DaveH's ratings

Pinsider DaveH has rated 13 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms DaveH's personal top 13.

Rating comments

DaveH has written 13 rating comments:

1 year ago
Oh my goodness, this review will sound like I'm a shill, and I hate shills. But after owning GZ for a little while, I have to say this game is amazing. It is rare that I just feel like I'm still getting to know a game after having it here for a while, but GZ just has something.

I grew up on Creature Double Feature, so the theme was right up my ally. But theme alone can't sell a game to me (especially not at today's prices). So I played it for a while on location before buying one. The theme integration is spot on. The slightly corny voiceover work is exactly what it should be.

I have a Pro, and I will say the rules are crazy good (currently running 0.96). But they are a bit difficult to just figure out on your own. The obvious ones are pretty obvious (GZ Multiball, Mechagodzilla), but there are more that you have to read all the inserts. And the text is a bit too small in a lot of places (on the scoop, on the ramps). I also had to read the rules to figure out the next shot on some things. But this is also because there is a lot going on, and they couldn't put 20 more inserts in to guide you. But I overlook that, because this is a multistage game with lots of ways to approach it. On location I figured out plenty to keep me happy, and at home I've found that there is plenty to keep that going.

I know I said it already, but really, theme integration couldn't have been better. And that carries into the lighting. Overall, it is extremely well done.

It took me a little while to pick up on the clues the game was giving me. It would tell me something, but I had no idea how to collect it. Again, I find this to be genius. As I play more an more I find that when I hear something, I know just what to do.

The art is gorgeous. One thing I loved about the Pro is the art package. It is bright and oversaturated in all the right places.

I had thought people sounded like idiots when they were calling this one of the best games ever. I've owned and played too many games to act like some Johnny Come Lately could climb to the top of the mountain. And I also realize that every new game climbs to the top before its slide down to where it belongs. But this is a damn fun game. I think it is going to stay pretty high in the rankings.

If you are thinking of getting one, play it first (like any game). It might not be your cup of tea. But for me, I'd already rate it in my Top 10. In no particular order that would be AFM, Tron, Deadpool, MET, EBD, Stars, Star Trek, AC/DC, LOTR, and now GZ. And the rules in GZ aren't even done yet... wow.
2 years ago
(This is for the Pro)

It's a good game, but it isn't a great game. I was going to buy one, but after playing it more, the game just doesn't have what I'm looking for.

First, it is a "flat" game. Sure, it has wireforms, and the ball does go into different levels, but overall when you step up to it, it really feels and looks like a single level game. Everything that comes up is ramps or wireforms.

I do like the shot to the right orbit, how it goes up and comes down if you hit it cleanly, but really I'm shooting that when it is lit for a gem.

Thor is always there, and I find myself running towards Thor if I'm behind in a game. The shots to start Thor Multiball feel pretty safe, so if I was behind in a tournament, I'd be smacking the Thor shot over and over, trying to get it to feed to the right orbit to make it even safer.

There are a couple times the ball is held just a bit too long, with no opportunity to bypass the cut scene. And in this same vein, the drop out of the tower is a bit odd. It comes screaming out of there. The timing is a bit of a wait, the flashing, and the drop, but it feels difficult to time the next shot from the upper flipper.

Don't take this as an insult, but the game feels "cheap". Again, it is a flat game, and the weight is light. So you definitely want this on rubber feet, because on tile or wood, you will push it all over the place. Not all current Stern games feel like that. In fact, Deadpool feels downright chunky in comparison.

A friend of mine has said the game feels "soulless". And I'm not able to totally disagree with him. It's missing something, and I can't quite put my finger on what it is. It's a game that I play, but then just sort of wander away from. And that feels strange to me. Of course I enjoy it because it is pinball, and all pinball is awesome. But if there is another game next to it, I will probably gravitate to the other game. Once I saw a bunch of this one, it just didn't bring the whole package for me.

And don't take that as anything against Keith. He is an amazing designer. But this game doesn't suit me. That is all, nothing crazy.

UPDATE: I upped my rating in some spots, and lowered a couple down one. The game is flawed because it isn’t satisfying (to me). If you are having a good game, and you play a mode poorly, Thanos takes away your achievements (gems) that you earned earlier. It always feels like if you are not playing a perfect game, it isn’t worth playing. The rules are also too nuanced (I’m shocked I’m saying that). The highest scores cannot be achieved without deep study online of the rules, they can’t be discovered in playing because nothing gives you the clues of the better course.

It’s a good game, but it isn’t a satisfying game.
2 years ago
I never wanted to like this game. A friend bought it, and I played it at his house once in a while. One time there he said he was going to be selling it, and I ignored it. But the next time I was there, it was gone. And I all of a sudden realized I missed it.

Long story short, it was another friend of mine that had bought it, and I contacted him and told him when he was ready to sell it, I was going to buy it next. He offered it up to me right then, and I bought it.

Aerosmith wasn't that popular, but there is something about this game when I play it. Every time I play it, I enjoy it. It's weird. Stern didn't sell that many, it just wasn't a big seller. But I just think the game is awesome. It's fun to play, and for me that is the biggest measurement of a pinball machine. It's not a quick player, and it is one of the only games I have setup with a ballsaver, and slightly easier settings. That didn't make it easy, but it makes it a bit more relaxed.

I still don't hit the right ramp consistently. For some reason that is a tight shot for me. And the left orbit through the bumpers is just pure luck when I make it. But that isn't a design flaw, it just keeps it interesting.

My only knock on it is that it is a SPIKE game, and it is the only SPIKE game I still own (for now, that might change). I don't like SPIKE and I don't think it is a great long term design, more like consumer garbage. But I figure if I have to buy node boards, or a CPU down the road for it, that is the risk of it. I still keep it, because it's fun. That just the cost analysis I put on it.

Update May 2021: I still own this game, and I'm surprised by that. However, every time I play this game, I still like it. I always have fun playing it. And for me, that is the most important thing in pinball. The honeymoon is long over. But I could walk up to the game right now, hit the start button, and I'd have a good time. Besides a minor issue with the Toybox (connector), the game has been 100% reliable. What can I say, I just enjoy playing the it. Not leaving any time soon.
7 years ago
I liked WOZ. I did have some issues with mine, but overall it was a stunning first effort from JJP.

The rules are fantastic. However the one minor flaw in the rules is Rescue Multiball. It's basically impossible to finish to collect that diamond. It's just too hard. And that's a shame. I never felt I ever had a chance at "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" because I knew I couldn't finish rescue.

Besides that one niggle, the rules are a stackfest of fun. Some people complained about the sounds, but once they rebalanced them in an update, they were fine.

It's a fun game. I owned it for about 2 years, which is pretty good.

Update May, 2021: I have not owned another JJP game since WOZ. That is because of the technical issues I had with my WOZ. The actual issue was a broken connector on the back of the Crystal Ball, which would reset the game sometimes. It took 6 months of this strange problem to track it down, and when I finally did solve it, I bought the parts, fixed it, and sold the game. I can honestly say that if my game hadn't had that issue, I'd have probably not sold it. Overall, I had clearcoat issues within the first month, light boards go bad, and the reset issue that took 6 months to finally solve. The worst part about that is the game is fun. A fun game, in what I found to be an unreliable package. And I still can't bring myself to own their games again. I wish it hadn't gone like that.
7 years ago
What a fun game. Monster Bash is let down by the fact that it's possible to see most of the game quickly. The rules are a bit narrow... But they are fun. It is a typical "shoot to start, shoot to complete" type of game. But it just works well. Have a smile and play a game.

(Note: It's overpriced as well, but still fun.)
7 years ago
TOM bores me. It always has since I first played it. The game just never clicked for me. I've found a ton of 90s games I love. This just isn't one of them.

Update: I really dislike that my rating for TOM comes out so low. I realize it’s popular. I just don’t enjoy playing it.
7 years ago
AC/DC is an odd game. I don't want to like it. Not a big fan of the band. But every time I play it, I have fun. Stern did exactly what they needed to. They made a fun game. The layout is pretty generic fan. But the rules are very well done. Lots of variations for scoring. But sometimes it's fun to take down each song champ. The game stands the test of time.
7 years ago
Oh Steve! I love that Getaway is easy to explain to people. Even pinball newbs tend to like it. Yes, the rules are shallow... But it is so darn much fun that I don't care. Light the lights, and run from the cops! The entire balance of the game is just great.

Update May 2021: I still have this game? Really? Oh, it is my longest owned game at over 10 years. And that is very odd for me. I've sold games I owned before Getaway without ever looking back. Once a game hits that "I'm bored" stage, for me it has to go. Getaway never got there. It just hangs out here. I still chase the high scores my friend put on it. I want to crush it, but I never do. It is still fun to play, and that sounds crazy to me. The game lasted longer than my marriage, and it shows no signs of going anywhere. Every 3 or 4 years I shop it, clean it up, and it is ready to go. Over the last few years I have sort of changed the way I rate games... I really care about the level of fun and enjoyment playing them, followed closely by reliability. And after that first "deep" shop job where things like brackets and parts were replaced it has been extremely reliable. Simple and good, that is Getaway in a nutshell.
7 years ago
One of my favorite games of all time. It is such a special game. However it isn't perfect. The rules are a bit shallow, however here they work perfectly. Mine has been setup many different ways over the years. I've had it easy, I've had it brutal, and I've had it in between. I think the best spot is towards brutal, but not all the way. Triple Multiball should be a rare and special happening. That way when you do it, you feel like a pinball god. Great game.

Update May, 2021: BSD has left my house. It lasted about 9 years here, which is a stunningly long time. In the end, it happened. Just like all games, eventually you hit the point where you are bored with playing it. The amount of time that takes varies between different games. But for me, 9 years is crazy long.

I can honestly say after owning it that long that BSD is an exquisite game. It has straightforward rules of the 90s that just captured the good stuff. Set yourself up to do the Thirty Milllllliooooonnnnn shots, and then rip the hell out of it. But it would always fight back, and BSD had that edge that works so well. Killing Dracula was always a thrill, and castle jackpots were a blast. I honestly wish I had never owned it... because then I could buy one and feel the same thrill of how good a game it was.
7 years ago
4.5 years after buying it, Tron is still a "goto" game for me. I've done some mods over the years, but the game itself is wonderful. If I concentrate I can beat every mode in the game. However I can't beat them all in the same game. Light Cycle can be a total bitch to beat. But the mini wizard mode is perfect. In Sea Of Simulation (awarded at the scoop after starting but not completing all modes), you have a chance to finish every mode. However, drain and you start from only completed modes. I think it's perfect because of how the pressure increases. I always feel I can get to Portal, yet in 4.5 years I've only started it once. I swear I'll get it the next game...

One of Stern's best games. Simple to understand, but so hard to do.

Update May, 2021: Was Tron one of the best games Stern ever made? Yeah, I think it was. For me, it is right up there with LOTR. It just had the whole package. I sold my Tron last year. I owned it for 7 great years. After thousands of games, it was time to go. It is at a friends house now, and I enjoy visiting it. The game has a wonderful quality of play that I've always enjoyed.
7 years ago
Play better? No, that doesn't fit GB. It is a game full of cheap drains. On some games, that can work. But here, it doesn't work well at all. The linear ruleset is horrible when combined with a brutal game. Even if it's less brutal, you play the same 3 modes over and over. Maybe you want to go deeper? Nah, play these first. The drop targets that bring the ball through the air, barf. This was a hard effort by Stern. They needed to do a lot more play testing and tweaking of the physical game.

Update, 2021: I'm actually annoyed that I rated this game so low, but I'm more annoyed that I still think it deserved that harsh a rating. I'm totally fine that some Pinsiders flagged this. GB just wasn't ready for primetime when they put it out. Stern just didn't test this game enough. And I still feel that way.
7 years ago
I've never been that big a fan of MM. I always thought it was just OK. It has never been a good value though. In the "dollars vs fun" equation, MM falls down. The 90s gave us a lot of great games, but this wasn't one of them. There are a lot of games from that era that are more fun to me.
7 years ago
I'm on my second LOTR. I sold my old one just to upgrade to a HUO copy that played amazing.

After years of owning it, I don't play it as much. However, when I do play it, I still love it. It's the rules. They are just perfect. There is so much variation to how you can play it. Gifts from the elves are awesome when you earn them.

Valinor... I've never been, and I doubt I ever will be. However, I can do almost all the parts of it except beat ROTK. That is why it's amazing. I can do almost everything on its own, but not in the same game. Maybe I'm fRther away than I think, but the game always makes me think I can win. Awesome game. If you have the chance, own it and get to know it.

Update May, 2021: Ok, my second LOTR left as well. And that was probably my last LOTR I'll own. What an awesome game it was. LOTR is a quest. Score means nothing, it is all about getting things done. That might be finishing multiballs, finishing modes, There and Back Again, or even getting all the way. It's all about the journey. Great game, and definitely in the top tier of all the games ever made.

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