Kurtpinba11's ratings

Pinsider Kurtpinba11 has rated 13 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms Kurtpinba11's personal top 13.


Rating comments

Kurtpinba11 has written 11 rating comments:


9.760/10
2 days ago
Wow! The King of The Monsters meets the new King of Pinball.

I’ve played a lot of pinball, but Elwin has completely knocked it out of the park here. Shots feel fantastic! It’s hard to think of any designer that has just put out absolute bangers for their first 4 machines, but Elwin has definitely done just that. Godzilla is his best game too. As much as I love Jurassic Park, Godzilla feels more refined in its shots, and thankfully has a better art package which puts it over the top for me. This has always been my dream theme and it’s integrated very well.

The movie clips are all fantastic, and for once the original animations look great as well. That’s always been my biggest hang up on modern sterns, the animations always look so cheap.

Music in Godzilla is also fantastic, adding in the Blue Oyster Cult song was the cherry on top for me.

Rules seem less complicated than Jurassic Park and Avengers. Which makes it a little more accessible to my family. It’s been a pretty big hit so far!

Now on to the star of the show, the mechs! The tower is easily one of the best mechs in modern pinball, the diverter function, the physical ball lock, the movement, it’s perfection! The rotating jump ramp into MechaGodzilla is also awesome, and the bridge is also a welcome addition. I can’t forget to mention the Magna Grab is one of the best uses of a magnet in years! I can’t think of a Stern game that has this many mechs on it in recent memory.

This is one game that a pro just won’t do it for me. A premium was a must and I’m glad to own one.

My biggest complaint are the callouts. I understand they’re trying to be like Raymond Burr’s character from the original King of The Monsters, but it’s a poor imitation. I marked off for that, and I am marking off for the Godzilla toy in the upper left corner. It looks like some dollar store version of Godzilla.

Aside from those small complaints, this game is as close to perfection as I could ever ask for.
7.357/10
4 months ago
I grew up watching The Munsters with my mom and dad (just reruns). I wish I liked this table more. For one, the game soft locked on me in the middle of my best game which really took my opinion of it way down. The sub playfield felt like a cheap toy, and I really felt that while it was cool to have multiball in a sub playfield, the second ball got in my way a lot! I just felt like I couldn’t accurately make shots at all.

The regular playfield plays fine. It makes me wonder if I would enjoy the pro more than the premium. Shots are all smooth, and the rules are simple enough. It kind of feels like a remake of Monster Bash when it comes down to it.

Sounds and animations are a plus on this. The iconic Munsters theme is center stage here, and the sounds all seem like they fit the theme. I didn’t find anything particularly annoying. I played 10 games on it so far, so maybe after some more games the sounds may get on my nerves more, time will tell.

The code on this game is horrible. I’ve played a lot of Stern games, but I’ve only ever heard of soft locks, I’ve never experienced one until today. There’s no excuse for this in the age of easily accessible code updates. I thought everyone was being dramatic about it in Stern forums and their social media posts, I was wrong. Once you get Munster Madness, there’s not much else to do but repeat.

I think there’s a good game here under all the issues with the code, but since the stern team has all moved on to other games, I don’t know if there will be another code update in the future, but who knows, Iron Man and Ghostbusters both got updates long after they were out of production.

Time will tell!
8.695/10
4 months ago
I was happy to buy Barracora after watching some game play. The opportunity to buy one at a decent price and have it restored was just too tempting to pass up. What really sold me was the rule set it has to offer. Barracora came out in 1981, games at that point had maybe a few fun gimmicks at most and rule sets were not that deep, Barracora has A LOT going on. You have the double lane change, two different multiballs, an in play bonus collect on the table in the upper saucer which doubles as the top lock, you have the center target features which allows for some big scoring opportunities if you line up each side, a fantastic spinner, and drop targets which must be completed in order to spell "Barracora" (which is how you get into your multiballs and advances your multipliers). Of note, it doesn't appear at first that there is any double or triple scoring in multiball, but if you have advanced the 4-5-6 lanes, you will have added value to the top right target in front of the horseshoe shot, this value will be doubled or tripled depending on what multiball you are in. The PAPA tutorial on YouTube does not accurately address the scoring in multiball. Think of it like a Jackpot shot.

The backglass is BEAUTIFUL, even more so now that I've seen it in person. The art is definitely inspired by Giger, and I don't know that I could love it any more than I already do. It draws people in with curiosity. The playfield art is also a looker. I can see why some may not like it because it is such a weird theme, and I think that at least part of the reason this theme was used over the other themes the layout went through, is that Fathom came out just a month before it. Williams likely wanted an underwater theme with fish women because they liked Fathom so much, and when the artist came up with Barracora, they rolled with it. I did knock some points off for the theme overall just because I think this game would have worked better as a different theme, it was definitely intended to be something else entirely at first, but the art is just amazing all around and gets a perfect score from me.

Sounds are typical of this era, but oddly there is no speech even though Black Knight had some. I do think Barracora would have benefited greatly from some speech, so I took some points off there, but the droning defender sounds are fine overall.

I feel like lighting is typical of this era, it's good, nothing to really write home about, but it does have a nice little show when you get the special.

I definitely feel the "just one more game" factor with this game. It's strangely addicting, and it's probably because there are so many things to do on the table, lots of different ways to score, and I completely forgot to mention that it has one of the first ball save features that I ever remember seeing. If you have a ball locked in the top and you lose your ball in play, you're getting that locked ball back.

Overall, this is a fun game that plays well, and has a lot of variety. I have only played Jungle Lord and Black Knight out of the system 7 family, but so far, I have to give the nod to Barracora as the best of that bunch. Sure it may look strange and the theme is very weird, but it has more rules than some modern games and it's way ahead of its time making it very addicting to play. Barracora is a fantastic game and has me eager to explore some other system 7 games I haven't had the pleasure of playing yet.
8.960/10
4 months ago
Of the System 11s I own (Big Guns, Pinbot, and F-14), F-14 is likely to see the least play in my arcade. That's not to say it's a bad game, far from it. I find the other two more fun to play, and so do guests. F-14 feels unfair at times, too many shots result in a SDTM drain. It's hard to achieve multiball on factory settings too, which kind of alienates new players. Thankfully, you can change this so that when you achieve a lock lit by spelling "Tomcat", the game will award you two locks the first time instead of one. Since you have to lock 3 balls and then hit the lock again to release, it cuts down the number of locks you need to earn in half.

Gameplay is fast and furious. This is an expert level pin, and you really have to be ready to do some damage control if you miss a shot. The kicker in the upper left playfield is a great feature, it feels like you're actually fighting the machine, but it's also very fast, and a very dangerous shot. It's the only way to earn an extra ball though, so you have to go for the kills if you want to extend your play. Overall, the game flows nicely, it's just very punishing.

Where F-14 truly excels is in the sound and music department. Zero complaints. All the sounds are fantastic, and the music is some of the best the system 11 tables have to offer. Best multiball music in all of the system 11 family in my opinion, even better than Pinbot's iconic music.

Lighting is very good, and there are some really good light shows in the game. The table doesn't feel dark or hard to see, and the topper lights are a MUST have on this game. There's something really special about right before you get that multiball seeing those lights spin around and around. In my opinion, it's one of the best toppers in pinball.

I like F-14, but it doesn't always achieve one of my biggest standards for owning a pinball machine, the "just one more game factor", and this has to do with how brutal and unfair the game can be. I have to dock it lastability and fun points for that. I really like challenging games, but even by Steve Ritchie standards, this game is hard. I'll play it some more, it's still very new in my collection and my only experience with it previously was through Pinball Arcade, and virtual pins aren't always a good representation of how a game will play in real life. If my opinion changes, I'll update my review accordingly.

Update to my review 11/8/21: I'm enjoying this game a lot more now. It's currently seeing the most play from me because of the challenge. Now that I have a feel for the table and the shots, I'm getting into multiball more frequently on factory settings. Before, I would achieve multiball maybe once every 10 games or so and usually on the 3rd ball. My nudging skills have gotten better and most importantly, I have fixed the weak pop bumper which is making spelling "Tomcat" A LOT easier. I still think F14 is not on the same tier as something like PinBot, High Speed, Taxi or Whirlwind, but of the system 11 games I feel like it's at least better than Big Guns which is also in my collection, so I'm adjusting my score accordingly. I'm finding myself more and more fond of it because it's challenging. It makes for some intense games, and man the light show and music never get old.
8.320/10
7 months ago
I took a chance on this game after being told it was just "okay". I started asking around about the pro because the upper playfield looked like it was very barren and really only functioned as a ball lock for the most part. I asked people that enjoy the same kind of games I enjoy. I love fast and challenging games, and this hits the mark for me. The classic theme also really hits home for me as I really love older tables.

In my opinion, not having an upper playfield really helps this game flow so smoothly, shots feel great, and it doesn't clunk around like some other modern Stern games. The fan layout is classic, but there are some very dangerous shots. Hitting The Knight straight on is a recipe for a drain down the middle.

Speaking of the knight.. I LOVE the knight toy!!! This is by far one of the best toys in pinball. I feel like I'm really fighting The Black Knight throughout the game, and while a lot of people are divided about whether this game is really a Black Knight game without the upper playfield, I feel it absolutely nails it as a sequel table.

I like the modes and the rules for them, I just wish some rules were a little more clear, for instance how to collect super jackpots is not really spelled out for you or obvious, and you don't even know it's active unless you are paying close attention to the screen. I feel like having bigger font, or calling more attention to it in game would be better. Hopefully this will happen in a code update, but I kind of doubt it since both designer and coder have moved on to Led Zeppelin and Black Knight is probably complete. That's really my only gripe with the game.

Music is good, and there are two soundtracks with the newest code updates. One for those that enjoy metal, one for those that enjoy something a little more cinematic. The soundtracks can be switched between on the fly through the adjustment screen. Both are good and work with the game, so it's just going to come down to your specific tastes.

Overall, Black Knight Sword of Rage is worth a place in my line up, and I'm happy I took a chance on it. Is it worth a place in yours? Do you enjoy fast games that flow really well? Did you enjoy a game like Iron Man? The Getaway? or other Steve Ritchie games? Then you'll enjoy it.

Since it's not tied to a movie or music license, I feel Black Knight SoR will become somewhat of a pinball "hidden gem" down the road. I'm interested to see exactly how many of these were produced once their run is officially over since it hasn't been a big hit. If you're interested in it, don't sleep on it. It's never leaving my collection for sure. Now if only I could get my hands on that topper...
8.592/10
11 months ago
I wished the theme of this table was "Drive In Movie Featuring Creature From The Black Lagoon", when I first played it. I hated the theme of the drive in because I was expecting it to be a full on Creature From The Black Lagoon table, but as I played it and got deeper into the game and understood why it was themed this way, I began to love it. Starting the film, searching for the creature, blowing up cars that block your view of the theater screen, it's all really fun. The music has the throwback to that era as well and it fits nicely with the theme of the table. If I was going to choose this or Monster Bash for my Universal Monster fix, I'd probably choose this. I do like Monster Bash too, but the way this game shoots, everything feels so smooth that I just can't get enough of it. My biggest complaint is that the game is too dark. This game is in desperate need of additional lighting and bright LED swapping.

I'd like to own Creature one day. It might be my next table, we'll see.
8.124/10
11 months ago
I love No Good Gofers, but I'm also pretty bad at it. I find it to be one of the harder tables at my local pinball arcade. I keep coming back to it to try again, but I can't say I've really been able to get very far into the game. I can say though, that I did manage to hit the hole in one shot, and that felt fantastic when I did it.

Shots all feel good, although I have trouble hitting the right ramp when I need to. I like the theme a lot, and the Gophers have lots of speech which is great for the time. Dot Matrix animations look great, and the music is pretty good. I keep coming back to it, and I enjoy playing it. I definitely play other tables a lot more, but it's one of the 5 machines I play regularly while i'm at the arcade and I'll go out of my way to play it if i see it in the wild.
8.652/10
11 months ago
Big Guns is my second system 11, and my 4th table overall. I wanted something that would stand out in my line up, and the oversized back box and translite do just that. I really like the gimmicks on this table. I think the cannons are a great feature, and the bagatelle toy in the back glass is a fun addition as well. I love the art by Python, and Big Guns is a perfect companion to my PinBot. This is not a game I would recommend picking up as a first game or even a second game, but maybe in a line up of 3 or more. Big Guns lacks ramps that you can actually shoot, pop bumpers, and spinners, but it works in my line up because my other three games have those features. Big Guns stands out as something different in my line up, and that's actually a good way to describe my current line up of games, (PinBot Jurassic Park 2019, Genesis, and Big Guns), "different"

The game play is fun. I do enjoy playing it quite a bit. The shots feel good and the game is very fast. Seeing the cannons fire into the wireframe is a neat effect, but I can see that it might get old for someone if they don't appreciate seeing it all the time. It fascinates me, so I enjoy watching it happen. Where this game shines for me (no pun intended) is the light shows. This has without a doubt one of the best light shows in the system 11 line up. It just looks beautiful. The music is catchy, I find myself humming it outside the game. I love the call outs and speech. Specifically "YOU ARE INVINCIBLE!". Speaking of that call out, I want to talk about the multiball. Locking all three cannons gives you the multiball, but loading the lit cannon again in multiball gives you the Invincibility mode and you get a chance to save the Queen. You don't have much time to do this, but all ball save features turn on during this time period. That's a really interesting way to do a jackpot feature. The only way you can lose a ball in that mode is if you let the ball go through a flipped flipper between the ball save post and the flipper.

With all games I buy, the most important feeling for me is that "Just one more game" factor. I get that with Big Guns, not quite to the extent of PinBot or even my Jurassic Park, but certainly it does make me feel like I want to play another game after finishing a game. I never walk up to it and feel like one game is enough. Big Guns certainly gets lost in the system 11 line up, and with a line up of such fantastic games that's no surprise, some of them are going to be overshadowed by the more popular themes, but that doesn't mean you should pass up an opportunity to play this game if you see it in the wild.


Made an update to my review after spending a lot of time with this machine:

I find myself enjoying it more and more as I continue to feel challenged to beat my high scores. Even though the rules are simple and it’s easy to get into a multiball, I always find myself coming back. Sometimes I get on this machine and an hour or two passes so quickly, I don’t realize it. I initially found the music to be repetitive even though it was catchy, but that’s grown on me too. Especially with the added instruments to the main theme as balls are locked.

What a great system 11 game, very overlooked.
7.882/10
11 months ago
Genesis is often overlooked because of its terrible backglass art. This can be remedied by replacing it with an alternate translite which I highly recommend doing if you hate that art as much as I do. The game itself is simple and fun. Shots mostly feel good, but the ramps are a little flimsy and often break or need to be reinforced. This can also result in some air balls that hit the glass. I recommend seeking out ramp replacements or reinforcing upon purchase. I have a great time with Genesis every single time I start up a game. The music is some the best the system 80s have to offer, and it has a lot of variety, changing throughout the game. The lighting effect before multiball starts is one of the slickest lighting effects I've ever seen on a table from this era. In my opinion, this is the strongest system 80 game. The shots are simple, but fun to do. Genesis can get very repetitive, but that was how these system 80s were, and compared to something like a Williams system 11, sure this isn't going to stand out as much. It maybe won't get as much play from guests, but personally I enjoy it a lot. I find it very challenging to complete the robot, and it has that "one more game" factor for me. I don't think this would be a great table to pick up if you can just have one table in your game room, but for the right price and in a line up of at least 3 games, I think this is a good addition.
9.172/10
1 year ago
This is the first game I’ve ever bought new. In 1993, I saw Jurassic Park probably 5 times in theaters. When it came out on video, I watched it every day for over a week. I had the toys, I had posters, I collected the comics, I read the book, I listened to the audio book, and I played most of the video games based on it. I even taught myself how to play the main theme on the piano. You could say I am a fan. I’ve played the original Data East table and I enjoy that one well enough, but I really like this new Stern machine.

I’ve been hesitant to buy a brand new Stern. I’ve heard good and bad, but I finally saved up the money and got up the nerve to get myself a Jurassic Park Pro. Everything I have to say is mostly positive, but I do have some gripes.

The good:

The gameplay is excellent. The shots all feel great, and I think the modes are all fun. I enjoy the flow of the game most of all, when you get those combos going, it feels amazing.

The music is great, both the original music and the newly created music.

The idea of navigating around the park visiting different paddocks with their own rescue and capture objectives is great.

Learning the table was a delight and challenging. It keeps me wanting to play “just one more game” and that’s the sign of a great table to me.

Playfield art is gorgeous. I know the comic styling isn’t to everyone’s liking, but I really love it. Unsure why Nedry is such a focus on this table, was Wayne Knight the only person who was approached to add their likeness to the table? (I’ll go more into detail on this in the bad section)

The meh:

The backglass art is very generic. The title isn’t even the right color. I’m not going to call it “bad”, but I am considering getting an alternate translite.

The Bad:

Lack of actor likenesses. Look, if you’re going to put Nedry from the movie on the table, you have to try to put other characters on the table. It can’t be both a retelling of Jurassic Park AND also tie into the movie by using one character from it. It looks kind of out of place. Should have gone all original on this.

Callouts are grating and poorly done. Whomever is voicing John Hammond sounds awful. I assume Muldoon is another one of the voices and that voice actor is terrible too. Again, only voice from the movie represented here is Nedry, and those are a welcome reprieve from the sub par voice acting that plagues the rest of the game. I really can’t understand how you get a JP license, even if it’s limited, and only get the rights to Nedry along with it. You have to at least get the real voice clips of John Hammond. I’ll be looking for custom sound code for this one.

Overall I enjoy the game a lot, love it even, and I’m happy I purchased it. I look forward to further code updates, but for now, I have enough on this table to keep me busy for a long time. A great effort by Stern overall, but whoever was in charge of supervising voice overs and negotiating IP licensing needs to be fired.
9.747/10
1 year ago
PinBot is exactly what I think of when I think of Pinball. A great timeless theme, fun game play, great music, and a lot of replay value. There are so many different ways you can play the table, from getting to the Sun, to growing that Solar Value, to opening the visor, and getting multiball. The ramp shot feels really good and the mini playfield will keep you guessing where the ball will come out. PinBot also has a great and satisfying skill shot. I never get bored with this table! A true classic!