drbond's ratings

Pinsider drbond has rated 85 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms drbond's personal top 85.


Rating comments

drbond has written 85 rating comments:


9.184/10
8 months ago
The Walking Dead pinball while bashed on release, over time has become one of the best Stern pins, as well as one of the best pins ever made. Fans of the AMC TV show will certainly like the cabinet art on the Premium/Standard edition (Season 3), and will appreciate the cabinet art (Season 1) on the LE. Translites for all of them are serviceable at best, but reminiscent of the translite art from the mid 2000's Stern machines. Playfield art layout of the map is unique, but a bunch of photoshopped no-name zombies won't get anything but a 'meh'. What will blow people's minds is the fast and furious gameplay! Beautiful arcing orbits, along with awesome ramps, makes this pin a blast to shoot. You will be blasting away zombies in what is essentially you playing the role of a no-name survivor in the world of the AMC TV show, trying to survive and be the "Last Man Standing". To do this you will be required to take down Walkers constantly, hitting lit shots to kill zombies and do combo takedowns, to quickly amass the kills needed to start the wizard mode(s). Horde mode is easily one of the best wizard modes in pinball, further showing off the excellent lighting in the game with lots of blood red colors as the walkers slowly approach you. DMD animation is incredibly brutal, as you shoot/stab/smash zombie heads in very cartoonish but explicit animations not for the squeamish. TWD may be the best coded game in pinball. Over the course of several years, Lyman Sheats coded this masterpiece (v 1.60). There is so much to do, so many scoring potential with the multipliers, and every single area of the playfield is used (like the supply box to activate Bloodbath). Speaking of shots, this game has a ton of things to shoot for including a disgusting Well Walker bash toy that exposes his guts on hit, if you have the Premium or LE. In addition to the Well Walker, you can also shoot the doors to a prison and reveal an additional zombie bash toy head. The Premium/LE models also include a zombie head revealed under the bicycle girl ramp, as well as the use of a crossbow ball launcher mech near the apron; which also functions as an in-game Walker Bomb, to help with mode completion. Along with the mediocre artwork, the voice overs are what really drops scores for this game. The AMC theme song is present, and the mode music is really good, but the in-game narrator is really bad and over the top (in a bad way). Overall, TWD is a game that doesn't look good or have good voice over calls, but is a brutally hard and fast game with legendary game code, to place this as one of the best games of all time and a game that will have you coming back for more with its fun factor & challenge.
9.284/10
8 months ago
The Walking Dead pinball while bashed on release, over time has become one of the best Stern pins, as well as one of the best pins ever made. Fans of the AMC TV show will certainly like the cabinet art on the Premium/Standard edition (Season 3), and will appreciate the cabinet art (Season 1) on the LE. Translites for all of them are serviceable at best, but reminiscent of the translite art from the mid 2000's Stern machines. Playfield art layout of the map is unique, but a bunch of photoshopped no-name zombies won't get anything but a 'meh'. What will blow people's minds is the fast and furious gameplay! Beautiful arcing orbits, along with awesome ramps, makes this pin a blast to shoot. You will be blasting away zombies in what is essentially you playing the role of a no-name survivor in the world of the AMC TV show, trying to survive and be the "Last Man Standing". To do this you will be required to take down Walkers constantly, hitting lit shots to kill zombies and do combo takedowns, to quickly amass the kills needed to start the wizard mode(s). Horde mode is easily one of the best wizard modes in pinball, further showing off the excellent lighting in the game with lots of blood red colors as the walkers slowly approach you. DMD animation is incredibly brutal, as you shoot/stab/smash zombie heads in very cartoonish but explicit animations not for the squeamish. TWD may be the best coded game in pinball. Over the course of several years, Lyman Sheats coded this masterpiece (v 1.60). There is so much to do, so many scoring potential with the multipliers, and every single area of the playfield is used (like the supply box to activate Bloodbath). Speaking of shots, this game has a ton of things to shoot for including a disgusting Well Walker bash toy that exposes his guts on hit, if you have the Premium or LE. In addition to the Well Walker, you can also shoot the doors to a prison and reveal an additional zombie bash toy head. The Premium/LE models also include a zombie head revealed under the bicycle girl ramp, as well as the use of a crossbow ball launcher mech near the apron; which also functions as an in-game Walker Bomb, to help with mode completion. Along with the mediocre artwork, the voice overs are what really drops scores for this game. The AMC theme song is present, and the mode music is really good, but the in-game narrator is really bad and over the top (in a bad way). Overall, TWD is a game that doesn't look good or have good voice over calls, but is a brutally hard and fast game with legendary game code, to place this as one of the best games of all time and a game that will have you coming back for more with its fun factor & challenge.
9.401/10
8 years ago
Metallica has shaped up to be a must have music pin. Fan layout has long shots to keep gameplay smooth. The mouth to the awesome metal-etched ramps are very tight, similar to Borg's own Tron Legacy. Overall clean design with little clutter. Very fast orbits, combo-able ramps, along with Snake/Mystery kickers firing back pinballs like missiles; makes for a very fast playing pin. Code since release has had several improvements, with game being primarily a multiball fest. Game rules ask for a requisite amount of specific shots to qualify for "Crank it Up". In "Crank it Up" the game rules will ask for certain fun things, themed around four songs; completing them all will let you go for the wizard mode based around Death Magnetic's "End of the Line" song. Cool light show & amazing dot matrix animation! The art package is outstanding! Dirty Donny's entire package: from the cabinet, playfield, and version translites; to the actual design for Sparky (who you electrocute via repeated shots), is nothing short of incredible. The mentioned Sparky bobble-head toy is awesome, as is the drop-target covered Puppets grave marker. Hetfield and company provide some entertaining sound clips, while music volume is lowered when triggered (in order to not trip over songs). The Premium/LE model contains a grave marker that ascends, as well as a center magnet that lowers the pinball into an under-playfield casket (once the Hammer of Justice comes down onto it). Both unnecessary to gameplay (in the case of the hammer, an annoyance as some of the playfield view is diminished), but very cool to look at. Metallica's biggest sin is the implementation of the music itself. While AC/DC chose to innovate music license pins by having song choices alter game rules (each song has its own high scores listings), Metallica uses all 12 hit songs as simple soundtrack fodder; which you can do already with your gameroom iPod/stereo/etc. The game has more in common with Guns n Roses than anything in some ways too, with certain songs starting up during modes (Master of Puppets for Grave Marker Multiball, Sad But True for Snake Multiball, or End of the Line for the wizard mode). LE and Premium models have the machine rate a bit higher than the Pro, for the cool factor (rising grave marker, open/close snake mouth, and hammer of justice that smashes your ball into the coffin lock). Metallica code updates clearly went a long way to improving the experience and game now comes close to Borg's best title Tron Legacy. Overall, pin is now favored by general pinheads & metalheads (who already liked the game before). You'll have fun with Metallica.
9.221/10
8 years ago
Metallica has shaped up to be a must have music pin. Fan layout has long shots to keep gameplay smooth. The mouth to the awesome metal-etched ramps are very tight, similar to Borg's own Tron Legacy. Overall clean design with little clutter. Very fast orbits, combo-able ramps, along with Snake/Mystery kickers firing back pinballs like missiles; makes for a very fast playing pin. Code since release has had several improvements, with game being primarily a multiball fest. Game rules ask for a requisite amount of specific shots to qualify for "Crank it Up". In "Crank it Up" the game rules will ask for certain fun things, themed around four songs; completing them all will let you go for the wizard mode based around Death Magnetic's "End of the Line" song. Cool light show & amazing dot matrix animation! The art package is outstanding! Dirty Donny's entire package: from the cabinet, playfield, and version translites; to the actual design for Sparky (who you electrocute via repeated shots), is nothing short of incredible. The mentioned Sparky bobble-head toy is awesome, as is the drop-target covered Puppets grave marker. Hetfield and company provide some entertaining sound clips, while music volume is lowered when triggered (in order to not trip over songs). The Metallica Pro model must be commended, as similar to Tron Legacy Pro, gameplay remains relatively unchanged from the Premium/LE (the removal of the Hammer of Justice premium toy allows for better view of the playfield to boot). Metallica's biggest sin is the implementation of the music itself. While AC/DC chose to innovate music license pins by having song choices alter game rules (each song has its own high scores listings), Metallica uses all 12 hit songs as simple soundtrack fodder; which you can do already with your gameroom iPod/stereo/etc. The game has more in common with Guns n Roses than anything in some ways too, with certain songs starting up during modes (Master of Puppets for Grave Marker Multiball, Sad But True for Snake Multiball, or End of the Line for the wizard mode). Metallica code updates clearly went a long way to improving the experience and game now comes close to Borg's best title Tron Legacy. Overall, pin is now favored by general pinheads & metalheads (who already liked the game before). You'll have fun with Metallica. Highly recommended game especially if your into saving some money, by going with the Pro Model line from Stern on this one!
9.048/10
9 years ago
Ladies and gentlemen, nothing can prepare you for this spectacle! You don't have to be an AC/DC fan to have a blast with this super fast game! Speed freaks rejoice! Stern has heard your call! After a long break from pinball, Steve Ritchie returns along with SM programmer Lyman Sheats for this spectacular music themed pin (effectively uncrowning GNR as best music pin). Steve takes a layout inspired heavily from T2, with updated rulesets inspired by games like BSD or BDK for building risky jackpot millions (using the FIRE button as an cash-in activator...awesome!!!). AC/DC pinball takes 12 of the greatest rock songs from the band's catalog, and builds scoring rules around each one; peppered around certain sections of the playfield. Lots of strategy, as you build toward the new Encore wizard mode, completing the song catalog using various shots. Some of the cheesy toys are omitted in the Pro model increasing the overall speed of the game (no TNT drop targets, etc), but is brought down in wow-factor because of the lack of the greatest toy in its LE counterpart's arsenal...the magnet activated "Hell's Bell". In place of the fiery demon within the LE mini-playfield, Pro owners get a HUGE album art depiction of Angus Young's face. Angus' sneering face is effectively a middle finger to AC/DC haters, but regardless, its a bit distracting even for fans. Finally, the LE's metal ramp used to feed the cannon from left ramp shots is missing on the Pro, limiting gameplay variety in shooting either ramps to load the cannon in "For Those About To Rock". Incredible custom dot matrix animation...new Rosie animations are risque....playing along to a ridiculous light show! To close the deal, Steve does some incredible devil inspired voice overs to smack-talk you in this challenging pin. Bonus points for Steve doing quotes from his other games (T2 & SM). The design team has learned from other music theme games, and decided to not trip over music tracks during play. You pick a song, and you play it to the end. AC/DC fans will rock out, but non-fans may get bored after a while of the music. It took a while, but with the latest updates, AC/DC pinball has been elevated to elite status among the Stern greats (LOTR, TSPP, SM, BDK, FG). *AC/DC fans in stadium cheering dot animation*. Folks, THIS is how you do a music themed pin! "Your mind on a fantasy...livin on the ectasy"...this pinball experience sure as hell is a "Rock' n Roll Train"!
9.416/10
9 years ago
Ladies and gentlemen, nothing can prepare you for this spectacle! You don't have to be an AC/DC fan to have a blast with this super fast game! Speed freaks rejoice! Stern has heard your call! After a long break from pinball, Steve Ritchie returns along with SM programmer Lyman Sheats for this spectacular music themed pin (effectively uncrowning GNR as best music pin). Steve takes a layout inspired heavily from T2, with updated rulesets inspired by games like BSD or BDK for building risky jackpot millions (using the FIRE button as an cash-in activator...awesome!!!). AC/DC pinball takes 12 of the greatest rock songs from the band's catalog, and builds scoring rules around each one; peppered around certain sections of the playfield. Lots of strategy, as you build toward the new Encore wizard mode, completing the song catalog using various shots. While some of the toys on the LE are cheesy (especially the dancing band), unnecessary (lower playfield), or unoriginal (cannon)...but the "Hell's Bell" toy has to be one of the best & unique toys in recent history. Incredible custom dot matrix animation...new Rosie animations are risque....playing along to a ridiculous light show (which has color changing LED's on the Premium models)! To close the deal, Steve does some incredible devil inspired voice overs to smack-talk you in this challenging pin. Bonus points for Steve doing quotes from his other games (T2 & SM). The design team has learned from other music theme games, and decided to not trip over music tracks during play. You pick a song, and you play it to the end. AC/DC fans will rock out, but non-fans may get bored after a while of the music. It took a while, but with the latest updates, AC/DC pinball has been elevated to elite status among the Stern greats (LOTR, TSPP, SM, BDK, FG). *AC/DC fans in stadium cheering dot animation*. Folks, THIS is how you do a music themed pin! "Your mind on a fantasy...livin on the ectasy"...this pinball experience sure as hell is a "Rock' n Roll Train"!
9.220/10
9 years ago
"Whoa-Whoa-Whoa!" A possible turning point for game design from John Borg, started with the fun Iron Man game. Bringing back memories of early 90's style pins (less flashy toys, like T2 or HSII), this game feels very similar to Borg's own DE Tommy. Very fast moving game, with lots of ramps! Not a whole lot of moving parts. A fellow pinsider agreed, in that this machine is definately one of the most accessible modern machines to maintain, for new pinball machine collectors. The "recognizer" three target motorized bank should be familiar to fans of Spider-Man or Attack from Mars (hit the ball past the target and ricochet the ball within like a Tron disc). Art is typical photoshop, with a really cool looking 3D translite ala Stern's Avatar. Incredible sound! Wow! Possibly the best sounding machine produced by Stern! Daft Punk fans will dig selections used from the movie soundtrack. Semi-difficult game with quite a bit of drains going in the outlanes, but not as brutal as Iron Man. Overall, a fun game! The biggest feature of Tron LE (aside from some minor software changes) is the neon lighting, adorning the ramps in this game. Incredible addition to this game! Great to see Stern improving on their machines' fun factor. Can't wait to see John Borg's next design! Maybe his next one we'll see him revist another classic layout...TFTC.
8.436/10
9 years ago
Transformers is a fun mash-up of Gomez's best designs (Monster Bash, Johnny Mnemonic, & latest rule features from Batman). In a way, this is to Gomez...to what Steve Ritchie was his game, No Fear. Transformers is a love letter to fans of the franchise, going back to Generation 1. Fans will dig the remixed "more than meets the eye" theme music used, while newer fans will like the art and sound effect package (Peter Cullen soundalike is tolerable) used from the Michael Bay movies. Pro model has a strong art package, similar to the combo LE, dividing up the cabinet in two. The decision to split up the entire playfield down the middle into factions, was a nice touch. The decision to allow the player to initially choose their starting faction (requiring different rollover triggers) and chase different objectives (per faction; ie destroy Megatron or Optimus), is extremely original. Watching Megatron's tank form (from the Michael Bay movie) fire balls is pretty cool, though his transformation mechanic in the LE model is missed here. Optimus Prime bash target brings forth memories of hitting Frankenstein in Monster Bash, while saucer shot on the left is similar to MB's Creature Feature shot. Bumblebee captive ball shot is cool, while making the back-to-back ramp shots reminds players of Johnny Mnemonic. The rules rely on heavy multiplier use, mode time extensions, and add-a-ball (Mudflap and Skids) ala Batman Dark Knight...making for some fun & frantic precision shooting. Very fun game with good flow (fast game with the absence of Ironhide or Starscream LE gimmicks). Certain portions of the game requires repeated hits to trigger certain characters to advance, and drags the game down a bit (could do with a more fun animated progress animation on dot matrix, at the least). With some more updates, this game has definite promise. "Roll out!"
8.412/10
9 years ago
Transformers LE is a fun mash-up of Gomez's best designs (Monster Bash, Johnny Mnemonic, Corvette, & latest rule features from Batman). In a way, this is to Gomez...to what Steve Ritchie was his game, No Fear. Transformers is a love letter to fans of the franchise, going back to Generation 1. Fans will dig the remixed "more than meets the eye" theme music used, while newer fans will like the art and sound effect package (Peter Cullen soundalike is tolerable) used from the Michael Bay movies. Regardless of the LE version, each one of the premium models shines in the art department. The decision to split up the entire playfield down the middle into factions, was a nice touch. The decision to allow the player to initially choose their starting faction (requiring different rollover triggers) and chase different objectives (per faction; ie destroy Megatron or Optimus), is extremely original. In the LE, Megatron's transformation mechanic is cool (turning into a gun ala Generation 1), as is the static All Spark cube. LE's moving Starscream shot calls for sniper precision. Optimus Prime bash target brings forth memories of hitting Frankenstein in Monster Bash, while saucer shot on the left is similar to MB's Creature Feature shot. Bumblebee captive ball shot is cool, while making the back-to-back ramp shots reminds players of Johnny Mnemonic. The LE version adds an etched Autobot ramp, with a Ironhide minigame where players jiggle the ball back and forth to score points (similar to revving the engine/pinball in Corvette). The rules rely on heavy multiplier use, mode time extensions, and add-a-ball (Mudflap and Skids) ala Batman Dark Knight...making for some fun & frantic precision shooting. Very fun game with good flow (albeit slowed down a bit via ramps, if compared to the super fast Pro model). The Ironhide extended ramp does slow the game a bit, and current rules don't award the player enough to keeping the ball in that particular area for long. Certain portions of the game requires repeated hits to trigger certain characters to advance, and drags the game down a bit (could do with a more fun animated progress animation on dot matrix, at the least). With some more updates, this game has definite promise. "Roll out!"
7.134/10
9 years ago
"Wait 'til they get a load of me!" Data East's Batman is a fairly straightforward game, that is often overlooked (sometimes dissed). Batman is a typical early 90s Data East; not very complex rules while you spam two or three shots at most (batcave, joker face, and Flugelheim). What separates Batman from the earlier DE alphanumerics is its innovations. Batman was another of Data Easts' pins to employ the brand new DMD technology (used in Checkpoint), and is the first pin to use BSM2000 sound system. The stereo sound system in Batman was employed in all future games for DE, and it sounds incredible here when enhanced with Pinball Pro. Game uses some very good lightning as is, and truly comes to life when LED'd. I only wish they could have really done something with the Dot Matrix. You'll sometimes get a pan of a grinning Joker, while other times it just displays an ordinary arrow to show which lane is the target for the ball launch skill shot (yawn). The pin has various remixes of the Tim Burton Batman theme, and it works with the fairly accurate art package (the side art is REALLY COOL). A shame DE could not get the rights to select Prince songs from the soundtrack. "Partyman", "Trust", or "Electric Chair" (my pick) would have broken up the monotony of hearing Joker. Hearing Joker repeat "HAHAHA" continously when you start up laugh mode...you'll want to throw yourself into a Axis Chemicals vat yourself. Overall, Batman fans will find the game looks very good (awesome mirrored backglass), and the game is fairly easy to understand. A decent game for kids, novices, and decent enough first pin for collectors. I would highly recommend Batman fans on a budget (Sterns' Dark Knight is very expensive nowadays) to look for Batman Forever. Superior game in every way in this similar price range.
9.120/10
10 years ago
"Whoa-Whoa-Whoa!" A possible turning point for game design from John Borg, started with the fun Iron Man game. Bringing back memories of early 90's style pins (less flashy toys, like T2 or HSII), this game feels very similar to Borg's own DE Tommy. Very fast moving game, with lots of ramps! Not a whole lot of moving parts. A fellow pinsider agreed, in that this machine is definately one of the most accessible modern machines to maintain, for new pinball machine collectors. The "recognizer" three target motorized bank should be familiar to fans of Spider-Man or Attack from Mars (hit the ball past the target and ricochet the ball within like a Tron disc). Art is typical photoshop. Depending on the production run of Tron Legacy Pro, the game will either include a cool looking 3D translite ala Stern's Avatar, collage of all the main characters, or translite featuring the lovely ladies of the film (Gem & Quorra). Incredible sound! Wow! Possibly the best sounding machine produced by Stern! Daft Punk fans will dig selections used from the movie soundtrack. Semi-difficult game with quite a bit of drains going in the outlanes, but not as brutal as Iron Man. Overall, a fun game! Great to see Stern improving on their machines' fun factor. Special props go out to Borg's team for keeping the gameplay almost identical, in making the Pro model compared to the LE model. Can't wait to see John Borg's next design! Maybe his next one we'll see him revist another classic layout...TFTC. Highly recommended game to collector's who watch their pinball budgets, as the Pro model has all the fun from the LE model here at half the price.
7.985/10
10 years ago
You hardly ever see this pin & its a shame. Take note though pinheads because POTO is a classic! POTO probably started off as an advertising piece for the 1989 movie remake. Don't be so quick to judge, because this is one of the best themed pins out there. The art in this game is unbelievable, inspired by the 1925 & 1943 period piece films. Check out the art as the organ ramp rises, revealing a "Lon Chaney-ish" Phantom. Lighting in the game is showstopping in combination with the backglass revealing the Phantom's masked face. Easily Data East's best looking pin. Paul Farris' best work since Centaur! Sound is well done, replicating the theme song. Quite a few interesting shots with lots of subway ball travel. Magic mirror is cool as is the iconic rising Phantom organ ramp. Game has a sinister theme to it, but has fun with itself. Christine: "Extra baaaaall". If there is a flaw, it's the simplistic rules. With LED's & pinball pro, POTO is an experience. Definately check this game out!
7.908/10
10 years ago
Surprisingly fun game from Steve Ritchie! WPT is the realization of bringing together the EM & modern era, and is THE shooters game of Stern's SAM-powered lineup. The game has a mind-boggling number of drop targets; 16 drop-targets in all. The EM-esque nostalgia runs high in WPT. Stern innovates a bit with its mini-playfield within the playfield, "Ace in the Hole" ball lock feature, as well as a DMD on the playing field displaying your hand (similar to Cirquis Voltaire). Keith Johnson's ruleset on this thing is crazy! Awesome game when running the latest software. Runner-up to LOTR & TSPP as most complex, though basis for the game is novice friendly or non-poker players (thanks to audible VOX queues). Sound quality is great with some catchy tunes. Artwork in this game is TERRIBLE! My God! How could the artist have possibly made Courtney Friel more creepy-looking? Overall, some good flow, solid gameplay, and all for a ridicously cheap price (probably the cheapest SAM-powered Stern pin).
7.515/10
10 years ago
Simple but surprisingly good game from Sega. Godzilla plays a lot like T2. Lots of very long shots & dangerous upper-playfield ricochet area with pops above. Strong theming. Scaley green ramps look sweet (look sweeter in a LED'd machine)! Godzilla appears to bust through the playfield, alongside his "Zilla Breath" feature. Magnets below the playfield, simulate Godzilla fire-breathing on your pinball, as it moves it around. Lots of multiball with a ruleset letting you stack them. Decent DMD animations, lightshow, captive ball, shaker motor (makes sense for this license), Mathew Broderick sound-alike VOX, & shockingly good music for a Sega. Art package on Godzilla is good overall (translite, cabinet, & playfield). Very good game for novices, but lacks modes for more advanced players. Kids will probably like Godzilla over the other pins. With stronger software, Godzilla could have really been something. Overall though, not a bad Sega. Rare game to find, so play one if you can find one.
9.216/10
10 years ago
Spectacular pin! Williams was pushing the boundaries with TOTAN, expanding on the storytelling concept in a pinball machine. TOTAN uses a completely original pin theme, telling an epic story; wisking players into a universe to that of an Ali Baba & Forty Thieves setting in Bahgdad. Your job is to rescue the princess, who is imprisoned by the evil genie, Salim Bagazzi. Right off the bat, your a part of the story. Striking art design, incredible voice work, middle-eastern music score, & DMD animations that pull you in. The central game nemesis (the genie) & original theme harkens back to classics like Black Knight. Shot layout is very good, with some stop & go for novices. Genie magnet is very cool, while the spinning magic lamp is fun to shoot for. Overall, the game feels alot like the fun Theatre of Magic at times. Light humor (snake bite skillshot & cyclops bash) & some of the most entertaining modes since Indiana Jones '93. One of the more expensive WPC-95 machines & instant classic.
9.176/10
10 years ago
Papaduik's most complete pin & arguably his best. CV is one of the most breathtaking machines you will see. The playfield DMD will blow you away! Artwork by Linda Deal is stupendous. Bright colors on this thing just pop! Audio is top notch. You won't find toys like this in any other machine. The menagerie, backbox cannon, pinball juggler, & adorning neon tube are incredible! The ringmaster head that ascends from the playfield is the main attraction (also acts as a magnet). The evil ringmaster has lots of charisma, great voice overs, and makes for a fun target to bash on. Novices will love him! Lots of great shots & stacking multiball. One of the shots travels around the back of the machine & returns to the flipper itself. Crazy stuff! Wizard mode is a multi-tiered extravanganza in order to "Join the Cirqus". CV may seem unfinished at times (ball gets hung up ALOT), video mode is lame (copy & paste from Dr Who, with a kangaroo jumping over things on a unicycle), but otherwise a classic.
7.385/10
10 years ago
A real missed opportunity with the Star Wars IP. SWEP1 is a different take on the Pinball 2000 platform. While Revenge from Mars relied somewhat on playfield inspiration from its predecessor (Attack from Mars), EP1 embraces the use of the projected monitor images for its gameplay. Game is largely a visual design. Projected images are blown up even more than in RFM. The graphics/movies were state of the art for its time. Tons of play revolves around the center target interaction area & center holes. Pinball players will probably hate this but its usually a hit with kids. Shooter lane lightsaber adds to the visual factor (neon tube ala Cirqus Voltaire). Probably should have used more ramps, shot variation, & less video interaction. Not the worst pin & but slightly worse than Sega's Star Wars Trilogy. More affordable brother to the excellent Revenge from Mars. If your a Star Wars fan, check out EP1 on location. If you want to BUY a Star Wars pin, look for the Data East Star Wars pin.
8.859/10
10 years ago
The top dog of the System 11 machines! One of Pat Lawlor's best designs. Pat took good notes from fellow designer Steve Ritchie's High Speed; building up a climatic payoff for completing the story/modes. Your job as a storm chaser, is to follow its course direction. Ultimately, you come face to face with mother nature & try to survive a fan topper simulated tornado. Playfield spinners activate to simulate the pinball being affected by the winds. A huge hit with players/kids. Prepare to wait in lines to play WW & get cooled off by the fan during the hot summer nights. Tons of incredible shots that would become Lawlor trademarks; shooting the ball through the pop bumpers. Attractive color scheme, beautiful translite, immortal sound quotes, catchy MIDI music, & universal appeal wrap up this must-own 1990 classic. Fairly affordable fun game, with lots of nostalgic moments. This legendary game can stand toe-to-toe with the DMD era pins. "The storm is coming, return to your homes!"
8.252/10
10 years ago
Very fun pin from John Popaduik, and one of his better designs. You don't have to be a soccer aficionado to have a blast with WCS. Game is probably an instant home run for soccer fans, as it blows away Stern's Striker Xtreme. Lots of flow, ramps, & very good integration of the soccer theme. WCS implements a spinning soccer ball to deflect shots (its own take on Whirlwind's spinners), and a moving goalie to prevent your goal shots. You will get a rush from the bass pounding crowd cheers after you score a goal. Incredible audio & play-by-play by in-house Midway all-star announcer Tim Kitzrow (of NBA Jam fame). Playfield art is decent (bright teal playfield color is questionable), while the translite is better in comparison. Game has a surprising amount of modes/shots, for a playfield that caters to novices with its simplicity. The best of the sports license pins, and overall, great bang for your buck machine.
8.312/10
10 years ago
When I try to think of the ultimate System 11 game for the family (make sure to mod out the infamous naughty quote), I think of this classic. Pat Lawlor's first disaster themed pin. Probably not as epic as Whirlwind, ES is no pushover. Incredibly original playfield layout for its time, and still one of Lawlor's most creative designs. Overall, a well put together pin. Sunday-comics style playfield art instantly grabs your attention, & backglass is cool as hell. Lots of challenging shots! It will take a while to master this one. Shaker motor, while no longer a novel idea, is still very cool! "EARTHSHAKER!!" Watching the machine shake while the fault line rips in two, is a fan fav moment. Throw in incredibly catchy rockabilly tunes & timeless quotes ("Ooh, give me shelter"), & you have yourself a pinball classic. To top it off, along with the first High Speed, this is the cheapest of the all-star System 11 pins (WW, BK2K, & Elvira). A no-brainer choice for collectors & first-time owners.
9.041/10
10 years ago
Scared Stiff is an extremely fun pin & sequel to the Elvira & Party Monsters system 11 classic. Runner-up to TOM, as the prettiest looking pinball machine. Translite art is beautiful & playfield jumps out with incredible color/detail. Sounds are amazing, with lots of innuendo from Elvira herself. Tons of humor (stiff in the coffin, dancing boogiemen, & DMD dots). Dennis Nordman learned alot prior to SS. Lots of windy ramps (Boney Beast) & orbits that travel the entire machine (WH2O). The powerdown effect from Demo Man & Party Monsters returns during Scared Stiff's wizard mode. The crate is this game's greatest strength & greatest flaw. While being very fun to hit, especially for novices, it will get old FAST! The entire game can ultimately revolve around just hammering on it. Exploiting the spider wheel exposes problems with balancing; a never-ending game. You will sadly end up getting bored. Buy this one, but make sure to have another pin to play. Highly recommended play on location!
8.528/10
10 years ago
Fun follow-up to one of the legends of 90's pinball & an interesting first endeavor for Pinball 2000 platform. RFM takes the best parts of Attack from Mars, simplifies the layout, and adds one of the coolest hardware gimmicks in pinball; 3D-ish interactive images from an overhead monitor reflected across the playfield. Witnessing the ball interact with images needs to be seen! As for physical gameplay, it's a simplified take on AFM. Visible vertical length of the playfield is reduced, though a lot of the ramps & stroke of luck hole remain intact. The main addition is center targets which will register interaction with a projected image upon hit. Various scenarios where you are shooting aliens in a bar, witnessing aliens create huge cows/ducks, or assisting a gigantic robot Abraham Lincoln in a Mortal Kombat-esque 1v1 fight against a giant alien ("16th president wins"). Great humor, animation, & incredible audio! Probably not for everyone, nor a top 20 game, but definately a fun pin!
6.559/10
10 years ago
"Do you know what world you've come to?" I do. Its a mediocre one that pinheads will pass on. Lost World gets everything wrong, which Data East's Jurrasic Park got right. Playfield layout is barren, with the only meaningful shots being the GPS ramps that can be hit back to back ala Terminator 2. Toys are sorta cool (jeep & dino egg) but do not hold a candle to the incredible T-rex from the first JP. Artwork is ok. Sounds are strangely worse than the first JP & while the soundtrack is well done, it isn't as memorable. Jeff Goldblum impersonator does a convincing job. JP's smart missile feature returns with limited implementation. Limited ruleset means this pin will get old fast. Nothing really exciting about this pinball (albeit slightly amusing DMD skill shot, where your T-rex walks all over some little humans). Stay away from Lost World & look for the superior Data East Jurrasic Park.
7.764/10
10 years ago
Stargate is a great pin, among the less than stellar efforts by Gottlieb during its DMD Premier era. The playfield may seem grossly overcrowded at first. Once you study the layout, you will understand that this makes for a lot of varied shots to increase replayability. The rules/theming work with the crazy playfield while offering interesting choices like mining for quartz, and deciding to keep mining or cash out. The pyramid/glider toy is very cool, while the showstopping cabinet-head mirror needs to be seen in person. Some original DMD animation is a welcome sight (opposed to pixelated images like Freddy pinball). The music is barely passeable for this era, while artwork is good. Stargate may not be the greatest, but for pins in it's price range, its actually quite good. Fun game to play on location or at a pin show, if you aren't willing to buy one.
8.476/10
11 years ago
Solid follow-up to original-themed pins from Mark Ritchie (Taxi & Diner). Fishing theme might turn you away for a second. The game is actually themed quite well, as its sort of a spoof of the fishing sport. Aside from feeding balls into a fully working reel for multiball, you have to advance the rules in order to build up a fantastical lie about your catch. Game revels in making fun of the sport with smile-inducing Popeye-ish looking cartoon art (PF/Cabinet) & dot animations. Game always gets play from various genders & age groups at shows. Playfield is trademark Mark Ritchie with criss-cross shot patterns in the center, shaped like a boat. Good flow & incredibly challenging shots (extra ball). Video mode is humorous & incredibly fun as you fire harpoons towards people enjoying water sports, distrupting your fishing activites (w/ Jaws-like music). Game suffers from White Water's same problems. You are either going to love or hate the translite, as well as the music (bluegrass). Fairly affordable & fun game.
8.300/10
11 years ago
Avatar continues the recent Stern trend of trying to implement novice-friendly simplicity. If you have played Iron Man, then Avatar will play very similar (both also drain balls in similar outlane fashion). The side bank targets are back (spell Navi), as well as one of the narrow see-through plastic ramps (Banshee). Lots of multiball & captive ball action, which is great to see! Sully Link capture shot is reminiscent of the tight extra ball shot in The Shadow (ball is gated in place ala POTC). The star of Avatar is the Amp Suit. The toy is very big, and will shake the entire machine when the magnet is activated (similar to the Ark in IJ4). Very top heavy game with lots of stuff up in the center (ball seems to always end up in the pops). Sound is incredible, with some great vox by Stephen Lang ("QUIT SHAKIN MY GAME" for tilt warning). 3D translite is cool, cabinet art is decent at best, and PF art is the usual photoshop-fest. Not a lot of flow/speed, which is a step back IMO from the excellent Iron Man. Pixelated dot animations. Rules need to be fleshed out a bit as the game revolves around bashing the Amp suit too many times (alleviated somewhat by tossing the ball back with random force during target bank hit). Ball time can be very short (like Iron Man or Big Buck Hunter) via random magnet tosses (magnet launched the ball over the flippers a few times) or SDTM exits from the pops, so its not a bad choice to have as an HUO machine. Not a bad game overall (game can get old quite a bit, with so much time spent in the pops), though not as good as Iron Man.
7.895/10
11 years ago
HS is legendary! A very fun pin with game design ahead of it's time. One of the early anti-establishment amusement games that let you play the role of the bad guy. Games like Road Rash, Need for Speed, & Grand Theft Auto would eventually take their liberties with the idea. Your job as the "Kingpin" is simple. Hit the standup targets to advance the stoplight to red. Shoot up the ramp to then run the light to escape the police. The entire experience played out like a story; a first for pinball. HS inspired a new generation of game designers including Pat Lawlor. Great sounds, police beacon, wonderful art, & one of the first original pin soundtracks. If HS included licensed rock music for bad boys, the game would be perfect (Motley Crue or Ratt). Good flow & easy to understand rules. When you get a free credit or start multiball, you will feel like a God in the arcade with the blaring beacon/sounds. Easily recommended game for collectors. Very affordable! One of the best system 11 games.
7.941/10
11 years ago
No one really gives RG a chance. RG is fun & plays a lot like High Speed. The theme choice is awful, but is actually well integrated if you remember the show. Watching the balls not in play, travel the wireform, gives the illusion that they are skaters. Magnet prep'd shot to the "The Wall" ramp mimics the assist move from the TV show. Shot is similar to the freeway loop in HS. Lock device works the same as HS red light, only instead of stand-ups you shoot drop targets. Some good sfx & memorable quotes. "GO FOR THE WALL!". Music is incredibly cheesy, but also infectious. You'll be singing along with the lyrics ("Rock-Rock-Rockin Rollergames") & dancing to the jackpot tune. "KICK BUTT!" Very light ruleset. You only have a few shots to make & game can become extremely repeticious. The art is pretty bad. The Bananarama-esque spandex chicks look attractive, while unnecessary men on the backglass (wearing cheetah pattern spandex) look awful. Pin sells for very little & is a fun game overall.
8.307/10
11 years ago
Solid Steve Ritchie effort for Stern. Competent follow-up to T2, as Steve pays homage to it with a similar playfield layout & modes. T3 has several gimmicks that make it unique. T3 doesn't include a playfield cannon, but rather one in the backbox called the "RPG". Very cool! T3's "RED" mode is really cool, watching the machine pulse red, as you hit the lit shots. Arnie & T-X heads will attract new players. All metal ramps make it stand out next to other Stern machines which use plastic. Well-lit translite isn't too bad. One of the only Stern pins to use a video mode. T3 video game shooting gallery is similar, but better looking than T2's. Rules aren't that deep, but are better than T2. Advancing modes makes sense to new players, as you upgrade your weapons. Music & photo-shopped playfield art are pretty bad. T2's incredible art & music blow it away! Sound quotes aren't as memorable & T2 cannon is way cooler. Great game, but not as good as T2. Affordable & one of the better Stern pins.
8.008/10
11 years ago
Most people never give this game a chance. NF is an interesting experiment for Steve Ritchie. Take the world of extreme sports & throw in elements of his best designs (BK2K, T2, & STTNG). This machine rips! Very fast game where you hardly get any breathing time because ball is in constant motion. Gives Johnny Mnemonic a run for his money. Love it or hate it art. Macho, obnoxious, & unapologetic. Flame cabinet really stands out. Antagonistic skull is fun. Upper playfield is a design marriage between BK2K and the supercharger from Getaway: HSII. The "jump shot" is a repeatable BK2K-ish loop where pinball goes airborne. Very addicting! Skull U-Turn (ala BK2K) shot is cool! Pop bumper-less shooter's game with easy to understand play. Includes similar modes from T2 & STTNG. STTNG-like ball launch options. Hard rockin' DCS music! Fun motorocross stunt course video mode. Rules could have been better. Possibly one of the easiest to get to mini-wizard modes ("No Limits"). If you are a decent pinball player, you might get bored of No Fear with its limited shots. The majority of ridiculous points rest on "Meet Your Maker"; which is fairly easy to advance thanks to low scoring modes that can be timed out. Lots of ramp posts in No Fear. Hit one of them and its over. Game is overly generous with Auto-Fire ball saves, but still unforgiving to flailers/novices.
8.585/10
11 years ago
EATPM is awesome! Proof positive that you don't need a DMD to be a killer pin. Gives Whirlwind & BK2K a run for their money for best System 11 pin. Solid flow, incredible ramps, & lots of things to shoot for. A very good player. Light show is stunning! The lights turn off, Dracula gives the go ahead to turn on the lights, & multiball starts. Effect was used again for DM & SS. You'll understand why Nordman didn't stray too far from Elvira's design when it came to making the incredibly fun sequel, Scared Stiff. Greg Freres' best art. Even the cabinet looks gorgeous! Suggestive Elvira vox. Original soundtrack by Chris Granner is amazing! Runner-up to BK2K & BR as best of all-time! For a late 80's pin, it does have a fairly good ruleset. Very approachable game for all player types. If your looking for a budget-priced game & are willing to go beyond the relative safety of the DMD era, you can't go wrong with EATPM. One of the few alpha-numerics that can stand toe-to-toe with the top DMD's.
8.596/10
11 years ago
Sega's best pin. Often looked as an STTNG clone; BF burrows the cannon (Batwing), uses a Batgun grip, some of the shots feel the same (ball lock), & Batmobile rooftop chase video mode is oddly similar to the space shuttle simulator. BF is a widebody with tons of flowing shots. Electric-green wire ramps are a must-see especially the one that goes under the apron. Allows player to choose rules for their game (Novice/Regular) at start for accesibility. Light show & translite are great. PF/cabinet art are not bad. Lots of quotes & faithful music score recreation. Shame Sega didn't get Seal or U2's soundtrack contributions into the game. Lots of DMD animations on jumbo display. Supports up to 6 players. Best feature is doubles play, enforcing the theme of Batman & Robin working as the dynamic duo. Players 1/3 & Players 2/4 have to combine their scores to beat the other team. Because of the Sega stereotyping BF goes for very little. If you can't afford Stern's BDK, BF is the next best thing.
8.052/10
11 years ago
A commendable Lawlor effort. Not since NGG, its nice to see Pat trying new things rather than recycling his own playfields/gimmicks. At first you will think its a Gomez pin. The initial ball launch sequence is really cool. The ball is launched around the orbits, under the flipper area, then back up to simulate the ball racing around a track. Magnetically propelled ball gimmick feels similar to Getaway's "Supercharger". The trailer that stashes your pinballs is also cool. Gameplay is fast! Rules are well balanced for the most part. The test car Gomez-like bash toy is fun to shoot. Lots of ramps, good flow, & retro features (flashers & captive ball). Art is fitting for Nascar fans, while DMD animations are forgettable. Sound isn't exciting, which is strange for a Nascar license. Ball gets hung up in certain spots & targets are notorious for causing airballs. You'll be surprised how fun Nascar is! Compared to other affordable Stern pins like T3, Nascar isn't as good, but ain't half bad.
8.647/10
11 years ago
Barry Oursler's best DMD pin & ranks as his best design since Pinbot. The goal of the game is to rescue various regenerations of Dr Who & ultimately defeat Davros. Success will depend on precise shooting & video mode completion (Donkey Kong-esque moments of hazard jumping). Dr Who burrows heavily from Pinbot's visor idea with its amazing "Time Expander" mini-playfield. The playfield layout is a throwback to the golden era of the alpha-numeric (Black Knight loop ramp). Good light show, memorable VOX ("EXTERMINATE"), great dot animation, Sega Genesis-quality theme song rendition, & comic style PF art. Dr Who isn't perfect. Translite art is bad & VOX sound quality is garbled (so much that you will be irritated). Very hard game for beginners to understand with its complex rules. Time Expander center targets (like Pinbots' visor targets) practically beg players to commit suicide via bad shots, causing LOTS of SDTM drains. A generally affordable & great game once you get over it's nuisances.
7.772/10
11 years ago
Frankenstein is a tragic character in Mary Shelley's story. The pin is also a tragedy as not a lot of people know about this awesome machine! Solid effort by John Borg & one of Sega's best pins (Batman Forever, Goldeneye, & Starship Troopers). A spiritual successor to his own JP with the playfield layout (minus Raptor kickback). Vibrant light show & decent sfx/music (movie score & Edgar Winter tune). Super huge DMD with some great animations ("LIVE-LIVE-LIVE!"). Probably Borg's most challenging game, as it draws inspiration from BSD, employing a multitude of very tight shots. Failed shots up the ramps/orbits, usually result in ball drains STDM. Difficulty may turn some players away. "The Creature" toy that physically throws pinballs during multiball is cool to see operated, IF it works (similar to the JP T-Rex). Frankenstein isn't in the same league as it's movie monster cousin Dracula (Williams), but overall, this is a fun game. Affordable & desirable pin for horror genre fans.
7.755/10
11 years ago
A13 isn't perfect, but its guaranteed to cause your friends to hoot & holler. Pleasant surprise of a game! Best art of all the Sega pins! Orbits, twisting wire ramps, moon magnet, & rocket. The whole thing is well integrated with the 1995 movies' theme. Game rules are actually quite good with a bunch of missions to complete (force-feeding the astronaut food/water is hilarious when he eventually vomits). Video mode pays homage to the great Lunar Lander computer game. The reason to play this game is the gimmick as you try to spell out BLASTOFF using various methods. Spelling the letters saves them to the machine & can be accessed later ala BK2K's Kings Ransom. Cashing this end-game prize is the best and most insane payoff, this side of the destroyed MM castle. 13-ball multiball is a frantic fight of your life. There are some downers. Repetitive VOX from film sounds garbled & multiball gimmick physically wears the machine. Solid Sega pin with Starship Troopers, Frankenstein & Goldeneye.
8.995/10
11 years ago
After some hiccups with early software revisions, the newly updated BDK (ver 2.94) can now be inducted into the elite league of Stern greats (LOTR, TSPP, FG, SM). Another of Gomez's best designs, this machine fires on all cylinders. Great soundtrack & sfx. Illustrated translite is incredible and is up there with Stern's LOTR. Some well done voice samples by the actors and most voice-alikes (Lucius Fox sounds terrible). Lots of very long shots that travel the playfield and multiple skill shots (3+1 hidden), make this one cool to watch as a spectator. An overall fun playing machine for novices & new code makes this game very deep for pros. "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" Scarecrow crane, batmobile teeter-totter, & Joker reveal mechanism (similar to Gomez's Playboy) are all very cool. The crane is the standout feature here, as it makes pre-designated stops requiring sniper precision with the flipper bat (unlike the randomly moving crane in Junkyard). The new code add tons of great custom dot matrix animation (to offset the sometimes blurry digitized videos from the Dark Knight movie) as well as shaker support. The updated code has also vastly changed the way to play BDK. Players can build up incredible jackpot pools via multipliers, but can easily lose them if not cashed in by making certain timed shots (amplifying the use of time extensions via difficult Alfred target, who also serves as add-a-ball). In addition to this, modes can be heavily stacked, making for lots of strategy (similar to SM or BSD). As for modes, Batman must hit certain targets to do various things like collecting parts for his costume (ala Path of the Dead soul collecting in LOTR) or searching for the Joker around the playfield (ala finding the Creature during multiball in CFTBL). Completing them all advances to the Bat Signal mini-wizard mode, where only the bright white flashers light the game (strobe on hit). Mind-blowing stuff! This all leads up to Gotham City wizard mode, which will really test advanced players. Batman has a solid track record in video games, but is often overlooked in pinball (DE Batman & Sega Batman Forever). DO NOT overlook the Stern pinball game, especially with the new software. It is a must own for fans of the Dark Knight, or just fans of the silver ball! "Why...so...serious?"
8.900/10
11 years ago
Easy to understand & fun game by John Borg. IM is extremely fast, flowing, & challenging. Solid light show, artwork, sfx, & quality VOX. The soundtrack in Iron Man may not include tracks from Iron Man 2 (done mostly by AC/DC), but does have incredible instrumental pieces from the first movie like "Merchant of Death". As far as gimmicks go, Whiplash magnet is cool & War-Machine kickback sends balls back like rockets. IM fans will dig the huge Iron Mongor bash toy that rises. Game has some flaws. Iron Mongor magnet does more harm than good. Magnet will sometimes randomly toss the ball to side drains, fling it over the flipper area into the center drain, or simply activating Iron Mongor multiball (suspended ball) results in a hilarious auto-drain down the center. The ramps are also of concern. The curved Austin Powers-like plastic ramps may result in drains STDM upon failure. Factor in IM lacking kickback/magnet saves & you have an unforgiving drain monster at times. Movie clips are hard to distinguish via low-res vids. Some new dot matrix animations have been added via update, but the difference isn't notable. The new software also gives players access toward two different wizard modes, Jericho mode and 'Do or Die' mode. As with learning the rules in Iron Man, getting a wizard mode is accessible to even moderate players...balancing out a relatively difficult game. The only nagging element is the uninteresting skill shot. Iron Man after its updates, has turned into a very good game. Not quite there yet to become a member of the Stern elites (LOTR, SM, TSPP, FG, BDK, AC/DC), but a very good game nonetheless.
7.880/10
11 years ago
One of the most pleasant surprises you'll come across. A bomb of a movie you'll have to disregard, when approaching this solid Data East pin. A "smile on your face" good time if your into flow games. Flowing shots, shaker motor, police beacon, and surprising amount of modes/depth. Kickback feature from Jurrasic Park returns, and is still a rush! Lots of very cool magnets, which includes the sweet crane toy that redirects the ball. Lots of humorous DMD animations and sounds (Arnold vox). Arnold's Hamlet match game sequence is hilarious (To be or not to be? Not to be! *Hamlet throws bad guy out a window). Killer soundtrack on this game attempts to topple DE's own Guns n' Roses as #1. You'll be headbanging to AC/DC's "Big Gun", Megadeth's "Angry Again", and Queensrÿche's "Real World". Main gripe with this pin is the art. The PF art is not too bad, but sideart/translite are mediocre at best. Do not pass the chance to play LAH if you find one! Very affordable pin. Great bang for your buck!
8.059/10
11 years ago
An often overlooked pin, that is a lot of fun to play. The theme ties all of Dennis Nordman's "Party" games into one (Party Animal, Dr. Dude, along w/ Elvira & the Party Monsters), and produces a very fun casual friendly game. Good flow, really cool ramps (rocket ship), fairly simple PF layout for novices, user-chosen quality tunes (includes The Who's "Pinball Wizard"), some humorous vox (especially when the DJ, Captain B. Zarr, wants to sing-along to his own music request), and a few good dot animations round out the "Party Zone". The main gimmick is the two talking heads for Captain B. Zarr (also tracks your ball) & Supersonic Robotic Comic. They got it right by calling the host Captain B. Zarr, as this game sure is bizarre alright; particularly the art (may be too wierd for it's own good). Early DMD game with a limited ruleset (hit the rocket ramp non-stop), no video mode, and only a 2-ball multiball wrap up an otherwise underrated & affordable game from Bally. "Through the O-Zone!"
7.960/10
11 years ago
Elvis is one heck of a surprisingly fun game, and must-own for Elvis collectors. Steve Ritchie & team do a fairly good job of integrating the theme into the game. The dancing Elvis toy, humorous hound dog, the jailhouse upper playfield (getting up there is reminscent of Ritchie's own BK2K), and the modes (Graceland) are authentic. The game uses some decent MIDI for the music, but includes real vocals (albeit short) from "The King" himself. Decent audio quality won't be knocking down AC/DC as best music license pinball. Some very good flow; magnet held shot to jailhouse PF is cool! Dot animations are humorous (especially hound dog), and quotes from Elvis sound-alike do the job of pulling in spectators. Translite looks good, but the PF/cab looks way too photoshoped. If rules allowed the user an easier way to change/activate the musical numbers, and PF layout was more accesible to novices (game drains quite a bit)...Elvis would rate higher with the Stern elite. Overall, solid & underrated.
8.607/10
11 years ago
Underrated & affordable pin. Judge Dredd is based on the 2000 AD comic (not the Stallone movie), so fans can breath a sigh of relief. John Trudeau is a huge Dredd fan, and the game shows it. Kevin O'Connor's artwork is incredible & faithful to source material. The dot matrix animations are just as graphic as the comic (people get impaled, melted to bones, and urinated on). Voice calls for the dark judges are wicked, and rock soundtrack really pulls you in. PF layout is a mixed bag. Lots of ramps (essential to complete the dot matrix crime scenes, which play out in real-time for on-lookers), pretty cool "Supergame" mode which changes rules a bit, "Judge" drop-target shooting, player-controlled mode selection via extra flipper buttons (change anytime during play), and pretty good flow. Then you have the deadworld lock device that doesn't do much (non-modded machine), with a shooter lane in the bottom left section that rarely gets used. Side drains are ginormous! Hard game w/ STTNG and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Make sure to get the Deadworld lock mod for this machine.
7.724/10
11 years ago
A unique experience for sure. Gomez & team should be commended for trying something new. You don't have to be a basketball fan to have fun with Fastbreak. The point of the game is to score as many baskets as you can, using traditional basketball scoring. Rarely will you get scores higher than 2 digits, so pinheads may immediately turn away. If you can get over it, this pin is actually a lot of fun! A shooters game, as you have to be precise in nailing the main basket (very satisfying). The backbox also has a basket, but unfortunately, its not as fun since it involves random luck to make. Ruleset is decent (combos are cool) with lots of multiball. Passing the pinball around the PF defender stand-up is fun. Decent art and flow. The stereotypical hip-hop music is tolerable, with great play-by-play commentary. 90's NBA triva is outdated. The thing that really boosts it's appeal is link play. Two Fastbreak machines can be linked, and players try to beat each other's scores. Nothing like it!
8.960/10
11 years ago
Killer pin & Data East's finest. The designers did a great job integrating the theme into the game. The entire experience lets you feel like your on-stage rocking a stadium of GnR fans. The overall visual package nails it (topless groupies on the playfield/dot matrix). Original playfield/translite artwork is beautiful. Awesome gimmicks abound; captive ball mini-playfield, snake pit, & under-playfield magnets during multiball (similar to "The Power" in TAF) . Incredible manual & auto plunger implementation (revolver/rose)! Solid rules & flow with mode selection pre-launch (ala STTNG). The main star is the music. Brian Schmidt, pinball music maestro, takes GnR's tunes from "Appetite for Destruction" & puts them in-game (with Axl's vocals). My only main gripe is the "Gilby Rolls" video mode; isn't fun & doesn't seem to fit in with the game (GnR member runs people over on a motorcycyle; recycled for Harley Davidson). Collectable & extremely sought after! Fetches a high price because of it.
8.112/10
11 years ago
Another great & underrated pin from Data East. Based on the broadway musical, Tommy is a homage to the EM era The Who lovingly referred to in their song, "Pinball Wizard". Very well put together package. The yellow cabinet stands out in a crowd, with an interesting translite, and an awesome silver ball topper. Game has lots of really cool shots, slick dot animations, lots of modes based around the Tommy story, and some very good music (includes vocals). The sound effects are a love letter to the EM days, especially the EM chimes that play when you activate multiball. Speaking of multiball, Tommy's "Listen Mode" multiball has to be seen in person. When the shutters cover the flippers for the first time, your heart will be racing. Absolutely killer gimmick! Not a whole lot of flow, and in typical DE fashion, the ruleset is not that great. Otherwise, one of the best DE's. Pinball fans are ravenous about Tommy, as few rarely want to sell theirs. Rare game to find. Play one if you find one.
7.888/10
11 years ago
As a huge James Bond fan, this pin was a pleasant surprise. One of the best Sega pins. Batman Forever's novice & regular game mode choices makes a return. Playfield is open with lots of ramps & stand-up targets, for some simple-but-fun throwback play. Faithful art package. Bond fans will appreciate the great cabinet side art, which includes a nude Bond girl laying on her side (her rear is covered by an iris focusing in on gun-brandishing Bond). The iconic Walther PPK gun-handle plunger is sweet! The gimmicks in the game are both cool. The magna-save feature is cool, as is the wicked Goldeneye magnetic satellite that holds your ball. Lots of quotes from the movie, and some zany humor on the DMD. Xenia Onatopp's thigh squeeze scene is hilarious; the boat captain's head inexplicably explodes at the end. Same can be said, during a ball save/freeze where Boris Grishenko says "I am invincible", turns into ice, then melts/explodes. Overall, an underrated & affordable game, but hard to find.
8.420/10
11 years ago
A great game, and runner-up for Data East's best pin (the title belongs to designer John Borg's own GnR). Fans of the series (as well as horror fans in general), owe it themselves to check out this pin. The translite and playfield artwork are gloriously faithful to the comic series' artstyle. Playfield is well laid out offering fast gameplay, good flow, solid ruleset, and a great 6-ball multiball (all with DE's shaker motor). One of the more fun DE skill shots, while using the game's custom door-knocker auto plunger. Fun take on the TV show's theme song, and some awesome antagonistic quotes from the actual Crypt Keeper ("Chop of the morning to ya!"). The dot matrix animations are fantastic, but are a bit gory for the youngsters (adjusted with "Reduced Realism" setting). Sadly, this game is often underrated because it's a Data East. Don't let the DE label fool you! TFTC is a great game, and can be found for an affordable price. Excellent choice for seasoned pinheads, or new pinball collectors.
8.472/10
11 years ago
Underrated & solid pin. Lawlor's best flowing layout. The main attraction of NGG, is the entertaining pair of gofers who want to ruin your game of golf, Bud & Buzz. The point of the game is to get rid of them by completing modes, and bashing them with the pinball. DMD animations & art are very reminiscent of Looney Tunes. The quotes are equally memorable (Buzz: Hey jerky, don't choke! Bud: I'm choking! OW! Buzz: Bud, not you!). Cool light show! The music is all over the place for some reason. The game starts off with acordians for polka fans out there (?), but then turns into a rocking soundtrack for multiball. Slam ramp is pretty cool when it comes down, in order to reach the second level see-through plastic PF, to simulate a ball being launched into the air. The bad thing about it, is that the slam ramp tends to wear the playfield when it drops down. Simple rules makes game accesible to new players. In the end, NGG probably would be a more popular game if it hadn't been tied to golf.
9.700/10
11 years ago
If there is one game Brian Eddy will be remembered for, it is Attack From Mars. His masterpiece! Brian's MM tops it, if only for it's more spectacular castle toy. The best designed pin of the late-era 90's games. Eddy nails the concept of making a game understandable for novices, but contains a multitude of skill shots to make this THE shooter's games of the WPC-95 line. The theme is universal and everyone "gets it". The martians could very well be the mascots for 90's pinball with their personality. Doug Watson does his part, by contributing some of the best artwork in his career. The music is fitting, the voice overs & DMD animations are hilarious, the quotes are memorable ("YOU RULE THE UNIVERSE!"), strobe multiball is wicked, the mode advancing actually makes sense to new players (defend different cities), and the toys are very entertaining. The game can attract a crowd if you can get the martians to dance, or blow up the mothership. "Total Annihilation!" A killer game & must-own.
7.442/10
11 years ago
Twister is certainly an underrated pin, from often overlooked Sega. Not exactly the most original gimmicks, as Twister blatantly rips off Whirlwind's fan-topper & playfield spinner ideas. Twister has a very simple playfield layout, some fun ramps, three multiball modes, decent flow, some very cool DMD animations, use of the spinner as a magnet before multiball start (cool feature used again for Lost in Space), decent voice overs (some from real actors), and a surprisingly good soundtrack. They really do a great job converting Van Halen's "Humans Being" song into MIDI for the game. You'll be singing along, adding vocals on your own. Not exactly the deepest game (ala Sega's Starship Troopers) and the limited amount of voice calls are repeated way too much. You'll want to strangle Bill Harding (Bill Paxton's character) by the time hes yelled, "EVERYBODY UNDERGROUND NOW!" for like the hundredth time. Aside from those gripes, Twister ain't half bad. Very affordable game if you can find one.
8.317/10
11 years ago
"The Getaway: High Speed II" is a deserving sequel to one of the legends of pinball. Steve Ritchie takes the simple layout of High Speed, and adds some new bells & whistles to this game. Macho art package (attack choppers chasing the outlaw), licensed music by ZZ top, good flow, some really great sounds & speech (announcer sounds like he's from a 90's-era arcade racing game), solid dot animations, fun use of a shifter during play (also works in fun racing game video mode), working police beacon topper, and an interesting toy. "The supercharger" is cool to see in action when you get three balls in there spinning around. Very simplistic ruleset on this one; nothing else beyond "Redline Mania". Reminds me a lot of Terminator 2. You will eventually get bored of The Getaway. A definite choice for established collectors. Not a bad choice for a person starting a collection, as it is affordable, but make sure to add a deeper game to the collection in order compliment HSII's shallow gameplay.
9.260/10
11 years ago
The Addams Family pinball is timeless. Using a theme that everyone is familiar with (even till this day, without a Addams Family movie in years), this game really knows how to capture an audience, regardless of age group or gender. A game that really was the blueprint to 90's era pins, TAF was one of the first games to have game mode completion award a wizard mode ("Tour the Mansion"). Crowd-attracting toys like Thing's hand, which takes pinballs, and the innovative AI driven "Thing Flips" feature. Faithful integration of the theme, great artwork, light show, finger-snapping music, fun shots, and hilarious voice-over work by Raul Julia & Angelica Houston. Lots of stop-and-go gameplay for casuals, who adore this game to no end. Finding a TAF with a playfield not worn down is tough! Pinheads for the most part, tend to prefer Twilight Zone over TAF as their fav, as Addams is a fairly simple game comparatively. Very collectable machine, as TAF is STILL on location today earning top dollar!
8.547/10
11 years ago
Funhouse is a highlight in Pat Lawlor's laundry list of pinball designs. Rudy, the star of Funhouse, needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated. The toy head is huge and way cool! Kind of a pain to service when it isn't working though; solenoid-powered eyes get stuck, making Rudy look truly disturbing. The gameplay is very good for that era, with some nice flowing shots. Combo shots to Rudy's mouth feel great. Very good backglass art, comic-book style playfield art, catchy music, memorable moments (sleeping Rudy), and some of the most loved quotes in pinball ("Hey Bucko, your up!"). Rudy has a lot of personality. No surprise at pinball shows, Rudy is the unofficial mascot. Very family-friendly theme, and some very light stop-and-go gameplay for novices. Overall, a very good game for a machine released before the blockbuster DMD era.
8.500/10
11 years ago
A must-own for fans of the American sportscar. Initially to be designed by Pat Lawlor, you can thank your lucky stars the game went to George Gomez. He brings forth a very faithful Corvette product. The best of all the licensed-vehicle games (Viper, Harley). Score-bonus names on the PF are authentic. Gomez knows his car terminology. Modes in the game are reprensented by races. Winning a race grants you that car's pink slip. Very cool toys! The revving engine that shakes the entire machine and locks balls is cool; as is the toy cars that race each other (via making shots, or in the video mode requiring flipper button input to shift gears/gas pedal). An overall, attractive art package & nice dots. Lots of hot international babes, speaking in different languages, wanting to challenge you to races. Gameplay is fast! Not Johnny Mnemonic fast...but fast! DCS sounds are great. Shooter-lane idle music is incredibly catchy. A solid effort by Gomez. One of his better designs. Very collectable!
8.048/10
11 years ago
Playing Road Show always brightens peoples' moods with its lighthearted theme & humor. Pitched as a spin-off to Funhouse (plays similar), its no surprise its main gimmick is a pair of talking heads. Red & Ted are traveling construction workers causing mayhem. Hilarious dot animations (taxi & bulldozer western-style duel), funny vox, fun shots to Red & Ted's mouth, family-friendly art package (eye-catching cabinet), & return of Earthshaker's shaker motor. Playfield layout is novice friendly with interesting rules (collect & sell souveniers). Most of the time, your just shooting up the playfield. Advanced players might not like the required Buy-In, in order to advance. Suicide left-most flipper area is notorious for drains, in a game otherwise aimed at casuals. Constant TLC on the heads is a downer. Audience is split on the music selection. I myself enjoy Carlene Carter's "Every Little Thing" country song contribution for multiball, but some people may hate it. Affordable game. "FRIDAY!"
5.766/10
11 years ago
One of the worst Stern pins you will find & one of Gomez's worst designs. Sadly, Stern could have really outdone what Bally did for Playboy years ago (DE's Playboy sucks). The toys in the game are definately entertaining. Your friends will get a kick out of the revealing playmate pics (revealing gimmick was used again for Stern's Batman). The folding centerfold layout at the main ramp is very cool to see operated for the first time. The interchangeable racy playmate pictures (lingerie, topless, & fully nude) is a good idea for businesses/gamerooms operating in the presence of children. Humorous dot animations, and fun Scared Stiff-like suggestive vox. Not a very fun or deep game to continue playing, after the initial naked chicks thing runs its course. Artwork is not very good. A younger looking Hefner looks odd on the translite, while the surprisingly non-photoshopped ladies on the playfield look heinous. Music in this game is awful, and there is hardly any flow in this one-shot game.
6.390/10
11 years ago
A dissapointing pin for one of the best TV shows. Playfield layout is a mix of Terminator 2 & Monster Bash. "Bada-Bing" dancing strippers are entertaining, while talking fish sorta falls flat. DMD animations are cool, but don't seem to fit in with their slapstick take on the very mature TV series. Overall, doesn't do a very good job of capturing an audience not familiar with the hit HBO series. Adult-setting vox makes game semi-enjoyable; there is a mode that involves the game just constantly saying the "F-word". The translite looks like a bad press-photo from the show. Playfield art color scheme is God awful (picnic-table checkerboard) with lots of bad low-res photoshop around. The Sopranos theme plays during the game, but it won't take long for it to get on your nerves. You'll want to reach for the volume controls & mute the sound. Game is fairly easy to understand for novices (climb the criminal ranks to become "Boss"). Decent modes round out this less than stellar Stern effort.
8.453/10
11 years ago
One of the better movie license games, & one of Steve Ritchie's better designs (oddly enough, still better than T3). Great artwork package. The translite is menacing. The T800 and Hunter-Killer toys are all great if you can find a complete machine. The gimmick in this game is the cannon (later used for STTNG). Very cool toy to use with the accompanying gun grip. Some very nice dot animations (being one of the first DMD games), fun light show, great video mode, movie scenes are well integrated into game, explosive sfx, an incredible soundtrack (same one from the T2 light gun game), and speech from Arnold himself (swear roms are available). Some top-notch flow, and easy to understand gameplay. Its no wonder that this is George Gomez's favorite machine, and inspiration for his designs. Main gripe with this one is a lack of modes. Its ruleset is barebones. You will eventually get bored of the Terminator. Excellent though to add to an existing lineup, and a very affordable machine at that.
8.303/10
11 years ago
BoP is one of those games that you need to see for yourself. The nice art package isn't enough to generate opinions. John Tredeau and Python pay homage to one of the legends of pinball, by bringing us a game about 2 star-crossed lovers (ahem robots). The goal is to create a bride for Pinbot. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong! You will have to take good aim and avoid seemlessly relentless ball drains in order to slowly build the bride. Shooting the ball up the main ramp will form the bride's face, with additional shots physically transforming her eventually turning her human. When this happens, prepare yourself for the best light show in pinball, Metamorphisis. The entire game shuts off. The EKG meter give signs of life on the alphanumeric display. Game then comes back on with the Bride singing beautifully (Stephanie Rogers: career opera singer) with a hellish multiball. Some very tight shots (Bride's "breast shots"), make for quick drains. You will hate this game, but come back for more.
9.760/10
11 years ago
A blockbuster game! Right on the heels of Twilight Zone, as one of the best pins ever made. Extremely expensive machine! A true investment, as prices continue to sky-rocket, but all for good reason though. Brilliant game design so good it inspired other greats like LOTR. Brian Eddy, who gave us AFM and Shadow, goes all out on this one with guns blazing. Similar to other Williams games durings its release (Scared Stiff & Monster Bash), the gameplay is rather simple but fun. Eddy's take on Monty Python is the showpiece. Hilarious art & DMD dots (cat catapault), laugh-out-loud sfx/vox (includes Tina Fey as damsel), & fitting score. The best wizard mode ending in pinball. You'll feel like a million bucks. MM's "King of Payne" castle is the best toy in pinball without question. Brian Eddy wasn't content destroying people's design aspirations with AFM's martian mothership. Everyone stops in their tracks to watch you blow it up. This game is not to be missed! A true spectacle and work of art.
8.740/10
11 years ago
In the hay-day of EM games, greats like Dave Christensen created masterpieces for the medium of pinball art. Art for his games like Captain Fantastic, Wizard, & Fireball speak for his generation. For the DMD era, we can nominate Linda Deal's work on TOM (also did work on CV), as the high-water mark for pinball artwork. Quite a feat considering she did the translite to Demo Man. You want to have this machine out in a living room to show off the orgasmic side art. The entire thing from playfield, to translite, to decals (the girl on the crate looks hot), is a love letter to magic show imagery of the Houdini era. The gameplay is simple, but fun. Good flow. The music is nice. Video pinball video mode is unique. Tiger saw & crate toys fit the theme well. Good amount of modes. Fun take on multiplier advancing they call "magicianship" ranks (ala STTNG). Sadly the game can be somewhat repetitive (similar to Scared Stiff), there is a lack of DMD animations, & it lacks a meaninful wizard mode.
8.068/10
11 years ago
One of the best pins put together by Data East (includes GnR, Tommy, & TFTC), and one of the better movie license games out there. Excellent integration of the movie license. The playfield and modes "feel" like a true Jurassic Park game. Decent artwork, flow, and multiball. The speaker-rocking dinosaur roars are great. Music is decent (typical DE affair). Entertaining animations on the dot matrix, when the goat is being prepared for slaughter. Skill-shot design could have been more creative using the "smart gun" (DE DMD-based skill shots). Nevertheless, what's really cool about the "smart gun" is you can complete modes using the plunger. Great design for novices/casuals. The main gimmick is T-rex. When head is working properly (keyword, when it is), there is nothing like it in pinball. The T-rex comes down and eats pinballs (screaming human sfx). Super cool! Overall, a good affordable game. Jurrasic Park appeals to pinheads building pin collections, as well as players new to the hobby.
8.660/10
11 years ago
After EATPM & WH2O, Dennis Nordman followed suit with the very fun & underrated Demolition Man. Killer flow & arguably the best combo shots in pinball. Great dot animations, speaker-rocking DCS explosions, orchestral score, & VOX from Sly/Wesley. Surprisingly, DM has the movie theme very well integrated. The entire metal wire ramp layout & playfield color scheme makes machine look like a living Cryo-Prison scene from the movie. Lots of multiball in DM, and almost all the major fight scenes from the movie are integrated (Fortress, Museum, Wasteland, & Cryo-Prison). Even little things like the captive ball-ish targets (eyeball & car crash) & DMD animations ("ratburger" & "you look great today") are true to film. Cryo-Claw toy is pretty cool as it allows the player to choose their mode & feeds the ball to that specific area/feature using wire ramps. Unique gunhandle flipper buttons attract casual players & reveal secret jackpots for pros. EATPM's wicked lighting powerdown effect returns for the final battle between John Spartan & Simon Phoenix. "Illuminate!" If there is one thing that you will not like is the art. While the PF art is good, the "Mt Rushmore" translite is butt-ugly. Wesley & Sandra look atrocious. Same can be said of the cabinet sideart. Your friends coming over for a pinball party can all laugh at the naked Sly Stallone laying in the Cryo-Chamber. I've seen Doug Watson's sketch for the original translite concept (had explosions & evil Wesley). Thanks alot whoever decided to screw it up! Questionable rules aside (ignore Demolition Time & spam Freeze Lock), DM is an affordable DCS era must-have. Great bang for your buck pin!
9.900/10
11 years ago
Pat Lawlor's masterpiece. The game to own if your a serious collector. There is a reason this game is rated #1. The game goes to an "11" if your a fan of the TV show. The entire experience is a fun & epic journey. Translite and PF art are gorgeous. The Rod Serling voice-alike nails it! Memorable quotes abound. "Powerball!" The Golden Earring TZ tune is incredibly catchy. Add the music/sfx from previous Lawlor games awarded during "Time Lock" (BR, ES, FH, TAF, WW), & you will go insane. "Go for the Hill!" Sounds are simply perfect! If TZ had come out in time to support DCS, people would explode from ecstasy. The toys are out of this world! The gumball machine is one thing, but "The Power" is just wicked. Dot animations are spectacular. Very deep ruleset, solid light show, & LITZ wizard mode's timed multiball will blow your mind. An after-market modder's dream game with many mods available. Not a lot of gripes. Fairly complex game for novices & the insta-drain skill shot is ridiculous when it happens.
8.623/10
11 years ago
John Trudeau's best game. Instead of basing the pin around the movie plot, Dr. Flash decided to theme the game around a 1950's drive-in premiering the Creature movie. Gill-man reaches through the movie screen & makes off with your girl. Easy to understand rules for novices. Show-stopping 3D Creature hologram, incredible ramps, good flow, solid art, light show, licensed 50's music, & an intense multiball. Kissing-couple & other sound bytes are hysterical. Snack Bar "cucaracha" & Pac-Man "Snack Attack" music will make you laugh. Tons of entertaining DMD animations. "Move your Car" allows you to advance a scene of an angry drive-in patron, on his mission to destroy the van blocking his view, by all means necessary. He ultimately pilots a fighter plane & levels the drive-in with a nuke, only to have the van simply drive home. The "Peeping Tom" video mode fight sequence is also hilarious. Gladiator music plays while you swing your fists at a pervert ala Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (finish him off with a "Fatality" like in Mortal Kombat). Fairly difficult game. Large gap in the center drain, along with SDTM drains via failed shots, balances out a light ruleset.
9.240/10
11 years ago
One of the best & hardest games. Steve Ritchie's masterpiece. Ball launch options are fantastic; makes game accesible to novices via free ball locks & mission starts, while offering high scoring opportunites for advanced players. STTNG is the king of ball flow. Star Trek fans owe it to themselves to play this pin. Perfect theme integration. Many speech calls are made (real actors) in order for the characters to actually interact during play. You will feel like your a member of the crew. Amazing DCS audio! Dual cannon gimmick is an updated take on T2. Great dot animations. Video modes galore & brilliant art package. Very exciting game! Borg ship battle before multiball really gets your blood pumping! "All hands, prepare for multiball!" Insane amount of modes. Final Frontier wizard mode is cool, but the fact that you are awarded bonus points for collecting artifacts leading up to it, is genius game design. Difficult game. Outlanes are huge! You will hate this game but come back for more.
9.340/10
11 years ago
This game is an absolute killer! Its not enough that this game has the IJ theme already. Super fun throwback gameplay to the late great 80's pins. Lots of fun drop targets, and some sweet ramps. The dot matrix animations are the best in DMD pinball (CFTBL follows closely behind). You'll laugh out loud at some of these. "You chose, poorly" animation always makes me crack up (cut to a scene of a guy screaming and being melted). Lots of video modes, and all are awesome! The tilting mini-playfield is super cool, as are the toys on the playfield! Art package is simply stunning. Tons of movie quotes and beautifully done music. The DCS sound in Mark Ritchie's game is nothing short of mind-blowing. If only his brother Steve, hadn't worked on the bar-setter STTNG. This game is very challenging for those looking for one. Only minor gripe is that it doesn't have much flow with all the drop target shooting. Funny that since 1993, it still beats out the Stern IJ that came out not too long ago.
7.535/10
11 years ago
Mediocre pin. Right off the bat, this game is going to catch your attention with its butt-ugly low-res photoshop art. The translite is just too busy for its own good. Early SS-era PF design, makes game easy to understand for novices. It's no surprise that IJ4 is a hit on-route. Not much flow with LOTS of stand-up targets. Attractive toys, good light show, & crisp sfx/vox. 8-ball "Ark Multiball" is cool! Outdoes Williams' IJ, with an incredible film score recreation. The major thing about the game, is it has extremely limited replay value. The game has a lack of modes (four modes) & rules may be too simple; no combos, lots of repeated scoop or Ark target shooting, and limited use of the one in-game ramp (Crystal Skull). Also, while IJ4 may have some incredible dot movie clips, they cannot be skipped. Some of them go on for too long, slowing down play. Issues may be fixed with software updates. Great game to have on-route, but home collectors will want Williams' IJ instead.
8.980/10
11 years ago
This game is pretty darn cool. If you are a Family Guy fan, this pin is a must own. An interesting change of pace for Lawlor, as this game doesn't look like one of his recycled designs as of late (Rollercoaster Tycoon). One of the nicest mini-playfields in pinball. Stewie pinball comes close to beating the reigning king, The Shadow. Lots of fun shots/modes, some decent flow, hilarious dot-matrix animations, and adult humor sounds that don't get too repetitive. Art is very faithful to the show's. John Youssi and Margaret Hudson really did a killer job. You'd figure this pinball was a prime candidate for some butt-ugly low-res photoshop (ala Indiana Jones).
7.912/10
11 years ago
Family Guy. Ah, this game is pretty good. Hey wait a minute...why is Shrek on the translite? Yes. This game is basically a reskinned Family Guy. This pins appeal is in the license. If you enjoy Shrek, but hate Family Guy, you'll like this one better. Stern apparantly never learned from the Nascar debacle that was Dale Jr and Grand Prix (re-painting/re-coding previous games ala Gottlieb-style). They could have done a new design for Shrek, and would turned out much better alleviating the comparisons, but that wasn't the case. Nothing wrong with the game per se (Donkey/Stewie pinball is cool), as its a clone, but I myself would rather enjoy Family Guys' dot animations and sounds. If there is one thing I hate about this one is the art. Stern went low-res photoshop crazy on Shrek. Stern's Indiana Jones "digital artist" must have been available to screw this one up too.
9.032/10
11 years ago
Keith Johnson & his team set out to make a great game using the Simpsons IP. What they ended up with is one of the best pins in history. The reigning king of rulesets. If comparing similar playing pins with LOTR being Stern's MM, SM being Stern's AFM, then TSPP is Stern's Twilight Zone. A mind-numbing amount of modes ensures a long shelf life. You don't have to be a Simpsons fan, to enjoy this game. Lots of fun shots, light show, hilarious dot animations, cool toys, fun take on the show's theme song, voice samples from the shows' stars (no Lisa or Marge), & overall very beautiful/faithful art package . Main gripe with this one, is it hardly has any flow going on (maybe one orbit shot). New players love this game, as there is a big open space in the middle to bat balls around in. Lots of stop-and-go gameplay. Game shines in a home collection. Sure to continue to go up in price, as Gary Stern himself said you won't be seeing games this deep in rulesets ever being released in the future.
7.948/10
11 years ago
One of the better games from Sega. Yes, not ALL Sega pins suck. Extremely underrated pinny. The game has a big wide open space in the middle to make shots, albeit few of them. Ugly color scheme PF art, cool toys, attractive light show, and a nice translite. Decent music and good sound quotes from the movie. The gimmick of this game is the extra right flipper, which is REALLY cool, because using it will mean more scoring/shot opportunities (ie, its actually useful). Bummer that the game has a very shallow ruleset. A good choice to add towards a pin collection, as this pin is affordable.
9.540/10
11 years ago
After a string of solid games for Stern (T3, Elvis, & WPT), Steve Ritchie knocks it out of the park with this game! Steves' best design since STTNG. Arguably, Stern's best. Solid artwork, killer light show (sync'd with theme song), entertaining VOX by JK Simmons (JJ Jonah Jameson), killer toys (Doc Ock magnet), DMD movie clips, various modes, & trademark "Steve Ritchie flow". Tons of amazing shots! Spider-Sense shot for advanced players "feels right", Venom shot is a rush (feels like STTNG's Delta Quadrant shot), & Sandman shot is reminiscent of AFM's mothership shot! You will get a rush doing the T2-esque back-to-back ramp shots with an accompanying Tobey Mcguire "WOOHOO". Game ruleset is novice-friendly, but also deep enough for advanced players. The music? Wow! David Theil's audio work in SM is some of the best. It simply rocks! You will want to listen to Sandman's theme on your IPOD, well after playing. SM, FG, TSPP, LOTR, BDK, and the recently updated AC/DC are Sterns' elite. SM is a must-own game!
7.595/10
11 years ago
Monopoly lacks in excitement, but is otherwise adored by operators for its collections & universal appeal (hit w/ casuals & novices). Art package & modes are well integrated with the theme. Advancing modes advances player positions on a game board (displayed on PF). Board game fans will get a kick out of it. Rules are relatively easy to understand. Lots of stop & go gameplay. Shots are a mixed bag. They are either nice & long or extremely tight & unforgiving with train ramp down by the flipper area. Sfx are ok. Music is decent; sounds like a casino level from Sega Genesis-era Sonic the Hedgehog video game. Aside the bank vault lock device, the main gimmick is an uninspired 360 degree spinning flipper. Rubber on spinning flipper dirty/worn or worse (flipper motor acting up)? Gameplay takes a relative nose dive with unpredictability coming from flipper interaction. Good aquisition to put on route, if you got kids, or looking for a understandable game for your significant other to play.
5.867/10
11 years ago
I dug the PC game which this pinny is based on (as well being a fan of Pat Lawlor), but seriously, this game doesn't strive to be anything but mediocre. Where to begin with this game. Oh dear. The recycled PF design is "oddly familiar" to other Pat Lawlor games, so-much-so, your better off buying/playing those pins instead. The dance-style music is really annoying, and the park's host is really grating after a while ("SHOOT THE LEFT RAMP!"). Speaking of the host, Stern spared no expense on the main attraction for this pin (a cheap looking $2 treasure troll). The game has some familiar art by RC series' artist Youssi, and the game has some decent shots, but its not enough to recommend this game. If you seriously want a rollercoaster themed game look for Hurricane, Cyclone, or Comet even. This pin was set for free-play all month on location, and no one touches it. Should give you an idea.
9.356/10
11 years ago
What can you say about this game, that hasn't already been said. Stern wasn't content with just lazily producing a pin using the LOTR license. They went all out with this killer pin! George Gomez & Keith Johnson's noteworthy Stern game. Beautifully done translite is a welcome sight, with Stern's history of going crazy with the photoshop. Music and Sound FX are solid, with voice from the real actors. Many movie scenes are recreated perfectly on the dot matrix. Game has tons of modes/multiballs. Balrog & other toys are cool. Game has really good flow, which includes a metal ramp shaped like a sword. Did I mention that this game has some of the most insane rulesets out there? You will be playing this thing, learning new features as you go. Overall, this gameroom pin fires on all cylinders. Only gripe is the poorly designed Paths of the Dead. If the ball rolls all the way down, it will fall directly on top of poor Arwen's plastic and smash it. Make sure to get protectors for the poor girl.
8.053/10
11 years ago
Pat Lawlor's first game coming into the pinball scene. The result was a resounding bang! Banzai Run was produced. You will rarely find a game that plays like this one, as the backbox has a vertical PF within it. The 80's era gameplay is very fun and has interesting shots to make. The simple concept of the game is to be #1 in the Banzai Run race, which means you will have to defeat other motorcross racers. To defeat them you will ascend into the "Banzai Hill" backbox, and make some interesting shots playing against gravity. For pros, try to defeat them on the normal PF. Bailing on Banzai Hill will send the ball back down into the normal PF, so its a rush the whole time. A well implemented motorcross theme, comic book style art, and a killer soundtrack by Brian Schmidt. Easily the best original score until it was dethroned by Schmidt's own score for BK2K. An extremely rare game to find. You either have to own one, or find one at places like the Vegas PHoF.
8.479/10
11 years ago
This one surprised the heck out of me. The movie wasn't all that great, so I figured the pin was going to follow suit. Boy was I wrong! Easily one of John Trudeau's best pins; up there with the legendary CFTBL, JD, and BoP (yes, its that good). Like-it or hate-it art package (cabinet art is pretty sweet, at least). This game is really fun to play and has a lot of features. Interesting PF layout (skill shot is great), nice ramps (the one leading up to a erupting toy volcano is so cool), and a very fun mini-PF where you bank shots off a toy gorilla (Black Hole/Haunted House-like playfield under the playfield). Includes some fun sound effects. The wierd monkey-screaming sfx from a ball popper-eject event, always makes me laugh. Lots of multiball & fun video modes (rafting video mode & cave search). Very good budget-priced game if you can find one, as production numbers were small. "Amy like pinball!"
9.256/10
11 years ago
The best "bang for your buck" pinball from the DMD era. While having an ugly translite & movie flop theme, this game is still incredible! Long before Brian Eddy blessed us with AFM & MM, he gave us this diamond in the rough. Pop bumperless shooter's game bliss. Tons of shots to make (multiplied via use of Phurba diverters), challenging modes (WH2O Vacation Jackpot-esque ending), entertaining dot-matrix animations, art-deco style playfield art, cool voice-overs, orchestral DCS score, a fun Phurba video mode, Inner Sanctum magnet, and the greatest mini-PF in pinball called "The Battlefield". The Battlefield is the showpiece. Think of a physical manefestation of the classic game, Breakout, using a pinball. Very affordable game, that seems to be gaining more popularity from collectors. Excellent aquisition for established players & best choice for a anyone else starting a collection. Collectable as Sam Raimi is planning to produce a reboot. "The sun is shining, but the ice is slippery!"
9.112/10
11 years ago
One of Gomezs' early games & still one of his best. Underrated pin should be in the top 25! By far, the fastest pin of the solid-states. If you aren't paying attention, shooting balls around orbits/ramps will feed them STDM. You will feel like your dodging bullets like Johnny in the cult movie (ridiculous with polished PF). Great flow, sweet DCS tunes, nice light show, awesome VOX, wicked dot animation, and of course the data glove. A pain to service, but when its going, its awesome (slows the game's frenzied pace). Excellent metagame may remind you of the Concentration board game. JM also has one of the coolest wizard modes in pinball called Powerdown, where you have to make lit shots in order to feed power to the machine. "You are the master of powerdown!" As stated before, the artwork is much to be desired. Who exactly is the woman next to Johnny on the translite? She looks nothing like Dina Meyer! Aside the art & data glove maintenance, this budget-priced game is killer.
8.660/10
11 years ago
One of Stern's more solid pins, POTC is a lot of fun. You may have to give this pin an investment of time to finally "get it". I didn't think much of it at first. If your a fan of the movies, you will be in heaven, as lots of scenes have been integrated into the modes. Surprising amount of depth! Tons of fun shots to make (Parlay is cool), some great flow (side bank-targets are clever), cool light show, wicked toys (the ship and compass spinner ROCK), some light humor on the dot-matrix, and some great crystal clear sound effects (using the new Stern board). Included is the trademark "Yo Ho - Pirates Life For Me" song. The remaining music and art package (Stern photoshop-fest) are underwhelming, as well as the voice overs from a Johnny Depp sound-alike. This pin is extremely popular within a wide demographic, and gets ridiculous amounts in collections. Will be sought after with the arrival of a 4th new Pirates movie. Get yours before they go up in price!
8.060/10
11 years ago
This pin is often underrated and its a shame because behind the unpopular theme, the gameplay is top-notch. The art on this game is ok, and the mature theme will mostly be appreciated by movie fans. Notorious for being a challenging game, BSD is a shooter's game. A novice batting the ball around will drain quick. Shooting castle lock targets in single ball play is suicide. Pros will love the game for its emphasis on ball control and skillful shooting. The goal of the game is to become a vampire hunter, vanquish Dracula sleeping in his coffin, and defeat his evil minions. It's not going to be easy! Features include a great light show, good dot animation on the blood-red dot matrix, an eery musical score, and Gary Oldman VO ("THIRTY MILLION"). The video mode can be equally challenging as you participate in a shooting gallery. Shooting werewolves awards points, but gives million point bonuses for shooting them when they are about to bite (the closer they are = the more points you get), Finally, the game allows players to stack up to three different kinds of multiball & features one of the coolest toy events in pinball, Mist-Multiball. Players witness a ball being carried across the playfield and have to shoot the ball during travel. Game can be very brutal, but with good play can award a ridiculous amount of points; ensuring lots of randomness and long life in a collection. Very affordable machine & a great multiplayer game. Great pin to add to a collection, or start one.
9.600/10
11 years ago
A killer pin! Not exactly the most complex game out there. If your looking for deep rules sets look elsewhere (TSPP, TZ, STTNG, LOTR). If that's ok with you, and you have other pins in your collection to meet that criteria, then your in for one heck of a ride! George Gomez's career-defining masterpiece. A bonafied hit with casual pinball players, and pros with open minds. Williams didn't spare any expense for this beauty. Great art package, killer toys, and a rocking DCS soundtrack. Lots of entertaining dot-matrix animations, hilarious vox, sweet light show, clever use of plunger to register target hits, & cool features like Phantom Flips aka TAF Thing Flips. This Williams girl (much like Frankie's Bride) is sort of high-maintenance. In order to get the most for your buck, make sure flippers are top-notch & PF is clean. Might have to do servicing on the toys whenever they start to fail, since as targets, they take a mean beating from the pinball. Wear around scoop is also a concern.
8.258/10
11 years ago
Get ready for battle! BK2K is a fun sequel to Williams' legendary Black Knight & is the fastest System 11 game. An adrenaline rush on a fully cleaned up machine! Art package, light show, & alpha-numeric animations are solid. Steve Ritchie's trademark flow is found throughout this double-level PF game. Magna-save is nifty, as well as the posts on the top PF that practically beg for cabinet nudging. Very fun advancing the King's Ransom! Steve Ritchie does the voice of the Black Knight again & he really eggs you on. "Ha-ha-ha! No Way!" While the game doesn't have the solid ruleset of Elvira, nor the "wow-factor" of Whirlwind, BK2K is still challenging & very addicting! The sound is awesome! Brian Schmidt (did music for Banzai Run), Steve Ritchie, & Dan Forden team-up for arguably the best musical score in pinball. Singing along is half the fun! One of the more expensive System 11's. Sort of a rarity to find for sale, as people rarely ever want to sell theirs. Highly recommended game to play on location or at pin shows!
8.671/10
11 years ago
WH2O. What a fun & flowing game this is! A hit with all age demographics and genders, people love this family-friendly themed game (Bigfoot toy and dot-matrix animations are hilarious). Now overshadowed by games with deeper rulesets like TZ, TSPP, STTNG, and LOTR...WH2O's ruleset was very deep for its time (Vacation Jackpot is awesome). Even still, knowing that to this day, it is incredibly addicting stacking river class multipliers before setting off White Water multiball. Trying to juggle balls and get them down Insanity Falls during multiball, is "big-smile on your face" good-times. Art on this game, your either gonna love it or hate it (I kinda dig Youssi's artstyle on WH2O; BoP-esque). Expect to find broken boulders on most specimens (Dennis Nordman even admits to how cheap they were made), and some wear around the eject hole on the 2nd level playfield. The game's main flaw is the music. It's banjo-esque soundtrack doesn't add to the excitment you have riding down Insanity Falls.