robin's ratings

Pinsider robin has rated 92 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms robin's personal top 92.

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Rating comments

robin has written 28 rating comments:

42 days ago
As someone who really didn't like the game all that much when it was presented (to my own displeasure as I had one on pre-order for 3 years already when i first got to play it at Expo), I really changed my mind after finally putting one in my gameroom and learning to play it.

I love the animations and sound effects. Depth of rules. Open playfield and the challenge of the blocking 'beasts'. Easy to reach the 3 sub-wizard modes, but challenging to complete them.

I have owned this game for over two years now and I can honestly say that this is one of my favourite games in the collection. Note that I am a big fan of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies and the Tolkien "universe". I think this is a keeper. :-)
3 years ago
... testing... 123 ... 456 ... 789 ...
8 years ago
At first glance, Star Ship Troopers looks pretty awful. An unlucky dude who got half of its body bitten of is prominently placed between the flippers and sets the mood for this gory game. The backglass, the cabinet - it's all not very inviting if you ask me. But once you get past the initial looks and start a game, unexpected fun begins.

The game features 4 digital counters in the area between the slings. The concept is simple. Hit colored targets all over the playfield to lower the count of corresponding digital scorekeepers. Uncomplicated but unexpected fun! But there's more than meets the eye. When all creatures are destroyed the choice is your: nuke the planet or move on to the next. There is enough challenge in this game to keep you going for some time and the multiballs are fun!

The sound bytes are kind of hilarious in a tacky kind of way. The music is totally 80s style commodore 64 inspired sid chip coolness - a pleasure to hear and possibly this pins best asset.

All in all, I can recommend giving this game a try - I started out hating this game because it's just so ugly, but find I'm enjoying it more and more each week. Give this pin a chance and you could be pleasantly surprised by its original rules and total over-the-top violence and dark humor (the enormous brain bug that pops out from under the playfield is notoriously hard to hit sometimes).
8 years ago
Update 26/9/11. After owning the game for 8 months, my feelings about the game are still a mixed bag:

First of all I love the design of this machine. The yellow crime scene tape is cleverly done and, apart from the unattractive stars of the show, the game looks pretty decent. Very shiny and bright and tempting to play. The layout is a welcome change from all the fan-based layouts we've been getting from Stern lately. Ahem. Having said that, I am really missing the flow of such a fan based layout. Any attempt at flow is quickly stopped by two annoying popup posts in the main loop. The popbumper action that follows these posts sometimes takes enough time to allow me to take a sip of my coffee, realise I forgot to put sugar in it, add some, stir well and take another sip then finding my ball still in the pops. In other words, they are a bit too greedy for my taste. Speaking of greedy, the outlanes (even at their smallest gap setting) are greedy as hell.

The sounds are mostly quick clippings from the show, and some of them still contain background sound (making me suspect CSI was quite a rush job). There aren't many quotes and the sound gets repetitive rather quickly. The quotes are funny in a "CSI funny" kind of way. The music is excellent tough, very chillout relaxed sort of thing I would expect from CSI. I'm actually happy they didn't put The Who in there. Oh and I love the track that plays when you start ballistics. Sound quality is top notch, as with all Stern games on SAM.

Anyways, to the most important aspect: the rules and gameplay? Well it's ... different. Refreshing? A bit slow maybe. I must say that most of my games are heavy on the flow and speed (big Steve Ritchie fan here) so it may be a good thing to have a game like CSI in the collection. But I must admit I was looking at that Pat Lawlor Design logo on the CSI backglass and pondering the days of the past: TAF, TZ, RS. Where are the modes? CSI has none.

CSI is based around 3 multiballs and the fun of stacking these. Oh, and then there are some frenzies and a mystery but that's it. A bad thing? Not directly, sometime simple is good. But it still makes me feel kind of unfortunate that they didn't include some modes, maybe only 4 or 5 as they did in Family Guy. The way I see it is that a game without modes should have flow. CSI has neither. So isn't the game challenging? Well here is a big plus: it is. The multiballs are pretty deep and completing them is no walk in the park. And as said, stacking multiballs is possible in CSI and very lucrative score-wise. And fun too! Really, the multiballs are all this game has, but at least they are good and challenging!

Software is a bit buggy (I'm on 2.4 at the moment of this post). I've had some problems with the lab kickout not detecting a ball that dropped out. A subsequent shot that does stay in the saucer get's kicked out without an award. That may be tested out or be fixed in an update. Another annoyance is that the centrifuge is very slow to realize when there is no ball in there, after it spins up. This leeds to an empty centrifuge spinning a lot of the time because a ball triggered the opto in front of it. The multiball starting with 2 balls is kind of fun if you think of it (challenge to add a ball) but they might have expained it on the score card because currently it almost seems like the 2-ball is a bug. I don't have high hopes of these bugs ever being fixed (or a wizard mode added for that matter). Stern are not really known for bringing out many updates after a game goes out of production.

And there you have it again. Stern makes another pin that sounds OK, looks OK, plays OK (a bit stop and go) and is generally... OK. Not good, not bad either. I'm not unhappy about buying this, but not thrilled either. I'm definitely gonna be playing this for some months and have fun stacking those multiballs, but this is not a keeper the way I see it now.
9 years ago
When I first played Family Guy after it just came out, I wasn't that excited at all. The sounds were turned down way low and there was some Nasty lighting overhead. I couldn't get into the game and quickly dismissed it as "another Stern screwup". Fast forward three years. An ad for a nearby FG for sale made me curious and since this IS a Pat Lawlor game, I figured I should give it a second change. Boy, did that change my opinion! This is one of Lawlors (and Stern for that matter) best games! The play field design is very original with some crazy shots that do things different than you'd expect. It plays and flows so nice that this game is a blast to play. The artwork is great, very colorful and fun to look at. The toys are an excellent match and the cabinet is happy. The only thing I kind of dislike is the backglass art which is kind of boring. The biggest plus of FG however, is the quotes. There are so many of em that you'll be hearing new ones for dozens of games without ever getting repetitive. I should note that the quotes are not all too suited for children and sensitive family members, but a menu setting let's you choose between adult/moderate/family modes, very clever! (I'm running the latest software v12). the Stewie mini pinball is challenging to say the least and reminds me a lot of Battle the Power in Twilight Zone, it's just as much fun! In fact, this whole game reminds me of TZ, it's all so well though out and produced. I love the sound, music, art and gameplay and suspect that this game is a keeper for months if not years to come! I should also add that I have never seen this television serie, but still totally dig the humor of the license. So this game is totally recommended, even for people who don't know FG at all - I'm one of them!
9 years ago
My first impressions are pretty good, a very nice flow and generally just a lot of fun to play. Clearly the coolest feature must be the crane. It's a big assembly with a ball hanging down from a spring-like mechanism. The whole crane moves left and right. Shooting at a moving target is really a lot of fun and real challenging in later stages of the game where the target just keeps moving frantically. All the shot are all well laid out and pretty varied.

The artwork for the game is top notch, in the same league as Spider-Man. I absolute love the cabinet artwork - very well done.

The sound bytes are pretty cool as well, especially the voice of the Scarecrow. But also the various taunts by the Joker are ripped from the movie very nicely! I enjoyed the music altough it seemed a but repetitive to me. But then again, I haven't played long enough to know for sure.

All in all, my first impression is very good.

Downsides? Well the most obvious one I can think of is the giant assembly where the Joker doll lives in. In my opinion, this is a big waste of resources (budget money) and playfield space and does next to nothing. I would rather have seen some cool mechanism that the ball interacts with. Like Frankenstein in Monster Bash or something of that sorts.
9 years ago
At first this game seemed to play like a dud to me. The loop lanes are made in a way that always bring the ball right on top of the slingshots. This seems to be intended in the design and it sure takes some getting used to. But once you understand the flow the game is great fun. Now, I'm not a huge fan of the movies but this pin is more about pirates in general than it is about the movies. The ship toy is so great that you keep watching it go - up - down - up - down... awesome assembly and a great game overall!
9 years ago
Not a game to have in the house as your only game. I would only get this as an addition to a 5+ machines collection. But it is great fun for the occasional fast and frantic 6-ball multiball and just because the theme is fantastic. I may be one of the few people who enjoy playing this more than the original Indiana Jones (please don't hate me for that)!
10 years ago
This game is fast, furious and fun to play! The race track around the playfield is an incredible cool gimmick and draws you into the game. The sounds that goes along with that is also great. The overall layout is fast and there a lot of bal flow. The game is not as easy as some of the other Sterns (which sometimes seem a bit 'to easy' to me) ball times are definately shorter than those games. There's enough to do, the modes are versatile and the game kept me coming back for more. Pat Lawlor did an incredible job both inventing something new and still making it play as good as any other Lawlor machine. But this may be his fastest flowing machine to date! Too bad the backglass art is as ugly as it is. On the other hand, the playfield art looks quite nice. Another negative is the game lighting, the game is a bit dark in its general illumination (GI) department. Highly recommended, even if you have nothing with the Formula 1 theme. One final note: this game is the same as Sterns 'Nascar'.
10 years ago
Being from the dot matrix age myself, although enjoying games like Earthshaker as well, it was quite hard for me to like Truck Stop. Admittedly, the game's artwork looks great in that wonderful "late nineties" Bally kind of way but the layout is way to symmetrical for my taste. The flow is hard to be found, and I could only play one, maybe two games before losing my interest. The soundtrack is great though, and so are some of the quotes. And a great looker, but that's really all she is.
10 years ago
Spidey kicks butt! This game has serious Steve Ritchie flow and the latest 2.1 software update (released December 2008) adds tons of animations, sounds and even better rules. I have long resisted buying Stern games because they just couldn't match the feel of Bally/Williams games, but their recent efforts are getting better and better with every new game they make.

Spiderman is my first Stern game and it gives me a game similar to my Attack from Mars. Now that's a compliment! It has plenty of nice tight shots and the soundtrack (the Spiderman tune on steroids) keeps you going! I never though I would say this about a Stern game, but this game is highly recommended!
11 years ago
I have always been amazed that designer Pat Lawlor managed to put so much into one machine. And best of all: it's all so well designed and well thought out that this game hardly ever breaks. The only bad thing I can think of is the clock assembly, which melts under the heat of overrated lightbulbs. Other than that, the game has served me without any failures whatsoever, for 10 years now - something that can't be said for all pinball machines. As for the fun rating: it doesn't get much better than this. A great game.
12 years ago
This machine is kind of fun, even if you don't like fishing at all (like me). The shots are pretty hard but who put that huge boat in the middle of the playfield? That is a bit of a flow-killer. But the game is not too bad, and can be bought for a nice price on Ebay.
14 years ago
A fantastic game when I bought it. Played it for some nights and loved it all, then suddenly it got old very quickly. The rules are just not that interesting. Hmm, still a great game but not for my permanent collection.
14 years ago
A great machine, if you like South Park. I certainly do. The machine has some rather unusual -and rather big- elements on the playfield: a big Kenny, a big Cartman, a big toilet bowl (very cleverly integrated into the ramp) and huge sink holes. There are some very fun subgames and the in-game quotes are hilarious! A rather hard find, but certainly worth its money!
14 years ago
Scared Stiff, even after having had it in the gameroom for years and years, still keeps me as interested as the first day I got to play it. The shot layout is excellent and the playfield open enough for great multiball wackyness. The subgames aren't that much games really, but real fun nevertheless (especially the two multiballs). Reaching the marvelous intro to the 'Scared Stiff' wizard mode is not too hard to do, but finishing it is quite a challenge. All in all, this game has the perfect balance between fun and difficulty, making it one of my gameroom favourites and definately a keeper!

There have been some comments about this game being unsuitable for children. Personally I disagree. Admittedly, most of the quotes have a slightly naughty double meaning, but nothing any kid would recognize as such. It's mostly what we grown-ups make of them.

Highly recommended!
14 years ago
So much to shoot for, so much to do! Awesome integration of the LOTR trilogy, this is one of the best games ever made and most certainly Stern's best effort to date. Too bad it wasn't made with the SAM system - the sound quality is a bit lacking but the beautiful animations make up for it. For a long time, this game really felt like a creative high for Stern. It wasn't until recent years that we saw anything better from Stern than this awesome game.
15 years ago
Everything about this game is good. It has one of the most beautiful playfield and backglass designs, a world-class sound track and most importantly a great layout with a fan-shaped shot layout that makes the ball go screaming round the table. The scoring logic and game rules are extremely clear and even the novice player (e.g. kids) will grasp it instantly. I'm not exaggerating, this truly is one of pinballs greatest games... ever! Downsides are few, there is a bit of a hole in the game rules after completing the first "magic" multiball wave. And obviously the steep price tag is a downside (that's what you get with a machine everyone loves), but other than that, this game is a blast!!
15 years ago
A superb open playfield gives plenty of action, the short ramps are nothing short of spectacular when your 4-ball "Total Annihilation" multiball blast through them. The games is full of fun quotes, stereotyping various nationalities in a fun way. Reaching "Attack Mars" is enough of a challenge to keep the game interesting (let alone the "Rule the Universe") but the game is easy enough for even the most novice of players to have a blast! Highly recommended, too bad the price is so steep.
15 years ago
To say this is a good game is an understatement. This is such a well designed machine that all the shots almost seem to shoot themselves. Once you catch the flow of this game, you'll have a hard time following the ball, it's that fast. The artwork is amazing and so are the sounds and music. But... There's some things I'm less fond of. For starters, there's next to no humor in the game. This is rather typical for John Popadiuk games I think. Another thing I particularly dislike is the wizard mode. It's... Boring. Sorry, can't make much more of it than that. But all in all it's a fun game, and like I said, the shot layout and incredible flow more than make up for all the negative aspects I mentioned.
15 years ago
Demolition Man is another one of those great widebody pins from the fab 1993/1994 years! It has a great layout and flow - but only if the game is well maintained. The right ramp is pretty steep and often very difficult to get wen playing "in the wild". But a home-owned DM should have no problem with that. What I really like are the rules. They are not overly difficult - in fact, you can master them in just a few games. Finally there are many challenging multiballs. But my most favourite feature is the music, really crispy clear symphonic and never annoying. I owned this game in the past, then sold it, but bought it again because I just couldn't live without one. Seriously I would recommend it - especially at the crazy low prices they often go for. Too bad the artwork kind of sucks, the game more than makes up for it though.
15 years ago
Finally got a change to buy this -quite rare- treasure. What a great happy theme. The layout is nice, not so much flow but this is compensated for by the amazing rules. The sounds are great, although I really miss the voices of Marge and Lisa (are they even in there at all)? The music is fun and reminded me a lot of the type used in the Flintstones (wms 1994). All in all an enjoyable game and great for kids!
16 years ago
A nice looking game made from the rather successful early nineties sci-fi movie. It plays quite alright, but scoring logic is far to be found. The toys and playfield are gorgeous, the backglass amazing with its mirror and surrounding lights. So for its looks, I think it's a great machine, but when it comes to playing... Ah well, look further I'd say.
16 years ago
In my humble opinion, as far as Sega machines go, it doesn't get much better than Goldeneye. Featuring a very nicely designed, quite open playfield with plenty to shoot for. The game has some interesting concepts on top of a comprehensible rulesheet. I just love the ball saver magnet between the flippers, which is very well thought out. The moving satellite dish is another amazing feat of design, a mini ramp popping up from under the playfield at times allowing you to jam the ball straight into the dish, where it is held by a magnet during multiball. Fantastic! The game has some other fun features: I love some of the quotes, I really appreciate the overall humor in the game (i.e. Bond getting crushed by a pinball machine on the display). All in all this is a real fun gun and best of all: it can often be found for a nice price!
16 years ago
What a surprise! This game is one of the best Data East games with an excellent theme, beautiful handdrawn artwork and a fun software package. The wizard mode is not too hard to reach but a lot of fun to go for. Sounds and music are a bit lacking but the gameplay more than makes up for it!
16 years ago
The ball launching canon in this machine is really cool! The canon pops up from the rotating disc under the playfield. Hit the red button on the lockdown bar at the right moment and "BANG!" the ball will be shot up with great speed. This toy alone makes this an amazing machine (not to mention the teriffic playfield layout).
16 years ago
One might not notice at first glance, but Doctor Who is packing a whole lot of excellent gameplay. The ruleset is deeper than you'd think and while some games triple the price joined and then left my collection, the Doctor still manages to give me amazingly fun games after having owned it for over 10 years. Now THAT's last-ability! The Doctor is not for the novice pinball player though, you'll need good strategy and endurance to get the most scoring out of this game. Who-Loops? Bonus multipliers? Sonic Boom? Transmat power low? Exterminate, EXTERMINATE... Aaaargh, I LOVE this game!
16 years ago
I have owned Pinball Magic for over a year. The magic wand and the floating ball assemblies are very impressive. The game feels really fresh and it's a blast to play. The Capcom brand brought a new 'feel' to my collection, next to the Sterns, Data Easts and the Bally/Williams games. The flippers are more snappy and the game feels extremely solid (bomb proof). The rules are pretty good considering the fact that this was Capcoms first game. The only downside (and probably the reason why I sold it) is the repetition factor. It always starts of with the same mode. That and the fact the the cool gimmicks loose their novelty after a while. Recommended to own once - but in a bigger collection. I wouldn't recommended this as your only game.