Grandnational007's ratings

Pinsider Grandnational007 has rated 17 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms Grandnational007's personal top 17.

Rating comments

Grandnational007 has written 17 rating comments:

6 months ago
This might be the Steve Ritchiest game of all time. The Getaway, but taken even further! Extremely fast, but super flowy when you get into the groove and find the shots.

Theme is pure nostalgia, and is nowadays a generic “extreme sports” theme, that still works. The skull is cool, and the jump ramp is super satisfying to hit in repetition. Such a fun game, that is below a lot of people’s radar.

Relatively easy to shop/clean/maintain, and looks stunning with bright LEDs. The light show is spectacular. Pull the rubbers off the giant right post, for much faster ball times, or remove it completely if you want to really get punished. This game surprised the hell out of me with how fun, challenging, and addictive it is.
2 years ago
What else can be said about this classic, that hasn't already been said?

This game exemplifies pinball. Fast. Goofy. Comical. Challenging. Fun!

A surprising amount of ways to attack this one, considering it's age. This isn't a "one shot" game. Having trouble locking a ball and starting multiball? Attack the ramps and light the million shot. Can't do that? Pick up passengers and light the jackpot.

This game has a surprising amount of depth and nuance to it's rules considering it's age. The timed jackpot shot and fastlane pickup are amazing, and really get the blood pumping as the music increases in intensity as the timer counts down. Soooooo satisfying when you hit a jackpot. And of course, the accompanying bell chiming, the music changes, and the lightshow all add to that.

Great game, classic, easy to pick up and tough to master. Pinball perfection.
2 years ago
What a "sleeper" of a game! At first glance, it looks very basic and lacking depth, but boy oh boy is that far from the truth.

There are multiple ways to attack this one, with the goal being to spell "ROBOWAR" from completing the drops in order, completing the rollover lanes, or attacking the "BASE" drops. The spinner is lit from rolling through the rightmost in/outlane, and it absolutely rips (and has the most satisfying sound/feel) when you hit it cleanly. Whooeee! The bonus multipliers are various shots that move around the playfield, so it keeps it fresh.

The game has some cool "quirks"; the ramp has a lift for a shot underneath it (ala PinBot) to release a previously locked ball. The right in/outlane has a gate and an adjustable post that makes it possible to nudge the ball back into play. There is real strategy when to go for multiball, as the multipliers are dependent on how many banks of targets you've dropped.

As said, the sounds, music, and light show are incredible for a game of this vintage, even by today's standards. I didn't think this one would last or fit in the lineup, but I find myself playing it when I want a few quick games.

Very underrated game, that I don't think many people know about, or have played.
2 years ago
Just an absolute classic! Great game, perfect theme integration, perfect campiness! Would love to have one at some point. I'll always play one if I see it on location.
2 years ago
A classic. Would love to have one again. Can be a chore to get dialed in and all the bugs worked out, but it's all well documented at this point. A real pinhead's pin; casuals may not get "it".
2 years ago
Dracula is one of those games that seems so simple in its tasks, but can be extremely challenging to execute. The combination of a challenging and well thought out playfield/geometry keep you on your toes with this one, and the lightning flippers make sure of that. Want to become a better player? Add this one to your lineup.

Where this game "lacks" in depth, it more than makes up in shot satisfaction, challenge, lastability, replayability, and fun. It is straightforward, but extremely rewarding when you stack the three multiballs, and start getting double-triple jackpots, and the famous "Thiiirrrttttyyy Milllliiiioooonnnn" call-out for hitting shots.

The game itself can be a little on the challenging side to shop out (ramps HAVE to come out for access to the back of the playfield), and the Mist mechanic can be tricky to dial in, but it's all well documented at this point, and shouldn't scare a potential owner. Game is beautiful when it is freshly shopped, and all the lamps are crisp and clear.

Thematically, this is another one where the game has transcended the movie it was based on, and has become a stand-alone "Dracula/horror" theme, and it works great. The music, call outs, lightshow, and DMD animations never grow old, and while simplistic by today's standards, do a great job of getting the adrenaline pumping. There really isn't another game like this one, as it isn't loaded with campy humor, and it works well.
4 years ago
What an odd duck.

Imagine Hi-Score Pool that plays like a bagatelle. Stern dead bumpers represent the different balls in a rack, with one active bumper in the center (similiar to Spanish Eyes), and an ultra active magnet (the best feature) in the middle of the playfield. Flippers are reversed to send the ball back to the shooter lane, or back to the top of the playfield.

Seemed like an experiment to produce the cheapest game possible (there's maybe 5 coils in it), one single digital display, etc.

Not all that exciting as a single player game, but pretty fun as a multiplayer game, just like most of the other pseudo pinball gimmick machines.

Able to play this extremely rare bird by the kind and gracious placement by the generous folks at The Sanctum in CT.
4 years ago
This was a total sleeper for me.

Some thoughts...

Yes, we all know about the goofy theme, so nothing to be said there, except it now transfers into cheesy 90's nostalgia, that somehow works better now than when this game was in production. (Though if it were themed as say, the A-Team, of Dukes of Hazard, this game would probably be rated much higher...)

The playfield layout is a real masterpiece! Probably Joe Balcer's best ever. There are shots galore, all of them satisfying. Combos galore as well. The only game I know of that has flow all day, as well as stop-and-go, and rewards both play styles.

Rules are straightforward, but pretty deep for the time. Goals are certainly accomplishable, but challenging as the game progresses.

The only cons I can think of are the lack of mode stacking (but was this really a thing then?), being locked out of mode progress for the Mitch Ramp (multiball locks take precedent when lit), and the shark flipper being a little wonky when the software fires it.

Dialing this game in setup wise is absolutely key. The game MUST be leveled to the playfield perfectly for everything to work as designed and correctly (the top gate, the 3 different skill shots, the relauncher, etc.).

Chad's code REALLY makes this game shine! Modes are made even better, and the software controlled gate timing is perfect.

A somewhat tricky game to shop out, but there are guides; the results are breathtaking after a full LED swap and cleaning. One of the "prettiest" and brightest games when tastefully LED'd.

The dots are absolutely stunning for their time; the digitalization of actual scenes from the show verges on the realm of "medium definition" with the quality of shading and animation from the large DMD. The ColorDMD, while pricey, hands down turns an already great display into a solid competitor for modern lcd games. It's that good.

4 years ago
I played this a ton when it first came out as a wee lad. The theme really captured the imagination, and the playfield was packed with all kinds of gimmicks.

Fast forward 20 years, and it just doesn't hold up well gameplay wise. As a discriminating enthusiast, this game has poor replay value. I don't find myself wanting to hit the start button one more time after playing one occasionally at a show these days.

As with most JPOP games, newbies and non-pinheads love it; seasoned players, not so much.

Yes it's BEAUTIFUL. Yes it has a cool ramp with a diverter. But it's much too easy. The double-entendre callouts are funny, but grow tiresome quickly. Bashing the genie gets old quick. Shooting the same things over and over is boring. I'll catch flak for this review, but it is what it is.

I'm sure it looks great next to MM, CV, TOM, CC, AFM, TZ, AF, MB, and IJ in the classic "power 10" though.
4 years ago
This was in an old watering hole I used to frequent in the early 2000's. Every game felt like a grind. One of the few games(maybe actually the only one), that I have absolutely no desire to play when I walk by one. Literally, the only thing this game has going for it, is its theme.

If I was trapped on a desert island with this game, and a really long extension cord to power it, I would probably gut the game and figure out a way to give myself electroshock therapy to the brain rather than play it.
4 years ago
Family fun, good theme. Challenging to make it through all 27 holes to light Anything Goes. Satisfying to hear "SUPER JACKPOT" when you complete all the regular jackpots during multiball. The skins game is great, and can be quite nerve wracking when you have a huge score and the three standups on the left are lit to collect! Very underated game!
4 years ago
A real sleeper, pretty fun once you figure the rules out. Crude dots, but they get the point across. Can get grindy if trying to get huge scores. Decent game you don't see very often.
4 years ago
What a clunkfest! I so wanted to like this game, but just can't get into it, even after 50+ games. Rules are terrible and repetitive, shots feel terrible, other than the ramps. Knock-off MM layout, but not nearly as good. But it's super pretty though!
4 years ago
Easily the best music pin! Game still holds up today! Great dots, great sounds/music. Crank this baby up and she jams! Great, satisfying shots. Plays fast and mean, the way it should be. The best DE pin by far.
4 years ago
One of the best classic Bally's. Challenging, satisfying to rip that lit spinner and hear the "woooo-woooo-wooooo-wooooo".

The crickets can grow a little tiring, but its a super fun game all around. Pew Pew Pew!
5 years ago
Now that I've had this in the rotation for a little while, I would comment as follows:

Women, children, and casuals LOVE this machine. It is very approachable, straightforward, loud, and bright! Very "pretty" game when cleaned and tastefully LED'd. Theme is so-so for me, but gets hot every 4 years, haha!

Being a competitive player, it still has its merits; set it up steep, open the out lanes, wax it, and make sure the soccer ball is grippy (or even reversed if you are glutton for punishment!), and you'll have that "one more game" feel down. The ratio to right out lane drain to right in-lane is probably 10-1 when the lanes are opened. Fresh rubber makes it significantly harder to save balls, as the out lane opening is nearly twice that of the in-lane.

Shopping the game out was a pain, but straightforward. Removing the two, ginormous ramps takes some time, and is necessary to clean/wax the orbits and change out a significant portion of the rubber and to access the pops and rollover lanes. This baby has a LOT of bulbs, if swapping to LEDs is your thing, close to 130 #555 and about 40 #44 if memory serves. Setting the correct flipper bat alignment was a little tricky, even using toothpicks in the holes; my example was missing one of the roll pin inserts and I probably had to readjust the flippers 15 times before they were perfect. Make sure the ball-lock release post is adjusted perfect, or it will not want to release a ball when there are multiple balls in the lock (really only multiplayer games).

Watch out for cracked ramps and plastics, and check the mechanical ball kick outs in the 3 saucers for damage, as they are apparently unobtanium (even though a simple mechanical lever could probably be fabbed up easily). I'd recommend adding protectors and ptfe washers during a shopout, as a lot of the areas will otherwise be inaccessible.

Overall, a really fun game that is approachable to most, and can be set up to play fast and mean. Probably not going anywhere soon, but would be easy to move should that time come. Find a clean, well maintained example, and it will bring years of enjoyment. GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!
5 years ago
Very fast, very challenging, very fun! Exhilarating when a game starts getting deep; the mega visor is a serious accomplishment! Beautiful colors, artwork, and music. Has that "one more game" feel nailed!

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