shoot for and since it requires 3 combos and then not losing the ball while you hit the difficult spinner shot repeatedly, its not exactly a gimme. The polarizing glove feature is basically a sexy ball lock, but it does provide some interesting strategy on how you choose to load your balls up. Video mode is accessible through the glove, and while it's nothing to write home about, it's a mildly entertaining and slightly broken Pacman style chase game. My only complaint about the playfield is the narrow little alley behind the left ramp that the ball is forced down after leaving the jet bumpers. It's slow and clumsy and far more offensive than waiting for the glove in my opinion.

Which leaves us with the theme. I'll say this for the design team: they were given a crummy movie, told to make a pinball machine out of it and they did a heck of a job. All the movies elements are represented in ways that almost make you remember the movie fondly (almost). The voice actors do decent renditions of Keanu ("Who ARE all these people?") and Ice-T ("Don't be a zombie, play pinball!") and while things occasionally get repetitious, nothing really grates soundwise. And yes, the dolphin is on there.

Overall, a fun and often difficult game if you can tolerate the theme!
10 years ago
I didn't hate this one like I thought I would, though its certainly hard to fall in love with a butterface.

The strange flipper/drain set-up definitely takes some getting used to. I agree that WoF is a game you'll do better at if you nudge it frequently, but you'll need to learn how to nudge a bit differently than you do other games. It can feel touchy at first and you'll lose balls you might not lose on other games. Some people like that the outlanes potentially give you "free spins," etc, but I must be unlucky because they felt more like typical drains to me.

The theme sucks (I mean, cmon, how many people honestly think that there's much overlap between pinball and WoF?), but it is executed fairly well for what it is. Hearing "Wheel--Of--Fortune!" as the wheel toy spins and flashes is pretty cool every time. The bobbleheads are ugly and have annoying voices. Ramps are nothing special, but at least they're there and interact with the wheel to some degree. Its easy to trigger assorted multiball modes, though the methodical manner in which the multiballs pop out is not very exciting. Still, this makes it more fun for casual players.

Overall, WoF is fun to play if you run into one in the wild, but I shudder to think about having this theme in the home. NHUO (nursing home use only) maybe?
10 years ago
A fun game that oozes 1990s schtick. The cartoony look of the game and the original characters are wonderful if you grew up in the 80s or 90s. Others may find this theme too cheesy for their tastes. The toys and artwork are carried over onto to the playfield. Nothing too complicated, but it is all colorful, bright and fun. Likewise, the rules, while not deep, are easy and enjoyable for almost anyone to pick up and play.

The game plays fairly methodically, with little flow and an emphasis on ball control to make the three main targets (Gift of Gab, Rock and Roll, and Magnetic). With that accomplished, shoot the rap, hit the Excellent Ray, and multiball is triggered. Multiball can be very challenging with fast drains, but the real points are scored during this event by hitting the ramp (Mix-Master spinner). Since scoring in multiball comes from how long your ball knocks around in the Mix-Master high scores can be rather random. One can have a long, well-played game and end up with 5 million points or so, but a couple of lucky bounces in the Mix-Master during the gazillion mode can yield scores of 20+ million in a few seconds.

Each target, once completed, has its own music and the game has some fun (dated) call-outs with "colorful" lanaguage (dweeb, dork, wimp, etc.). Besides the busty nurse on the backbox, this game is perfectly suitable for children or families and can be had a reasonable price.

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