(Topic ID: 240893)

Biggest Pinball Machine Letdown vs. Biggest Surprise

By PinDoctor82

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 39 posts
  • 29 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by netman63129
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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    #1 1 year ago

    OK, so in light of the semi-letdown I felt when I saw the Wonka reveal, I figured I'd start this thread that maybe can generate some more non-Wonka discussion which may also help steer me towards more machines I can check out in the future. What machine would you consider your biggest letdown, and which did you play that totally exceeded your expectations that most?

    My votes:

    Biggest Letdown: Stern Star Wars Pro
    My buddy got this machine and honestly, I was so excited driving over to his place to help him set it up. The theme is arguably the most vast out there and it easily should have been one of the best machines every made. We set it up and played and we were blown away by the sound and lights for a bit, but after about 15-20 minutes I was done, and so was he. We were already looking at possibilities of what he could trade it for or sell it or by the next day. I tried to like it by playing it more but it just didn't work. The playfield was too open with too few shots, and there weren't enough toys for what Star Wars should be. No Milennium Falcon, X-wing, AT-AT etc...just a cheesy Death Star and a TIE fighter on a spring. The worst part, which to this day still boils my blood, is Yoda's annoying commentary after you drain each ball. I will look into what makes the premium/LE different than the pro and I would be happy to give those a shot, but I have no need to play the pro again. Fortunately my buddy was able to sell the machine.

    Biggest Surprise:
    Metallica Premium
    Let me just say that I was not on this website until recently and therefore didn't have any concept of which games were popular and which weren't. My buddy insisted that I try Metallica and I was hesitant mainly because I'm not really a fan of their music and also because there were other games I really wanted to play (Ghostbusters, Addams Family, Funhouse, Theater of Magic, Creature from the Black Lagoon to name a few). Well, my buddy was right. I got sucked in. The game was a lot of fun, I understood everything I had to do with no time and the shots flowed so well. All of the little toys worked perfectly and I loved the ball lock mechanism. This is a machine I may eventually have to have in the future (there are too many games I could say this about, though).

    I look forward to seeing what others have to say - I'd probably like to take my shot at the worst pinball machine ever, but I guess there's no way to really prove which one that is.

    #2 1 year ago

    Letdown Star Wars it's a good pinball game but not a good star wars game i could slap any other theme on that game nothing feels like Star Wars on that play field.

    Letdown Beatles i actually personally like this game but i probably will never own one because i can't justify paying so much money for a re themed sea witch.

    Letdown GOTG i love the films i was so excited for this game but i found the game to easy and like a lazy copy of the great Metallica.

    Letdown Munsters i was so pumped for this game dream theme but when i played it i thought the code was terrible i got bored of it after a couple plays felt like i saw everything. The layout also felt way to similar to monster bash which i already owned.

    Surprise Iron Maiden this was a dream theme for me but i did not expect the game to be that good and it seems like most of the community agrees.

    Surprise Deadpool this game started out as a dud but with doe updates it has turned out to be a really good game.

    Surprise Stern Black Knight i had no interest in this game but after playing i was hooked on it i found it to be a lot of fun.

    Surprise Game of thrones i had no interest in the theme but i just enjoyed playing the game so much the code created so many strategies. I liked the game so much i started watching the show which i love now as well.

    Surprise JJP POTC I was not expecting much from this game especially with the theme but when i saw the pics and played it i was amazed with how many cool toys the game had.

    #3 1 year ago

    Letdown: None
    Surprise: All pinball is great!

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from WackyBrakke:

    Letdown: None
    Surprise: All pinball is great!

    Even Domino's pizza pinball just joking.

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from Coolpinballdino:

    Even Domino's pizza pinball just joking.

    If I was stranded on a island and I had the choice of Domino's Pizza pinball or no pinball, I would pick Domino's Pizza pinball

    #6 1 year ago

    Surprise for me would be TNA.

    There is not a whole lot going on TNA with the rules and layout, you may recall that I was debating if should get the pin. I was debating because some had said not great but now have it and it’s super fun to play.

    Letdown was XMLE which to be fair is not a horrible pin but just didn’t click with me the way a lot of other Borg pins have like Tron, IM, TWD, Metallica. XM came out in the middle of that group and clearly was the weak link.

    #7 1 year ago

    Oh god another one. This won't end well.

    #8 1 year ago

    Biggest letdowns have been some of Stern’s stock sound packages, like Pirates Batman, IJ and GOTG which would either have changed music, really poor voices or both. After Simpsons (a little repetitive but really really good) and LOTR (which I thought was perfect) they became really hit or miss thanks to the complexities of licensing I’d imagine. Williams would usually at least have decent impersonators. Thank goodness for Pinball Browser. I know someone worked really hard on those sounds and I’m sorry but I need that movie music and real voices please.

    Biggest surprise is The Shadow. I never gave it the time of day back in the 90s, just another pin with a bad license and a terrible translite. One showed up at league a couple years back and I finally played it and I LOVED that game. It’s still in league too... but now it’s at my house!

    #9 1 year ago

    I think this is a good discussion, but I don't comb the forums as often as some so I suppose I missed the world altering fallout from a previous asking.

    My biggest let down(s): Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Game of Thrones

    Biggest surprise(s): No doubt, not even close... Deadpool. 2nd place is crowded; Iron Maiden, Batman 66, GOTG & Hobbit (These are either themes I didn't think I would be able to tolerate and ended up loving, or were games I was told I should hate and actually love.)

    #10 1 year ago

    Letdown wonka I thought Jack was going to put out the second coming of WOZ with the hype this game was getting

    Surprise was AC/DC although it was not the first time it was done I did not expect the under the playfield "playfield"

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from Hazoff:

    Oh god another one. This won't end well.

    Yeah, I realize it's been discussed before, but I can't read through tons of posts from the past that easily, and it's better than the recurring Wonka threads. I'm looking for opinions so I know what to try out when I have the chances to. The difference in opinion are awesome too...if we all liked the same things that would be awful. Now, whether or not people discuss differences reasonably is up to them, but nonetheless entertaining if they choose not to (that is not what I was trying to accomplish by any means, I assure you).

    #12 1 year ago

    Also, thanks to you guys, I've just looked up Domino's pinball...wow.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from JY64:

    Letdown wonka I thought Jack was going to put out the second coming of WOZ with the hype this game was getting.

    So Woz would be both letdown and surprise for me.

    I was on order for the ECLE but missed out on the discount price of $6500 (crazy price nowadays). Woz took forever to get to market and I got to play it at pinabll show and later in an arcade (beta code so it was not the finished product it is now 5 years later). I was distinctly underwhelmed by the pin. I can still remember clear as day the pin was right next to Stern IJ and that to me IJ4 was more fun to play and I didn’t understand the hype. So I got my refund and never took delivery of Woz.

    Fast forward a few years, friend has RR Woz and I was able to play and hear the game and it was set up properly and the room lighting was nice. I was so completely turned around my option and ended up selling my STLE to buy a RR Woz and I’m completely happy. It’s my top rated pin of all time although partly that has to do with the aesthetics and build quality. I got a RR Woz with RadCals and witch mod (makes the game so much better).

    #14 1 year ago

    blown away by AFM remake LE which I got last year.

    I always liked AFM but didn’t think it was worth so much more than say Tron or SM just my opinion but I had thought AFM was maybe a tad bit overrated by B/W guys. Plus I like new pins and bright light shows like STLE.

    Was looking at DI in an arcade and they had just got AFM remake was not the LE but the SE with the large color display. I was quite impressed. I was able to buy one of the last AFM LE nib and was super impressed with the build quality, lighting and especially the topper. I think the LE topper while not necessary is just so fun and over the top that it sets the LE above and while not a cheap pin, I think it’s worth every penny. After owning AFM what has really grown on me is the rules and the gameplay so that I can now understand why it was rated so high all this time.

    #15 1 year ago

    People h-a-t-e-d HATED the idea of Iron Maiden getting a pinball machine, and it's probably one of the most loved Sterns right now due to the amazing layout, art, animations, code, and overall package. Some still may not like the music, but that wasn't going to change from a pinball machine with the same music they dislike... but holy hell did that machine slaughter expectations.

    AS for close 2nd... it was a Pro that included a spinner!
    (also people bagged this theme, but it at least was an improved KISS)

    #16 1 year ago

    Biggest letdown for me was #Star Wars Episode I. I know there were other factors involved, but I still (somehow) believe that Pinball 2000 might have had a future had that game not sucked so deeply.

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    People h-a-t-e-d HATED the idea of Iron Maiden getting a pinball machine....

    Not anyone on Pinside...been threads aboot it for 7 years

    #18 1 year ago

    Biggest RECENT surprise was playing The Beatles at the Milwaukee show this past weekend. The spinning disc (that actually changes the direction of the ball), the retro look, the magnet (there may have been more than one).

    Wonka was kind of a letdown, soundtrack seemed uninspired but it was hard to hear.

    Played a LOT of the Munsters Premium, with the headphones. Got to Munster Madness once over the weekend and I had a good 2 hours on it.

    #19 1 year ago

    let down: Full throttle

    Biggest surprise (I know only to me) was IMDN - this was not on may radar, had 0 desire for it, wasn't following it and had not watched any videos of gameplay, but played it on location and bought one the next week.

    #20 1 year ago

    Well I'll definitely be looking to play Iron Maiden and Munsters at Pinfest given the feedback here. I wouldn't have figured Iron Maiden to be such a hit either, but if it's awesome, it's awesome. Also looking forward to giving Black Knight a whirl. I would love to try a Beatles because of what it is.

    #21 1 year ago

    Letdown: Junkyard - beautiful game but couldn’t get into the gameplay. Owned it for three weeks and out the door it went.

    Surprise: Ironman - I wasn’t expecting much, but loved it from the first time I played it. It’s still in my collection and one of my go to games.

    #22 1 year ago

    I just came back from MGC and I was able to play so many pins that I never really will get the chance to play in the wild.
    My biggest surprise pin is how much I love the new Black Knight game.
    I was ho-hum about a sequel as I have yet to play BK2000 and I never ever played a truly great Black Knight ever. Almost always the flippers suck for a black knight and render it unplayable. Played BK on pinball arcade and I enjoy it enough, but not a huge fan. But, then I saw the art package, heard the music, saw the gameplay and the animations.
    Just everything blew me away. And then when I played the game I got blown away yet again. Game is fast and a whole lot of fun. Really cool toy. Might be one of the best toys in the last 20 years of pinball. I only have plans for one more pin this year. And I'm waiting for Elvira 3 to make up my mind. If that is a stinker then Im going to buy a BKSR. But, ideally I'd like to buy a E3 this year and a BKSR early next year.

    My biggest disappointment is the Munsters. Doesn't matter the Pro or Prem. Really wanted to love the game as I love the theme. But, while the game has great art, and while I like the concept behind the code. I haven't really enjoyed the game. The lower miniplayfield is a gimmick. Its not fun to shoot. Its a cool idea. But, the balls have no weight to them. And I just don't like it.... So maybe you'd think a pro version would be better... Only no... Because, then when you achieve Grandpa's lab there is a big whole in the code... My thoughts. Maybe a video mode instead of the lower playfield... Or maybe rather bigger balls for the lower playfield. Its a looker and I love the whole idea. Just feels cheap and is no fun for me to shoot. And as I said going with the pro. It just doesn't feel whole. Game is still fun to play. But, I don't think I will want to own on. I do hope there will be some on location for me to play. As I'll always play it when I see it in the wild.

    Another minor surprise was how much I enjoyed playing ACNC. I don't think the game is a homerun. More of a double for me. But, I never got into it when I saw the streams. I like the animations and music. I thought the layout was a bit lame, and I thought the playfield was ugly. Well, I was wrong about the playfield. It looks amazing in person. The layout I still don't like. But, its a fun game to play.

    Then I had a disappointment turn into a pleasant surprise. I never really got into deadpool. I thought the game had a cool theme, amazing artwork, interesting layout and playfield(katana ramp is super cool). I also like the mini deadpool ball lock feature, and I love the whole retro sprites idea and fighter game mode concept. And before MGC I believe I've played deadpool at 3 different locations and never really got into the game. Always felt clunky and missing something to me.
    But, I finally had a decent game and was able to open it up(just missed mech mb by 3 guns..GRRRRR). And I must admit I was wrong. Deadpool is a fun pin. Very fun to play. Can it be a bit clunky yes(katana ramp is just super unreliable)... But, when you get dialed into it, its super fun. I was wrong to disregard Deadpool so quickly.

    #23 1 year ago

    Biggest let down I’d say is Magic Girl and everything involved with it.

    Biggest surprise I think is Big Lebowski, such a good game/theme integration.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bowlingpin:

    Biggest let down I’d say is Magic Girl and everything involved with it.
    Biggest surprise I think is Big Lebowski, such a good game/theme integration.

    I am totally envious as I'm sure I'll never get to play Big Lebowski.

    I'm also seeing mixed reviews on the Munsters. I'm hoping to play the premium at Pinfest...it's a machine my brother would love, so it's at least got to be a consideration for my future game lineup.

    #25 1 year ago

    Biggest disappointment would have to be Stern Star Wars. I am a lifelong fan, I have the movie posters framed, vintage toys on display and so on. The machine did not due anything for me, our local pinball place sold it under two months after getting it and I did not even care it was gone.

    Biggest surprise... I did not expect Iron Maiden to be nearly as good as it turned out, while I still think Iron Man has an upper right flipper half of the time it is a game I did not expect much from, TNA was great once I got some serious time in on it.

    #26 1 year ago

    Biggest surprise: the first time a coin spit out at me when playing a prototype Safecracker at a test location.

    Biggest disappointment: my wife not letting me buy a seventeenth pinball game (when I really want Elvira 3).

    #27 1 year ago

    Let down IJ4

    Surprise Beatles

    #28 1 year ago

    Biggest let downs: Stern Star Wars, Munsters, Deadpool, Magic Girl, Williams Indy Jones, Alice Cooper, JJP POTC, Thunderbird2s, Jetsons, Popeye, Houdini, Ghostbusters, WWonka.

    Surprises: Metallica, Iron Maiden, BKSR, Iron Man, Aerosmith, ACDC Premium

    #29 1 year ago

    Biggest recent let down is Munsters. I'm in the bullseye demo and was primed to buy an LE, but it's just too simplistic for my tastes and the under playfield is cool but underwhelming given it's prominence in the design. Biggest letdown in last 5+ years is Ghostbusters. Innovative design, great art and sounds, etc. etc., F-up'ed by lack of attention to quality and geometry.

    Recent surprise - Deadpool. Great fun, challenging, fantastic art.... Longer term surprise, TWD. Pinside lambasted the game but thankfully I played it for myself.

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from Tommy-dog:

    Biggest let down: Deadpoll

    You should have purchased Deadpool. Apparently it is better than Deadpoll (see below).

    Quoted from luckymoey:

    Biggest surprise: Deadpool

    #31 1 year ago

    Letdown : vector. Looks so cool. Not fun at all.

    Surprise: Robo War. Expected terrible. Got amazing.

    Honorable mention: signal Jr. Pre war flipperless game that is so addicting.

    #32 1 year ago

    Letdown: Stern Star Wars

    Surprise: Stern Star Wars

    I hated this game. Then I learned it. Holy shit is this game good. It does have an unorthodox ruleset on a brutally fast layout, but that’s its appeal to me. So satisfying completing objectives in this game. Factory settings are a little easy; but a few adjustments in the features and this game always brings me back for more.

    #33 1 year ago

    Speaking of recent games:

    In terms of surprise, I would have to go with TNA. Layout looks simple and no ramps, undersized cabinet compared to other games. Wasn't expecting too much but dropped in a few coins and was blown away. The minute the music started it felt like the machine was alive - the shaker set to the soundtrack was awesome. Its a fast, brutal pin but I managed to start the reactor and it was AWESOME. Really hope to get it in my collection one day. Scott did an awesome Job on TNA!

    In terms of letdown, I would probably go with The Beatles. I heard a lot of hype surrounding this game and finally had a chance to play one but didn't enjoy the flow. It felt like an old EM with a few modern toys on the playfield. It felt like more of a Beatles fan collector piece than a players pinball machine. I kept waiting for it to progress but it just didn't happen for me.

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from Eskaybee:

    Letdown: Stern Star Wars
    Surprise: Stern Star Wars
    I hated this game. Then I learned it. Holy shit is this game good. It does have an unorthodox ruleset on a brutally fast layout, but that’s its appeal to me. So satisfying completing objectives in this game. Factory settings are a little easy; but a few adjustments in the features and this game always brings me back for more.

    When SW's was first released, the pro had nothing going for it w/ the exception of the SR flow. Who would buy this box of lights that had virtually nothing going for it? = Letdown!

    Fast forward two years & this title shines beyond belief in a home lineup. The code has made this title an amazing challenge, as the difficulty of the lightning fast layout emphasizes ball control. We took a chance & traded WOZ for a SW's Premium ~ this title rocks! = Surprise!

    #35 1 year ago

    I think Ritchie and Dwight are the perfect combo.

    #36 1 year ago

    Wonka major bummer.

    #37 1 year ago

    For me, the biggest recent let down was Guardians of the Galaxy. The theme would have been a no brainer, but the layout was too much of the same and using sound-alikes for the callouts was rough.

    The biggest surprise was Iron Maiden. I had no interest in the theme, but the layout and rules make it amazing. Beatles was also a surprise. I was totally down on it before playing it. . . . .now we own one.

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I think Ritchie and Dwight are the perfect combo.

    Eddy/Sheats >= Ritchie/Dwight

    1 month later
    #39 1 year ago

    ACNC was a big surprise for me. Saw the initial promo and not an AC fan so not impressed but got a chance to play it at Lyons Pinball and it blew me away. Had to order one. Might be my favorite ever

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