I'm somewhat of a noobie, only in the game/sport for 2 years, but I've got no kids and dual incomes, so pinball will be my child. Right now, I am in the market for a NIB game, and I knew this was coming for a few months, so the research on games began back in January. I decided that Total Nuclear Annihilation is awesome looking and the sound is great. I think this game would get me hyped the most, but it has the same shots over and over, so I assumed I'd get bored over time with it, so I ruled it out. None of the sterns excited me at all, and they also seem to be made quickly for the almighty dollar. Alien might have been the first choice if Heighway didn't go out of business.
After months of research I was down to two games; Dialed-In & Houdini. What I did was watch as many videos of people playing these two machines as much as possible. At first I was paying attention to the game and how it was played, the screen, the toys on the playfield, etc. After several weeks of videos, I began to focus on the players playing the game, and this is where I ultimately made my decision. On the Houdini side, players were in deep concentration, lots of shaking heads, lots of eye rolls, lots of arms thrown up in the air. On the Dialed In side, players were smiling, laughing, making jokes, but also the same amount of immersion on not only their game, but other people's games.
I chose Dialed In mainly for those reasons. I am going to be playing this game with other pinball aficionados, but also with friends and family who have hardly, if ever, played pinball before. I've also played Dialed In without any knowledge of the game, and came away impressed. I found shots were reliable, the flow was crazy awesome, and I took pictures of it after I played because I wanted to remember how good I felt when I was hitting those buttons.
I am in the process of buying a Dialed In as we speak. I can't wait for it to arrive!