(Topic ID: 289457)

Best player machines + lastability

By Luppin

7 months ago


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  • 41 posts
  • 29 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by SunnRAT
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 7 months ago

    Which are your favorite player machines with long lastability?

    I am a good player and hate easy machines, I get bored immediately. Some machines are punishing and in my opinion those are also often the ones who last long in a home collection.

    Basically think in the opposite direction than great machines for casual players and location. Think instead about machines for good players who want to own the machines for very long time, playing at home, alone, not trying to impress any friend.

    In the end please also specify how much you like the theme of the chosen machines: just because I believe we all are very influenced by the theme (nothing bad about it), so it will help me to understand your choices.

    #3 7 months ago

    Paragon or EBD. They are both hard as nails and never get old. They both have that one more game thing in spades and a surprising amount of depth for their age.

    #4 7 months ago

    Agree on EBD. When you rarely manage to score every one of the six different Specials on it in a single game you feel like a king. I did it maybe once or twice on mine in 20+ years. And shooting pool has always been a natural when it comes to pinball.

    #5 7 months ago

    TWDLE. Hard to play and keeps me coming back for more. I love the theme.
    TMNTLE is becoming a go to for me also. Hard brutal and fast and generally kicks my arse. Very satisfying when I have a good game. Love the theme!

    #6 7 months ago

    Houdini, bad for location as it takes more than a few casual games to figure out the rules and shots. Great for the home for the exact same reasons.

    #7 7 months ago

    Game of Thrones. Pro or Premium. The replay value is fantastic

    #8 7 months ago

    ST:TNG, a nice variety of shots, plenty of interesting modes and a few hidden features.
    I also like the theme but not everyone does

    Black Hole, getting multi ball on this one is no easy task. Really like the lower PF
    that slopes away from the player, a real classic

    Gtb Spiderman, this was my first pin over 30 years ago and still played regularly.
    No music but a nice variety of shots and the artwork is top notch

    Gtb Sinbad, very common game but one of my favorites. It gets played a lot too.

    Much of how a game plays depends on how its set up. I've played all of the
    above games at shows and was not impressed in large part because the rubbers
    were old and/or the angle was too shallow.

    #9 7 months ago

    EBD and BK2K

    #10 7 months ago

    TWD and/or Star Wars Prem/LE.

    Both brutal, but always coaxing you to press the start button again.

    #11 7 months ago

    Whirlwind with lanes wide open is brutal.
    Stern Star Trek with fresh rubbers would be my second choice.

    #12 7 months ago

    This really depends on the era of game you are looking for. If you want newer games, i would say Houdini or TWD. You could also go with just about any JJP game for complexity (WOZ and POTC would be at the top of the list, however). The Shadow or BSD for 90s. Older games would be Flash Gordon or paragon. There are a lot of EM games that could work as well, but only if you are considering high score as the metric (since they obviously arent as complex as newer pins).

    #13 7 months ago

    Flash Gordon
    Stars
    Nineball

    #14 7 months ago

    Definitely TWD with a modern game, personally I'll push the start button on Firepower 100 times in a row chasing that mulitball.

    #15 7 months ago

    80s:
    Quicksilver - Really tough to spell Quicksilver in one ball, but the siren scoring countdown when the ball drains makes the 100s of games you play to achieve it worthwhile.
    Paragon, Flash Gordon and EBD

    90s:
    Shadow, BSD and Fish Tales

    #16 7 months ago

    Bram Stokers Dracula (30, 30, 30 Million)
    Flash Gordon
    STTNG (would be epic with modern rules)

    #17 7 months ago

    You basically described the same type of machines I go for. They have to be difficult, almost punishing for me. The harder the better.
    I like to set my tilts relatively tight. Nudging is the best but there are different levels of nudging. Early games are all on 3 ball.
    The later games I list are based on how difficult it is to get to the wizard mode and keeps me coming back for more.
    Fathom -
    Star Trek Bally
    Punk
    Paragon
    Spirit
    EK. Set tilt tight and 3 ball.
    Dolly (amazing sleeper on 3 ball if you set tilt tight) very difficult to spell “Dolly Parton”. My top gambling game.

    Iron Man VE
    Tron
    Black Knight LE (another sleeper that keeps me coming back for that wizard mode)
    Star Wars Premium cartoon art ( I don’t focus on the multiplier and score. Strictly blowing up Death Star and wizard.)
    Hot Wheels - amazing rules. Great bang for the buck.
    Alien - amazing rules.
    RBION-fantastic getting to wizard mode.
    GOTLE

    During the pandemic, I find myself gravitating to tougher games but single player and going after wizard modes.

    #18 7 months ago
    Quoted from heckheck:

    Bram Stokers Dracula (30, 30, 30 Million)
    Flash Gordon
    STTNG (would be epic with modern rules)

    All great picks.

    #19 7 months ago

    I never get sick of playing Alien Star or Paragon. So many flipper kills involved to master and both can be brutal when they want to be.

    #20 7 months ago

    Barracora is a great player with a great set of rules. I find myself playing it for hours.

    #21 7 months ago

    Op, you are going to get all kinds of suggestions. Several titles are going to keep surfacing. I would select a few and go play them to see which one resonates with you. My first thought was Flash Gordon. It will kick your ass down the street and around the corner. Still, you will come back for more punishment.

    #22 7 months ago

    Bow and Arrow. 25 years plus and still really enjoy the game!

    #23 7 months ago

    I’m surprised how often Alien Star has been brought up. It’s one of those pins that if I can find someone to play against I’ll spend literally hours (which equates to dozens of games) playing until the other player gets bored

    #24 7 months ago
    Quoted from zarco:

    ST:TNG, a nice variety of shots, plenty of interesting modes and a few hidden features.
    I also like the theme but not everyone does
    Black Hole, getting multi ball on this one is no easy task. Really like the lower PF
    that slopes away from the player, a real classic
    Gtb Spiderman, this was my first pin over 30 years ago and still played regularly.
    No music but a nice variety of shots and the artwork is top notch
    Gtb Sinbad, very common game but one of my favorites. It gets played a lot too.
    Much of how a game plays depends on how its set up. I've played all of the
    above games at shows and was not impressed in large part because the rubbers
    were old and/or the angle was too shallow.

    Totally agree with you. I think this element is often forgot. I have also played the same game on different machines with different steepness, rubbers, general cleanliness, tightness of tilt and so on... and the experience was very very different. Actually, two different games. From slow to fast, from hard to easy. Here we are talking about PURE GAMEPLAY.

    In my opinion there should be two different rankings for HOME PLAY/PLAYERS MACHINES and LOCATION/CASUAL PLAY. Two different worlds!

    #25 7 months ago

    In my collection:

    Player's Game - AMH. After receiving all the fixes its a smoother playing game (really fixes the jump ramp) with a deep ruleset.

    Casual Game - Mystery Castle. It is difficult enough to collect all the items, but it doesn't feel as high pressure. Fun for most anyone to get on and play.

    #26 7 months ago

    I already own and really really love BSD and Shadow. Absolute keepers. From the '80 I would go for EBD (I like the theme also).

    About EM, I am starting to get interested. I care less and less (and less) about toys, light shows, leds, mods, ramps and so on. I think that a very simple element really missing in modern pinball are targets, like in EBD. That alone requires great skills. So EM can be a good option. But about EM I know nothing. Which one would you suggest (tough and long long lasting)?

    #27 7 months ago

    There are tons of great EMs. Games I have spent time with and really like are Atlantis, Grand Prix, and Space Mission. There are tons more. i have also become very fond of early SS games that look, play and sound like EMs. Stars, Joker Poker, and Mata Hari are all great titles.

    Quoted from Luppin:

    I already own and really really love BSD and Shadow. Absolute keepers. From the '80 I would go for EBD (I like the theme also).
    About EM, I am starting to get interested. I care less and less (and less) about toys, light shows, leds, mods, ramps and so on. I think that a very simple element really missing in modern pinball are targets, like in EBD. That alone requires great skills. So EM can be a good option. But about EM I know nothing. Which one would you suggest (tough and long long lasting)?

    #28 7 months ago

    SW premium (pro is great as well). Lots of modes and different character abilities.

    #29 7 months ago
    Quoted from Luppin:

    I already own and really really love BSD and Shadow. Absolute keepers. From the '80 I would go for EBD (I like the theme also).
    About EM, I am starting to get interested. I care less and less (and less) about toys, light shows, leds, mods, ramps and so on. I think that a very simple element really missing in modern pinball are targets, like in EBD. That alone requires great skills. So EM can be a good option. But about EM I know nothing. Which one would you suggest (tough and long long lasting)?

    You're speaking my language. Pinball machines don't need all that filler. As long as there is a good layout and good rules and fun to shoot.

    I have a 1975 Abra Ca Dabra. It has a symmetrical layout with 2 banks of drop targets with a very good set of rules and can be challenging. I find myself playing it for a good while. It's nice to look at too. There are some great machines from the 70s that can be found.

    #30 7 months ago
    Quoted from Luppin:

    Which are your favorite player machines with long lastability?
    I am a good player and hate easy machines, I get bored immediately. Some machines are punishing and in my opinion those are also often the ones who last long in a home collection.
    Basically think in the opposite direction than great machines for casual players and location. Think instead about machines for good players who want to own the machines for very long time, playing at home, alone, not trying to impress any friend.
    In the end please also specify how much you like the theme of the chosen machines: just because I believe we all are very influenced by the theme (nothing bad about it), so it will help me to understand your choices.

    Ripley's Believe It Or Not. My longest tenured game at over 10 years and there is no end in sight. For a more recent game for me, JJP POTC. Not going anywhere anytime soon. Both have deep challenging rulesets with tons of shot variety that keep me interested every time. I happen to like both themes as well, which doesn't hurt. I wouldn't let a bad theme get in the way of a good game though. Iron Maiden did nothing for me as a theme, but the game was so good I still bought one and the music has grown on me.

    #31 7 months ago

    I know folks are going to laugh, but Baywatch is an awesome players game. Get past the big picture of the Hoff and play it!

    #32 7 months ago

    I think EBD is good but I could not justify keeping it because I found it too easy after playing it hundreds of times.

    Nearly every game in my collection is set up extremely difficult to minimize ball times. I even have lightning flippers on a few!

    My games play fast and have short ball times on purpose. Only exceptions are maybe Elecktra, Mr/Ms pac-man, Fathom and Sharkey's. So yes, you are looking for a lot of the same games that I’ve collected for the last 16 years. Honestly, you shouldn't need long ball times to play a fun game of pinball. My main problem with those games is that once you are really skilled at pinball, your standard setup game of LOTR or WOZ plays so long that on ball 2 or 3, your hands and fingers start to cramp up! (Not kidding!)

    Some that I’ve let go of that are very difficult and have short ball times are Tron, Sinbad, and F-14 Tomcat.

    Theme is usually not that important in pinball unless you are an operator. There are certainly exceptions (BSD,Tron,TZ) but most often, theme does not matter as much as the raw pinball design matters.

    #33 7 months ago
    Quoted from LesManley:

    Ripley's Believe It Or Not. My longest tenured game at over 10 years and there is no end in sight. For a more recent game for me, JJP POTC. Not going anywhere anytime soon. Both have deep challenging rulesets with tons of shot variety that keep me interested every time.

    Ugh! Both of those games play FOREVER!

    #34 7 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Ugh! Both of those games play FOREVER!

    With no ball saves on either game I don't know about forever, but with deep challenging games, to get far into them you do need to play for an extended period of time to see what the game has to offer.

    #35 7 months ago

    Stern Star Wars and Game of Thrones have had some of the best addicting + Lastability games I’ve had in small collections. Fast, flow, brutality, coupled with one of the best unorthodox rule sets around.

    #36 7 months ago

    Wonka - difficult as hell, low/mid/far-reaching goals, and rewarding when you progress. Almost 2 years of Wonkin' the Donk and we still love it.

    #37 7 months ago
    Quoted from SunnRAT:

    You're speaking my language. Pinball machines don't need all that filler. As long as there is a good layout and good rules and fun to shoot.
    I have a 1975 Abra Ca Dabra. It has a symmetrical layout with 2 banks of drop targets with a very good set of rules and can be challenging. I find myself playing it for a good while. It's nice to look at too. There are some great machines from the 70s that can be found.

    I see we have similar tastes, yes. I also love the theme, sound and look of Centaur. IN terms of gameplay how is it?

    #38 7 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    I think EBD is good but I could not justify keeping it because I found it too easy after playing it hundreds of times.
    Nearly every game in my collection is set up extremely difficult to minimize ball times. I even have lightning flippers on a few!
    My games play fast and have short ball times on purpose. Only exceptions are maybe Elecktra, Mr/Ms pac-man, Fathom and Sharkey's. So yes, you are looking for a lot of the same games that I’ve collected for the last 16 years. Honestly, you shouldn't need long ball times to play a fun game of pinball. My main problem with those games is that once you are really skilled at pinball, your standard setup game of LOTR or WOZ plays so long that on ball 2 or 3, your hands and fingers start to cramp up! (Not kidding!)
    Some that I’ve let go of that are very difficult and have short ball times are Tron, Sinbad, and F-14 Tomcat.
    Theme is usually not that important in pinball unless you are an operator. There are certainly exceptions (BSD,Tron,TZ) but most often, theme does not matter as much as the raw pinball design matters.

    Great to hear this! Short flippers, minimizing game time, boring long balls on overcomplicated machines... all stuff for unskilled, or normally skilled people, with not much experience. I don't think I am a pinball wizard at all, but geez, I believe every normal person with normally decent reflexes, after playing pinball AT HOME for few years, hence playing thousands and thousands of games, reach a level when easy setups are just plain boring. Its happened to me recently to drop a coin in a pinball at a bar, and leaving at ball 2 because the game never ended. I am not saying its like a sport, but still there are huge difference in skills between a (few years) pinball owner and a casual player. Hence reviews are so different!

    So my suggestion is: before selling your machine and constantly looking for new machines, make your machine tougher increasing steepness, putting short flippers, changing tilt sensitivity and so on.

    #39 7 months ago

    Thanks all for the inputs! I enjoy reading opinions close to mine of experienced players, while usually I don't agree with many things I read.

    #40 7 months ago
    Quoted from Luppin:

    About EM, I am starting to get interested. I care less and less (and less) about toys, light shows, leds, mods, ramps and so on. I think that a very simple element really missing in modern pinball are targets, like in EBD. That alone requires great skills. So EM can be a good option. But about EM I know nothing. Which one would you suggest (tough and long long lasting)?

    Here are some good EMS that should have lasting power in a collection:
    2001/Dimension
    Quick Draw/Fast Draw
    Jacks Open/Lucky Hand (Joker Poker is a SS followup pin)
    Old Chicago
    Out of Sight/Far Out
    Grand Prix (Williams)
    Abra Ca Dabra/Team One
    Jumping Jack/Jack in the Box
    El Dorado/Target Alpha/Solar City

    The above are desirable, fun pins and large production numbers of them were made. Some like Quick/Fast Draw are 2-player and 4-player versions of the same playfield. Some like 2001/Dimension are reply/AAB versions of the same layout, but different rulesets. Some pins had different versions released to Europe, so look them up on IPDB to se all of the versions released. For example:

    Jacks Open US - replay
    Lucky Hand US - AAB
    Lucky Card Exported to Italy

    #41 7 months ago
    Quoted from Luppin:

    I see we have similar tastes, yes. I also love the theme, sound and look of Centaur. IN terms of gameplay how is it?

    Centaur's layout is hard to compare to other machines. There's nothing else like it, as far as I have been able to tell. At first glance, it may not stand out as anything interesting, but when you play it, it really ties together. It has arguably one of the best shots in pinball (Queen's Chamber double value) where you hit a short semi-orbit over 2 star rollovers, into a captive ball that hits in-line drop targets. There's another small semi-orbit shot that takes you to the upper lanes for advance bonus X. Another couple of targets, one is a long shot that starts multiball and is satisfying to hit (Captive ball target is the other.) Can't forget the 2 other banks of drop targets that have different rewards from hitting them in and out of order. I also like games that have inlane/outlane switching, plus outlane save gates make things interesting. Combine all of this with a up-to-5 ball multiball and Centaur is a point-chugging machine.

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