(Topic ID: 291655)

I’m done with Cary Hardy’s game reviews

By swampfire

6 months ago

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  • Latest reply 25 days ago by Gorgar666
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#1 6 months ago

Alright, I know it’s against the rules to call someone out, but I’m pulling the “public figure” card here. Cary, I love your video production standards. But dude, it seems like every new Stern has a fatal flaw for you. I get it, the 90’s had some great games! I have a few myself (though my collection is mostly pre-DMD).

Here’s the thing. I was totally psyched about Led Zeppelin Premium. I went to a friend’s house and played his LE, had a BLAST playing it. Then I watched your review and it sucked out every ounce of joy I’d had. There’s no way I’d buy a LZ now, and they were one of my top 5 bands growing up in the late 70’s. All the joy, totally gone. Is your assessment right? Maybe some of it, but it was relentlessly negative.

Plan B: Stranger Things Premium. Let’s see what Cary thinks of this one...are you kidding me? At least half of that review was about how the older Brian Eddy games were all better, or hammering Stern about gameplay issues.

No sir, I will not buy into this dystopian vision. From now on, I’ll play the game and make up my own mind, maybe with some input from the STDM reviews.

I do respect your retro lineup, your production quality, and your independent control of your eyebrows. I cannot respect your pessimism.

#5 6 months ago

There’s no such thing as bad publicity, I guess. Check out his reviews on YouTube and decide for yourself. I don’t THINK I’m a Stern fanboy.

#9 6 months ago

“Play it and decide for yourself” is perfectly good advice. That’s how I decided to buy LOTR in 2004 when I started buying new pins. I went to the Highlander Pub in Atlanta and played about 20 games, thought “this game’s a winner” and rolled the dice on it. The problem is, a lot of location pinball has gone away since then. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to play Stranger Things Premium on location nearby this weekend, and that’s how I’ll make my decision. How many people have that luxury?

I don’t think YT’ers have an obligation to sugarcoat their reviews. I just think there’s such a thing as too much criticism. And I wouldn’t have posted this at all if I thought Cary Hardy was a “rando”. I think a lot of people watch his videos and make decisions based on them.

#12 6 months ago
Quoted from DakotaMike:

. Doesn't seem like it warrants a whole thread. Unless you were trying to start a larger discussion about pinball reviews or something.

I think that’s actually a good discussion to have. Who can we trust these days for unbiased game reviews? Way back in the dark ages of RGP, when almost nobody was buying NIB games, I remember this site with some guys in do-rags. They said Congo was great, when everyone else said it was a ridiculous game. I’d love to find a site or YouTube channel like that again.

#17 6 months ago
Quoted from metallik:

What exactly did he say that soured you? Aside from pointing out nasty scoring exploits, I don't see how some dude with a camera can suddenly make your "blast" experience "bad" ...??

Well...okay. I think he actually had some good points about LZ. Maybe he saved me some money down the road. He just made me realize that this Stern is kind of stripped down. I don’t know man, I’m just discouraged and I realize now that I started a ridiculous thread and I’m sorry.

#90 6 months ago

I apologize for starting this thread while I was drinking last night. And I just realized the irony - I’m doing to Cary what Cary sometimes does to Stern, harping on the negative while minimizing the positive.

Caucasian2Step I love every one of your well thought out reviews, both here and on IPDB. I have a game on location, so I definitely relate to the pain there. I also worked as the tech for a big tournament where all of the games were donated - talk about stress.

FWIW after I put the iPad down last night, I played every one of my pins. That’s what I should have done instead of starting this thread. Sorry for ragging on you, Cary.

#91 6 months ago
Quoted from screaminr:

Careful Chuck , you'll be called a YouTube rando

The chuckwurt endorsement is about as good as a pin can get.

#122 6 months ago

I hit up the internet archive to remember what reviews used to be like. Man, these guys made Cary look like a pussycat. What a brutal review of IJ4 (I think it’s a fun game).


I kinda wish this thread would just go away, but I guess everyone has that one post they aren’t proud of.

#157 6 months ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

Did OP start this thread with actual malice?


#158 6 months ago

I asked the mods to close the thread a few hours ago.

Since I’m here, my biggest problem with recent Sterns has been the callouts. They’re fine on JP and DP, but kind of lifeless in LZ, and annoying in AIQ. Fortunately anyone who cares can change them in Pinball Browser, or wait for someone else to do that.

I don’t see the bias in SDTM’s videos, they seem pretty objective to me. If there’s an agenda to sell games, I’m not seeing it.

#183 6 months ago
Quoted from John_I:

Actually the price was around $4300-4500 (6400 in today's money), but some cut rate dealers were selling them for around $3700.

Yep, I paid around $4300 in 2004 for my LOTR. I drove up to Brady Dist in Charlotte to pick it up. It was my first NIB and I didn’t know how to price-shop.

#192 6 months ago

It’s not a personal attack. I think Cary’s a great vlogger, and I assume he can handle some criticism of his review style.

#194 6 months ago

I just finished a playfield swap on my LOTR yesterday. The original isn’t bad, but Ron Kruzman had a perfect playfield and he did an amazing job with the clearcoat. There was a lot of variability in playfield art those days, so I’m glad Stern went to a new process.

#197 6 months ago
Quoted from alexanr1:

Corrected my comment to be an exact quote...

Well, I’m gonna disagree with my drunk self from last night. If you’re criticizing a podcast or vlog, it’s not an attack on that person. Honestly I thought more people knew about his channel.

Witness the other criticism here of SDTM...not an attack, just an opinion.

#198 6 months ago
Quoted from alexanr1:

Corrected my comment to be an exact quote...
I actually agree with you on the assuming. I think the moderators on here pick and choose what they want to “moderate”. That was the point I was making.

Ah, gotcha. Sorry.

#215 6 months ago

I went back to my buddy’s house last night for a league meet. We got to talking about Stranger Things premium, and he told me that he’d had major problems with the mechanism that leads the ball to the magnetic lock. I’m still really interested, and I’m planning to play one on location Saturday. But maybe Cary was right to harp on this issue. I don’t mind having to tweak mechanisms to get them working right, I had to do this to almost all of my games (GOTLE especially). But I’m worried that this one might be hard to get right.

Oh, and LZLE was not as much fun for me this time, but that was my bad playing. I GC’d it last time, and this time I couldn’t even start Electric Magic MB. That means it’s a “feast or famine” game, and I tend to like those.

#250 6 months ago

Thanks for the response video Cary, I watched the whole thing. I hope this thread didn’t make you lose any sleep. I’m still a YT subscriber, and I’ll check out some of your other videos for sure. We probably have a lot on common, other than our game opinions. I’ll see you in the YouTube comments section.

The most valid and repeated point made in this thread is that I shouldn’t let negative opinions dictate what I like or buy. I’ve been collecting and restoring pins for over 20 years, and I mostly know this. I just forget sometimes. At times like this I always come back around to my first DMD, Congo, which was widely ridiculed in the early 00’s, but remains one of my favorite pins. So if you’re new to this pinball collecting thing, just remember every game is loved by some, and sometimes it takes years for popular opinion to change. And “it’s only pinball”.

With that, I’m out.

1 week later
#285 5 months ago

I don’t think this thread did any real harm, and I sincerely I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

I got a chance to put about 20 plays on Stranger Things Premium last weekend. I think it’s a great layout, just as good as AFM, and I like it a lot more than Shadow. I like the idea of mixing up game designers in my collection. I’ve got GOTLE for Ritchie, MET and AS for Borg, POTC for Nordman, Congo for JT and WW for Lawlor. It’s time to get Brian Eddy back in the collection. I heard he’s up for Mandalorian, but I’d had several lifetimes’ worth of Star Wars by the time SWE1 came around. And STh has a dark horror-centered theme, and that really appeals to me.

#297 5 months ago

Maybe now we can close this thread?

#303 5 months ago

I brought home a Stranger Things Pro today, and I couldn’t be happier. It reminds me of my old Iron Man, tons of flow and fun.

2 weeks later
#319 5 months ago
Quoted from AnimeDude892:

Delete this thread now.

Quoted from AnimeDude892:

Because it’s not necessary.

It would die if people would stop bumping it.

FWIW I watched TheCapn’s first impression video on Mando, and I agree with 90% of what he said. If anything, I’m probably more critical than he is on this one.

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