paulbaptise's ratings

Pinsider paulbaptise has rated 14 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms paulbaptise's personal top 14.

Rating comments

paulbaptise has written 14 rating comments:

5 months ago
I've played more games on Alien in 3 weeks of ownership than any other game I've ever had in my collection during that same period. It just speaks to me. It is a cruel but occasionally rewarding mistress. I am very much a fan of widebody games, but also share the concerns that they can be floaty and lack some of the speed and flow of standard body pins. I think Alien overcomes those challenges very well here. Alien is very fast. Once you really begin to master all 4 flippers and find the shots that are available to you, the game opens up and gets very quick. A few of the vital shots create drain risks in the game that cause you to be sharp and attentive to prevent short ball times.

The modes feel unique and rewarding to travel through. The way the points balance against the modes and the multiball and how that feeds into the final game modes really rewards the player for trying to complete missions throughout. Multiballs are pretty standard affair. The ability to stack Sentry on top of either of the other two mutliballs is welcome as it adds an extra layer of strategy and planning before activating multiballs.

The theme is captured so well in this game. I was more interested in the gameplay itself than it's connection to the film, but the darkness and sound effects help to really build tension during gameplay. I played a standard before picking up an LV and it was way too dark to really enjoy. The lit sideblades on the LV provide just enough illumination to see what's going on, without taking away from the dark atmosphere.

The code is very well done and from my understanding unlikely to really evolve further. That would be my only real complaint. There is so much material to use within the two films that game alows you to play through, that even more could be added to increase the immersion factor of this game.

Right now I'm feeling that Alien has staying power and I hope I feel the same way several months from now. Excellent game!
1 year ago
10.17.22 Update

Everything I could’ve hoped for and more has been done to push this game out of the realm of promising, but not quite there, to a truly unique and unrepeatable experience.

All the pieces that seemed disjoined or separate parts of the whole now move together in perfect sequence. I feel like I’ve watched this game go from crawling to a small jog and then to Olympic caliber running in one update. What a night and day difference! No longer an I begrudgingly bowling AGAIN or starting a car mode just to see it disappear because some unrelated mode has started.. rinse and repeat…but now these creative but separate activities flow in unison and perfect harmony. They’ve somehow removed the grind of getting to the end of the game and replaced it with goals that I not only want to accomplish but can happen simultaneously while pursuing something else. Perhaps that is the greatest beauty of this game. I wasn’t even attempting to be a tactician, simply enjoying myself and each completion and reward rolls into another in such a natural, unforced way, that you find yourself immersed in something incredibly simple by playing along, not working or fighting against, but just happily participating with.

Truly incredible and one of a kind work here Dutch. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

Original Comment:

I don't know if there is a better theme integration in pinball besides TBL. I do think part of the allure of the game lies in its back story as well as the continued struggle and timeline to receive a machine. Rarity does add perceived value (whether accurate or not). I waited a year to received this game and have spent the next 3 months chasing down problems and looking for ways to improve design flaws or fix or prevent future problems from occurring. Dependability or lack thereof can easily sour my feelings towards a game. TBL has taken the the #1 spot of having the glass off more than on. I hope I'm at a place where this experience is finally over. All that being said, I absolutely love this game.

The game is excellent. It's absolutely goregous and everything is tied in so cleanly. The game is a masterclass in theme intergration and the code is still being developed. That is a good thing. The game is difficult as is and as they add variety to the modes (bowling ect) the game will just grow in popularity and gain the respect it deserves. There are so many call outs and things to notice that you may not hear unless you work to complete the modes and pause to listen to the dialogue.

Upper playing is excellent and entertaining. Challenging enough to not bore easily but utilized enough to make you proficient. I'm glad they included a skill shot that incorporates the upper playfield as it really ties the bowling mode into the game. They are going to add some variety to the bowling mode (splits) which is desperately needed. Main playfield flows very well. Jesus shot is difficult to make and difficult to get dialed in. A very narrow opening to make this shot. The way the vuk is lined up can create some very aggravating rejects. Dude ramp also has a difficult incline that can cause balls to roll back down if not landed with a perfect hit. They really need to change the slope of the dude ramp to avoid some of these issues. Playfield is excellent, gorgeous, and the colors tie the rest of the game together like few others. Soundtrack is phenomenal and really lines up with the music. With a little computer savy you can edit the music to include the orignal tracks with vocals. I highly recommend you do so.

1 year of wait and continued problems keeping this game afloat and I wouldn't trade it for nothing. Once the 1.0 code releases I think this will be one of the greatest modern games ever made. Can't wait to see what they do next.
1 year ago
This is my first Spooky title so may have different or unrealistic expectations for a NIB game this early in production. That being said, this game is one of the most beautiful in my collection. Everything from the cabinet, playfield and backglass are stunning. The layout of the game is challenging and a fresh change of pace over modern stern/jjp games. But with that comparison also comes the glaring difference in how complete a game is at launch. I have a very early game so have played since the very first iteration of code. Team Spooky has come along way in the first few updates and I'm optimistic the game will continue to improve and hopefully become the masterpiece it can be. That remains to be seen.

For now it is a fun and challenging game that needs code and assets to give a reason to keep playing.
1 year ago
I finally found an affordable example of this game so after 90 days of bringing it back to life I may be a little biased in my opinion. This is currently my favorite game in my collection. You always look for a game that pulls you back in, makes you hit start one more time. This is that game for me. Perfect level of difficulty and reward. There is enough depth in the code to keep you fighting towards that final battlle. The game does not hold your hand. Loops are wickedly fast and will drain right down the middle if you aren’t watching. Same goes for the battlefield and wall drop targets. The upper playfield is very entertaining and something that is fun to keep returning to as it’s difficult to master.

The unpopular theme and back glass really hold this game at a lower level than it deserves. I’m happy you can still find one for 4-5k, but it is worth just as much as it’s 7-8k siblings. Definitely a keeper for me.
2 years ago
I'm about a month into ownership and the game continues to grow on me. I was not taken with it in the beginning. Its difficult and progression seems limited compared to my other JJP games although I expect this to improve with time.

When all of the pieces come together and you land an incredible jackpot and the crowd cheers and the encore begins...there is nothing like it in pinball. The difficult part is getting there.
2 years ago
For me, this game is everything I never knew I was looking for in a pinball machine. First played on location and was distracted by the theme and how pretty the machine was. It seemed less masculine and more an ornate piece of art compared to the pinball machines i owned or had played. As often in my experience my first impressions of a game are almost completely influenced by how well I perform. WOZ beat the shit out of me each and every visit. It wasn't until the 4th visit and maybe 20 game attempts that I was able to somewhat figure out the rules and even have the opportunity to use the upper playfields and then the game opened up. I had a 100k score and my eyes were opened. I knew there was something magical to be discovered in this game if only I had the time to invest in it.

I found one to purchase locally about a month ago and have played almost non stop. Im still learning the rules and different approaches to gameplay. There is so much depth in this machine and I feel I've only scratched the surface. I hope to find a similar experience in another JJP pin in the future, but unfortunately I think I may never have the same amount of quiet time with a machine to truly get a feel for it. This shines at home in a way I never understood before. Hope I feel the same 6 months or 6 years from now.
2 years ago
Have been very pleasantly surprised by this pin. The entire game is ramps, not a single bumper in the game. The one drop target works insanely well due to its isolation on the field. It's a nice albeit easy entrance fee to lock additional balls. For me the only real potential weakness in this game is its main gimmick. The upper ramp/jump is fun and once you lock down the timing it's easy to narrowly focus on that one shot while ignoring the others.

Excellent game where a color dmd makes a very worthwhile upgrade. Great animations that capture the many challenges of this game.
2 years ago
I'm not sure if it's a lack of grasping the rules or the difficulty of playing them to my advantage that makes this games dissapoint somewhat. Although it being one of my grail pins I may have had my Hope's set too high. The zipper flippers are great as well as the whole upper playfield but there really is nothing to shoot at. Just get back up top to earn your bonus and rinse and repeat.

The artwork on this game is stunning. The illuminated flippers and shield of the Gods really set this game apart. I just wish there was more to do.
2 years ago
My favorite Bally widebody. There is just so much to do on this playfield. You can spend time just banging out letters for embryon or focus on the top right or left of the playfield. This gives you safer options to earn points and extend playtime. I love the artwork and theme. My only complaint is how dark the playfield is. I don't know why the pop bumpers and other parts of the field aren't always lit up to show off the beautiful artwork. It seems wasteful to have the lights only kick in during parts of gameplay.

I enjoy the difficulty (for me) of obtaining multi-ball but wish there was a greater incentive to go after it. Due to the widebody and layout of the playfield you can have 2 balls completely separated for quite awhile. I just wish the scoring was effected by the multiball. Absolutely love this game.
2 years ago
This is the first machine I saw that really drew me in. The artwork was amazing, it really seemed to play fast and my God I wanted one. A few months later I found one locally and purchased it. It's the most beautiful pin I own and one of the most boring. I love the artwork, absolutely love the playfield and cabinet. The backglass is incredible. There just isn't anything to do. You hit that loop in the center over and over again and that's the whole game. I wish their was more as it seems like a waste of artwork and design on such a simplistic pin.
2 years ago
This is my newest machine so I have probably the least amount of time on it so far. The main attraction to me about this pin, the ability to keep pulling multiball back to back, is what keeps me playing this machine. It also speaks to it's limitations in regards to longevity. Spelling sorcerer is not that rewarding and will happen eventually just by missing ramp shots and trying to get back up top on the playfield. There just isn't a lot to do on this playfield. I do enjoy hidden pathways for the spinners and the sound effects of ripping through them are the best in the game in my opinion.

The lights and artwork of this game are phenomenal. I truly enjoy the call outs and feel they encourage repeated play. The buzzer is always a scary surprise and the light show is well done and adds an exciting element to gameplay. Not sure I'm going to keep this one, but enjoying it so far.
2 years ago
Being new to pinball the cabinet and smaller back glass of centaur 2 do not bother me at all. It was a benefit being able to purchase this version at a much better price than the full size original. That is the only difference between the two and it's incredible how much lower this version ranks below the original because if it.

I absolutely love Centaur. I've never felt the drive to aim so consistently on any other game I own. Shooting the orbs and trying to get the 1-4 drop targets in sequence keeps me focused and engaged the entire time. The ability to earn multiball through several different means creates a balance and game save opportunities that can completely change the outcome of a game.

The art and sound are incredible and set the tone better than any other game I own. It sets itself apart and will not be leaving my game room anytime soon.
2 years ago
This was my first pinball machine purchase and has guided each subsequent purchase. This is the game I always return to in hope of getting a better score. I never feel cheated or robbed even when it drops down the beasts lair. It begs strategy in a way my other Bally games of the same period struggle with. There is a good variety of things to shoot for and can be a very fast machine for a wide body. I'd like to own a better example someday but I believe I'll always have a Paragon in the collection.
2 years ago
The artwork on this game is always a conversation starter in my house. Like it or not that adds value to me. It's also the smoothest playing of the wide body Bally's that I own. My only complaint is I wish there were more targets to shoot at.

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