(Topic ID: 166367)

B/W vs newer machines


By Luppin

3 years ago



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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by codered9394
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    There are 199 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    #1 3 years ago

    I only have played few machines produced after 2000. My impression is that the feel of play is inferior to '90 and late '80 B/W machines.

    What do you think?

    14
    #2 3 years ago

    Like women, they all have their unique beauty!
    I like to press all buttons of all sorts

    23
    #3 3 years ago

    Modern games do a spectacularly crappy job of explaining the rules of the game to the player. Instruction cards are extremely vague, and inserts rarely show game progress in a logical way. Most of the time I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing on these games and I really don't feel like reading through a 5000 word rulesheet on the internet to find out.

    80s and 90s games (and even early 2000s) had detailed instruction cards that actually explained how modes and features worked and how to progress through the game. Inserts that showed game progress were usually found right in the middle of the playfield where they could be easily seen and understood. Games are always much more fun when you actually know what your objective is, rather than just batting the ball around the playfield in the hope that you stumble onto the modes that score big points. This is probably the single biggest reason why I prefer older games to what's being churned out now.

    #4 3 years ago

    It almost seems that new games are better for home use due to the complexity of the rule sets. If you own the thing you can spend much more time exploring the rule set to see all or most of the game. I suppose it is all relative though, you spend the big bucks to own a new game and you get to see and explore the deep rule set. Some folks don't really like deep rule sets and just want a machine that has clear obtainable goals and cool toys and noises.
    I think those games do better on location.

    #5 3 years ago

    I think your instincts are spot on.
    B/W was the Renaissance of pinball.2 giants combine all talent and resources to build the standard which EVERY pinball machine after has been measured against.

    Stern games are Data East pins from the 90s,which was always considered less than B/W.Somehow they cost 8k now.
    So for 8k you get a Data East pin with incomplete software, or you could buy a complete B/W and own a true classic piece of pinball history.

    31
    #6 3 years ago

    You just need to play a lot more games. Some awesome stuff has been made in the last few years. I have never understood the b/w people that hate on stern. Comes across as silly and petty.

    The comparison to Data east is rediculous. Stern is known for its deep complete code and fast playing dependable games. People love to just forget all of the stinkers that B/W made in the 90's. Not everything was a home run, several really bad games with code debacles.

    #7 3 years ago

    I enjoy both for different reasons, I like the 90s B/W games for their art packages, nostalgia, and just overall fun, I've learned that I prefer newer pins for in home because of their much deeper rule sets. There's great pins to be had, both new and old.

    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from whthrs166:

    I suppose it is all relative though, you spend the big bucks to own a new game and you get to see and explore the deep rule set. Some folks don't really like deep rule sets and just want a machine that has clear obtainable goals and cool toys and noises.

    They're not actually mutually exclusive though. Lord of the Rings has one of the deepest rulesets of any game, but the requirements for completing it are all quite clear (with the exception of Valinor itself, but even with that you get plenty of hints). I think it comes down primarily to games being released without code; designers can't create a logical system for indicating game progression if the progression is likely to change with code updates.

    #9 3 years ago
    Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

    So for 8k you get a Data East pin with incomplete software, or you could buy a complete B/W and own a true classic piece of pinball history.

    Well that is just complete hogwash. Some modern Sterns have the best code ever put in a pinball machine.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from stoptap:

    Well that is just complete hogwash. Some modern Sterns have the best code ever put in a pinball machine.

    Which ones?

    19
    #11 3 years ago
    #12 3 years ago

    Almost all of them compared to the 90s titles

    #13 3 years ago

    Lol, beat me to it by 37 seconds

    #14 3 years ago

    I enjoy both b/w and newer games however if an older game exceeds the price of a new machine then i'd rather have a new machine instead

    #15 3 years ago

    I've found that a mix of 80's/90's Bally/Williams and 2000's Sterns is the best combo for me.

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from stoptap:

    Well that is just complete hogwash. Some modern Sterns have the best code ever put in a pinball machine.

    That's true except it routinely takes 2+ years to realize.Sometimes not at all.

    I see lots of similarities btwn Stern/Data East/Sega.Flipper mechs(BUZZZZZ)and most mechs including pops:Data East.
    No GI in back box just a fluorescent tube:Sega Gary Stern was/is CEO of all three,hence the comparison

    #18 3 years ago

    I just recently put a lot of time on one, I'm torn between a TWD Prem or a nice RBION as my next pin

    #19 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jaybird815:

    I just recently put a lot of time on one, I'm torn between a TWD Prem or a nice RBION as my next pin

    TWD is one of Lyman's best code games. I'd put it up there with Met. RBION is a fun under the radar game. I'd go TWD everyday if you can find one for the right price. Some games are brutally fast, others very rewarding.

    If that Met deals comes through (waiting on confirmation still) you're welcome to put some more time on my TWD.

    Edit: Even if Met deal doesn't come through, if in the neighborhood your welcome to enjoy the games.

    #20 3 years ago

    The difference I notice between Stern and B/W is that Stern is still making pinball machines. Williams took the easy road and went to slots. Yay for their business accumen. They can take a hike when it comes to pinball conversation. Part of the past like buggy whips and Polaroid.

    11
    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from TimeBandit:

    The difference I notice between Stern and B/W is that Stern is still making pinball machines. Williams took the easy road and went to slots. Yay for their business accumen. They can take a hike when it comes to pinball conversation. Part of the past like buggy whips and Polaroid.

    I still have fun using my buggy whip and Polaroid

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from TimeBandit:

    The difference I notice between Stern and B/W is that Stern is still making pinball machines. Williams took the easy road and went to slots. Yay for their business accumen. They can take a hike when it comes to pinball conversation. Part of the past like buggy whips and Polaroid.

    A lot of Williams/Bally greats like Steve Ritchie now work for Stern.

    #23 3 years ago

    Metallica, walking dead, acdc, Spider-Man,
    Lord of the rings, Simpsons. The code on these games is a pure marvel. B/W rule sets didn't come close. Other possibly good code games that I generally dislike due to theme hate are Elvis and world poker tour.

    #24 3 years ago

    Ok, I understand that, after a couple years revisions, newer Stern have usually good code and deep rules. Personally, I quite like deep rules, but what is for me way more important, way above anything else, is GAMEPLAY and FUN. This is why I also love System 11 machines: simple rules but often great fun. So, if the deep rules help improving the overall experience, thats great. But I am skeptical about deep rules if the gameplay is not fun. For example, I do not like at all long ball time: for me playing pinball means being on my toes all the time, regarding the skills of controlling the ball. If the ball never drains and the rules are very deep, well, then that become something like a strategic board game really, not a proper pinball machine!
    So, under this viewpoint, how do newer Stern machines compare with '90 B/W? Basically, how the balls flow and is gameplay creating adrenaline?

    #25 3 years ago

    Keith Johnson spoiled the crap out of us back when Stern only had one model tier to produce. I still say The Simpson's Pinball Party is *arguably* the best pin ever made, due largely to Keith's (I had to pause here to try to come up with a worthy term to describe Keith's work and nothing was good enough so I'll settle for...) superlative code. Some other games mentioned were also flat out great rule sets from Keith. The multiplexing of shots to do multiple things makes those games achieve a level of re-playability that many of the B/W don't have because the shots only do one or two things that are tied statically to an insert(s) inked-on description that cannot be altered.

    So happy to have been able to own one for a while. It's the one I miss the most of all the newer games I had to sell.

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from Luppin:

    So, under this viewpoint, how do newer Stern machines compare with '90 B/W? Basically, how the balls flow and is gameplay creating adrenaline?

    You should try TWD, any version. It keeps you on your toes!

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from Luppin:

    Ok, I understand that, after a couple years revisions, newer Stern have usually good code and deep rules. Personally, I quite like deep rules, but what is for me way more important, way above anything else, is GAMEPLAY and FUN. This is why I also love System 11 machines: simple rules but often great fun. So, if the deep rules help improving the overall experience, thats great. But I am skeptical about deep rules if the gameplay is not fun. For example, I do not like at all long ball time: for me playing pinball means being on my toes all the time, regarding the skills of controlling the ball. If the ball never drains and the rules are very deep, well, then that become something like a strategic board game really, not a proper pinball machine!
    So, under this viewpoint, how do newer Stern machines compare with '90 B/W? Basically, how the balls flow and is gameplay creating adrenaline?

    Deep code and short ball times don't go very well together. Try out TWD, IM, TRON, GB and Mustang. They should be right up your alley.

    #28 3 years ago

    You know some of the same guys that designed and coded B/W games work for Stern and some with JJP. I used to think Stern games were inferior a few years ago when I first saw them. Once I started to play them I realized there are some great fun new games. Granted, some are not all that great but B/W put out some duds, too. The biggest problem is what circus said. New games have a lot of rules and do a very bad job communicating them to the player. Even when you own the game you often learn something new months later. That's what makes them perfect for home use. Many B/W start to feel old fast because of their simpler rules that you can learn and master in a short time. Best to have a mix of new and old in collection.

    #29 3 years ago

    Nostalgia is very powerful, and an often underestimated force. If you grew up playing the 90s B/W, then you'll probably have a high regard for them. I saw in a previous thread a rumor of a Batman VE based upon the 1966 Batman movie. I used to love that show so I'll buy that game, if it happens, on nostalgia alone, even if the show is cheesy to watch now.

    I own an Arabian Nights which is fairly blinged out. I love it but rarely play it, in fact it's more like an art piece than a game. The game code is kind of shallow for a home environment, so I play my newer Sterns more. Keeping it around isn't logical, but I do so anyway, probably that nostalgia force again.

    Like so many others have already stated, try TWD, MET, LOTR, & SM Sterns. Those games have a lot of offer. Personally, I prefer faster games like Tron and IM.

    #30 3 years ago

    I find the biggest difference is that Stern pins lack the charm and theatricality of B/W pins - they feel flatter and more corporate.

    #31 3 years ago

    What I like about the B/W pins is that the themes are usually safe for kids. Not all of them but a lot of them. I have been waiting for Stern to issue something that is not a movie, music or TV theme. And most of all of the current themes are not family friendly. Don't want them in my house.

    14
    #32 3 years ago

    I find myself working backwards through pinball history. Started with WOZ, then went to Sterns, then B/W classics from the 90s, and now I'm enjoying late 70s EM/SS games. I've found they all have their strengths and weaknesses, and are all a blast to play in different ways.

    Sadly, most non-pinheads go for the flash and bling on newer Sterns and JJP. True pinheads appreciate the classics in all their glory.

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from Farmboss:

    What I like about the B/W pins is that the themes are usually safe for kids. Not all of them but a lot of them. I have been waiting for Stern to issue something that is not a movie, music or TV theme. And most of all of the current themes are not family friendly. Don't want them in my house.

    I think most have a filter, no? I know my ACDC has two settings for the callouts, so there shouldn't be any worries with the kiddies around.

    #34 3 years ago

    I have some of both and love them all . Variety is the spice of life.

    #35 3 years ago

    Twd is probably one the best ever also imo.

    -1
    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

    That's true except it routinely takes 2+ years to realize.Sometimes not at all.
    I see lots of similarities btwn Stern/Data East/Sega.Flipper mechs(BUZZZZZ)and most mechs including pops:Data East.
    No GI in back box just a fluorescent tube:Sega Gary Stern was/is CEO of all three,hence the comparison

    I never said they are perfect but the statement that they are code light is complete knackers. I much prefer B/W flippers too.

    I've recently sold all my B/W games and got newer Sterns (with the exception of Vector). I've played those old games to death and that's when the shallower rule set shows itself. That's not a dig at those older games, they made the most of the technology and memory available at the time but this is 2016 and although there are multiple classic games from that era they don't really grab my attention any more.

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from Circus_Animal:

    I think it comes down primarily to games being released without code; designers can't create a logical system for indicating game progression if the progression is likely to change with code updates.

    Nailed it. This is the biggest problem I have with the newest Sterns; and I believe it's intentional. The rules are not well explained. In the B/W days, you had the rule cards, inserts, play field, and eventually the DMD to explain what your targets should be and why. Once Stern figured out they could ship pins without complete code, I believe they started intentionally leaving the play field more vague. The rational being that it's easier to manipulate the code when you're not painted into a corner by what the play field says. So, if you want to dig through forums to understand rules in a home environment then fine. But this doesn't benefit people playing these machines in the wild for the first time. TWD is one of the worst offenders in this manner. People who've read and studied the rules love it and say it's one of the best rule sets ever and can score crazy high scores. Whereas people playing for the first time have no idea what they should be doing; even in the traditional "shoot the lit up blinky thing" model. You can shoot targets on that game all day, start multiballs, and last half an hour; and barely break 20 million. Unless you know exactly what to hit and in what order, you don't stand a chance. The machines don't explain it to you either. At the very least the DMD should let you know when starting a mode what the goal is. But more often than not, that isn't the case anymore.

    #38 3 years ago

    The strength of Stern games is the code. This carries a lot of weight in home use as you are always discovering new things. There's only a handful of B/W games with code that is in the same league. However, I still give the nod to B/W games due to their overall presentation and feel. The artwork and toys are typically superior and there's just some kind of magic there that is greater than the sum of the parts. I don't have any nostalgia since I didn't play much as a kid. The Stern machines just always seemed a little cheapened out to me, even though they have stepped up their game and put out quite a few great titles over the last 5 years. There's room for both in any balanced collection, imho.

    #39 3 years ago
    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    I find myself working backwards through pinball history. Started with WOZ, then went to Sterns, then B/W classics from the 90s, and now I'm enjoying late 70s EM/SS games. I've found they all have their strengths and weaknesses, and are all a blast to play in different ways.
    Sadly, most non-pinheads go for the flash and bling on newer Sterns and JJP. True pinheads appreciate the classics in all their glory.

    I just can't let my Vector go. It's just too damn good.

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    I find myself working backwards through pinball history. Started with WOZ, then went to Sterns, then B/W classics from the 90s, and now I'm enjoying late 70s EM/SS games. I've found they all have their strengths and weaknesses, and are all a blast to play in different ways.
    Sadly, most non-pinheads go for the flash and bling on newer Sterns and JJP. True pinheads appreciate the classics in all their glory.

    I think most people start with a pin from whatever era they grew up playing, get bored with them and gravitate towards the deeper rules of modern games, and as they get exposed to different eras of pins they appreciate games from all eras.

    I don't have a ton of room so I have a couple of pins that I grew up with (Whirlwind and Funhouse) because I have great memories of playing them, but my other pins have deeper rules. And like boob, I can see myself getting an earlier SS or EM game in the future.

    One thing I like about the older games are the non-licensed themes. You aren't going to get that on modern pins.

    #41 3 years ago
    Quoted from Farmboss:

    I have been waiting for Stern to issue something that is not a movie, music or TV theme. And most of all of the current themes are not family friendly. Don't want them in my house.

    Family friendly 'recent' Sterns: Ghostbusters, SMVE, Mustang, Star Trek, Avengers, XMen, Transformers, Tron, Iron Man ... there are a lot to choose from.

    #42 3 years ago
    Quoted from Marty_Graw77:

    Nailed it. This is the biggest problem I have with the newest Sterns; and I believe it's intentional. The rules are not well explained. In the B/W days, you had the rule cards, inserts, play field, and eventually the DMD to explain what your targets should be and why. Once Stern figured out they could ship pins without complete code, I believe they started intentionally leaving the play field more vague. The rational being that it's easier to manipulate the code when you're not painted into a corner by what the play field says. So if you want to dig through forums to understand rules in a home environment then fine. But this doesnt benefit people playing these machines in the wild for the first time. TWD is one of the worst offenders in this manner. People who've read and studied the rules love it and say it's one of the best rule sets ever and score crazy high scores. Whereas people playing for the first time have no idea what they should be doing; even in the traditional "shoot the lit up blindly thing" model. You can shoot targets on that game all day, start multiballs, and last half an hour; and barely break 20 million. Unless you know exactly what to hit and in what order, you don't stand a chance. The machines don't explain it to you either. At the very least the DMD should let you know when starting a mode what the goal is. But more often than not, that isn't the case anymore.

    This is true and whilst great for the home user it's not so great for the casual, paying player.
    This is where I think a colour screen should come into its own. Animations (or video footage) of how to play the game when it is in attract mode.

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from Dewey68:

    One thing I like about the older games are the non-licensed themes. You aren't going to get that on modern pins.

    Whoa Nelly is a licensed theme? Full Throttle? AMH?

    There are a few non-licensed themes to choose from ...

    #44 3 years ago
    Quoted from smokedog:

    Whoa Nelly is a licensed theme? Full Throttle? AMH?
    There are a few non-licensed themes to choose from ...

    True, had my Stern/JJP blinders on.

    #45 3 years ago

    It's only noon, but I think it's time for a Bloody Mary and some TurboBobby.
    Been neglecting that war machine since MET got here. Sure I'm biased....but I believe Tom Carnegies "JACKPOT !" is the best in all of pinball.

    #46 3 years ago
    Quoted from trunchbull:

    I find the biggest difference is that Stern pins lack the charm and theatricality of B/W pins - they feel flatter and more corporate.

    This is exactly my feeling. Generally I really do not like commercial Hollywood movies, and this is where licenses for pins come from. The true magic comes from unlicensed pins with good overall presentation and good gameplay , and this is why I think overall the best, more charmy and overall balanced pins are certain 80 and 90 B/Ws. Sterns look flatter to me too, they miss that special type of poetry (a mix of art, sounds, feel) that plays a big role in the overall fun factor.

    #47 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jaybird815:

    I just recently put a lot of time on one, I'm torn between a TWD Prem or a nice RBION as my next pin

    Owned both and trust me RBION is not even in the same league as TWD Premium. Get the TWD and you will thank me later.

    #48 3 years ago

    I think the word is "sterile". Newer games are geared towards learning the rules and mechanically working through them. I don't want this, this is the reason I prefer pinball over video games. You almost don't need a theme.

    The golden age had heart and feeling. You get immersed in the game and feel what you are playing. The music, call outs, dots are tightly coupled to get your heart pumping and pull you into the game.

    #49 3 years ago
    Quoted from freakandgeek:

    Owned both and trust me RBION is not even in the same league as TWD Premium. Get the TWD and you will thank me later.

    Oh I know it's the better of the 2, but I really like the price tag on RBION

    #50 3 years ago

    Well said Taxman. B/W games have a much more " organic" feel to them. Not that modern Sterns don't have some great features, just for me they aren't quite the same.

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