Hello all. I hope to begin diversifying my collection in the near future with some earlier solid state machines and am seeking some advice from the collective on which combination I should consider. I've narrowed it down to four that I really like, but due to space constraints, I'll only be able to purchase two anytime in the next few years. I've put some time on all of them, but some more than others and haven't had any of them available to really play regularly so I'd really value input from anyone who's owned some combination of them. Primarily interested in similarities, longevity in a smaller collection, accessibility to guests, etc. Looks and price differences don't really matter much to me (I guess I would say Paragon is the best looking but I consider each to be beautiful). Some specifics:
This is a long-time wanted game of mine and an admitted front-runner for me. Love the theme, lower playfield, multiball, etc.
Didn't think I would care much for this one before playing it, but ended up really enjoying it. Seems to be a good number of things to do and I tend to enjoy games with captive balls for whatever reason. Wife really hates the way it looks though due to the "interesting" artistic choices made with the center of the playfield. It would be a tough sell to her.
Beautiful, challenging, great sounding, and a lot of people seem to love it, but honestly I feel I enjoyed the play less than the other games on this list. Its also the one I've played the least on this list though, so that may have something to do with it.
Here's where the "ish" comes in. A bit of an outlier on this list since its not a widebody, has a ramp, and is a bit newer than the others. That said, its close enough for my purposes. It's also the one I've probably spent the most time on (it's addictive to me). I really enjoy the sounds when I've played it, but kinda wondering if they would eventually get a bit grating after I've had it for awhile.
In an effort to avoid a bunch of "Have you tried Centaur?" responses, yes, I've also played and do enjoy other oft-recommended games from this era (Centaur, Fathom, Medusa, EBD, FG, etc.), but for various reasons have narrowed it down to these four for the time being.