(Topic ID: 105101)

New Future Owner looking for advice


By JaredSP

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by rai
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 5 years ago

    Hey everyone my name is Jared and im located in Marlboro NJ. I'm looking into buying my first pinball in the near future and i have some general questions as well as some more specific ones. I am right now trying to decide between two machines, The Walking Dead Pro or The Simpsons Pinball Party. Lets say im an equal fan of both properties. Obviously simpsons is going to be a pre owned machine and over 10 years old. First question, for someone like me who really knows nothing about maintaining and repairing pins how important is it for me to lean toward a new machine over an older one. Do pins usually need lots of repair? The pin will get normal at home use.

    Next im a novice pinballer and of course im hoping to get better over time i dont see myself ever really being a great player or anything like that. Which machine do you guys think will be better for the amateurs and more enjoyable. Yes i know the walking dead isnt out yet so its probably hard to judge this but some incite would be great.

    I was reading on the forum about the walking dead machine and people are talking about The Code. I'm not sure what they are referring too when they mention this. Is the machine not final when its released? Are they easy to update? What does the code do for the machine and how does it change things?

    Last question (for now) In regards to if i do decide to go with the walking dead, am i hurting myself by not getting the LE version. Is the LE version going to be that much of a better machine where its worth spending the extra $$. I read on sterns site all the additional feature and really most of them i have no clue what they even mean. I do like the idea that i can get the pro pretty soon and the LE is going to be a bit longer. The art on machine doesn't concern me at all, i actually really like the art on the pro. But in the future if i were to be looking to sell it am i going to have a problem because people will only be seeking out the LE versions and the pros will be super easy to find and cheaper.

    Anyway i appreciate all your input and look forward to hearing what you guys have to say. Hopefully this is the first of many posts to come from me as i have been lurking here for a while and i really love this site.

    Thanks
    Jared

    #2 5 years ago
    Quoted from JaredSP:

    First question, for someone like me who really knows nothing about maintaining and repairing pins how important is it for me to lean toward a new machine over an older one. Do pins usually need lots of repair?

    My 2 cents. Because they are mechanical, all games will break down at some point. Some of my older games have needed less maintenance than my newer games. You can pay someone to fix your games, however doing so can get expensive over time. Read the forum, check out pinwiki and learn how to fix games yourself.

    Quoted from JaredSP:

    Are they easy to update?

    Yes. Put the code on a USB. Plug the USB on the board, flip a jumper. The manual has instructions on how to do it.

    Quoted from JaredSP:

    What does the code do for the machine and how does it change things?

    Code is what runs the game. As the code changes, the rules of the game change.

    Quoted from JaredSP:

    am i hurting myself by not getting the LE version.

    Personal preference. IMO - the ACDC Premium version is far superior to the Pro version. On the other hand, Metalica Pro is just as good as the Premium and less expensive.

    #3 5 years ago

    Go to silverball museum in asbury and try out the games there.

    They have a Simpsons pinball party, not sure if you've ever played it.

    They have a bunch of other games there. Try them all out, see what kind of style of game you like.

    #4 5 years ago
    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    Go to silverball museum in asbury and try out the games there.

    Awesome place. It's arguably the place that sealed the deal on my love of pinball.

    #5 5 years ago

    I 2nd (or 3rd) the idea of going somewhere and playing a bunch of pins.

    Many (if not most) of us do not buy pins based on theme alone.....some of us don't even take into consideration the theme at all. It boils down to "how fun is the pin to you".

    I would have a hard time recommending a NIB pin to a first time buyer but that's your call.

    Yes you will have to learn how to fix it (them) sooner or later. Tons of information out there and for most things it's fairly simple.

    Oh....and just FYI, I personally prefer AC/DC Pro over the premium.

    #6 5 years ago

    Awesome thanks for all the responses. Ill be heading to silverball this week. I definitely think i want to learn to fix them, i see theres lots of youtube videos that show things and such so that will be useful.

    #7 5 years ago

    Go during a workday evening and talk to Dan.

    He will tell you everything you need to know.

    #8 5 years ago

    Best advice I can give you on Pinside, stay out of the MMR threads. Also, don't buy a NIB Stern. You might wait years for the game to be finished, if they ever finish it. Find a game you like to play and buy that.

    Buy a working machine in great shape, meet someone local to go look at it with you who knows what they are doing. Also, have a budget for a repair person, maybe $225 until you figure out how to fix simple stuff yourself. Hopefully you won't need it.

    Quoted from JaredSP:

    Hey everyone my name is Jared and im located in Marlboro NJ. I'm looking into buying my first pinball in the near future and i have some general questions as well as some more specific ones. I am right now trying to decide between two machines, The Walking Dead Pro or The Simpsons Pinball Party. Lets say im an equal fan of both properties. Obviously Simpsons is going to be a pre owned machine and over 10 years old. First question, for someone like me who really knows nothing about maintaining and repairing pins how important is it for me to lean toward a new machine over an older one. Do pins usually need lots of repair? The pin will get normal at home use.

    Next im a novice pinballer and of course im hoping to get better over time i dont see myself ever really being a great player or anything like that. Which machine do you guys think will be better for the amateurs and more enjoyable. Yes i know the Walking Dead isnt out yet so its probably hard to judge this but some incite would be great.

    I was reading on the forum about the Walking Dead machine and people are talking about The Code. I'm not sure what they are referring too when they mention this. Is the machine not final when its released? Are they easy to update? What does the code do for the machine and how does it change things?

    Last question (for now) In regards to if i do decide to go with the Walking Dead, am i hurting myself by not getting the LE version. Is the LE version going to be that much of a better machine where its worth spending the extra $$. I read on sterns site all the additional feature and really most of them i have no clue what they even mean. I do like the idea that i can get the pro pretty soon and the LE is going to be a bit longer. The art on machine doesn't concern me at all, i actually really like the art on the pro. But in the future if i were to be looking to sell it am i going to have a problem because people will only be seeking out the LE versions and the pros will be super easy to find and cheaper.

    Anyway i appreciate all your input and look forward to hearing what you guys have to say. Hopefully this is the first of many posts to come from me as i have been lurking here for a while and i really love this site.

    Thanks
    Jared

    #9 5 years ago

    Code is never complete on any machine its one of everyone's pet hates but at the moment part of buying a pinball.

    TWD LE has acres more extras that look worth it....... maybe sold out but worth a look.

    Don't worry about resale value try and buy one that you will keep even then you will probably sell it.

    If you want practice to become better at shots I found T3 pretty good to practice on and hone your skills.

    Be careful as pinball is an addiction you can't just buy one lol.

    #10 5 years ago

    I have owned both older (restored) games and new games. My older games were at least 10 years old at the time I purchased and needed more TLC to keep them running. I had no skill or knowledge so usually I had to pay someone to fix them plus more downtime. So while older games are cheaper, they can be more expensive in the way an older car can be. Now that may not always be the case, but it's a possibility.

    I have one game I bought new from Stern (Pirates of the Caribbean) and it's 7-8 years old now and it looks and plays 100% like new and I have not had one single thing break on it. This may be the far extreme but it has been good to me. So I have tended to be more towards newer machines but I have bought 2 newer pins that were 1 and 4 years old and so far have been less trouble but both of those pins were not without issues which I needed to have a friend fix which did involve soldering and a great about of trouble shooting.

    So, bear in mind if you are buying a used pinball machine it may look great but you have no idea if it's going to have an issue.

    I have bought 4 new pins in the last 2 years (XMLE, Tron, STLE, and IM). So far STLE and IM have been 100% trouble free and Tron had one small issue which requires soldering (was just a string of lights that were out). XMLE has had some minor issues, needed a new aux. board and needed a new flipper assemble. But Stern was there 100% with service even way after the warranty was over.

    My new pins are too new to say if they will be as trouble free as my PotC but it's nice to have new pins and I'd pay extra. I mean if I had the choice of buying a used IM VE or a new one, I would pick the new one unless I was saving at least $500.

    You can get much better deals buying a used game like AcDc premium or XMLE than when they were new, like saving $1000-$2000 so in that case it's better to buy a slightly used one.

    As far as the code goes, it's very easy to change. Here is a video from pmWolfe (a Pinsider) that shows exactly what to do. (note you have to download the code first onto a memory stick and that may take some trial and error until you can figure it out but it's not difficult). There are also videos that show you step by step how to unbox and set up a pin just google Stern pinball setup video.

    #11 5 years ago

    Finally, with Stern. The code is what rules the game what makes the scoring and how to progress to solve the game and get to the wizard modes and runs the sound effects and the lighting and whatnot.

    So Stern has the habit of releasing a game with very bare rules or ones that need quite a bit of work to be really fun or without bugs or errors.

    It's not a problem for all, in fact a novice player might not know what's what. I had Pirates and really didn't know there was an update for many years. But I didn't actually know what the rules were.

    So look on 'Pinball News' (site) they have some nice reviews and include rules for many games like Tron, IM, SM, Potc. Some games may be too old to have full reviews or too new. Or they may not get around to the rules of the game. I fined it's fun to read the rules of the various games especially ones I am interested in buying to see if I they are fun and challenging.

    Now, on a new game from Stern like TWD it may be very bad for 5 months, it may get an update then that makes it ok and it may take another year or more for it to get another major update. So you are looking at 6-18 months where the rules may be bad. Also Stern may never fix the rules if there is a bug. You never know. But with a game like Tron, SM, IM, TSPP etc.. they are done and have been updated very well. .

    There are a few things, I am not 100% sure if I like about on TWD. My advice is to play some on the real game before you buy it. Its safer to buy Metallica pro or IM VE because they have been out and are well liked. It is possible that TWD could end up like something that is not well liked and may not be easy to sell if you turn out not to like it because there are going to be a lot of owners who want to sell it also. I am not trying to discourage you from buying TWD but at least I say play a real game before you buy one.

    As for LE or Pro. I think it's a personal decision. I have 3 (LE or Premium) and they have nice touches like painted legs and better lighting effects. But my IM (which is a basic pro and Tron pro) are two of my favorite pins, I like them every bit as much as STLE. I do like STLE in the better side rails and lights but you can add painted legs and side rails to a pro, it costs some money but that's also what you are paying extra for with the LE. I find with my LE's I don't mod them as much so I'm not spending money on top of money. With the pro like Tron I spent like $800 in mods and can spend another $800 if I want. With IM VE so far it's still 100% stock except for a shaker.

    #12 5 years ago

    My opinion, Simpsons pinball party can be a mega pain in the ass to work on with multiple flippers and play fields. Start with an easy game with a simple lay out and just two flippers.

    #13 5 years ago

    I'm curious about why you've narrowed it down to those two titles? If you think you'll only end up with 1, you're probably wrong. And why start with such an expensive title? Before I had a machine, I felt that I would only be getting one, and I better make it a good one. Ended up buying a cheap High Speed, which despite being a simple game, I've played roughly 2000 times. Now I'm slowly working my way up. You can always sell.

    No one is going to be able to give you any good advice about TWD, but realize that people have complained about the code for nearly all of the last several Sterns - in some cases for as long as 18 months after release. I personally would never buy NIB unless it was a game I'd already played extensively, and knew I'd love it. It's just too much risk for me. You'll be losing hundreds, possibly thousands if you don't like it and want to sell.

    I think TSPP is a great game, but I didn't start appreciating it until I became much better at pinball. It's a pretty machine, great theme (for some), and a layout that feels different - but when I was a noob, it wasn't rewarding to play *at all*.

    Like others have said, you're going to need to learn how to fix stuff yourself, regardless of what age game you get. For older games, what matters is who had it before you, and how well they maintained it. You might be buying from someone who just rebuilt most of it, in which case, you're not going to have issues. Meanwhile, I just talked to an operator friend of mine who said that he's bought 10 NIB, and Tron was the only one that didn't have problems when he took it out of the box.

    Most of the things that go wrong are pretty easy to fix - clean this, replace that. It will seem daunting at first, but once you do everything once - it won't be a big deal.

    Let us know what you get!

    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from JaredSP:

    Awesome thanks for all the responses. Ill be heading to silverball this week. I definitely think i want to learn to fix them, i see theres lots of youtube videos that show things and such so that will be useful.

    All those recent Sterns will be pretty reliable. If you can turn a screwdriver and occasionally handle a soldering iron you should be fine. Welcome to the obsession

    #15 5 years ago

    I agree, that you might not want to start out with a $4-$7K pin right off. I had T2 and BOP as my first two and if you can get two pins you will have both variety and something to play if one is out of order.

    Even the best pin (alone) will get boring. I have 7 and I play them each intermittently. Tron could be my favorite but I could not play it for a few weeks and when I come back it's more fresh. I imagine if I only had one I'd be bored after a while.

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