NC_Pin's ratings

Pinsider NC_Pin has rated 24 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms NC_Pin's personal top 24.

Rating comments

NC_Pin has written 16 rating comments:

45 days ago
The first dozen or so time I played Stranger Things I didn't care for it. The early code didn't do it any favors - and it just seemed like a cheap knockout off of AFM.

Fast forward a few years, and I got to play it in a dimly lit arcade. The code was updated and the UV kit was installed. I really couldn't hear the game too well, but It was a totally different experience. It was definitely fun, but I didn't really ever expect to want one.

Fast forward again... I picked up an LE in a trade. The game has the UV kit and the Cleland code... and wow... in a home environment this game really shines. It really is a deeper modern take on AFM. It has the same fast flow and risky shots. While AFM has far superior art (the LE cabinet is pretty terrible) and callouts, Stranger Things has the best "mood" of any game I have played. When you add the Cleland code the them integration is fantastic. Lots of intensity. Then you add a projector/ramp and bash toy.... and it really does make for a great game.

Things we like

- The UV kit is a must. I know it is a gimmick, but it is a great one.

- The projector adds a lot to the game. Also, try updating the screens to more of a high contrast backing.

- Fun, fast, and deep. Just like AFM the center shots can be deadly. Unlike AFM, the scoring seems to be more balanced - the side modes are important for scores.

It is not perfect.

- The TK ball lock isn't very reliable and is a flow kill when it is rejected. Ultimately, I just disabled the diverter. The lock is super cool, but not worth the hassle.

- Lots of ball traps and airballs galore. This is a game that really must be dialed in.

- The cabinet art is.. bad. The backglass is ok - but the playfield is excellent.
60 days ago
IMO it might be the modern day IJ:TPA. Batman 66 integrates the theme perfectly and the rules/code might be the best of all time. However, like IJ:TPA the playfield layout leaves a lot to be desired. The left ramp and the orbits are not smooth. The spinning table is great, but there is quite a bit of real estate on it that is basically dead. The game just isn't a smooth shooter.

Despite not being overly smooth the game is still a ton of fun. The rules are brilliant. The stacking of minor villains. The manipulation of the multiplier. The theme integration. The callouts... really everything is perfect with the exception of some weird angles and ramps on the playfield (like IJ:TPA).
1 year ago
I waited until I played the game 100 times before attempting a rating. It really isn't a difficult game to rate. If you *get* the theme, and enjoy it, this will likely be one of your alltime favorite games. If you think it is just a "dumb cellphone theme" then you will probably won't like it. I think JJP should have named it "Quantum City" instead of "Dialed In." In a way... it is this generations version of "The Shadow."

For us... we really enoy the game. It really feels like a very modern version of Twilight Zone. The Quantum Theatre is a fantastic toy. The ramps are fun to hit... the lighting is fantastic. The callouts are subdued, but that is intentional. If I had a complaint it is that the art is a little too generic.

"Dialed In" is very much a new take on the B/W 90's era games. The callouts are cheeses and it doesn't take itself too seriously. I think it makes a nice compliment to the newer Stern games.
1 year ago
Update - after 1 year I still enjoy the occasional game, but the rules are pretty frustrating. It seems like everygame is exactly the same. Open the portal, start a battle... rinse and repeat. Occassionaly I get 2 or 3 gems, but usually I struggle to get more than 1. at this point, I feel like too much of the code is inaccessible for someone at my level. I definitely rate JP2 higher than AIQ.


I have AIQ set-up next to my JP2, both are LE's, and I have debating on which game I prefer. I am just going to rate the game and see where it falls!

I have waited about 100 plays before attempting a rating. It is definitely a top game... but I think I will need to let the honeymoon phase wear off before I can claim that is the best ever or even in the top 5.

Notes -

- The game is a shooter's dream. It has tons of fun combos. Once you get dialed in a bit you can really make the game hum!

- I think the LE/Prem is the way to go mainly because of the Captain Marvel ramp. I honestly can't imagine the game without it. It is one of my all-time favorite shots. IMO, CM ramp > JP2 moving dinosaur. I really like the portal, but I probably could do without the subway. It is loud and needlessly slows down the game.

- Going back to my JP2 comparison - AIQ is more forgiving. The shots are not nearly as tight - the "C', "O" and tower shots are all tighter than anything on AIQ.

- Tons of depth already int he .91 code. Collecting the gems is more fun he clearing the paddocks in JP2. However, the AIQ rules appear to be pretty nuanced and can be complicated. This isn't MM or AFM where you can have solid strategies within the first 5 minutes of playing the game. Understanding which gems to after and how to maximize your portal locks will take some time. I think a casual player will understand JP2 quicker.

- I think better players are going to struggle with long ball times. The shots are all long, and not especially tight, so I suspect skilled players are going to have pretty long games on average.

- I love the backglass and playfield, but I am not 100% in love with the LE cabinet art. I will say that the yellow looks better in person than in pictures.

- Animations... they are fine. Honestly, I barely notice them. They certainly fit the theme.

- Call-outs - I think they used the guy from the Spiderman VE do the IronMan callouts. IMO the call-outs are perfectly ok... nothing too memorable, but there is nothing that annoyance of, "Where is Nedry?"

- Theme - I like the Avengers and I think they did a great job tying everything together.

- Shots - I think I counted 11 shots (not counting the drop targets). All of the shots are satisfying - while a few are absolutely epic.

Finally, I think anyone who enjoys Elwin's other two games will probably enjoy AIQ. Personally, I could take JP2, AIQ, and a 90's game (TS, AFM, IFPBA, or MM) as a 3 game collection and be very happy.
2 years ago
Definitely a fun game. The Shadow may have my all-time favorite playfield layouts. It is loaded with shots - none of them are especially tight, but a misfire can drain quickly. Everything is pretty unique between the pong-style upper playfield, to the player controlled ramp diverters to the ball lock in the Sanctum... it is all so unique. I really wonder if someone like Stern would even attempt to make a game like The Shadow again?

A few notes
- Not a great game for beginners. The game plays fast, and the rules are always the most obvious... i.e. most of the casual players never use the ramp diverters

- The game is under-rated because of the theme and the backglass (IMO the playfield and cabinet are fine). There are plenty of updated translites (with Aurich's being my personal favorite). As for the theme.... It's ok... for what it is... the music and call-outs are actually pretty good. The crazy thing is that with the right translate (like Aurich's) and a few well placed upgrades (lighting and powder coating and such)... this game can look awesome...almost menacing.

- The Sanctum is prone to wearing out. The PF is thin in that area so that the magnet can grab the ball.

- Others have mentioned it, but if you have issues with the wleds on your ramps by a set of Mantis ramps.
2 years ago
Update - after about 1000 plays I had to amend the score a bit. The lastability for this game is great! The combination of depth and shots makes it my current favorite game. I did go back and knock it for the callouts... the early ones are getting to be annoying. Another issue is the T-rex not always catching the ball. It seems to be a common issue. However, on our machine clean shots are caught almost every time. As a whole... absolutely fantastic game.


Not a perfect game.... I am not 100% in love with the backglass, and the callouts get old. However... this game is so much fun that I had to go BACK and amend some of my ratings on other games. I had to drop them.... because most of the games don't measure up to fun-level of JP2. In fact, my wife and I had said that we were done buying new Sterns... until we played JP2 at a location. Within about 15 minutes we both decided that we needed to make an exception to the rule and get a LE.

One thing.. I do like the nods/tribute to the original Data East game. The 1993 JP had a lot going for it. The game had a pretty awful looking playfield, the cabinet was super plain, and the sound wasn't that great.... but the game was fun to play. Elwin took some of the elements from the '93 game (Mr. DNA, Spelling "CHAOS", ball eating dino, Smart Bomb, and etc) and made them his own.

So for us... it is the top Stern game that we have played (It beats my previous favorite TSPP). I have it ranked 4th overall.... that seems about right. It is essentially tied with Monster's bash.... I like the art package on MB better, but JP2 is a deeper game.
3 years ago
By coincidence, our Monster Bash LE arrived at the same time as our Munsters LE. At first, I thought the games were pretty comparable but now that I have a few weeks on both machines I can definitely say I prefer Monsters Bash. For me.... it is currently in my alltime top 5 (with MM, TZ, TSPP, and AM).

This is a super fun game. It is fast...and while it is on the easy side... it is still lots of fun.

I think CGC knocked it out of the park with the new animations. Honestly, I like them better than anything that I have seen on a LCD screen. I can't speak highly enough on the upgraded animations and DMD.

I love the topper - definitely a classic.

I have some additional tweaking to do since the occasional skill shot finds its way between the flippers. I also notice that the flippers don't quite behave like the standard Williams/Bally. Not much of a negative, but it does take a bit of getting used to.
3 years ago
First of all... this does not affect my rating but Stern changing the LE quantity from 500 to 600 after taking deposits is an absolute joke. In the world of toy collectibles, art, and other industries such an unethical practice would have destroyed their reputation beyond repair and/or gotten them sued. the soapbox and on to the game....

By coincidence, this game arrived at the same time as my Monster Bash LE. I was more excited to get the Monsters bash LE, but the Munster holds up very nicely.... it certainly does not pale in comparison. Both games are sitting next to my Spiderman Vault... which suddenly looks very bare.

The game is well done and plays very smooth. I love the entire art and sound package on the LE... I am not sure how they could have been done any better.

Grandpas basement is fun, but I am afraid it may not age well. It almost feels like you are playing a small toy pinball machine. However, it really, really sets off the playfield.

The music and callouts are great... the music is awesome and takes full advantage of the Munsters classic theme song. The animations are also pretty cool... lets of show clips... again.. it is very well done.

Game play.. so far we love it. I may need to update it once we get a few hundred more games under our belts. I wouldn't necessarily call it "Easy" but it is definitely an approachable game for newbies.

Code... the code out of the box is certainly acceptable, but I am excited to see what the future holds.

Getting back on to my soapbox... A totally great game... It is too bad that Stern wasn't a more reputable company when it comes to releasing Limited Editions. In the future, I will struggle mightily ]IF I decide to buy another LE from them.
3 years ago
This whole game is a gimmick, but it is a good gimmick! A few people have mentioned that it is a horrible game for a small in-home collection. I agree with that, but with this one caveat.... it is a great game for a mid-sized or large collection. We own 7 games and Champions Pub is the perfect change of pace game. It is completely unique and brings a totally different playing experience. It definitely has a few flaws, but we really enjoy it.

Some of our basic notes

- The sound and the callouts are great they really fit the game well.

- EVERYONE who visits our little arcade loves the theme. It might be the top game for our visiting pinball newbies. Someone described it is a pinball version of the old Nintendo "Punch Out" - that is a pretty accurate description. The surprising thing is that they were able to capture the quirky fun of the Nintendo game.

- Other have mentioned it, but I don't get the bottom right side of the playfield. It is almost like they had extra unused space and decided to stick in some pegs for no apparent reason. As a result, the game is very unforgiving on the right-hand outlane.

- The scoring is a bit weird -you need to crank up the multiplier in order to score big.

- The nature of the game leads to a lot of crazy bounces and unintentional drains.

- The jump rope and punching bag gimmicks are great... but they are a bit temperamental and don't always works as they should.

- The lighting isn't great and the game is pretty dark.

I know that seems like a lot of negatives, but most of them are relatively minor and the gameplay more than compensates for them.
3 years ago
I have waited to rate the game. We have owned it for about a year - and of the 7 games we own - Spiderman might be the one that gets played the most. It is fun and can be readily picked up by newer players. The game itself is a bit basic with the Sandman being the biggest gimmick in the game, but we don't mind. I understand that it can be a bit too easy for the hardcore players, but for us, it is about right.

A couple of notes

- A color DMD really does add a lot to the game. If you are buying the game make sure you have enough $ left over to pick up the color DMD.

- The game really does look cool. The art on the VE is spot on (IMO), and the LED light show is great. It makes for a fun-looking and inviting game.

- We have had it in our collection for about a year and we have no plans on getting rid of it.
5 years ago
I can't claim to have played every pinball machine... or even most... but of the ones I have played the only one that comes close to MM is TZ. The game is the ultimate addiction. You can never just play once. I always get drawn in for more than I had planned.

The game itself is nearly perfect. The playfield is awesome - both open and interesting. The game is also super smooth - I never feel cheated out of a ball or shot. The exploding castle is my all-time favorite gimmick. The voice acting is second to none. The art is both funny and intricate. AFM is obviously very similar, but MM has a few extra shots and just a little more interesting. If I were to only own two games it would be MM and TZ. If I were to only own 1..... ugh... I am not sure if I could handle that hard of a scenario!
5 years ago
One of my very favorites. Indiana Jones IMO has the best sounds and music of any of the games that I have played. MM has way more humor - and TZ has more variety - but for me all of the sounds in IJ makes me think of adventure. All of the aspects of IJ really work together and it is the closest I have to come to playing a pinball machine that is more *game* and less *pinball* - if that makes any sense.

The game has a couple of minor flaws. The game can be a bit slow, and at times the video modes can take you off of your game rhythm. However, it offers a great variety and some very fun multiballs. It is a keeper.
5 years ago
Of the games in my collection WOZ is my least favorite, and honestly, it isn't even close. As for my wife - it is her favorite, and honestly, it isn't even close. I guess that proves that to each their own. What can't be debated is that this game looks fantastic. The RGB lights and LCD screen give it a very unique and cool look.

A run down on my hit list.... I love the look, lighting, artwork, display, and I am ok on the theme (although it is very confusing), however I just don't care for the game. It has a few bad angles which seem to always pop up. I guess I should study the rules a little deeper, but I rarely know what my objective is... I can't lookup at the uber impressive LCD without fearing to lose my ball. I also find the play field a little to congested with Dorothy's house taking up way too much room. I guess I could be nit-picking!

My wife (on the other hand) loves the integration of the RGB's she finds the lighting to be much easier on her eyes and less headache inducing. For whatever reason... she just really likes the game.
5 years ago
Update - the game definitely looks dated next to the 2019 JP2. However, it makes a nice compliment to it.... the DE JP has more movie callouts and JP2 takes multiple cookies from the original. JP2 kinda shows what the original DE game could have been (with 2019 electronics).... however.... it someone ways... it makes the original even more charming. Really - the main thing that keeps DE JP from being a Top 30 game is the art package.

My first crush in Pinball. I played JP daily for about 2 years while in college. I loved the game so much that I knew I had to add it to my collection. However, this game is sitting right next to my pristine TZ ... and that comparison doesn't do JP any favors.

The game itself is a bit of a contrast - it has some very cool features (t-rex, skill shot, smart missle), but it also has several warts. It is not rare for me to launch a ball and have drain on the sides without the ball even approaching my flippers. There are definitely some unforgiving angles in the game. I wouldn't say it makes the game hard... just more random and prone to luck (again... compared to TZ sitting next to it).

Another reviewer mentioned that if JP had been made by Bally/Williams in value (and ranking) would have soared. I agree with that.... only because they would have fixed some of the flaws with the game. The physics would have been tweaked, the playfield art (and art in general) would have been improved, and the flippers would be much more smooth.

The game is fun, but it can also be a bit a frustrating if you are used to Bally/Williams or some of the newer games out there. In the end... I still play it as much as any of my other games!
5 years ago
One of my favorites. I think I prefer its sister game MM a bit more, but AFM is definitely a keeper. The playfield is very open, and deceptively simple. However, the game really makes you think about your strategy and approach. I own AFM but I am intrigued by the new remake... it seems like a color DMD would be very a cool feature.
5 years ago
I am a huge fan of the show so I may be a bit biased. However, this is the game that has it all. The game is so deep that it allows every game to feel very unique. Personally, I continuously change my mind between TZ and MM as my all-time favorite game. TZ is probably the more impressive machine, but MM may have a slight advantage in play ability.