Cyrus's ratings

Pinsider Cyrus has rated 16 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms Cyrus's personal top 16.

Cyrus's rating weights

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Rating comments

Cyrus has written 16 rating comments:


8.836/10
3 months ago
I have to say when this pin landed I did have a dose of buyer’s remorse. I played the PRO at Allentown and thought it kicked ass but when I got one home, I was like, “meh.” But! I gave it a chance and in my opinion this is a player’s pin. Maybe not intuitive for the novice. In order to eke the most out of this game you really have to know the rules. Sometimes you don't have to be rule savvy to enjoy a pin; this one it is a must. Once I got a handle on what I needed to do it quickly became and remains a favorite. The Black Knight retro mode is cool and the multi-balls are fast and furious. If you can stack Knights Challenge with Catapult then you are in for a mb treat.

As far as art goes, well, I hope you like red because it is a dominant color. I actually like the art package on the PRO better than on my Premium. The upper playfield is worth having, although I think the PRO plays well without it. Catapult multi ball is a lot of fun and you can earn a lot of points on the UP loops and stationary target (which also will help you complete a mode faster).

The graphics are OK, I guess. They are functional for the modes. I don’t have a problem with the placement of the magnetic save button but if given a preference I would have liked a second “flipper” button on the right side to activate the save. It’s not a show stopper. I also have a Grand Lizard and just used to having the magnetic saves as buttons on the sides of the cabinet. The music has a heavy metal vibe.

Steve Ritchie does lay on the taunts but no profanity that I can recall. You can lower the insult intensity if you want. Me, I like when Steve reminds me that my skills are at best pedestrian.

Black Knight had a very brief flavor-of-the-month-heyday before Stern released Jurassic Park and then Elvira, and soon Stranger Things. I think it sort of became yesterday’s news way too fast. It is an excellent pin and remains an absolute blast to play.
9.440/10
4 months ago
I was in on this game when they first opened up for orders in early 2018 and waited patiently over 18 months before my game finally arrived a few months ago. The verdict: I love it! I usually don’t bother with reviews because what I have to say usually has already been said before, but this game is just so unique and fun to play that it deserves a shout out.

The art is well done for a horror themed pin. I mean, you are in a nightmare castle and you know it. The video and call outs go along great with the game-play, particularly after you understand the rules and realize why you are trying to move around room-to-room in the “castle.”

The rules are still a work in progress, but overall the modes are fun and once you have one going you are treated to an Alice song.

An earlier observation (I think it was on the review by SDTM guys) was that the game had too many shots and they might be too tight. I am a so-so player at the best of times and I can hit all the shots. What is also great is if you miss a shot it does not brick the ball STDM. At least not most of the time. Ball times are good and I’ve had some great games where I cleared multiple modes, though not enough to get to wizard yet.

There are no bash toys to speak of, but you don’t really need them. There is so much to do just hitting the shots and advancing your modes that you don’t really need to be bashing a toy to have fun. The Frankenstein multi-ball is a nice bonus mode and cutting off Alice’s head on the guillotine is a hoot. If I had to nit pick any one thing I'd say the game is dark. It's hard to play if the lights in the game room are off.

Finally, Spooky’s customer support is on par excellence. In a nutshell, this game was well worth the wait.
8.540/10
9 months ago
I have the Pro. I got to play it at Allentown and thought it was good enough to add to the collection. I also thought it would look pretty cool parked next to my MM. When it arrived I immediately had buyers remorse. I was on the initial software, the left outland switch was not working, and I didn’t find the rules intuitive. But since, the game has grown on me and I’m playing it probably more than I’ve ever played a new game before. I sometimes wish I had gotten the Premium but I just didn't think it was worth the extra funds, at least not at the time.

The layout sort of reminded me of GOT Pro. But play is of course totally different. I watched the “Bro Do You Even Pinball” tutorial, read the rules wiki, and finally took the glass off and manually made shots to get a better handle on the modes. Now that I have a much better understanding of the rules, it is a hell of a lot of fun.

The toy is great. The flail is not hard to hit (I find the left flipper back hand the easiest to hit the flail with) and getting that first multi-ball is pretty easy. The magna-save is OK, I guess, and this is balanced by the ball-save on the left out-lane. I would have preferred Stern put the magna-save switch forward of the right flipper button.

The art-package is OK. I mean, it’s Black Knight. It’s dark, has some knights on it and a lot of skeletons. The art and music fit the flavor of the game.

I have an AC/DC so sort of used to Steve Ritchie mocking my game play, but he really seemed to get into it when he recorded his voice for BK. The music is OK, I really don’t pay much attention to it when I’m playing.

One thing I don’t like is that it is very right flipper centric. The left flipper is great for backhanding the second and third shots from the left but I can’t dial in the shield or right orbit yet and that is killing me on the modes. The layout of this game, because there is no ramp for the left side, is different, and sometimes different is good, but I sure miss having a ramp feed to the left in-lane. Play has been described as brutal but no more than most games. A good shot to a post can lead to a drain but that can happen with any game. The ball times are a lot longer than what I used to get on my GB.

Finally, I don’t know if this will be much of a money-maker for Stern. Some of the teenagers in the neighborhood come over occasionally to play my pins. I think it's great that they have an interest in pinball. They had very little interest in BK. They played a few games, I explained how to get multi-ball and how the modes worked, but soon they went right back to Metallica, Aerosmith, MM, MB, TWD, and AFM. I don’t know that BK is a fun game for the casual player thought it’s great if you take the time to learn the rules. With Mett you get to electrocute Sparky and get a multi-ball, AS has the cool toy box, MM the castle. Those are all things the casual player can achieve. BK is a players game. So, I hope it does well in the arcades and I hope I’m wrong, but from what I see it’s not piquing enough interest to put a $1.00 in for what will most likely be a very short game. (I was at the Pinball Museum in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and the game was always open for play, no wait.)
5.881/10
1 year ago
I got to play this game recently at Spinners in Fredrick, Maryland. My friend bought one brand new and I played about six or seven games. More importantly, I watched a player much better than me play the game, and that was probably more valuable in my review.

I found the layout to be lacking. I didn’t think much for the ball flow or lack thereof. No orbits and you could not lane change the lights on the top of the Playfield to light up the letters. The main goal seemed to be hitting the targets below the ramp, lowering the ramp, locking a multi-ball, lowering the ramp again and hopefully locking another ball for a 3 ball multi-ball. The third ball comes up from an elevator on the top left of the game, a nod to the series when the rocket ship used to blast off. I thought that was pretty cool.

The middle ramp was tight but not impossible but when you got it, it really didn't give you much in the ways of points or moving nodes forward. Animations were OK and probably would appeal to the Thunderbirds fans out there. Art work was OK. It didn’t blow me away, but I didn’t think it sucked, either.

Where this game really falls flat is with the code. Even with the three ball multi-ball running, there was a complete lack of jackpots. You are like, “Ok, what do I do now?” It reminds me of Batman66 when it first came out with that very underdeveloped code. This game would improve immensely with a software update to make it more interesting, fun, and playable.
8.416/10
2 years ago
My Aerosmith Pro showed up just as they were released early last year so I got one of the first Pro’s off the line. My inclination to pick one up is that I a) liked the art, b) liked the lay lout, c) like music pins and d) always liked Aerosmith (though not a hard core fan). I also have a Met Pro and an AC/DC Prem VE. The toy box multi-ball was pretty novel I thought and it remains a really fun feature.

Out of the box…massive fail for Stern. Both node boards were kaput. There is a known problem with these boards where the D9 diode is soldered to the board with two pins while the rest of the diodes have three. This proved unstable. On power up, the chip burned right off the board. The other board showed no signs of damage and had a different problem. It took a few weeks of troubleshooting and waiting for parts to realize that both boards were duds. But, Stern did get me replacements and the game has worked OK ever since, though very rarely I have had a software glitch that caused the pin to reboot in the middle of the game. Very few updates have been issued so I’m hoping when one does eventually come down the line it will address this issue. The D9 diode issue affects Batman66 and GB as well. You can read the fix here at http://sternpinball.com/upload/service-bulletins/service-bulletin-189-core-node-stabilization/2235/Stern-SB189.pdf. I would have preferred they sent out new boards that fixed the design flaw.

The game play is fine. You have your orbits, ramps, a scoop, and enough modes to keep you busy as you try and make it through each song to unlock the Wizard Mode—something I’ve yet to do!!! It’s a low scoring game, like Metallica, and you really work for the points. It’s definitely not an AC/DC, but it’s challenging and fun to play. Over a year later it's still one of the most played in my collection. I hear lots of complaints about the lock shot. Sometimes I nail it from the left flipper easily, but like most I have to wait for that opportune bounce. Opening the toy box is an easy right flipper shot. Is it a keeper? I guess it depends on your taste. What I do like is that unlike with Metallica, the band does not make any call outs. I didn’t know much about Metallica and until I bought the pin probably could not have named a single Metallica song, so having the band do call outs is lost on me. I prefer Sparky and even Steve Ritchie taunting me (AC/DC) rather than random band members who I can’t identify making comments on game play. That’s just a personal thing.

The art is just beautiful and and so is the back glass. I picked up a topper from Laseriffic. I have no issues with the LCD screen, though hopefully there is still room to add more interesting animation as right now it's somewhat bland but I'm too busy playing to notice what's going across the LCD. I am lucky in that my wife also likes pin ball. Not enough to play in a league or in a tournament, but good enough for some pinball and a few beers in the game room. She really likes Aerosmith and part of the decision to buy that game was her choice. Who was I to argue?

One thing I probably am not enthused with is the music selection. How could they leave our "Dream On" and "Janie's Got a Gun"? There are two good songs (Walk This Way and Sweet Emotion) and the rest are...meh. Still, STERN's AC/DC left out "Shoot to Thrill." Sigh.
8.003/10
2 years ago
Ok. I’ve had my GB Premium since the time the Premiums initially shipped in 2016 and up until now I’ve hesitated to post a review, because what I have to say has mostly been said before in other very thorough reviews. But…here goes.

I got one of the first premiums to come off the line after what was the longest time I ever waited to get a new pin. This followed the summer of Hell for new GB owners who were getting all those play field issues. I had originally gone in on a MMr but since they would not opt any production information whatsoever back then, I put my marker on GB instead.

This pin is drop dead gorgeous. The art package is stellar and when you take into account all the bells and whistles to include the toys, the modes, and everything that went into it you’d think you had purchased the holy grail of pins. This was one time where I was glad I paid extra to upgrade to a Premium. But is it fun?

In a collection of 10 games this sees little play. The SDTM drains are frustrating as is the annoying action of trying to trap a ball with your flipper and have it shoot up the in lane and around and into the out lane. That ramp on the far right is a nightmare to hit with any consistency, and the left scoop needed several adjustments before it stopped weakly shooting the ball SDTM. Points? Yeah, I can get points in game play but the bulk of my score comes from my ability (or inability when I’m having a s**t game) to activate the “Don’t Cross the Streams” video mode. I almost always clear it and if I can get that three or four times in a game I end up with a killer score. I never set my posts to a more liberal setting because I play (badly) in a local league and the harder the game is set, the better the practice for me. I have all my games on conservative settings. The fastest drains are still with GB. The “just one more game” wears thin after two or three in a row. On the other hand, I can sit there and play AC/DC, MET, TWD, AFM, and my TFTC all night long. The rules are not overly complicated and the modes are fun, as long as you can keep the ball in play. The multi ball is cool.

I have a “Horror” themed game room because, well, it’s in a dingy basement. GB fits with the theme. But if I had the opportunity to have one or the other, knowing what I know now, I find myself wishing that I had given GB a miss and got MMr instead.
9.280/10
2 years ago
Ok, first, I am a sucker for horror themes. I grew up reading horror comic books. I have a TWD PRO, Creature From the Black Lagoon, Ghost Busters, and a Grand Lizard. When a TFTC became available locally I made an offer and got the game for a reasonable price. For an almost 25 year old game, and a re-import from Spain, it was in good shape all considering—but it had a lot of “small” electrical issues I needed to sort one by one. Mainly switches and repairing some meatball surgery hack jobs that had been performed on the boards in the preceding years.

Anyway, I LOVE THIS GAME. Maybe because I have restored it 100% playability and made it look great again, but the play is fun. I don’t find the Crytpkeeper’s puns to be annoying in the least, but I can see how it can get on someone’s nerves. The rules can be deep, at least as deep as any early 1990’s game. The PF is just wonderful. When you LED out the PF it looks even better.
The backbox is a love it or hate it back glass. It alludes to different episodes of the series. Even with low intensity LED’s I found the back box too bright and took out several of the lights just to tone it down.

The ramps are great, and the one on the right loops if you can make it (tight shot!). The bash toy is the tombstone which is near impossible to hit with the lower flippers. But there is a spinner target that also leads to a VUK when multi-ball is lit, giving you either the Tombstone VUK or the spinner VUK to activate the multi-ball. You can get a good ruleset at Pinball.Org. It told me all I needed to know about the gameplay and how to rack up the points.

Overall I think it’s probably one of the top Data East games. It has that “just one more game” factor for me. My game did have a number of problems but nothing that could not be solved by asking around on Pinside. Every part I needed to replace could be found on line from Ebay to Marco to one of the many other vendors out there supplying pinball parts.

So game play is fine, and if you like horror themes, then this will look great in your collection, and even better next to a Walking Dead!
8.956/10
2 years ago
Great game. Lots of depth and an awesome ruleset. Looks beautiful.
9.013/10
3 years ago
It’s hard to say what endured me to this game. A local guy who shops out pins he gets from arcades called and asked if I was interested. I seemed to remember playing GL at an NCO club someplace back in 1987 but had to look up the game on Google because I did not remember the lay out. I thought the design and art were just plain weird, and I like weird. My only "beware" is that I was fairly new to collecting pins a few years ago and was looking for a project pin so I could learn more about maintenance, repairs, and installation. I paid way too much for it (haven't we all at one time or another?). It plays like new, but I'd never get back what I sunk into it. Knowing what I know now I would have made a much lower offer and still would have probably have gone home with it in my truck.

OK. The theme is…a freaking lizard! The pin came on the heels of the seminal Steve Ritchie hit “High Speed” so maybe Williams was trying to do an anti-High Speed to compete? I don’t know.

The play: I love it. Looking at this in the terms of 1985 and the beginning of System 11, then this game is just a lot of fun to play. I think there is just a really good flow to this pin. It’s not super easy, but it is devoid of the complicated rule sets found in machines that came after it. I have mine next to a Ghost Busters Premium, a Walking Dead Pro, and a Metallica Pro and the Grand Lizard gets a fair share of the play.

The upper playfield is a points and specials bonanza when you master it, and you have four different shots to get the ball back up there. On the lower playfield you have a lot of fun things. You have magna-saves that throw the ball all over the place, a suicide pin between the flippers, and a three ball multi-ball feature that launches whenever you trap three balls. And if the person playing with you leaves trapped balls in the multi-ball trench, then they are yours for the taking on your next ball. There are no pop bumpers at all!

The playfield is well done. Good art. The cabinet is OK, and the back glass is fugly. Another glass was created originally but after a delay in production the original artist could not go back and re-work his art to accommodate some changes with the new display (or so I read). Williams pulled in the late Python Anghelo to make a completely different back glass that looks rushed and is otherwise "meh." Python and had done some awesome back-glasses, but Grand Lizard was not his opus. I think if he had not put in the drawings of the girl chained to the lizard (really?) and a high top sneaker wearing hero with a sword leaping to take down the lizard, then it would have been a better fit for the game. Some owners have gone out and gotten the original back glass reproduction.

The sounds: First, you have a background drumming noise and then of course you have the sounds made by the ball on the playfield. There is no voice but the animal call outs work pretty good for the theme and the tempo changes when you get multi-ball. Hey, after all, you’re in the jungle, baby! There is a somewhat annoying bell that rings when you get an extra ball, etc, and I’m thinking of disconnecting it. When I got the game, the drumming back ground music/sound was disconnected. I think it probably wore on some folks after a while and they decided to just disconnect it in favor of playfield sounds only.

On a lot of these GL games the upper playfield is really torn up and decals can be had to re-cover the surface. Mine was not so bad and I am regularly polishing it with carnuble wax to protect it going forward. I did put some mylar over a few places on the upper play field that were wearing down. I decided to replace the sound, power, and MPU boards. I thought new is better than 30 year old components that were starting to show signs of age. (Knowing what I know now, I would have sent the MPU to a recommended vendor like Coin Op Cauldron for repair. ) If you replace the speakers, get the inexpensive ones at MARCO. You don’t need an expensive sound system for this pin. I also changed 100% over to LED's.

*It's been a while since I posted my review. I'm still enjoying GL. I've had to replace a few switches as of late and rebuild the top left flipper, but otherwise it is still a fun game.
9.420/10
3 years ago
Until the week before this pin arrived, I had never seen a single episode of the show, so my purchase was not influenced by the series. I’ve now watched every season! When this table was released I loved the theme but when I had the funds to buy a new pin, my wife got to weigh in and we went with Metallica Pro, which was a great choice. But…TWD was always on my mind and recently I broke down, used my best “Bambi eyes” to sway my wife (and reminded her it was cheaper than a sports car), and ordered the Pro.

After several weeks of play, many games each night, I have to say: this is my favorite pin! I never played it with the old software so I don’t know how it was when initially released, but the new software has you coming back for more. Killing the zombies on the DMD by making shots added an intensity that is missing in a lot of games and making shots to set up the different modes is a fun challenge that has not gotten old. If anything, my interest towards playing the game has grown.

What helped make this game my favorite is that I watched Bowen Kerins 41 minute tutorial on YouTube. He broke the game down in detail and his strategies pay off by high scores, and longer game times. Once you know what you are doing, the pin is great. Prior to watching Bowen's video, I was getting pissed off with all the drains. Once I learned the rule-set and got better at nudging, my perspective changed. Don’t neglect the three drop downs! They are a points bonanza as they start many of the modes.

I see why the pin is not for everyone. It is not as colorful as Metallica or KISS. The call outs can be repetitious but honestly I’m too busy trying to keep the ball in play to notice. Some say it is bland, but I think it’s not the art-work but the theme that does this. How do you make zombies bright and cheerful? The show features lots of gore and lots of violence—do you really want it around your pre-schoolers?

The out-lanes can be brutal and that damned magnet in front of the jail causes way too many SDTM’s as do weak ramp shots that don’t go all the way up, and of course beware the exit from the pop bumpers. I like the bash toys though I’m gun shy with the prison (SDTM’s). The one multi-ball I do get most games is Well Walker, which is only one ball but also relatively safe to shoot.

This game is a challenge to play and overall I love this pin!
6.329/10
4 years ago
I remember this table when it came out in 1978 because it was one of the new games that had a digital scoring display and of course the Star Trek movie had come out by then, renewing interest in the series. A friend picked one up recently and I had the opportunity to play it again after more than 30 years.

The game theme-wise is OK. You do quickly notice that the on the back glass the artist gave Nichelle Nichols a set of boobs the size of beach balls. I don’t think that was really necessary but Stern’s “Whoa Nelly” has shown us that over the years not much has changed when it comes to portraying women on pinball machines.

The play is pretty standard for an EM of that era but I thought it could have used a few more bells and whistles to make it more interesting. There is nothing too difficult here though the drop downs and lanes on the middle left hand side are at a weird angle and I was getting frustrated that I could not hit these targets with my regular precision.

I have a ’72 Fireball which is a great playing EM; Star Trek really does not come close to the game play. This was also a mass produced game successful probably more for the popularity of the series, than the design of the play field.

It’s not a bad table; it’s just not a great one. I would be more inclined to pick one up if I were a die-hard Star Trek or SciFi fan. It would probably make a good starter-pin.
8.192/10
4 years ago
I have a few PINS to include a Metallica Pro, so when I finally got a chance to play this recently I tried not to compare the two (though hard to do). I was a KISS fan when I was a kid in the 70’s so I am familiar with the music, more so than I ever was with Metallica. I absolutely LOVE the lighting on the KISS table. The whole “concert” theme is very endearing and the game just looks great. I found the play to be good. Again, it’s hard not to compare to my Metallica but the ball flowed smoothly and in the several games I played, the rule set seemed intuitive. I had more than a few STDM’s on weak ramp shots, but otherwise I did OK and I think by my third game won a free game on points.

If I were collecting pins on a music theme, I’d consider this for my collection but right now patiently waiting for my MMR Standard to be built and shipped, so I won’t be adding this table. I think it is a very fun pin to play with long lasting appeal. This will probably end up being the signature piece in an infinite line of KISS memorabilia. But, I’m not really a Metallica fan and I love my table because the art, layout, and play is just fantastic. The point is non-KISS fans will probably really enjoy this table for its build and rule set, as much as I, a non-Metallica fan, enjoy my pin for the same reasons.
7.568/10
4 years ago
My local arcade just put this pin out recently and I finally got to play several games on it over the last few weeks.

The first thing you notice about this game is that the back-box is BIG! I guess that was the point Williams was trying to make. The theme is kind of a weird hybrid. You have some sort of space story combined with a castle motif that almost looks like they tried to combine Space Invaders with Medieval Madness. The canons on the upper playing level are pretty cool and overall I found the game to be fun. To own it, I’m not so sure. It seems very repetitious with a limited amount of objectives. You spend your time shooting the ball to the upper playing field and trying to knock down the targets there, etc. I didn’t have any problems with weak flippers or SDTM drains. The Save the Queen feature at the end of my game was good.

I actually won a game on score the first time I tried it, so not incredibly hard to figure out. But…I do enjoy playing it so far. Every pin is different and you can see the identity of the table come through with a novel space castle concept and a huge playing field. Some more toys and a deeper rule set would have been a welcome addition, but this is a table made in 1987. In its day it was very state of the art.

When one of these came available locally I took my Chief of Staff (my wife) to check it out. If she likes a table, then there is a good chance I will add it. She thought it was OK, but not something that would pull her back game after game, so I passed. I really struggled with adding it, because I love the art on the back-box and it would have looked great in my collection. But my tables are based on play-ability, and I just didn’t see this one getting a lot of playing time.
8.051/10
4 years ago
This was my first PIN and though I have a sentimental attachment, I’ve resisted the urge to sell it even though I could use the space. I keep it because it’s just a fun pin to play.

The historical theme is probably lost on many, but I believe it commemorates the first time the USA worked with the Soviets jointly in space. But the artwork is still really beautiful. A lot of these games have flaking paint on the back glass from the incandescent bulbs. Mine wasn’t too bad, and I have LED’s in the back box now to prevent further loss due to flaking. You can buy new back-glasses for this pin, but mine is still in decent shape. I’ve seen others that are a lot worse.

The moving target was not a new concept as Williams had used it before. The kick-outs, again not a new concept, on the fippers are great in the sense that they aim right for the moving target. However, they can also be a hindrance if you are like me and prefer to catch the ball on your flipper to set up a shot. This does make it a faster paced game. For a long time I had the Space Station and my ’72 Bally Fireball side-by-side. Most of my friends preferred playing the Space Mission over what is arguably one of the most iconic EM’s ever made.

It is not a complicated game and it is not a difficult game. I have mine set to give extra-balls on specials and that is generally fine. Once you go over 100,000 a light comes on noting the accomplishment, but if you go over 200,000 there is no such light, though you can continue to earn extra balls.

Another good thing is parts for this machine, such as tune up kits, solenoids, plastics, etc, are readily available. I had a few broken pieces of plastic on the playfield when I bought the table and was able to get a brand new set on EBAY. I also bought a tune up kit to replace the rubber rings and I replaced the regular lights with LED’s. I give it a good polishing every few months and overall it looks great and continues to play great.
9.460/10
4 years ago
What can I say about this game that others have not already covered? Not much, actually! I bought the game almost two months ago from Classic Game Rooms on EBAY (not trying to plug them, but I had the game within a week and the process went smoothly). My collection had been up until then a ’72 Bally Fireball and a ’76 Williams Space Mission. I love the old machines and keeping them in working order is a nice side hobby, but felt it was time for a solid state/new table.

I’m not a Metallica fan per se. I have respect for the band, but I never listened to them growing up. What caught my eyes were the awesome art and the fast game play. I could not find a Metallica table in my area to try so I watched as many YouTube video as I could find, and read a lot of reviews. I felt it was a game that would not get boring.

Out of the box the setup is a cinch. One thing, the delivery company tried to truck it on the side that clearly was marked as fragile (the back box was on that side). Make sure your delivery person understands this. There are multiple YouTube videos on setting up the game out of the box but it's easy. I had to play around with the menu for the first few days to figure out how to get free games configured, and played around with some of the other menu settings. But, otherwise, I have not had to fiddle with anything. From the first game, the table has been great with no issues mechanically or with the software.

The game rules are still a challenge only because there are so many different CIU’s. I have not hit all of them yet and sometimes I find myself perusing Pinside and other sites to get clarification on both features and rules. I would have liked a more detailed owner’s manual.

Most of the shots are not complicated and the only SDTM’s I have are occasionally on direct and hard hits to Sparky and weak shots up the ramps when the ball does not have the juice to make it all the way up, and then comes down and into the drain. Nudging the table is often effective. I do not find the play repetitive or even remotely boring. I’ve logged lots of games and each night look forward to playing more. The multi-ball is fast and if you can get another going, then you can have four in play at the same time. The “tombstones” are a bitch because even when you get all three down, you then have to hit the cross multiple times to start the multi-ball. If you lose the ball then the “tombstones” reset. If you do succeed, then you get a single multi-ball. Sparky gives you three and he’s a lot less work. It is also easy to light up the extra ball feature by hitting the trapped balls above the “coffin.”

The game does a good job of telling you where you need to send the ball for the most points, but I frequently shoot for the ramps to light up “Metallica” and of course Sparky for the multi-ball. Zapping Sparky never gets old.

I did consider the new STERN KISS pin because I thought the lighting was beautiful and I liked the concert theme. And unlike Metallica, I did listen to KISS as an adolescent in the 1970’s. In the end I just felt the Metallica theme was more rocking and the game play somewhat more entertaining and challenging. All in all I'm really happy with this pin.
8.864/10
4 years ago
I first played this game in the summer of 1974. I remember because we were on a family vacation up in Maine and this table was at an arcade by the lake where we were camping. I was only 9 and had been playing pinball for a few years at the local Boy’s Club in my hometown, but this was the first multi-ball game I’d ever seen. What I remember most is how quickly the balls drained, and all these years later that aspect of the game has not changed!

I had the opportunity to get a fully shopped Fireball last year for a great price and quickly added it to my collection which includes a Williams Mission Space and a Stern Metallica Pro. It lacks specials, extra ball, etc, but what it lacks in typical features it makes up for through its early-1970’s innovations. Sure, zip-flippers basically tanked as a long-term feature, but it’s still cool that back then Bally put out such an innovative table. Arcade owners must have loved it because the games could be over quickly between the small flippers and the drains on each side. It was a money-maker. It’s also a pleasure to look at. The art work was fantastic and the theme is enduring. It’s also not a very loud table in regards to bells and chimes--and that's fine with me.

It is one of the few games I’ve ever played that I can’t win a game on score as easily as I do on most tables. When you get a free game at 5200 you really feel like you worked for it.

It’s just a cool table to own and a definite keeper. I know it's not going to be for everyone, but we love playing this pin.