marble's ratings

Pinsider marble has rated 70 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms marble's personal top 70.

Rating comments

marble has written 30 rating comments:

9 months ago
Fun, challenging and fast playing layout with awesome theme. The rules and game lighting just don't seem to do justice for the overall package, at least with the current code rev 1.41.

Choosing your character in the beginning could provide you with various interesting ways to play the game. Unfortunately Raphael's level 3 perk of increasing playfield multiplier seems to be way better than anything else. This makes you to choose Raphael all the time, if you want to go for the highest possible score.

The ruleset includes quite a lot of timed challenges, which you have to complete to reach the Cowabunga wizard mode. Points wise you want to complete them just once and then ignore them. Often times you start these hurry ups accidentally making the ruleset somewhat a mess. The eight modes are quite uninteresting and don't provide you with that much variety or scoring potential either.

Way too many modes mess up with the general illumination, making the playfield very dark. In some modes this effect works well (the best example probably being Fade to Black in Metallica), but in TMNT it's in my opinion used too often with too much effect.

The path to Cowabunga wizard mode includes unnecessarily many one-time type hurry-ups (weapon hurry-up and 1-2-3 combo, even max krang combo and triple mondo jackpot to some extent). This makes the path to the wizard mode quite easy if you finish every requirement on first attempt, but exceedingly frustrating if you need to re-qualify the modes.

Rating based on code revision 1.41 and a few hundreds plays in home environment. Will gladly update the ratings in the future, if code updates improve the ruleset or lighting.
2 years ago
Hiring Keith Elwin is probably one of the best business decisions Stern has ever done.

The unique layout of Iron Maiden offers amazing variety of shots and great flow. All the shots feel satisfying and have a reason to shoot for. The overall code package was already excellent when the game was initially released and later code updates have polished the code to one of the most fun and challenging ones.

The scoring is really well balanced and you can make big scores with really many different strategies. When to use the playfield multiplier adds another dimension to all the scoring potential. Having high score list entries for many other things than just the regular overall score list is a great addition to the package.

Reaching and finishing Number of the Beast is pretty straight forward, but also challenging goal for the game when first starting to explore the rule set. When you finally finish the mode you realize that there are still so many more things to go for to reach the final wizard mode Run to the Hills.

The game is amazing example of a super fun game offering plenty of enjoyment for both casual and hardcore players.
5 years ago
I didn't have high expectations for the game after having disappointed greatly to Baywatch a year earlier. Especially with this starting point MSF really surprised me positively.

The main multiball requires good amount of skill and accuracy. The countdown to get a six-ball multiball is quite fun and unique feature and after that the multiball rules are good and challenging.

The ruleset could be about going again and again for the main multiball, but at some point reaching the multiball start begins to require that many shots that you probably want to go for the modes too. There are definitely some good points available in the modes and especially in the final mode too.

Starting the modes by hitting all the stand-up targets first feels like an impossible task, but realizing the ability to light targets from north pole, ice cave and upper scoop makes the task reasonable. Modes are quite good and doing well in them to collect letters really pays off when reaching the final mode. It's a pity that you can't stack the modes to multiballs, but there's some good strategic play available to start a mode and end it with a multiball start to get creation letters too.

The layout provides many satisfying shots and even the left loop trough bumpers and ice cave via upper flipper aren't too hard to perform.

Ability to choose from two available soundtracks is a nice feature. The DMD animations and usage of the large DMD are way better than in Baywatch.
7 years ago
It takes a long while to understand the depth of the ruleset in WPT. For casual player the game may seem to be really boring with empty playfield and without any good playfield bash toys. For experienced player the super deep ruleset with all the stacking possibilities and strategic elements provide fun and challenge almost infinitely.

How the game has been set up makes a huge impact to gameplay. Setting the ramp posts to stop ball only on river card gives more flow to the game and the upper playfield must be clean enough for the captive lock ball to work correctly.

For tournament play the game should be set up extremely difficult due to long ball times on factory setup.
7 years ago
Probably the most flowy Lawlor-layout including Hole in one shot via the jump ramp, one of the most satisfying shots in pinball.

Too bad there are numerous bugs in the software, even in the latest software revision. Scoring is a little unbalanced, since the multiball jackpot value can outweigh all other scoring opportunities.
7 years ago
I had some high hopes about this title, since I had heard many comments about the game that if you get over the theme, it's quite good machine actually.

But it's not, unfortunately. The layout is amazing with so much potential, but the ruleset is boring and bad. The multiball is quite challenging and fun, but the rest of the ruleset is just uninspiring.

You have five major shots, and making one of them three times starts a "vertical mode". Then you'll be stuck in that mode for almost a minute without any stacking possibilities. At least the diver mode is worth playing, since it gives you EB.

The horizontal modes aren't that fun either, third of them being once again a generic DE/Sega "wizard mode" with unlimited balls for about a minute and then it's all over. Basically you can reach the wizard mode by making 15 shots and a lot of timing out of modes.

The biggest lack of inspiration might be the usage of upper ramp in the game. At least it's used in tidal wave mode, but in regular play you only collect ironman letters out of it. Collecting all these letters awards you a video mode, which sucks and doesn't award that many points.

The shot from right mini flipper to shark hole is quite fun and satisfying, and the shark awards make these shots worth going for.

The game really needs a strong right flipper or you won't be able to shoot the left ramp.
7 years ago
I enjoy the layout and flow of the game a lot. This is yet another Stern machine, where the LE features just don't do anything for me and I prefer the Pro version.

The objectives of the game aren't that easy to understand and first it feels that the game is about going from one generic multiball to another one and sometimes you start some hero mode which does something.

Playing the game more you start to understand the objectives of hero and villain modes and what stacks are possible. Suddenly the game starts to make much more sense.

On factory settings both Danger Room and Dark Phoenix are quite hard modes to reach, but I'd love to see yet another software update with some kind of final wizard mode after DR and DP.
7 years ago
Early code revisions and initial problems with the hammer lock mech really got me worried how this game would end up being. Luckily with the latest code updates the game really started to rock.

Crank it up modes are unique and fun way to score big points, stand up targets have a significant role in multiball playing making the 2x scoring possible and fuel 2x scoring provides even more point and multiplier stacking opportunities.

Lyman Sheats made incredibly innovative rulesheet for AC/DC, but luckily he had great ideas still left to use for Metallica too. These two games are totally different compared to each other, but both are so much fun to play and both games just rock.

I'm still not sure if the extra cost of Premium is justified compared to Pro model. The hammer (when working) is a cool feature, but it's also blocking the view to electric chair shot. The lightning in Premium is better, but I was positively surprised how good even Pro version looked after the latest code update.
7 years ago
Never been a fan of Premier/Gottlieb games. The machines feel clunky, look ugly and Gottlieb flipper mechs of the era are so much worse than WPC ones.

Those being my initial thoughts, I must admit that I've really enjoyed playing Stargate after getting one cleaned and fixed. You really need to have rebuilt flippers to be able to shoot those steep ramps.

With GTB flipper mechs and the habitrails feeding balls directly to the bottom of flippers, basically every shot returning from habitrails can be cradled. This slows down the gameplay, but surprisingly doesn't make the game way too easy.

Is this the 90's game with most multiball modes? Your first plunge gives you multiball (!!!), four of the modes are multiballs, sandstorm and both of the wizard awards are multiballs. Luckily all the multiball modes are somehow different and the biggest points aren't gotten that easily. Being able to first build up your super jackpot value and then to collect it with 3x scoring gives huge scoring opportunities, but the strategy isn't that easy to execute.

It's weird and sad that the game rolls over at ten billion, even on the high score list. The ruleset providing a possibility to build up the super jackpot value to over a billion, combined with the 3x scoring feature makes it possible to score ten billion within one 3x Eye of Ra mode. Reduced scoring adjustment provides only little help for this.
7 years ago
The unique backbox playfield is surprisingly well designed: it has meaningful and difficult shots and overall you don't spend too much time there to get bored or making the game too 1-dimensional.

Great use of upper playfield in multiball too, providing one of the most satisfying million shots ever.

If you find the shots, you could only go for 2x200k hill climbs over and over again making the game a little boring, if you are only going for the grand champion score.
7 years ago
Once you master Save the Girl video mode, its scoring potential outweighs everything else. There's some fun to go for level 20 and beyond (does the scoring cap at some level???), but it's really not playing pinball.

After the first Outer Space you are only five shots away from starting it again. That tells something about how shallow the ruleset is.
7 years ago
Perfect example of one shot wonder game. Shoot left ramp enough to get multiball and then shoot some more left ramp in multiball to get big points. And be lucky to get that billion shot lit.

Hopefully BOPv2 by Dutch Pinball will make better use of the playfield, which has quite nice and hard shots that you just don't go for with the original software.
7 years ago
The linearity of rules forces you to do the same things in same order on every game. Excellent toys and theming.
8 years ago
Excellent ruleset with lots of things to do. Frog Frenzy and Atlantis are both quite hard to reach providing good lastalbility.

Vari-target rejects and evil outlane/inlane setup can make the game quite frustrating occasionally.
8 years ago
Jump rope is awesome toy, and that's about the only positive thing about the game.

Unbalanced scoring takes the fun out totally, just go for 200M cash fights all day long...
8 years ago
TAF is one of the most significant machines in pinball history, but Gold ROMs make the game more random and "gold" things on the playfield are ugly yellow compared to the original design. I prefer the original model.
8 years ago
I just don't understand the Premium features of the game. They only make a great game surprisingly much worse. Pro ramps are great, premium toys ruin the flow entirely.

It feels that the game was designed as a Pro model and all the Premium features are only crappy aftermarket mods. The LED lightning in Premium is also too bright and ugly.
8 years ago
The band has always been kind a "meh" for me so I was worrying about same feelings for the game, but the team SSR&LFS has really done amazing job with this one!

Premium features of Stern games have way too often felt like cheap mods or addons without any real purpose, but with AC/DC it really feels like that the game was originally designed as a Premium model and Pro then became the stripped model with some essential features taken off. So far I have played Pro only a couple of times and Premium quite a lot, and I couldn't think enjoying this game as much without the great pendulum bell or drop targets. Even the lower playfield seems to have a meaning in the game (and the face in the Pro model is ugly despite being a classic rock image).

Not only is the layout great, but the ruleset is the thing to make this game one of the best ones. All of the 12 songs have a real meaning and getting to Encore means going trough all of them. Song Jackpot is really innovative risk/reward shot and Song Bonus is, even being quite hard to understand at first, just incredibly clever way to add band's history and discography to the ruleset.

The ruleset is really deep and I still have many things to learn in the rules after playing the game quite much for couple of months. Getting to encore feels just as hard as it should be and haven't even been close to it yet.

IFPA and Stern nailed it with the $tern rewards program making AC/DC Premium the first rewards machine. This really is a player's machine with so many things to do and so many challenges available for even the best players in the world.
9 years ago
A machine with great flow and challenge. Getting 2x/3x shots makes scoring really interesting and modes worth playing. Great stacking possibilities and nice wizard mode.
9 years ago
Looks so good but plays so bad. Stupid software glitches and amazingly stupid wizard mode.
9 years ago
Super Jackpots make the scoring unbalanced.
9 years ago
Excellent theme and music, interesting and challenging modes, decent wizard mode. Blinders are a fun toy. Still somehow a generic DE game having modes+wizard mode and a separate multiball. Anyway the best DE game there is.
9 years ago
The game with widest variety of gimmicks using magnets. Too bad the software makes the gameplay boring having also one of the worst wizard modes ever. Right ramp impossible to shoot constantly due to its design.
9 years ago
The rules of the game are definitely one of KEF masterpieces. The original movie trilogy is a long journey and so is the game in a good way. To reach Valinor you really have to nail everything in the game, but every requirement makes sense and isn't way too hard to achieve. The ruleset also provides many ways to help your journey with all the extra ball possibilities and most importantly the resurrection of multiballs with Gollum MB.

Must be played with strong enough flippers. LOTR with weak flippers makes the game practically unplayable, because not making the ring shot all the way through it takes out all the fun and possibility to reach many of the goals. Original crappy Stern flipper leaf switches don't help the situation at all.
10 years ago
Deepest ruleset ever? Amazing possibilities of stacking everything.
11 years ago
Although having many same elements compared to AFM (my personal favourite machine), MM is refreshingly different in software providing more challenge in good and also in bad way. Finishing Battle for the Kingdom is one of the hardest feats found in any pinball of 90s. Royal Madness is probably the best single ball mode there is. The machine can be frustratingly hard for beginners and if you feel that the game is only about shooting castle all over again, you are doing it wrong! (or playing the game in competition)

The only things I don't like about the game are that you might end up being stuck with trolls if you already played your multiball madness without them and Merlin hole is not that good keeping direct shots in the hole but bouncing them out.
11 years ago
It's easy to compare this game to TAF, since both have so many rule and playfield similarities. If the ball grabbing hand in TAF is awesome, the ball eating T-rex in JP is almost as cool.

The multi-phased tri-ball is really interesting element of the game, but making the super jackpots takes out the balance in scoring. And let's be honest, if you still have six balls in play while nailing your maximum valued super jackpots, you have also been very lucky.

The playfield layout is nice, but the T-rex saucer is not that good keeping balls there. Balls seem to get there more by lucky bounces than successful hits from upper flipper. Ball launch feeding to bumper area is quite annoying, since some of the bounces from bumpers end up SDTM. The generic Data East wizard mode combined with the plunger feed makes it quite ok strategy to drain and auto launch balls to the bumpers for the duration of wizard mode. Smart missile is nice feature.

I really like TAF, so I would have thought that JP would've had more staying potential in my collection but eventually the game had to leave since it was one of the least played games in the 40 DMD machine collection.
11 years ago
Excellent layout for a game with quite boring theme.

There is quite much in the ruleset, but in my opinion the game would have been so much better with some other wizard mode than the flail around mode Super Multiball.
11 years ago
This machine has had the biggest influence making me the pinball addict I am today. Playing the machine back in the late 90s I felt this game has everything that pinball needs: good variety of shots, nice layout and flow, great theme and especially challenging ruleset that makes you always come back to play more.

15 years later and owning the machine I still feel the same. Of course getting to Rule the Universe is not that hard task to do anymore, but with AFM you don't get tired even after "completing" the game, but you keep going for victory laps and next RtU run.

In my opinion no game can be rated perfect 10 with the pinside scale, but for me AFM makes it really close. There are many other games almost as perfect as AFM, but since I don't have the same emotional bond for these games, their ranking is marginally lower.
11 years ago
Most likely the fastest and best flowing widebody machine ever.

The multiball heavy ruleset is somehow ruined by the claw and possibility of choosing lock freeze as claw award over and over again. Disabling the claw entirely forces you to go trough all the claw awards and brings more strategy to the game. I prefer playing the game this way.