I first started my pinball love affair in the 80's, at of course- my local arcade! With classic games like Gorgar, Black Knight, Comet, Paragon, Black Hole, Sorcerer, Pin*Bot, Cyclone, Taxi, and Space Shuttle, I was hooked! Later, as those great pins got pulled and swapped for the newer Funhouse, Whirlwind, etc... Pinball was clearly the better choice for spending my hard earned cash.
Then, 1992 hit...
Newer video games started to pour in, coaxing me ever so softly from my beloved incandescent row of old; warm familiar friends, eventually monopolizing what little cash I had left in my wallet. The game that finally severed the bond of the silver ball and pulled me away completely was, *insert drum roll here* "Street Fighter II"! I was so into SFII, that pinball didn't even have time to take a back seat- it was thrown completely out the window. (in the middle of the desert no less...) I do admit, once I got to play T2 and The Addams Family, I really enjoyed what the new DMD display brought to the table. But as soon as I was getting back into pinball, there- across the row...gently whsipering, was a sHiNy NEW version of SFII! (insert Snagglepuss voice) "With "TuRbO" even!!!" With a heavy heart I have to confess, I literally missed the "Golden Age" of pinball... *FACEPALM!!*
Oddly enough, (years later) while on vacation, I came across a Stern "Pirates of the Caribbean" nestled quietly in a dark corner of the hotel's arcade. Admittedly, it was one of the first new machines (due to the SFII-III gap) I encountered in the wild that magically "sailed" me back into the pinball fold. Since then, I have been spending a lot of my time catching up on what I've missed. I even made a pilgrimage to D.C. to visit the "National Pinball Museum"! It was in an actual mall- I was pretty confused... (temporary location, I think?) But they did have some lost proto Capcom games like, Big Bang Bar and Kingpin, which I thoroughly enjoyed. They also had a "Tilt" famed "Revenge from Mars" that was available to play. Twilight Zone was definitely one of my favorites from that trip because of the sheer number of TZ toys they crammed onto that game. "So many activities!!" (Will Ferrell SB). So now I am here waiting patiently for Jersey Jack and Stern to bring forth Pinball's 2nd renaissance. Cash/organs in hand no less!! Come on future..NO WHAMMY!