Playing Virtual and Stern/CGC's at local arcades, want a real pin.

By MasterOnion

December 12, 2022

57 days ago

I just joined Pinside as it's the place to be.  I fondly remember playing in the late 80's and early 90's Star Wars, Black Rose, and much more, and a YouTube video on a Deadpool in someone's living room really caught my eye.  In the meantime, I have built in 2022 a fully modified virtual pinball Iron Maiden-themed out of my 32" playfield At Games Legends with so many modifications and toys that basically only the wood lower cabinet is left from stock (see my avatar), and I have been playing a lot of Stern and Chicago Gaming Company remakes at various local arcades or wherever I go.  I would love to buy a real pin, like Godzilla, Deadpool, or Monster Bash, but the price nowaday is a bit much - but I'll get there.  The maintenance doesn't bother me much.  My skills are improving, but I'm not up to playing a tournament yet.  My son is really enjoying it, and he beats me every time - have to keep the next generation interested!

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51 days ago

How fun is the virtual compared to the real thing? I'm not enough of a gear-head that I could build one or tinker with one, so I was thinking of buying one called Skillshot FX since it looks ready to go out the box and has an aesthetic that would be an easier sell for my wife to have in our house, but it's pricey, and I am not sure how it would compare to a an analog pinball. I just ordered my first real pin (mandelorian premium) for my family that we get next month, but a virtual seems like it would be a lot of fun too and save a lot of space if we really get into playing.

48 days ago

I own a Pinball 2000 style Virtual Pin, that I built a decade or so ago. I have upgraded everything on it twice since then. It sits happily with my collection of real pins and gets as much play as any of them. How real it is, varies from table author, to table author. But the best ones out there, their creations play shot for shot, just like whatever real table they used to model and test it. It is nice to have a fully kitted out one, for the force feedback. The tactile response really helps with the illusion. Overall, I really enjoy mine. I can play hundreds of tables that I will likely never own.

34 days ago

So in the meantime I couldn't resist the temptation and have ordered a Godzilla Pro for June 2023 at The Pinball Place in New Ulm, MN, where I made the 200 mile round trip to play there many awesome machines.

On the virtual question, it is great to be able to play machines I would never be able to find in real life (e.g. Theatre of Magic and Tales of Arabian nights were broken where I went, and haven't been to a Medieval Madness yet - but they are on FX3's cabinet mode and more). The physics isn't 100% the same as the real thing, primarily with shots being very repeatable/predictable whereas real life has more variations. The feel is pretty good with exciters, and the solenoids for DOF can be authentic although sometimes a bit overpowering. The lights aren't quite the same as real, but a 5 RGB flasher bank helps. Not all of the tables exactly replicate reality, like Guardians is very authentic whereas the current Godzilla or 007 emulators are different twists on reality. It does not 100% substitute, and it's a huge learning curve that I am still now even on, but it's a great part of a collection along with my now real pin.

34 days ago

Oh, one more thing - the realism/depth of the ramps, etc. is of course much better on real tables. I know understand what I'm looking at better on tables like Creature from the Black Lagoon now that I have played it. The point of view can be adjusted in VPX, which I haven't done yet, but it's just not quite the same. Still, I have literally 1100 tables in the footprint of 1, and no waxing required (not maintenance free though - it uses some real pinball parts like solenoids, shooter, buttons, fuses, lights, etc.).

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