Quoted from frunch:
Great post! I got a taste of Bally's early SS games at the Silverball Museum, a huge local pinball spot. Eight Ball Deluxe immediately became one of my favorite games out of their 200 +/- collection, ranging from the oldest to newest pins. I had enjoyed the game many years ago a kid, but hadn't seen or played one in probably close to 20 years! Even though i can go there and play EBD just about any time, I'm determined to add one to my collection. It's *that* good!
I've made a similar discovery lately, that i find myself more and more drawn to pre-DMD games. There are certain DMD titles i will always enjoy very much and want, but most of them cost more than I'll ever be able to justify spending (or be able to afford!)... Especially when i could get 4-5 Classic Bally titles with the same money in some cases.
Which brings me to a suggestion: if you can find any, check out Classic Stern titles from around the same generation (79-82): Meteor, Galaxy, Flight 2000, Big Game, Nine Ball, Seawitch, Star Gazer, the list goes on. They have a very similar circuit board set, and i think they have a similar solid feel as the Bally's of that era. I have a Seawitch in my collection, and it's gotten more play than my other pins ever since. Fast, solid, easy rules but difficult to master--all the things I also enjoy about the classic Bally games. I would love to add a Flash Gordon, Xenon, Fathom, Medusa, and of course Eight Ball Deluxe if i should get the opportunity. Not saying they're better than Classic Bally's by any means, just thought you might enjoy some of them as well!
As another poster said above, i also believe the lack of options forced designers to focus much more on the playfield design. Everything that can be done is available right in front of you. Shoot for the flashing or lit shots! No directions needed from the display, which keeps you watching and interacting with the game constantly. Not too many stop-and-go moments in a lot of those games, as opposed to a fair amount of DMD games. All that said, I've been surprised to discover how much depth many of these games have without so much as an alphanumeric display. The fact that *most* classic Bally's and Stern's can be gotten for under $2k in player's condition makes them an easy choice going forward with my collection.
Again, i love me plenty of DMD games...but I've really come to enjoy the simplicity and difficulty, and ultimately the *feel* of some of the classic Bally's and Stern's.
Those classic sterns play crazy fast. I'm hoping to find a nice Seawitch at some point.