(Topic ID: 223923)

The best and worst Gottlieb Premier System 3's


By lostlumberjacks

9 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 54 posts
  • 37 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by TheLaw
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 9 months ago

    There has been a lot of bad pinball machines made in the last 50 years and the gottlieb system 3's are generally considered the worst made, but they also made some decent games. Rate your best and runner up, and worst and runner up. Only system 3 not system 80 ; ) From Lights Camera Action to Barb Wire. I don't get on here much but thought this would be fun to see what peoples opinions are.
    Best for me would be Stargate with Big hurt in second. And worse for me is Shaq Attack with Mario Andretti in second.

    #2 9 months ago

    For me Gladiators.Was thinking Stargate is the best what I played but Gladiators for me is better.May be because it's similar with Sword of Fury,which lilke so much.Music,DMD,action,4 flippers,several modes.
    Stargate with it's "shoot the pyramide",hate this.

    #3 9 months ago

    Stargate for me is the best. One that does not get alot of love is Street Fighter 2. Personally I like it.

    #4 9 months ago

    Best I’ve played is Stargate, but I’ve also liked Waterworld and Freddy.

    Super Mario Brothers is pretty bad

    #5 9 months ago

    Don't really like any of the System 3 DMDs much aside from Cue Ball Wizard. The late alphanumerics are better-designed games, though they tend to suffer much more from horrible art. I don't have great deal of experience, but so far Cactus Jack and Class Of 1812 would win here.

    #6 9 months ago

    Forgot about cue ball wizard. That’s definitely the worst one. Haha

    #7 9 months ago

    Teed off ( I will be listing one soon )

    #9 9 months ago

    Stargate, then Big Hurt, then probably Freddy.
    worst is probably Shaq attack.

    #10 9 months ago

    I will graciously excuse myself from this thread...

    #11 9 months ago

    Cue Ball Wizard is half decent, just really cheesy and shallow.

    #12 9 months ago

    Waterworld and Stargate are the best. Shaq Attack is the bottom although I have only played it a handful of times.

    #13 9 months ago

    Stargare, gladiators, wipeout. Best. Street level, worst

    #14 9 months ago

    Got the Stargate who is the best Gottlieb syst3 also played Waterworld but don't like it and Mario bros too who is just good enough by is look.
    Played Light Camera Action, Cue Ball, Gladiator, Big hurt, Wipe-out, Teed off, Bones Buster, Cactus Jack and Class of 1912 on pincab and the second best one is Big Hurt...3rd Gladiator, then Class of 1812, Cue Ball, Cactus Jack, Teed off, Waterworld, Lights Camera Action, Wipe-out, Mario Bros, Bones Buster...never played Street Fighter or Freddy but they might be as good as many Data East or Sega pinballs.

    #15 9 months ago

    Stargate and Big Hurt are both a lot of fun. Normal people LOVE Super Mario Bros. Rescue 911 SUCKS!

    #16 9 months ago

    worst is class of 1812, cactus jacks and freddy the rest are good games

    #17 9 months ago
    Quoted from Arcadefan:

    worst is class of 1812, cactus jacks and freddy the rest are good games

    Class of 1812 is awesome and not a System 3. I think the alpha numeric premier games were better (for the most part) than System 3.

    #18 9 months ago

    I think the alphanumeric System 3s are probably the best.

    Class of 1812 is an absolute blast with lots of little humor bits, as is Cactus Jacks. Operation: Thunder has some creative timed modes, Lights Camera Action has a TON of one off features. Surf ‘n Safari is just plain fun. Music is great, and the theming is creative. It’s what System 80B should’ve been. Plus, the alphanumeric games don’t have that obnoxious “stop and choose your reward” feature that really breaks up the gameplay.

    The street level games are kinda in a league of their own. I really appreciate the playfield layout experimentation in that era, plus their rarity kinda adds a layer of allure to the games. They say Silver Slugger is the best, but I have a feeling that’s only because it’s the only one anyone has really played.

    Of the DMD games, I think Stargate is objectively the best player, Super Mario may be the most collectible (simply due to theme), but I *really* enjoy Wipeout. I think Gladiators would’ve been a home run had they kept it a Zelda game.

    The rest are pretty bottom of the barrel, imho.

    #19 9 months ago
    Quoted from Frippertron:

    Class of 1812 is awesome and not a System 3. I think the alpha numeric premier games were better (for the most part) than System 3.

    It is awesome.... but yeah, it's a System 3. At one point or another, I have owned every System 3. 1812 is still my favorite, even though it is left ramp all day long.

    #20 9 months ago
    Quoted from ralphwiggum:

    It is awesome.... but yeah, it's a System 3. At one point or another, I have owned every System 3. 1812 is still my favorite, even though it is left ramp all day long.

    I think I just confused the hell outta myself don't know why I was thinking it had to be DMD to be a System 3 when I know Surf N Safari is a Sys. 3. Oh well, brain fart. SNS is awesome, by the way. How about a fun game not many people have played, World Challenge Soccer. So much fun! It's a Car Hop layout with ramp, wire forms and bells and whistles.

    #21 9 months ago

    I have a World Challenge Soccer and it is refreshingly different game to play. Not great, not bad. Pump up the goal value and then go to town. I will probably keep it for a while.

    -3
    #22 9 months ago

    For the record, System 80B is worse than system 3. But Waterworld is pretty good, as well as Big Hurt. Cue Ball Wizard is pretty bad.

    #23 9 months ago

    I've never had a class of 1812 but it looks interesting. I do have a uncut nos translite for it. A lot of people like Freddy but I did not!

    #24 9 months ago
    Quoted from lostlumberjacks:

    I've never had a class of 1812 but it looks interesting. I do have a uncut nos translite for it. A lot of people like Freddy but I did not!

    1812 is just good, simple fun. It's funny, has great ramps, an awesome spinner, drop targets which lead to hurry-ups, and a great two ball multiball (shoot the ball!) MILLIONS! Just don't take it too seriously and you will enjoy it a whole bunch.

    #25 9 months ago

    Best - all of the 6 street level series of games, Surf and Safari, and Class of 1812.

    Worst - this is the easiest pinball question in existence.
    Rescue 911..with STF2 a not so distant second.

    #26 9 months ago

    People give System 3s a lot of hate. True, they're not the best games, but that's mainly because of the rules. The playfield designs were creative and different. Much more interesting playfields than Williams/Bally and Data East games of the same period. But those games had better rules so they were more fun to play. I'd say the best is Stargate (great rules) and the worst is Cue Ball Wizard (too basic).

    #27 8 months ago

    Big Hurt and Stargate are the best of the system 3's. Shaq Attack is terribly underrated, as it has pretty balanced scoring, fantastic super jackpots at the moving basket launching off a mini ramp, mini playfield with 4 drop targets and 2 mini flippers, and a spinning disk, a spinner way at the back of the playfield, a vari target and best of all, a separate basket counter display for a variation in gameplay...but hate on..keeps them cheap.

    The worst is hands down Waterworld, which is a shame but it's a total dud. I wanted to love this game, but the rules are pathetic, and the shots are a snooze. Kilos of pure dirt? Shoot the deez? Snooze.

    #28 8 months ago

    Stargate hands down is the best.

    And everybody please, you can turnoff almost all of the instructions speach before each ball. Read the instructions on the apron.

    Awesome rules that can be tweaked in the settings. When playing nice with snappy flippers it is an amazingly fun game.

    I want a Water World. and a Barb Wire........
    I’m sick, I know.

    Not sure what’s worst but there are some real turds.

    #29 8 months ago

    Hands down best is ~ Class of 1812 Todd Tuckey's favorite game!

    Worst IMHO is ~ Caribbean Cruise "man overboard" every 2 seconds is worse than the Stargate "shoot the pyramid" lol

    #30 8 months ago

    Startgate is the best. Visually it's a beautiful work of art, but it really isn't fun to play IMO. The worst is Shaq Attack. I've tried to play it 3 or 4 times and never got through a single game without walking away.
    All of the system 3 games are bad in one way or another....

    #31 8 months ago

    Anyone try lightning flippers on Stargate? How were the shots?

    #32 8 months ago

    The main problem is most of these games play beyond easy with that super long flipper stroke that will catch a ball and cradle it without even trying.

    I've played most of them, and Stargate and Waterworld are two of the most lackluster as far as playing enjoyment for me.

    Rescue 911 and Wipeout are kind of fun.

    Gladiators is very easy but is a good, fast flowing, fun game.

    Barb Wire is really fun, but the ball has a habit of flying off the ramps and riding down the plastics and kind of making it's own path where to go.

    Big Hurt is probably the best of the bunch with a complete layout, and several fun modes. The swinging glove and home run shot are what separates this one from the rest

    #33 8 months ago

    Water world, Freddy, Stargate,and Shaq are not that bad. Barb wire, cactus jack, Gladiators, and Mario andretti are pretty bad.

    #34 8 months ago

    It's really surprising how opinions vary across this board. Some say so and so is bad, others say it's great.

    I promise WaterWorld is not great, it's actually really really bad. It had potential if the code was better, but it is extremely dull to play, and many shots are not even worth shooting for or don't do a hell of a lot. It's one of the worst pins of the modern DMD era.

    If you have a Shaq attack set up properly with strong flippers, the game is a blast to play, especially with friends.

    Big Hurt is the one of the bunch that has elements in it to keep you coming back. It's not an easy pin to wizard on, and the moving glove keeps track of how many hits it takes, and the grand slam or hole for the homerun never get old, I mean never. It is a super satisfying shot.

    #35 8 months ago
    Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

    Big Hurt is the one of the bunch that has elements in it to keep you coming back. It's not an easy pin to wizard on, and the moving glove keeps track of how many hits it takes, and the grand slam or hole for the homerun never get old, I mean never. It is a super satisfying shot.

    And would probably cost $7000+ if they made it today.

    #36 8 months ago

    Stargate is the best.
    I had a World Challenge Soccer and a Street Fighter II, and I liked SFII a lot better than WCS. I'm not sure if I would place WCS lowest though. Some street level games can be fun, but a bit boring in the longer run as well(?). Hard to say when you've played all system3 games, but only owned a few of them. But one thing I'm sure of: Stargate is the best

    1 week later
    #37 8 months ago

    I just don't get the love for SG, it's interesting...but crowded, clunky...odd.........for me...Freddy is easily the best.....find one in great shape and it's a mix of FH and TFTC.....

    #38 8 months ago

    Sonic, I've had a Freddy twice and I don't get it at all. I would put it among the bottom 5 gottliebs. I still think the gottlieb sys 3 are under valued. Todd Scott

    #39 8 months ago

    I have owned 1812, stargate,911,and Street Fighter. That is the order I would rank the ones I have owned. 1812 was the best by far.

    #40 8 months ago
    Quoted from lostlumberjacks:

    Sonic, I've had a Freddy twice and I don't get it at all. I would put it among the bottom 5 gottliebs. I still think the gottlieb sys 3 are under valued. Todd Scott

    See but I'm a sucker for oddball pins that make little sense....for example - love Junk Yard....Freddy is a cool atmosphere pin....and I like the weird layout....I put one in a drive-in I own just a few months ago and it immediately became top earner - consistently - over R911, MSF, DEJP, IM-VE, and BF.....some pretty decent pins in that lineup....DE-JP has always been the best earner until Freddy....

    1 month later
    #41 6 months ago

    I have a Rescue 911... I like the game... Easy Rules to follow for even beginners... Most of the shots are not too hard but require some skill... has a good 2 and 3 ball multiball... the Helicopter is a cool feature... has good ramp shot.. DMD is not the best on some animations, but it is ok... Life Force mode is cool when you get it... I heard there is a SUPER LIFE FORCE but have never gotten it...

    #42 6 months ago

    There are so many of these I've still not played, I can't really be comprehensive.

    In terms of best, Stargate on the DMD side for me. Alpha-numeric Hoops I feel has the best rules. Silver Slugger is the most flow layout from the era I've played, and I enjoy that one.

    Worst ones for me were Barb Wire (the one I played was purportedly restored but felt practically unplayable, so this may be more the specific game than the design) and Super Mario Bros. I found pretty dull (however, I did think Super Mario Bros. Mushroom World was an entertaining little game).

    My overall assessment of System 3 likely mirrors many others. Great deal of layout experimentation (not EM era levels but more than the other SS manufacturers were doing), but compromised by generally poor rule design (competitive rule balance was not a priority of Premier) and of course the unpopular flipper mechs.

    #43 6 months ago

    Best ive played was Stargate, worst was Mario Bros. I have found that most that I have played to be in horrible working condition, I have a Barbwire that played perfectly (everything works as it should) its not my favorite of them all but has some really good shots but seems to have an incomplete code (rushed code) it was there last production game.

    #44 6 months ago
    Quoted from DennisK:

    and of course the unpopular flipper mechs.

    huh? I love gottlieb flipper feel, and the mechs aren't anything ridiculous.

    #45 6 months ago
    Quoted from Grandnational007:

    huh? I love gottlieb flipper feel, and the mechs aren't anything ridiculous.

    It isn't universal of course, but a lot of people feel the flippers allow trapping up too easily. It's not that the mechs are specifically poorly made, but how they play is a common complaint (in discussions with area tournament players I actually hear about the flipper dislike more than the game rules, I assume because the flippers were universal and the rules complaints vary game by game). Does it stem from more people being familiar with the WMS/DE style? Could be. They're my least favorite, and I've wondered if it's just because they feel so different to me from what I was already used to.

    Would be an interesting poll to know the overall view. I've been fairly curious about why Gottlieb shifted to that flipper design (which I think hit just before System 3 with Bone Busters).

    #46 6 months ago

    I have a huge soft spot for 80b and system 3. I have played all of them. Best is Stargate by a ways. Gladiators is next. The two worst playing imo is teed off and Super Mario but they are both cool as hell to me. Andretti is my least favorite of all of them, and mostly because of theme. I'm a sucker for most of them.

    #47 6 months ago
    Quoted from DennisK:

    It isn't universal of course, but a lot of people feel the flippers allow trapping up too easily.

    to be fair, they are called "catch-alls" afterall...

    I've played some BRUTALLY set up sys3's; any side-to-side action was basically assured death. Without the flippers being as they were, I'm not sure it would have been "fun". It was basically sling, sling, unsaveable power outlane.

    #48 6 months ago
    Quoted from Grandnational007:

    to be fair, they are called "catch-alls" afterall...

    I never heard that before! Interesting.

    I do own a couple System 3 pins, and agree completely with your remark about side-to-side brutality. In fact, when I got Hoops, I was disappointed because the game was playing very long and easy. I looked and saw the prior owner completely extended the back legs. I dropped those back down, and all of a sudden it was side-to-side madness (and a much better playing pin, in my opinion).

    #49 6 months ago

    I know in the Bone Busters flyer, which was the first production game with the new flipper design, they actually advertised the longer throw on the flippers. Even as far back as "Goin' Nuts" Gottlieb always seemed to produce games for the casual player: Easy multiballs, and rules that give everyone equal opportunity to get all the awards. I can't help but think they designed their flipper to make playing easier as well.

    I think I saw somewhere that you could exchange system 80(b) coil stops for system 3 coil stops to shorten the throw of the thin flippers, making balls harder to catch. Sometimes I see people adjust the resting point way way low, so while the throw is the same distance, they don't extend as far upwards. The problem with that method though is the wicked ball hop that's associated with the mod.

    Either way, I don't think that they're terrible. Just different, and you absolutely have to adjust your timing when playing a System 3 game.

    #50 6 months ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    I know in the Bone Busters flyer, which was the first production game with the new flipper design, they actually advertised the longer throw on the flippers. Even as far back as "Goin' Nuts" Gottlieb always seemed to produce games for the casual player: Easy multiballs, and rules that give everyone equal opportunity to get all the awards. I can't help but think they designed their flipper to make playing easier as well.
    I think I saw somewhere that you could exchange system 80(b) coil stops for system 3 coil stops to shorten the throw of the thin flippers, making balls harder to catch. Sometimes I see people adjust the resting point way way low, so while the throw is the same distance, they don't extend as far upwards. The problem with that method though is the wicked ball hop that's associated with the mod.
    Either way, I don't think that they're terrible. Just different, and you absolutely have to adjust your timing when playing a System 3 game.

    I did swap out the coil stops on my Tee-d Off when I had it. It did make it not quite so extreme, overall I thought it was an improvement but definitely took some getting used to playing it again.

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