(Topic ID: 247629)

Machines with one fatal flaw


By BRW84

87 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 28 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 84 days ago by BRW84
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 87 days ago

I've been thinking about machines with one fatal flaw lately. The very first pinball machine I ever played was a Stern Flight 2000. My uncle had one in his guest bedroom, which I thought was the coolest thing ever (On a side note, I told my uncle and aunt that if they ever wanted to get rid of it, I would buy it; my aunt ended up just giving it to a neighbor, and even though that happened about 16 years ago, I'm still bitter about it). I loved that machine when I was a kid, but at the same time, I blame it for scaring me away from pinball for much of my life. I thought it was incredibly difficult, and I just assumed that pinball was for older people and I was too young to be any good at it.

I haven't played a physical Flight 2000 since back in the day, but I've played digital versions many times since, and I now know why I thought it was too hard. Flight 2000 is largely built around multiball and a full quarter of the playfield is devoted to a needlessly convoluted multiball lock system. The problem is, activating multiball doesn't just require you to lock three balls; it requires you to complete seven rollovers to spell "BLAST OFF," lock two balls, knock down five drop targets in order, and THEN lock a third ball. All of this would be manageable if you could just hit a flipper button to move the lit rollovers, but of course you cannot. To make matters worse, some of the rollovers are damn near impossible to aim at; you just have to hope for a lucky bounce off a pop bumper. I love this game, but the lack of an option to move the lit rollover is, to me, its one fatal flaw, the issue that prevents it from being one of the greats.

What game do you think has a fatal flaw, and how would you change it?

#2 87 days ago

So interesting you bring up this game as iI am contemplating buying one. Watching videos of it a while ago that was the first thing i noticed about not being able to cycle the roll overs.

#3 87 days ago
Quoted from BRW84:

The very first pinball machine I ever played was a Stern Flight 2000. My uncle had one in his guest bedroom, which I thought was the coolest thing ever (On a side note, I told my uncle and aunt that if they ever wanted to get rid of it, I would buy it; my aunt ended up just giving it to a neighbor, and even though that happened about 16 years ago, I'm still bitter about it).

Side note, non-pinball story that you might "enjoy"...

One of my best friends in HS had a grandfather who had a Pace Car edition of the mid-70's TransAm, perfect condition. We would drive around in it sometimes and plan I always heard growing up was that he would eventually pass it down to my friend when he was too old to drive it. Fast forward to when the grandfather was getting up in years, my friend and his dad visited and arrived to watch the grandfather complete the sale of the car to a stranger. (rumor is for a steal) Word is that the grandfather wasn't 100% but still caused quite the rift in the family.

Back to your fatal flaw machines...

#4 86 days ago
Quoted from wolffcub:

So interesting you bring up this game as iI am contemplating buying one. Watching videos of it a while ago that was the first thing i noticed about not being able to cycle the roll overs.

I love my F2K and do not see that as a fatal flaw, so you might still consider buying it. The ball lock maze is pretty cool and serves as a way to get back up to the rollovers. I appreciate that multiball is not obtained EVERY game and enjoy the challenge. If you want easy multiball gp get a Rescue 911. I think it's impossible to not get multiball multiple times on that thing.

#5 86 days ago

TOM has the left orbit multiplier/theatre letters that make the game very unbalanced. If someone would fix the code, it has the potential to be one of the best games ever. Games where you repeat the same shot over and over ad nauseum like Checkpoint and Data East Star Wars.

#6 86 days ago
Quoted from BRW84:

one fatal flaw

Every game has a flaw, thus no pin earns a "10" rating in my book.

As for F2K, I consider it a top-20 80's game

It's flaws are:

1. no lane change (firepower)
2. no taunting when you drain (black knight - in the future)
3. no hurry ups (black knight - in the future)

I agree there's a lot of wasted space in the upper left, for what it delivers, but I like how it uses the rest of the space just fine... It is a Harry Williams after all, and he knows a thing or two about layouts...

As far as I know, Black Knight invented the hurry up (november 1980), and drain taunting as well, and so I think it's only fair to bust Stern for being oblivious to lane change in 1980, once it was invented...

Of those 3 flaws, by far, I consider no hurry ups the flaw of F2K. Fatal? No, but hurry-ups are a very important part of great 80s games and forward, imo, so I wish it were there to up the excitement.

-mof

#7 86 days ago

IIRC Williams Firepower was the first to have the rollover lane changes, and it came a year or so after Flight 2000. Not sure I could call a feature that didn't exist anywhere at the time a flaw.

As for the upper left playfield space, yeah, that's a lot of real estate underused, but could say the same for Twilight Zone with the gumball machine and "Power" mini-playfield. Flaw or feature? I might suggest such games with constrained playfields on one side offer a little more challenge, as shots in that direction can quickly head for a center gap or outlane with less time to react and defend.

#8 86 days ago

that gap between the flippers, it sucks

#9 86 days ago

I owned a "Kicker" by Chicago Coin for a while. The thing I didn't like about that game was the darned center target combined with the left and right pop bumper made it impossible to get to the top of the playfield during gameplay. The goal was to light numbers 1-6 to activate the replay but without a path to the top you really only had your initial ball launches to get numbers 1 through 4. Set the game of 3-ball and you won't ever get there. IPDB has a good pic of the top half of this PF: https://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=1363&picno=13993&zoom=1

Of course, being Chicago Coin made selling it difficult. I solved that by running a silent auction on it Pintastic a few years ago. It got bid up to a fair price for what it was, and it winning a random payout drawing from their free-play awards added a little extra bump of goodness. Guy who took it home was super-cool too.

-Rob
-visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or my replacement LED display boards for model H & model S Skee Ball

#10 86 days ago

Center lock shot in IJ. In tounament or competitive play it's all people go for.
Drop target lock ball repeat till multiball.

#11 86 days ago

Night Moves. Great pin, awesome sounds, you get multi ball and it is like you are dancing with someone at a disco! And during multi ball there is no multiplier, jackpot, or anything! What is the damned point of multi ball!?

#12 86 days ago

Paragon:
I know, cherished Bally classic many love. I still enjoy it too.
But in the end, with all the cool things the ball does on its own, the main objective is freeze the ball and always go for the stacked drops on the left.
Changing: Spinner needs the variable scores like HarlemG...top right corner shot leading to the very top needs a spinner, or shell rollover that's worth more than 500.

I could go on and on with this subject, as many great pins have similar flaws, so I will stop here.

#13 86 days ago
Quoted from Frippertron:

TOM has the left orbit multiplier/theatre letters that make the game very unbalanced. If someone would fix the code, it has the potential to be one of the best games ever. Games where you repeat the same shot over and over ad nauseum like Checkpoint and Data East Star Wars.

soren has already fixed the code for Theatre of Magic http://tiltforums.com/t/new-theatre-of-magic-software-mod-version-2/4717?u=yeoldpinplayer

Fatal flaw: Star Wars (Pro) The plunge that bounces directly to the left outlane followed by an auto-plunge that does the same thing. It doesn't happen every time but when it does I want to throw the machine off a roof.

#14 86 days ago

A major flaw flag is due any game with an unreliable mechanism. None of these examples are fatal because they do work .... sometimes.

IJ - scoop, never corrected. Direct hits bounce out more frequently than staying in.

JD - spinning dead world planet, removed during production. Unreliable optos caused game to lose track of ball.

WOZ - direct print cabinets, removed during early production. Ink susceptible to smearing after production plus unreliable contractor.

Alien - xeno head, never corrected. Works well but needs to be recalibrated on occasion and susceptible to odd behavior.

TNA - scoop, never corrected. Direct hits bounce out AND drain often. Should be fixed if game is rerun and then offered as a fix to owners.

JJPOTC - spinning concentric rings, removed during final testing. Why why why???

WOZ - flying monkey mech, removed from final run of game. ???

#15 86 days ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

TNA - scoop, never corrected

What's wrong with the scoop in TNA? It's an intentionally hard shot, but I wouldn't call it a flaw.

#16 86 days ago
Quoted from atrainn:

What's wrong with the scoop in TNA? It's an intentionally hard shot, but I wouldn't call it a flaw.

A hard shot is good to find, but when direct hits bounce out and drain often, that is a problem and poor design. It could be addressed by manufacturer with a redesign, but they don’t recognize it needs to be fixed. Same concern with Williams IJ scoop.

#17 86 days ago
Quoted from QuietEarp:

Night Moves. Great pin, awesome sounds, you get multi ball and it is like you are dancing with someone at a disco! And during multi ball there is no multiplier, jackpot, or anything! What is the damned point of multi ball!?

On Night Moves I always wondered why there wasn’t any added objective in Multiball considering the designer. I have chalked it up to the incredibly short Multiball Times. One ball is gonna drain near instantly and it has no grace period. Also ideally you want to strategically light 2X and then use the Multiball to hit the stand ups and spell “Night Moves

-2
#18 86 days ago

Flipperless games-Lack of flippers!

#19 86 days ago

In the immortal words....play better. It took me awhile to work the timing down on this machine, but its a rare game i dont get multiball anymore. I assure you its possible.

#20 86 days ago
Quoted from jfre81:

IIRC Williams Firepower was the first to have the rollover lane changes, and it came a year or so after Flight 2000. Not sure I could call a feature that didn't exist anywhere at the time a flaw.
As for the upper left playfield space, yeah, that's a lot of real estate underused, but could say the same for Twilight Zone with the gumball machine and "Power" mini-playfield. Flaw or feature? I might suggest such games with constrained playfields on one side offer a little more challenge, as shots in that direction can quickly head for a center gap or outlane with less time to react and defend.

Fire Power February 1980. Flight 2000 August 1980.

#21 86 days ago
Quoted from Frippertron:

TOM has the left orbit multiplier/theatre letters that make the game very unbalanced. If someone would fix the code, it has the potential to be one of the best games ever. Games where you repeat the same shot over and over ad nauseum like Checkpoint and Data East Star Wars.

Is your gate broken? My left orbit shots return via the right rail 95% if the time.

#22 86 days ago

So from my perspective the top 7 flaws that I find in the BEST 80s games are:

The lack of:

* hurry ups (centaur, black hole, embryon, F2K, etc.)
* drain taunting (more than half of the games in my collection are missing this)
* inlane switch use/fun (defender, barracora, sorcerer, etc.)
* rollover lane change (F2K, fireball II, black hole, etc.)
* voice (barracora, cosmic gunfight, seawitch, viking, nine ball, grand lizard, etc.)
* spinners (taxi, centaur, space station, pinbot, cosmic gunfight, defender, etc.)
* multiball goals (firepower, nine ball, centaur, black hole, embryon, etc.)

Meanwhile there are a few games with NONE of these flaws:

Diner, Space Shuttle, Fathom, Black Knight

-mof

#23 86 days ago
Quoted from girloveswaffles:

Fire Power February 1980. Flight 2000 August 1980.

I was thinking FP was '81 and after BK. Oh well.

In any case, Steve Ritchie's early Williams games broke a lot of ground with two features named here that have long since become standards, such that people would say games without them are "flawed."

#24 86 days ago

I think if earthshaker had a progressive jackpot that could be re lit and the value of the jackpot started from the lowest for each game/player it would an amazing game.

#25 86 days ago

Although it's not technically a game-play flaw, the artwork on Flash is so bad and amateurish I think it had really effected the resale value of this fun game. Great shots, unusual break-away plunger shot, very cool sounds, highest sales (up until TAF), Steve Ritchie design. What's not to like except for that horrible "art".

#26 86 days ago

No one has mentioned Kings of Steel (right target)
Just keep hammering the target, that's all there is.

#27 86 days ago

Roadshow stops your progress towards the main multiball when you start a mode. Hated that so much I sold the machine.

#28 84 days ago
Quoted from GLSP3022:

No one has mentioned Kings of Steel (right target)
Just keep hammering the target, that's all there is.

Bowen Kerin's Kings of Steel tutorial is both hilarious and probably the worst thing to happen to anyone trying to sell a Kings of Steel.

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