(Topic ID: 205810)

Great Games that Are Ignored


By freakandgeek

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 45 posts
  • 34 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Frippertron
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

One image has been uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

20160705_153836 (resized).jpg

#1 1 year ago

So I have fallen for Fireball II lately...

I love discovering games that are the red-headed step-children of pinball.

Nobody ever talks about this game. It is kind of rare, people mix it up with the original Fireball or Fireball classic. Maybe those are some of the reasons why...because this game is great.

I love this game...and pretty much everything about it:

* the art is amazing and some of the best ever frankly
* the sounds are cool and retro
* it has speech, multiball, cool toys, lots of drops = loaded game
* gameplay is fast & challenging, games do not last long (especially with ball gates removed on the left/right drains)
* Has cool extra Little Demon in the middle drain area and a weird magnetic ball moving bonus counter. Unique toys.

On top of that the game is rare but is still super cheap. WTF!!! It makes no sense. This game should be as expensive as Fathom or Centaur. Or at least somewhat close. It is as pretty, as rare (maybe more actually), same quality, and gameplay is comparable.

So what is that game in your collection that you wonder why it is so under-valued & under-appreciated?

#2 1 year ago

I've had quite a few of the top rated by pinside games, and after a couple weeks, those are the ones that seem to get ignored.

#3 1 year ago

For fireballl II specifically, it's rare and isn't in the top 10 of highly sought after rare games, so that's probably why you don't see it mentioned too much.

Just a few weeks ago, I had a chance to play one at a location alongside a fireball. I wouldn't mind owning either one at some point.

A lot of rare games in general are under appreciated for the simple fact that they are rare and not many people had a chance to play and appreciate them. However, being rare also doesn't mean it's necessarily a good game. Sometimes production numbers were low simply because it's a game that didn't do well on test locations. But sometimes, games that did poor on test (for any number of reasons) aren't actually that bad when in a collection.

War is one game that's a neat game, but few people are even aware that this head-to-head cocktail game exists. It's not a terribly complicated game, but it's certainly worth a few minutes of fun. Though, if you put it next to a more popular game, the more popular game would probably win out in a collection.

#4 1 year ago

Along your same lines, the game I own that I've fallen for is Andromeda. I would class it with fathom and centaur as well. Probably not too many have had an opportunity to play one as it's quite rare but the art, gameplay, rules, variety in shots are all there. Although it's not a cheap buy like fireball, it's fantastic.

It and my fathom, when finished, will be the games that will never leave.

Another that I don't own but can be had cheap is future spa. To me, it's a little better than paragon (maybe because it's a tad easier) and an outstanding buy.

#5 1 year ago

I think Fireball II is an underrated game as well. I'm not sure if you can consider Embryon as underrated or not, but I think it is pretty cool as well. And Breakshot is a ridiculously fun game for the money.

#6 1 year ago

Who Dunnit Always a favorite with anyone that plays mine, but largely ignored here. Ladies in particular love it because of the story elements.

#7 1 year ago

If it was called Flame Ball would we be comparing it to other games with a similar name? Nope, just a game.

Fireball - Spinning disk giving it the name Fireball and it had Zip Flippers and a great skill shot. The bench mark was set.

Fireball Home Model - Crap. Used the name to make crap. Crap.

Fireball II - Has some drops. Not bad but not great. Why is it called Fireball?

Fireball Classic - Solid State version of the original. No Zip Flippers but still has the spinning disk and great skill shot.

Your making me miss my FBC - The name comes from the disk. The fun and strategy come from the lock of balls just to get another shot at getting those pops flashing. The rick / reward of smacking the captive ball to get the multiplier up.

Is it on par with Fathom or Centaur? No. Not in looks or game play.

Looks? Forget it. Just don't even try.

Game play? The classic simple challenges that ,make them classic. Centaur has some easy but fun rules for ORBS, out-lane ball save and Captive ball Inline chamber. Fathom was creative with the Inline drops rolling down through the one-way wire, in-lane/ out-lane creativity.

While there are some under rated games there are reasons some games become classics.

Looking at posts that came in since I started -

Future Spa - Meh, sold mine. Not big on wide body games that are wide for no reason. Art sucked and while it had lots of toy-shots they almost seemed thrown out for no reason. In-line drops cool, lots of lanes, 180 here, wire gate there .. Eh.

Who Dunnit - does not "suck", but gets rated fair. It has issues but has some fun.

#8 1 year ago

Most major movie releases in the 90s were accompanied by a video game and/or pinball, so lots of games based on movies that bombed were made, regardless of whether they even had a theme worth making games around. If you went to the theater to see Johnny Mnemonic or Congo and didn't like it, you were less likely to go into the arcade and put your quarters in the pinball adaptations. You probably passed it by and put another quarter in T2 or something. But if you did play it, you might have found they were better as pins than as movies, and today they might be rated higher if they were based on licenses people cared about.

You also have a lot of games that are obscure because they're hard to find, either because not many were made, possibly because they performed poorly on route. Or possibly because they tended to break down or were more difficult/expensive to maintain - in particular, you see few Gottlieb tables from the 80s in the wild partly for this reason. The other reason being that the DMD-era games are generally deeper (or just appear to be deeper) and more alluring.

But those simpler early SS era games might be worth picking up for the price you can get them. You might afford four or five, maybe more, in decent playing shape for the money a single MM or TZ goes for, with less stuff to keep up with in terms of maintenance. Straightforward gameplay objectives lend themselves to a "relax and play" approach, which has a way of making a better player out of you as you focus on fundamentals rather than flashiness. I learned my basic pinball skills on tables like that, before DMDs and crazy PF toys took over.

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from jfre81:

If you went to the theater to see Johnny Mnemonic or Congo and didn't like it, you were less likely to go into the arcade and put your quarters in the pinball adaptations.

On the contrary, if you went to an arcade and played a game like Congo and didn't like it, you probably would have no urge to go see the movie, but if you went to an arcade and played a game you decided you liked, say Shadow or Twister, then it would spark your curiosity and maybe want to go see the movie.

#10 1 year ago

[quote]if you went to an arcade and played a game you decided you liked, say Shadow or Twister, then it would spark your curiosity and maybe want to go see the movie.

[/quote]

The way they did all the movie tie-ins in the 90s, sometimes the video/pin games were out as or before the movie was released, so that was sometimes the case! It cut both ways for sure, but I'd say The Shadow and Congo are top 50 in spite of their tie-ins and not because of it. Then there's TZ which might have only explained its weirdness by being tied to a TV series about supernatural and just plain weird stuff.

When it comes to finding hidden gems you often have to ignore theme and judge the game on its layout, shots and objectives, even if the theme shaping those objectives is goofy, or tied to a goofy movie. This can cut both ways too as you might have to put theme aside to take an honest look at the higher rated tables.

CFTBL thematically may be my favorite table ever, certainly top 5 in that category. But once the ball's in play, every game seems to devolve to shoot right flipper center ramp for Move Your Car, watch it slowly come down to the endlane, shoot it again, wait, shoot it again, start MYC mode, shoot, shoot, never touch left flipper, shoot, shoot. Eventually I'll I'll touch the left flipper because I missed slightly and have to try to slap save to keep it from draining SDTM. And that happened because I probably lost sight of the ball underneath the parking garage-looking structure on the PF after racking up 60 million points in a matter of seconds. The game within the theme is second tier worthy at most, but the look and theme and DMD flourishes make you want to come back, even though you realize there is probably another better designed game nearby. And so it stays top-25 or so out of hundreds of solid state pins. I'd probably sooner own The Shadow or Congo than CFTBL when I think about which game I'd get less bored with first.

Pinball Arcade has shown a few of the older/obscure SS games some love, and have priced tables so that it's best to buy season packs, so they might become appreciated by those who never saw a real one. PA kicked in a memory I had of playing a Gottlieb Genie at some go-kart place when I was eye level with the coinbox, climbing up on a stool and giving it a pretty good run. It was shooting that lamp spinner in the middle and then watching that bonus meter wind down after drain that brought it all back to me. Obviously I was young and a simple, straightforward pin like Genie was perfect for me.

Genie turns out to be a great table for learning ball control and taking long shots on a widebody. Outlanes are forgiving as you learn to trap and drop catch, and in fact it rewards it with points/bonus on rollovers, with a nice lesson in nudging gently if it rolls too close to the edge, or in that dangerous area above the left outlane. It looks like what TZ's jet bumpers and left outlane area might have looked like in the early EM flipper days when TZ was being broadcast. And it has that EM look overall, as it was designed by longtime Gottlieb EM designer Ed Krynski.

Of course, there was no theme besides some pretty colors and pictures, and no objective beyond driving your bonus and multiplier and score more points than the backglass can display. That will be completely lost on people whose earliest memories of pinball involved saving Earth from Martians and shooting at their ship that blows up on the playfield. If I ever get settled down into a spot where owning a pin would be practical, finding a cheap and probably not playable Genie and getting it playable may be my first project.

#11 1 year ago

Ripley's

#12 1 year ago

Ripley’s is a phenomenal game. Not a looker, but solid and fun.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from jfre81:

sometimes the video/pin games were out as or before the movie was released

Those were the days! Just shows how lagging behind the times this industry has become. Even the newest themed games come out near 5 years too late to really matter.

#15 1 year ago

Stars. It's developed a bit of a cult following lately, and it's an awesome game. Simple, and just perfect. Hit 5 standups, and then hit the special. What could be easier? And yet it's so hard to do. Brutally short games, and great for competition.

10
#16 1 year ago

Most early sterns...

#17 1 year ago

I would love to find an affordable Fireball 2, hasn't happened yet. The game looks intriguing, its been many years since I played one (all I remember is being disappointed it wasn't like the original). It is more straight-up demonic than Fireball, with Odin and Wotan merely German Imps.
Having a FC, I would purchase a F2 over an original FEM just for the original strategy.
Aside from that, Rollergames looks to be an under-appreciated Williams, folks don't like the music or Theme. My question, can the background sounds be adjusted where the maddening music is off?
Maverick is another I recently researched, great game but Mel Gibson on the back glass is a deal breaker for a lot of people.

#18 1 year ago

That's my favorite part! I actually like Fireball II better than Fireball Classic because it doesn't try to be a watered down version of the original.

And Stars for sure, but I never thought of that one as an ignored game. At least not here it isn't. I just tend to ignore most of what pinside says is great.

#19 1 year ago

I'm digging the system 11's like Earthshaker and F-14.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from o-din:

a watered down version of the original.

This is what we face when discussing "Great games that are ignored". Ingrained incorrect notions concerning gameplay/Theme repeated ad nauseum that inhibit value.
It would be easier to make a list of Games that should be ignored.Those are easy.
Anyone denigrating Fireball Classic is unworthy of attention.
Rather than a "watered down version" it is instead the most refined example of the original concept.

#21 1 year ago

Gilligan's Island / Big Buck Hunter
so simple yet so fun
" BEST GAME EVER "

#22 1 year ago

Im having a blast on Blackwater... Whitewater at an early stage.

Stunning visually, and insane shots.

#23 1 year ago

Flintstones - still don't understand why folks don't appreciate this game. Change out a few decals and you've got a nostalgic theme. Bowling feature (hard to bowl a 300), left ramp is challenging and the rest of the game is just plain fun

20160705_153836 (resized).jpg

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from phil-lee:

I would love to find an affordable Fireball 2, hasn't happened yet. The game looks intriguing, its been many years since I played one (all I remember is being disappointed it wasn't like the original). It is more straight-up demonic than Fireball, with Odin and Wotan merely German Imps.
Having a FC, I would purchase a F2 over an original FEM just for the original strategy.
Aside from that, Rollergames looks to be an under-appreciated Williams, folks don't like the music or Theme. My question, can the background sounds be adjusted where the maddening music is off?
Maverick is another I recently researched, great game but Mel Gibson on the back glass is a deal breaker for a lot of people.

There is one for sale in NC here on Pinside...great price and great condition and a great seller too (from personal experience).

#25 1 year ago

Played The Sopranos for the first time today. Kind of like a poor man's AFM but fun nonetheless.

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Im having a blast on Blackwater... Whitewater at an early stage.
Stunning visually, and insane shots.

this is the title I was going to mention!

#27 1 year ago

Pinball Champ 82 is one that is overlooked. It’s a fun game and if you can track one down, they don’t cost a fortune. I know there aren’t a ton of them in the US but it’s certainly more accessible than say Spooky.

Just about any game from 1978-1983 is overlooked in my opinion. It was the point in Pinball where games that were released were made in much smaller number because vids were taking over. It’s one of my favorite times in Pinball.

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from jfre81:

Played The Sopranos for the first time today. Kind of like a poor man's AFM but fun nonetheless.

You gotta play it a few more times.. sopranos gets insanely fun when you get bada bing and stugots multi going together and then if it’s really going good — link it into underboss. Supremely underrated game- but maybe understandably as the rules are not crazy deep. Non-the-less, great flow, fun theme, awesome call outs and good music. Of course I’m biased as an owner.. you don’t see it around too often, guessing a number of pinheads have not played it.

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from Mbecker:

You gotta play it a few more times.. sopranos gets insanely fun when you get bada bing and stugots multi going together and then if it’s really going good — link it into underboss. Supremely underrated game- but maybe understandably as the rules are not crazy deep. Non-the-less, great flow, fun theme, awesome call outs and good music. Of course I’m biased as an owner.. you don’t see it around too often, guessing a number of pinheads have not played it.

Played a few games not knowing the rules, but seeing the typical fan layout it's just shoot and make stuff happen. I got the Stugot's multi a few times but didn't move rank past "good earner" and that's probably why my best score was like 10M.

Location is near my brother's place so I'll hit it up again sometime. PF looks like it could use a once-over, but flowed nicely in spite of it. This was next to a Guitar Hero arcade thing so I was hearing more of that than the callouts, unfortunately, and they almost certainly have it on a PG setting given the nature of the location (typical putt-putt/batting cage joint)

Felt nice and solid too unlike some Sterns (like Ghostbusters) where I have slid legs a foot or more when all I was trying to do was a simple shimmy to bring the ball on the right side of the outlane separator. Next to the Sopranos was a Family Guy that felt like it was bolted to the floor and had a very tight tilt bob. I like FG but probably prefer the Sopranos layout all said, even if it's not the most original concept. Of course these two tables are older than GB.

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from fuseholder:

Ripley’s is a phenomenal game. Not a looker, but solid and fun.

This. I played Ripley's at a bowling alley years ago, loved it and ended up buying one. It was great because due to the lack of love, it was reasonably inexpensive.

I know Ripley's gets frowned upon but I think it a solid game overall.

#31 1 year ago

If you can look past the theme I always thought Baywatch was an affordable and semi deep game that is really fun.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from Taxman:

Future Spa........Art sucked

You watch your mouth. Dude is curling a lightsaber.

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from stpcore:

If you can look past the theme I always thought Baywatch was an affordable and semi deep game that is really fun.

After playing the 1 that was @ Southern Fried I want one now

#34 1 year ago

I own Harlem Globetrotters, Stern Magic, Stern Nine Ball, Stern Quicksilver, Stern Star Gazer, Bally Viking and Bally Frontier. 15 years ago there was not much interest in any of these titles. Atleast in that there were so many titles of that era that took precedence. i.e. EBD, Xenon, Meteor, Black Knight etc.

#35 1 year ago

You definitely need to spend some more time on Sopranos if you haven't hit 9-digit scores yet. It's one of my favorites and intensity builds a lot as you progress. It seems to be getting more respect lately as price has been rising on this title.

X Files is also one of my favorites, one of the best value-for-money DMDs in my opinion, which makes me appreciate it all the more. There seems to be quite some hate on that one, but I'm convinced it's from poor shots who turn it into a brick fest because they can't hit the narrow ramps.

#36 1 year ago

Last Action Hero - always gets a lot of love when people come over. And still reasonably priced...

#37 1 year ago

Maverick, Pool Sharks & Mustang! Maverick is a sharpshooters dream, w/ 17 drop targets & a great progressive rule set ~ This is a title w/ a steamboat, gambling & western theme > all in one package. Pool Sharks is one of the great under rated system 11's ever! Just very simple fun w/ a fantastic light show & a talking shark to boot. Mustang is stigmatized for those who are impartial to the Mustang brand name. This is a fantastic table that has a very deep rule set related to an incredible car themed experience. A unique machine w/ a EM playfield layout & a three-way ramp. Lightning fast, Challenging, & a complete Rush!

#38 1 year ago

Fireball 2 is a good game from this era. Just as good as Fathom, Xenon or Medusa. Centaur seems to be better IMO. Fireball 2 suffers to be compared to the first Fireball, but it is a kind of unfair, a bit like I under-appreciate Scared Stiff only because Elvira was there first.

#39 1 year ago

Scared Stiff was one of those games that came out in my mid/late teens when the arcade scene was starting to wane and I was at an age where I was more interested in chasing girls and not high scores. I may have never played a real one, actually, but I've warmed to it through Pinball Arcade. Same with Ripley's, greatly underestimated Lawlor pin. Hope I see at least one or the other tonight.

-1
#40 1 year ago

Sopranos. It really is an awesome game as you build towards Boss. Very adult theme and the most popular party game I have ever owned. Hitting and opening the safe is a lot of fun and it has a near identical layout to the much more expensive LOTR. It also follows the show pretty well and is about as good a "world under glass" as you will ever find. Climbing the ladder to Boss is linear yes but it gives you a lit to do along the way and really feels like a journey. Could use a better backglass, the only options are the boring original or an R Rated version, would be cool to have something in the middle/

#42 1 year ago

World Poker Tour, it'll never leave. Same with Ripley's.

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from stpcore:

If you can look past the theme I always thought Baywatch was an affordable and semi deep game that is really fun.

No need to get past the theme at all. Baywatch is an awesome game as an entire package! Even the translite is growing on me

#44 1 year ago

Agreed. Baywatch is an awesome theme. Everyone watched Baywatch for two bouncing good reasons. Played a nice one at a show and thought it was really fun. Wish more pins had nautical themes. I also agree about Flintstones. Artwork looks tons better with the cartoon version but original is not that bad. Gameplay is super fun. Love how the ball goes behind the flippers and the bowling. Reminds me of my Congo where it's really cool to look at and just plain fun to play.

Ripley's is a great game but It's an ugly pin imo. Still, probably the best value for gameplay depth and features.

#45 1 year ago

People always forget about Bally Mystic, which is just an excellent game. It just seems to get lost in all the other awesome Bally's of that era. Another great one kind of on the rare side is William's Cosmic Gunfight. Great art, lots of roll over lanes, two ball multi, drops, cool "cosmic" feature. I have only played the pin twice but if I had the chance I would buy it asap. Real original design.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
From: $ 20.00
Cabinet - Other
Rock Custom Pinball

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside