taz's ratings

Pinsider taz has rated 17 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms taz's personal top 17.

Rating comments

taz has written 17 rating comments:

11 months ago
I've now owned this game for a couple of weeks and feel like I've played it enough to give an objective rating. First of all, this game has taken a beating on Pinside in the various threads. That seems to be fairly common now on new releases, but the negativity was still pretty shocking. I ordered a Premium based upon my love of the theme and decided to stay the course, despite the negative comments, mostly from people who didn't own the game nor had any real plans to purchase it. I'm glad a stayed in because I absolutely love this game. The sound clips are the best of any pin I have ever owned, and thanks to the modes and features, I feel like I'm more deeply immersed into the theme than most other games. It's a difficult game though and as I'm rating, only at .86 code version. Some have had issues with their Demogorgon's shot, magnet diverter, ramp lock post, and other issues, but thankfully, my game has played well right out of the box. Because of the forward facing drops, the game will divot no matter what you do, so if you can't handle playfield dimples, then this might not be the game for you.
2 years ago
I recently acquired a MBR LE and it's an amazing game. I'd played the original at the PHoF enough to know that I would like the game, but I was still surprised, particularly by the beauty, fun, and quality of the remake. It really is an amazing game with so many toys. I bought it thinking it would be a good game for ladies and non-pinball folks to play, but I also can't get enough of it. Yes, I will confess that it's an easier game than the newer Sterns, and I've already played Monster Bash, Mosh Pit, and Monsters of Rock more than once. In fact, I often get to Monster Bash. Still, It's great to have in a medium sized collection, probably more so for guests once the honeymoon period wears off. Though, right now, it's just about all I play other than BM66. It might not last long in a small collection, of say 4 games or less, but for my collection about double that, it fits in just right. The theme, comedy, music, and toy interaction makes the game unique among all that I've owned since joining the hobby.
2 years ago
I own a GoT Premium and it's a beautiful game, but gets the least play in my household. I've never seen the show and I think that's probably why I'm not drawn to it as much as my other games. I know that I need to spend some more time learning the rules. GoT is a fast game and quickly destroys me, so my lack of skill is probably one of the reasons I haven't rated it very well. I hope to play it a lot more and will possibly come back and revise my rating score.
3 years ago
I highly recommend MMR! I love my MMR and it may be on the way to being my favorite game. It's definitely top 2 in my book at this point, at a minimum. I love the two ramps not seeming like just two normal ramps. The Catapult and Damsel aspects of the ramps make them feel like so much more. The castles and trolls are nicely implemented and don't seem repetitive, despite the fact that the castles really are repetitive, but still fun. Besides that there are also Peasants, Jousting, Catapult, Merlin, a nice mixture of multiballs, funny callouts, etc. I just added the color upgrade and 3D translight, so I feel like this is the perfect pin. I finally understand all of those old positive rankings and why it's a the top of the rankings.
4 years ago
Update as of .96 code. Okay, BM66 is now my favorite pinball machine, ever. It's amazing how far this machine has progressed since I received my LE in January 2017. In the past 22 months, it's gone from a shell of game in code and me wanting to burn the game to ashes, to .96 complete and now it's a code masterpiece. BM66 has as best I can recollect, 4 Major Villains with between 6 and 8 layers of modes each, 6 Minor Villains with about 13 different Minor Villain modes, plus Bat Turn, Bat Pole, and 5 different major multiballs: 1 regular multiball, 1 Major Villain wizard mode, and 3 different Minor Villain wizard modes. I didn't count the Shame two-ball multiball. The theme immersion is the best I've ever found, and although I presently own Lyman's previous masterpiece, TWD, I can now easily nominate BM66 as Lyman's Magnum Opus. The ball times are a little on the longer side compared to say, IM or Tron, but you need that time to engage and arrest the varmint villains which turn up all over the place. Any given game can end at in the cellar at 60M or over 1B, depending upon how much you're "in the zone." The most important shot is the left orbit as it controls Mystery awards, extra balls, activation of Minor Villains, launching wizard modes, and one-half of the Riddler. Conquer that and you've got an edge. The right orbit is my hardest shot in the game, but also very important for normal multiball and catching a breather while the ball is in the pops. Gadgets, which I've been critical of in the past, are now extremely important to shortcutting the Minor Villain modes. There's lots of strategy in how to attack the Major Villains, how deep to go in their modes, and which order to go after them in terms of scoring. Each Minor Villain has its own unique strategy and some are very, very difficult. They also have great bonuses available: from freezing timers, to allowing repeat play of modes, to two-ball multiballs, etc. Stacking opportunities are amazing in BM66. I've had going at one time, a Major Villain, a Minor Villain, Bat Turn, and a Multiball (main Multiball or Villain Escape) all scoring at the same time. That's an easy way to score a cool 100M+ points. There are so many possibilities and angles to attack this game and choices to make from deeper modes = higher scoring, to short-cutting modes for perhaps an easier access to the Major Villain wizard mode. BM66 just plain ole friggin' rocks now!!!!!!!

Update as of .87 code. 2017 was a bumpy year-long ride on BM66 code, but what was 6-7 months of stagnant updates turned into a strong finish to my first year anniversary owning the game.
Minor villain modes now in the game: King Tut, Egghead, Shame, Mad Hatter, Bookworm, and Mr. Freeze. Major villain modes include: Riddler, Catwoman, Penguin, and Joker.

I was extremely critical of BM66 game play last Summer when you could literally see the entire game on 3 good balls. That's changed a lot over the past 5 updates or so. Like others have said, the theme immersion is very good. Apparently, the license allows content from any of 120 episodes, including call outs and video clips, plus custom call outs from Adam West and Burt Ward. As you go through villain modes, it advances through a series of events from a particular episode involving that villain. It's not just thrown together (as I've heard about GotG), the video clips are linked together appropriately. So, the more shots made, the more you see of the struggle between Batman/Robin and that particular villain: usually a fight, sometimes investigative work, the classic walking up the side of a building, or in the case of Joker, him laughing at the Dynamic Duo and fighting, etc.

As I indicated earlier, the game is on code version .87 and probably around that percentage complete as I type this, and most obviously, it's missing a few more Minor Villain opportunities in Season 3 and Batgirl, which are hopefully coming shortly, probably along with a combined wizard mode. At present, there are 10 villain modes in the game, four Major Villains, and 6 Minor Villains. Some of the Minor Villains will have more than one mode, such as King Tut being a Minor Villain in both Season 1 and Season 3 (different episodes featured though). The Major Villains have a continue option that allows a quick checkout with less points, or the opportunity to fight them deeper into their modes for more points. The primary multiball is a Batcave fight between the Dynamic Duo and Joker/Penguin. It's generally achieved through 3 locks to the rotisserie out of the right orbit, or/and a mystery award and is unrelated to progress in either Major or Minor Villains. Shame is a Season 2 Minor Villain and also a two ball multiball, the only one in the game at present.

There's only one "at large" mode in the game at present and that's Bat Turn. It's a cool mode and stacks with whatever else is going on at the time. There are two primary ways to attack the game right now, each ending in mini wizard modes. Capture the four Major Villains, whether jailing them early or later doesn't matter, to achieve multiball through Villain Escape, though jailing early has huge point consequences. Complete at least one Minor Villain from each of the 3 Seasons and achieve multiball through Batusi. IMHO, Batusi is more difficult to achieve than Villain Escape due to how the Minor Villain modes are timed presently (time can sometimes be extended 20 seconds by a Mystery Award from left orbit). There's arguably about 27 modes in the game at present, if you count the various 3-4 depth layers and continue options of each Major Villain, a couple of King Tuts, multiballs, mini-wizards, etc.

The game is already pure chaos and a massive stacking adventure. It's not uncommon to have a Major Villain, Minor Villain, and Bat Turn going at the same time, and even possibly a multiball. Four modes is the most I've been able to get going at once and they show up as small TV screens on the main display to show what all is running. You can switch between the modes using the center button in order to prioritize the mode you're most interested in as the mode you can hear and see on the playfield. Good luck trying to move around between modes a little while stacked in multiball, without quickly losing those balls. With three or four modes going at the same time, it's nearly impossible to follow a particular mode and Minor Villains often get lost in the shuffle of stacked modes, making them sometimes difficult to complete due to time lost keeping them prioritized, even in multiball. After a ball drains the Minor Villain modes are ended, but Major Villain mode progress continues on to the next ball. Gadgets factor in a little bit for adding shots with the press of a button, but they aren't yet enabled to anything spectacular or differentiated between types of gadgets, like I hope they might be by the end, though I doubt it will happen.

IMHO, the left orbit is the most important shot in the game. It's half of what's needed for Riddler, Mystery Awards, Extra Balls, and starting Minor Villains. It's a tight shot and easily bricked until you dial it in while playing. Once you start hitting it regularly, the game takes off. The rotisserie is usually not a distraction to me, other than I'm sometimes ahead of it to answer the Batphone if I quickly get control of the ball out of the right scoop. There are scoring strategies, as pointed out by others in this thread, such as in Penguin. Also, another cool challenge is trying not to restart Major Villains. Such as lining up Riddler to go and before you hit the magnet to answer the phone, it falls into the Penguin scoop and triggers Penguin who you might have already played. I think there's a setting for that, but I like the extra challenge later in the game. There are also combos which will produce various cool bat vehicles crossing the screen.

I find BM66 to have longer ball play than most of my games, other than Avengers, but it seems to be just about right for this game. I don't know if there's a way to setup the game to make the tight orbit shots easier. Some have tweaked the left orbit to widen it up a bit by moving the left ramp's left outside blue pad (near the entry to the ramp) to the inside of the left ramp. Regardless, there is a little bit of flailing around sometimes if you aren't on target. Also, to be fair to the playfield layout design, a little bit of side to side flailing is desirable as it helps build up gadgets and light TVs (necessary for Minor Villains) without a high risk of out lane drains. Once the modes start though, there's too much chaos to notice much. Oh, and another thing I've noticed. It's impossible to try to focus just on Minor Villains, for instance. The rest of the game modes insist on participating. The episodes chosen for the villains are superb. From Shame's "Batfella" quote to Tut calling an event "in accordance with the prophecy," to the splatter of eggs popping during Egghead, to Joker saying, "get him Pengy," it's classic Batman entertainment immersion.

Initial review on .65 code. I'll give you my perspective so far as a placeholder review and I'll update this rating after the code develops further, so please don't be overly discouraged by my initial score. It's early and hard to call this a 7, 8, or 9 given the code infancy at this time. Also, there is no pro model, so this game will probably have fewer ratings than usual, as most will end up in collector's homes. Basically, the goal is to capture the four main villains. It has an interesting skill shot similar to the roll overs of TWD, but only by timing of flashing lights, not actual roll over mechanisms. A couple of shots to the orbits gets the Riddler ready to go, hit both ramps for Catwoman, the center shots by the magnet for Joker, and scoop shots for Penguin. Once you have a villain ready to go, the spinning main toy will turn the Batphone to face the flippers and you get a call from Commissioner Gordon, which has to be answered by hitting the center shot. Answering the Batphone puts the villain in play, reminiscent of the television series. The code isn't very developed here, but each villain's mode has different music, unique video clips, and certain shots that lead to their capture, along with some pretty nifty clips of their capture and being thrown into jail, though we need much more variety in that department. There really aren't that many shots required to the spinning center mechanism and I'm not sure how the scoring of those shots works thus far, or the value of the spinning Batmobile in particular. Hitting the sides of the Batcomputer opens the ball lock up for balls from the right orbit, three of which start a multiball. One strategy is to try not to have to capture the same villain again before the others are completed. So, sometimes you have to NOT answer the Batphone which is a little more difficult than it seems due to so much side to side ball bounce action and how hard it is to get control of the ball. Otherwise you can get a lot of Penguin action (that mode is fairly complete, based upon fighting the crane similar to TDK) due to the ball falling into the scoop randomly. As of this rating there's no reward for capturing all four of the main villains, the gadgets don't seem to be implemented, nor are the minor villains. However, there seems to be huge potential for improvement here and some code possibilities similar to TWD with walker bombs (gadgets) and a variety of mini-wizard mode possibilities (major villains, minor villains, seasons, perhaps even gadgets). There are some season inserts, so possibly another future avenue to pursue is collecting each season's minor villains.

Now, is it worth the $10K I paid NIB? In my situation and probably many of the buyers though, it's the nostalgia of the theme that reeled us in based upon watching the series in our childhood. So, it was a grail theme for me. I think it'll improve a lot with the gadgets and Minor Villains implemented.

Other points: The QC at Stern was terrible with this one. I bought NIB and found a handful of screws, washers, etc., hardware all over my playfield, as did many people. The Batmobile seemed to come off of most games and required gluing the screws in. Spotlights should have been installed on the lower playfield and weren't. The plunger spring was far too weak and had to be replaced with a stronger version. More time should have been spent securing the ramps better and ensuring no air balls off of them. Also, where is Batgirl? She's prominent on my backbox, a large playfield plastic, and the translight, but I haven't seen a peep of her in the game yet? Fortunately, none of these issues were show stoppers and I have been able to tweak and improve them on my own, though they are embarrassing for a special anniversary limited edition and so expensive of a game. My playfield has held up nicely thus far, so I've not seen abnormal dimpling, damage, or ghosting. In fact it's shiny like glass. This rating is based upon code .65. I'll return in a few months once the code is fleshed out a little more.
4 years ago
I own TBL # 25 and received it in the first container shipped to the US. After playing for a few months, I figured I'd put in a placeholder rating for now, hoping that DP is able to recover from their problems and finish the game. I love the theme and was one of the fake pre-orders in a Pinside thread long ago, so I was very happy when Dutch announced they were making the game, and promptly pre-ordered (for real). It's got the feel of a Bally/Williams game. It's a very heavy game and the back glass is surprisingly heavy. Here are my thoughts thus far: I love the art, music, call outs, under field bowling mechanism, and layout of the game. The Nihilist and Mark it Zero modes are particularly great. Primary multiball is earned at the Dude's ramp, plus each character has one and they can stack. There are also three car modes, a couple of bowling modes, and obviously the various modes earned at the rug, so there really is plenty to do. Unlike Sterns, there's no grace time as a mode or activity times out. The ramps are challenging to hit and it's actually a very difficult game compared to others in my collection. I've had less than ten breakout games out of maybe 200 played and they weren't very high scoring. If DP is able to get back into action, I'd like to see the following updates: more scoop awards, more saucer awards, higher scoring, and some sort of laughing Knox Harrington the Video Artist mode added.
5 years ago
In the interests of full disclosure on this rating in case of suspected bias, I currently own a TWD LE.

Pros: Awesome theme, artwork done just right, interesting playfield layout, beautiful playfield, code not too bad at present, the music is great, and I actually like the callouts (though most people don't), opening Bicycle Girl ramp is innovative, and it's a fun game. Great modes and theme integration. Cool gruesome dots showing zombie heads getting blasted or stabbed in a good dozen different ways.
Cons: IMHO it takes more dialing in than Avengers. SDTM drains can come from all over, prison doors, tunnel shot, left ramp, right ramp, etc. Adjusting for one makes others more likely. I've got it tolerable now, but I still seem to get at least one cheap SDTM drain per game. Also, the pops placement lead to lots of action, sometimes the skill shot doesn't clear them, regardless of ball launching technique. Supposedly the scoring is a little unbalanced at this point, but I'm not good enough to worry about it. Everyone wanted WD series actors to do the callouts, but I'm one of the few who like the current guy doing them. The crossbow feature doesn't have the power to launch a ball up the left ramp, even a dead center hit. The game didn't come with a shaker and will probably surpass Tron in aftermarket mods. I wish the prison doors led to a ball lock, but instead it's another zombie head to bash which leads to lots of SDTM drains.

I'm glad I bought it and it's definitely fun, but this is another you should play before you pay. The ramps are interesting and take good hits to make; they also return the ball to the same flipper that made the shot. The most satisfying shots on the game are to combo the left ramp with a follow up shot to the Riot or Barn lanes. The Woodbury shot is unique to my experience and sends the ball back to the shooter lane for a small bonus, and in my case, a short pause permitting me to grab a sip out of my drink. I've installed a shaker, the Stern heads in aquarium topper, a guard tower mod, a couple of signs, prison fence with orange el wire on the sides, and a piece of train track with boxcar. So, it's where I want it now, but getting there took another $1,000 and most of the mods should have come with the game given LE prices....IMHO of course.
6 years ago
I've put this rating off for a long time now because I wanted to be as fair to this game as I can be and I don't think I could have been until I healed a little. :) I'm an original pre-order X-Men LE Wolverine owner and have been through all of the ugliness that goes with that. In fact, my game sat draped under a sheet for at least a year of the time I've owned it. However, Borg is my favorite designer (and still is despite X-Men) and I totally understand where he was going with X-Men, though it never quite got there. Given even more code time it could have been one of the deepest games ever, though that wouldn't have helped it in my estimation. As is, it's pretty deep and has improved three-fold from the original release. Still, I can't get into it despite being an X-Men fan and will sell it soon.

The pros: Beautiful game all the way around. Toys all over the place, more than any game I've ever played. As inclusive of superheroes as a game can get. Three flippers and great sounds/graphics. As much as we knocked it, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into the coding and graphics of this game. The cons: I just don't enjoy playing it and Lord knows I've tried. Note, I'm not going into all of the board failures and Wolverine toy placement because those issues are behind us. So, I really only have one con.....I don't enjoy playing the game and I can't put my finger on why. Unfortunately, not being fun is the biggest con a game can have. At this moment I own Twister and enjoy playing it more, if that'll give you any indication of the fun factor that I feel for this game.

I know that many others have come to love the game, so I hope my rating doesn't unfairly skew others opinions. I think this is a game that you absolutely MUST play before you pay, just to be sure. Based upon what I've read in the forum, this seems to be a polarizing game that most love and a few hate, but has improved of late. I agree that it's improved a lot, but in my estimation that's from a 3 to a 6. Sorry but that's the way I feel. Please don't quit on it because of my rating, but consider yourself warned to play it a good bit before buying.
6 years ago
I've waited a while to rate Avengers and I must confess up front that I own Avengers Blue LE NIB, so hopefully, that won't bias my opinion too much. That said, I really like the game and for the past year it's second only to Tron in repeat play at my home. So, here are my thoughts on pros and cons. Pros: very interesting layout, cool Hulk toy, great code from the beginning in the way heroes are qualified and collected, though it could use one final polish tweak. Still, nothing like other recent games when it comes to unfinished code. Great Hulk call outs. Cons: Needs lots of TLC to dial it in. It's hard to see certain parts of the playfield. Need an aftermarket mod to realize the potential of lighting up the Tesserat. The Black Widow ramp is a major pain in the butt due to ball rejects. And though it's only a little bit of a con to me that they used different actors for the game call outs than the movie, that might be a bigger problem for others.

So, I've got more cons than pros, but that's just constructive feedback and most of the cons can be easily fixed. I love the game and though my judgment might be clouded a little as an owner, I think it's a keeper. The shots are a little tighter than usual so it makes me get control of the ball and play more deliberately. The Hulk jackpot callouts are awesome. If you just flail on the flippers in this game, you're doomed. It really implemented the movie well and I like it a lot more than X-Men which I've also owned since NIB. Time will tell and if it pulls a Transformers and gets tiresome, I'll update this rating.
8 years ago
21 Jan 14: This is an update now that I own IMVE. Now that I've got some real play time on it, I have to rate it near the top along with Tron. In fact, at home I alternate playing them lately. I love the fact that any one ball in IM can take you all the way, or humiliate you, sometimes in the same game. I'm increasing my rating score with this update now that I can hear the call outs and music better in a home environment. The LEDs on the vault edition pop as well. I believe that IMVE is the best value of any pin I've ever purchased.

30Apr14: I feel the need to update my rating of Iron Man and up it a bit, as it's grown on me. At the moment it's the only game I've rated that I've never owned, if that tells you anything. It's also presently rated lower than X-Men on pinside which is shocking to me as an original X-Men LE NIB pre-order sucker. Iron Man is a game that I would pay big bucks for if Stern released an LE in the near future. It's one of Stern's best in my opinion.

Iron Man really grows on you. It's always the first game I hit when I visit the PHOF. I'd probably own one if I had more room, or if they came out with an LE version. That leads to my only two complaints: Some of the parts look a little cheap and you can't really earn an extra ball.

Those two aside, IM rocks, literally. It's an awesome game and suprisingly, seems to hold up to play better than I expected. I like the music, magnets, Iron Monger, and most everything about the play. I think this pin has grown on a lot of people. I definitely think it's better than BDK and I'd actually rather own IM than SM.
9 years ago
30Apr14 Update. Now that I've had Transformers for a while I've tired a little of it and will lower my score a little bit accordingly. I fixed the Allspark rejects with dead ball foam. But the game is still a lot of "work" to progress and gets very little play at home now compared to Tron, Avengers, and Sopranos.

Original Rating: I have a little over a hundred plays on my Combo LE, so I think I can provide some fair thoughts now. First, I'm running s/w 1.4 and have installed the kit from Stern that stopped the ball launches into the glass and included good flipper rubbers. I like it and I'm playing it a lot lately and don't see it leaving my collection anytime soon. I don't love it though, so let's start with my three biggest gripes before getting into the good: (1) Half the time my Ironhide playfield is running without my ball in it because so many shots only go half in, yet still activate it (2) Though I've improved my technique, still only about half my shots to the All-Spark stick (3) What's up with 10 or 11 shots being required for the modes? Bumblebee and Mudflap/Skids, I get, but what does such a high number of shots equate to other than repetition? Does the number mean something, like how many other robots they've fought, kind of like when Optimus rattles off all of the Decepticons he's battled?

Now the good. This is a beautiful game and extremely well lit. It's got great call outs and lots of speed. Being able to play it two different ways (Autobots or Decepticons), is very refreshing. Megatron really pumps the balls out and they don't all go SDTM, so cudos to the designer of that contraption. Yes, it's a fan layout, but nicely done and the integrated shaker makes it feel like a very substantial machine. They captured the Starscream, Blackout, and Rachet sounds nicely.

I do hold out hopes that they'll polish the s/w a little and maybe lower the number of mode shots while adding a few simple call outs to try and make sense of why you need to hit the various ramps, orbits, etc., so many times for each robot. As an example, with Blackout, after each shot call out a battle scene or other important event he was in like: Destroying Qatar Air Base, Forest fighting Optimus, Downtown fighting Nest Team, etc. For Starscream, they could point out all the times he's flown away when Megatron needed him most. :)

Please don't let my constructive criticism dissuade you, if they fix the Ironhide playfield and add some sense to the modes, I could see this being one of Stern's best, in fact, many reviews here already think so. If you like the theme, you probably wouldn't be disappointed with this game. For me, it's a keeper and if they could take care of just a few of the things I've mentioned here, it could be great.
9 years ago
Okay, it's Twister and I must admit that as of this rating, I own one. Here's the background. I went to another pin fans place to checkout a different pin. While there I saw he had Twister. Now, I knew that two themes I liked are considered basement pins, and those are Twister and X-Files. I played it and surprisingly liked it better than his SST, so I bought it. It's not a deep pin, but it has it's place as a brainless pin to play and rockout to the Van Halen Humans Being music. Sega was cost cutting by this time so the sound bites are repetitive, 'everybody underground' for instance. The shots are limited and I could have come up with a much better design than they did. Still, it's not bad for the price. The music is good and the fan is kinda cool. Not bad if you have a large collection, but probably not for a small one. A good family game; the serious player would get bored quickly.
9 years ago
As a service member and contractor I worked in iraq for almost 3 years, so when I saw the flying carpets over Baghdad, I knew I had to have this pin regardless of play. It is as beautiful a pin as I've ever seen. I dressed mine up in super brite LEDs so it sparkles even more, though sometimes too much for smooth play. The music, speech, sounds are all excellent as well. The Harem, genie, nice ramp setup, rescue of the princess, and bazaar are great. All those things raise the bar so high that I don't think the game play can live up to the cosmetics of the game. I play it periodically but it doesn't take much to satisfy me, unlike say STTNG, Tron, etc. It doesn't keep me coming back for the play, rather I return to marvel at it's beauty. I don't think I'd recommend it for a collection of say 3 pins or less. If you have more pins perhaps this could be your 'ruby' and would be ideal for displaying it in prominant location.
9 years ago
This is an outstanding game, definitely in my top 3, varying within it depending upon my mood. The good: There are three ramps to access three different quadrants of the galaxy; a hole for access to the Neutral Zone; a far lane for increasing Warp speed; a center shot starting modes, and speech from the cast, including some just for the game; there's a video mode where you navigate the shuttle and a way to play Poker with Riker; it's a widebody which allows for two cool ball shooting cannons near the flippers; it's cool collecting the artifacts such as the D. Crystals, D. Spheres, and S. Stones. The bad: The side drains are way too large, even with the lane extenders they'll frustrate you more than an obnoxious Ferengi; there's a certain place where Data purposely gets repetitive; one ramp is extremely difficult to hit; although there's a Klingon ship on the playfield, they don't really figure in the game play; and why wasn't the Borg ship a cube? The best: There are three different major strategies to pursue: Obtaining Warp 9, Engaging the Borg, or completing all modes to achieve the Final Frontier. Engaging the Borg is very satisfying and there's nothing better than the Picard callouts involving it. The Borg are accessed through a series of shots to the far right lane which isn't easy to hit consistently. If you can get some time on one that's working properly, with lane extenders, and access the Borg at least once, I think you'll find this to be one of the elite pins. They made a lot of them, so fortunately, they aren't too hard to find. Keeping the cannons working is a different story altogether. A+ game.
9 years ago
This was my first pin, so I'm probably not as objective here as I should be. I wanted to buy something for my new poker themed game room and thought I would get a WPT. Well, I found a bowling alley that had one. It also had POTC, LOTR, and Sopranos. I visited to make sure that WPT was a fit and was devastated to find that it didn't click with me, in fact it was the worst of the lot in my estimation. So, I played the other pins too, and came away stunned that Sopranos, which I'd never seen an episode of before, was my favorite. I returned a week later and gave them all a second chance. Needless to say, Sopranos won and I purchased one. I still have it 3 years later, next to a wet bar and my poker game room theme is gone. It's now a pinball game room, so thanks Sopranos for starting me on my pinball journey. Why Sopranos? The groovy theme music is addictive, I love to see and hear the bumper sounds of a shakedown in progress. 'Give him his money already!' I prefer to light the promotion inserts, rather than focus on completing modes. As you complete shakedowns you get cash to prove your loyalty to the Boss and earn rank promotions. The Executive Game card mode is the best where you play poker against the house for cash. The general mafia associations are interesting, especially the talking fish toy for those who 'sleep with the fishes.' Other pin collectors who've visted, usually during the buying or selling of another pin, always play it and walk away surprised at how much fun they had, so I highly recommend giving it a try if you can find one to play. Even though the settings can control the language, it's not a theme for everyone. There's a very adult aspect to it, so this is probably best for bachelors, those with no children, or those with adult children.
9 years ago
I previously owned BF. My machine was once at Disney and totally wasted by the time I picked it up. There was a film on the playfield like molasses, though it had thankfully protected it, and about 2/3s of the bulbs were out. I spent about 60 hours on it, cleaned it up, installed LEDs, soldered several broken wires, replaced the DMD and PCB (expensive), etc. When complete it was a beautiful game, one where I think LEDs are a must due to inherently poor lighting. I think this was a pin that was only two features from greatness. (1) Lighting, which can fortunately be fixed in our present age by installing LEDs, and (2) If Sega had just slimmed down the massive ramp structure that consumes and hides the upper left of the playfield and squeezed in something cool to shoot at with the bottom right flipper, it could have been a top 20 pin. They didn't unfortunately, so almost all the shots are dependent upon the left flipper. The shots are so narrow that it's nearly impossible to complete a couple of the modes. There are many good things though. The DMD graphics and sounds are outstanding, still some of the best DMD graphics in pinball, not to mention the repetative features of Nicole Kidman. :) The batwing cannon is an outstanding toy, and getting in and out of the batcave is exciting. It even has a video mode where you drive the Bat Mobile up the side of a building. It remains a fun, though frustrating game to play, until you really hone your left flipper skills. As I lamented above, if there had been at least one cool thing to shoot with the right flipper besides endless failure to get up the one ramp in front of it, this would have been a homerun pin. Imagine what a spinning Two-Face coin or Ridder windup toy could have added where the entry to the primary ramp is presently located? Still, it's a unique widebody pin with some interesting features and worthwhile in IMHO.
9 years ago
I have 220 plays on my Tron LE and consider it my present favorite, certainly a top 3 game long-term. I'm a little surprised that I can say that now, because I almost didn't pull the trigger to buy it after seeing it online and thinking that it was sparse on toys. Don't worry about that because the thumping music, good flow, and in your face speed will more than make up for it. There are 10 pins in my immediate neighborhood including a couple of top 10s like TOTAN and STTNG and this one is the best IMHO, and apparently my pinball owning neighbors as well. (FYI, STTNG is a very, very close second). First, the negatives: Yes, the GEM shot is tough so I wish it didn't require as many hits to activate GEM or advance other modes; my personal burden is frequently draining right at the start of Sea of Simulation, so I wish they would add a second ball to it or have some minimum time from the start; the game isn't super intuitive as to what to do when you first play it, so I think that may turn some non-owners off; finally, I wish the game wouldn't compliment me after the CLU clock expires, even when I've not completed it or even one of the four required shots. :) The positives: Extremely addictive; captivating music and speech; amazing light show; fast, rarely pausing game play; and finally a theme built possibly only because of pinball fan outcry; short ball and game times so more players can participate and it gets you coming back for more. I've seen some negative reviews in here, usually more focused on the manufacturer than the actual machine. However, I've not heard a single negative review from anyone who's played mine and that would be about 20 different people. I'm not sure what keeps this one the favorite, it may be the combination of great music, lights, and speed. I can't seem to play it enough, even waking up and playing it in the middle of the night sometimes. One of only two pins that I give an A+ to.