(Topic ID: 196354)

The real deal in modern day pinball: AFM Remake.


By kpg

2 years ago



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  • 195 posts
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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by MK6PIN
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50
#1 2 years ago

I debated even starting a new topic about AFM Remake, but I simply had to.

Some of you guys may remember my issues I had with my Ghostbusters LE, including playfield ghosting and chipping and my crusade to get Stern to finally replace the playfield. Well, after a contact to the Illinois Attorney General, I was shipped my playfield the very next day after the AG sent them an email. Kudos to Stern for making it right though, the replacement playfield was immaculate and I ultimately was made whole.

Ok, back to AFM Remake. Well, one more thing - keep in mind I decided to trust buying a NIB Stern again, and bought an AS Premium. Great game, artwork, and it's fun. I like it and have been playing it since it arrived, while waiting for my AFMR to arrive. Remember, I paid $7K delivered for it.

Ok - so AFMR LE arrives today. Nicely packed box with a wooden topper box up top.

I get the legs on and lock the head into place and do a visual inspection. Wow... they absolutely KILLED this remake. It immediately felt much more sturdier and well done then MMR. I can't explain it- but the fit and finish of the cabinet, playfield, backglass, etc is just amazing. The black powder coat really adds to the overall package.

THIS is what an LE at $8200 should be like! THIS is what these new pinball prices should get you.

Moving onto the topper. Yep, at $8200 it comes with a topper which is great in itself. The difference is the fact this isn't some lame ass topper- it's an insanely SICK topper. Very well built, very very nicely presented. This topper I think would be easily worth the $500 Stern charges for half-ass toppers. It's beautiful, and it really is the best topper I've ever seen.

The LED light show andmotorized alien has to be seen in person to enjoy.

I fired the machine up and it's just overall a better built machine than not only MMR, but any recent Stern I've played - including BM66 Super LE for $15K. That felt like an IKEA cabinet off Craigslist compared to this!

The playfield is easily much nicer then any Stern I've had, including AS Prem. The toys on the playfield with their color changing LEDs and motorized aliens and everything else just made modern Stern's seem so cheap- like a Prius vs a Mercedes Benz S-Class.

The super wide hi-res DMD is just pure awesomeness. The LED lit speakers are very cool and integrate into the gameplay so well. The speakers themselves and the sub sound like a Pinball Pro or Flipper Fidelity sound is pre-installed. The backglass LED flashers. The mirror blades. And the topper.. yeah that again... holy crap the entire package is just superb value and build quality. Sure it's not a new theme - BUT it's pure value and real American built pride in it.

Let me also tell you just how heavy it is- it felt like twice as heavy as AS Prem. I don't know why that is, but it's a huge difference in weight and sturdiness. This feels like a real Bally-Williams game... just brand new.

I have to commend PPS and Chicago Gaming for hands down building an epic remake of one of the best pinball machines ever made. From the extra value addons, topper, LEDs, mirror blades, etc. I truly felt for the first time since I got into the hobby of purchasing pins that I truly got what I paid for, and then some.

I know I've compared and mentioned Stern here... but if you guys at Stern are listening and reading this, go get yourself an AFM LE and see what a REAL $8k+ pinball machine feels like. I don't care about you being in business for 30 years, what PPS did and CGC manufactured here is a quality pinball machine that is so much better built and worth the asking price then Stern has EVER made. Don't take that the wrong way and be offended... id just love to see if Stern could make a machine that felt even 10% as well built and packed with features at that price.

I'm so impressed with what I bought for that money, it will now be hard to spend that on another Stern NIB. It just doesn't seem right after seeing what a really well built pin that AFMR is. At the end of the day no matter how fun a game is, you should be getting the build quality and features of a game at the current NIB asking prices.

19
#3 2 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

a quality pinball machine that is so much better built and worth the asking price then Stern has EVER made. Don't take that the wrong way and be offended

ummm.... yeah, Stern. DO NOT take this blatant negative criticism and disrespect of your entire team's hard work and good-willed career efforts over the last 20 years, that have only been intended to create something fun, the wrong way.

or, be offended.

cute.

#4 2 years ago

I played afmr locally at tilt about a week ago and was amazed. I'm not a fan of remakes in general but in this case I may make this my next purchase. Jr

#5 2 years ago

Nice, I've played AFMr CE nand it was awesome, very high quality love the display.

I'm not sure if I'd go as far as saying it's better and worth the asking price more than *any* Stern. This is the whole B/W crowd that says no Stern has ever been any good.

I'd ask you to look at Tspp, LotR, SM, PotC all of which came at half the price of AFMR LE.

I'm not saying those pins are *better* but they are very nice with lots of toys.

I have owned Potc for 10 years and it looks 'like new' and that's not just an anomaly I've seen several huo PotC that look as good you'd swear they were super low play examples but they are 10 years old.

#6 2 years ago
Quoted from bigehrl:

ummm.... yeah, Stern. DO NOT take this blatant negative criticism and disrespect of your entire team's hard work and good-willed career efforts over the last 20 years, that have only been intended to create something fun, the wrong way.
or, be offended.
cute.

So making money has no intent within the Stern business model?

12
#7 2 years ago

Lol @ "the real deal in MODERN DAY pinball: a 22-year old pinball machine."

These remakes are not competing with new games like Star Wars or dialed in. They are competing with a game that was produced during Bill Clinton's first term. And they are competing with other remakes. And it's a total matter of opinion if afmr is winning or losing that competition.

Enjoy your game though, nobody should be disappointed after spending $8200 on a pinball machine, so I'm glad you aren't.

-7
#8 2 years ago

It definetly seems as CGC has built a better product in AFMr than what Stern was able to do with MMr.

As for comparing a remake to something new, I personally EXPECT the remake to be much better since almost zero is psent on developing a new game and they have over 20 years of knowing issues from the identical games being on route.

Honestly, my only issue with the remake at this stage is the pricing. When you have non-licensed themes and are just remaking something, the prices need to come down. Keep in mind the originals still play far superior to any of the remakes thus far. The originals also have the benefit of being eaiser to troubleshoot and maintain.

#9 2 years ago

I had your exact same feelings when getting my Dialed In. Just comparing it to the Stern games I have recently purchased. It's a night and day difference.

Awesome that your Ghostbusters problems got worked out and you love your AFMr.

I also got to play some games on AFMr at Tilt and it really is very well done.

Brian

12
#10 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Keep in mind the originals still play far superior to any of the remakes thus far. The originals also have the benefit of being eaiser to troubleshoot and maintain.

ALL the original MM, AFM and MB machines I have ever had access to around here played like 20yr old machines - worn, tired and mushy. I got to play AFMr at pintastic and enjoyed the fresh/new experience immensely. I don't have the capacity/skills/desire to do a restore on a old machine, so NIB remake is a great option for me.

AFMr arrives this week, I hope.

/We'll see about long term/maintenance concerns in a few years

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from markp99:

ALL the original MM, AFM and MB machines I have ever had access to around here played like 20yr old machines - tired and mushy. I got to play AFMr at pintastic and enjoyed the fresh/new experience immensely. I don't have the capacity/skills/desire to do a restore on a old machine, so NIB remake is a great option for me.
AFMr arrive this week, I hope.

It does not really take much to learn how to do a flipper rebuild, re-sleeve the coils on mechs, and put on fresh rubber. Sorry that the ones you have access to are poorly maintained and congrats on getting a new one. I suggest learning how to do the basics now that you will have 3 games. If you play them with any regularity then I can promise you will enjoy them more if you can do the basics.

On the plus side, learning how to work on them I have found helps with my play.

#12 2 years ago

I completely agree.Chicago Gaming is kicking ass.

15
#13 2 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

Well, after a contact to the Illinois Attorney General, I was shipped my playfield the very next day after the AG sent them an email. Kudos to Stern for making it right though, the replacement playfield was immaculate and I ultimately was made whole.

I wouldn't be so quick with the kudos. They didn't take it upon themselves to take care of this because it was the right thing to do. They ran you around in circles for more than a year, making promises that they didn't fulfill. In the end, you got your new playfield because they were afraid of the government.

Quoted from CrazyLevi:

These remakes are not competing with new games like Star Wars or dialed in. They are competing with a game that was produced during Bill Clinton's first term.

Dialed In is a game changer-- JJP continues to push the envelope with the technology. Star Wars on the other hand... well, it's not *horrible*, but it's nothing that couldn't have been produced during the Clinton administration.

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

On the plus side, learning how to work on them I have found helps with my play.

Fully agree. My JP is tuned to perfection, love working this and GoT as much as playing them. Tweaking is not a problem. I guess my comment was more related to restoring an older machine - playfield, cabinet, paint, etc. I just do not have space for anything more than lifting the playfield.

15
#15 2 years ago
Quoted from markp99:

Fully agree. My JP is tuned to perfection, love working this and GoT as much as playing them. Tweaking is not a problem. My comment was more related to restoring an older machine - playfield, cabinet, paint, etc. I just do not have space for anything more than lifting the playfield.

It's not that hard to make a 20 yr old machine play like it's brand new. In fact, it's quite easy.

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

It's not that hard to make a 20 yr old machine play like it's brand new. In fact, it's quite easy.

Yeah, took me a couple hours to get my AFM dialed in when I bought it a few years ago.

AFMr on the other hand appears it would take a bit of work. I played an AFMr all weekend in Buffalo and it had some odd issues that would need to be addressed by any serious player or collector, and/or suffer in comparison to the original Attack From Mars as shipped by Williams.

Flippers: Alignment and feel are way off. This is an issue on all the XXXXrs I've played. Why are the flippers so shallow and the stroke so short? Is this something that can be adjusted easily? For games like MMr and AFMr where shooting up the middle is such a key shot, why are they shipping these games so side shots are easier and later than they are supposed to be, and shooting up the middle is so much more difficult than it should be? The flippers take some getting used to, regardless of alignment. I know it's been said before, and lustily shot down before, but these sure aren't the same as WPC-95 flippers. The feel is weird, really the only way to put it.

Martians: the afmr martians barely jiggled at all. What's up with that? Is it a power setting? This is one of the defining features of AFM and I'd want it to work exactly like the original.

Xenon strobe: They are obviously using a different system, LEDs or something. Doesn't flash like the original strobe and projects a really weird blinding checkerboard pattern onto the playfield underneath the saucer. The Xenon strobe effect on the original works much better.

Inserts: We all know about this one - the insert strobe on AFMr is terrible. It's difficult at times to see which lights are solid and which are flashing.

Diverter- the lock diverter on the AFMR jutted out significantly from the wall. This means that unlike every single other AFM I've ever played, lock shots rejected if they weren't perfect rocketed in shots from the right flipper. Other shots would reject and head back toward the dangerous right outlane area. Between the flipper alignment and the diverter, backhanding that shot from a trap - easy on AFM - wasn't something I was even going to try.

You can see the martian issue here 20 seconds or so into the video (and of course the LED strobing issue). Mostly it's just an excuse for me to post a clip of myself kicking ass, but seriously, what's up with the martians? I could barely tell which ones I needed to hit.

#17 2 years ago
Quoted from markp99:

Fully agree. My JP is tuned to perfection, love working this and GoT as much as playing them. Tweaking is not a problem. I guess my comment was more related to restoring an older machine - playfield, cabinet, paint, etc. I just do not have space for anything more than lifting the playfield.

making a 20plus year old machine play like new is as simple as stripping and cleaning the whole thing, fresh rubber, flipper rebuilds, and then cleaning mechs and re-sleeving.

If I am slamming I can do a known machine in 1 day or at worst a full Sat and Sunday.

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from bigehrl:

ummm.... yeah, Stern. DO NOT take this blatant negative criticism and disrespect of your entire team's hard work and good-willed career efforts over the last 20 years, that have only been intended to create something fun, the wrong way.
or, be offended.
cute.

I don't think the OP is bashing sterns work over the past 20 years. He's simply critiquing the quality issues they have been having over the past year or so. Just because stern was the only producer of pinballs for a period of time doesn't mean they can just start making games that fall apart within a month of use. What stern needs to do is own up to the issues and address them head on with concrete solutions. Hearing about people struggling to get stern to replace playfields certainly sours potential NIB buyers like myself.

#19 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Flippers: Alignment and feel are way off. This is an issue on all the XXXXrs I've played. Why are the flippers so shallow and the stroke so short? Is this something that can be adjusted easily? For games like MMr and AFMr where shooting up the middle is such a key shot, why are they shipping these games so side shots are easier and later than they are supposed to be?
Martians: the afmr martians barely jiggled at all. What's up with that? Is it a power setting?
Inserts: We all know about this one - the insert strobe on AFMr is terrible. It's difficult at times to see which lights are solid and which are flashing.

Agreed on the flippers. On every MMR and AFMR I've played the flippers just felt "off" compared to the originals. The timings are off and it is harder to shoot up the middle (and easier to hit the side shots).-Are there any flipper timing or power adjustments in the settings to correct this? I really like the looks of AFMR but I think a well maintained original is a better playing machine.

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Yeah, took me a couple hours to get my AFM dialed in when I bought it a few years ago.
AFMr on the other hand appears it would take a bit of work. I played an AFMr all weekend in Buffalo and it had some odd issues that would need to be addressed by any serious player or collector, and/or suffer in comparison to the original Attack From Mars as shipped by Williams.
Flippers: Alignment and feel are way off. This is an issue on all the XXXXrs I've played. Why are the flippers so shallow and the stroke so short? Is this something that can be adjusted easily? For games like MMr and AFMr where shooting up the middle is such a key shot, why are they shipping these games so side shots are easier and later than they are supposed to be, and shooting up the middle is so much more difficult than it should be? The flippers take some getting used to, regardless of alignment. I know it's been said before, and lustily shot down before, but these sure aren't the same as WPC-95 flippers. The feel is weird, really the only way to put it.
Martians: the afmr martians barely jiggled at all. What's up with that? Is it a power setting? This is one of the defining features of AFM and I'd want it to work exactly like the original.
Xenon strobe: They are obviously using a different system, LEDs or something. Doesn't flash like the original strobe and projects a really weird blinding checkerboard pattern onto the playfield underneath the saucer. The Xenon strobe effect on the original works much better.
Inserts: We all know about this one - the insert strobe on AFMr is terrible. It's difficult at times to see which lights are solid and which are flashing.
Diverter- the lock diverter on the AFMR jutted out significantly from the wall. This means that unlike every single other AFM I've ever played, lock shots rejected if they weren't perfect rocketed in shots from the right flipper. Other shots would reject and head back toward the dangerous right outlane area. Between the flipper alignment and the diverter, backhanding that shot from a trap - easy on AFM - wasn't something I was even going to try.
You can see the martian issue here 20 seconds or so into the video (and of course the LED strobing issue). Mostly it's just an excuse for me to post a clip of myself kicking ass, but seriously, what's up with the martians? I could barely tell which ones I needed to hit.
» YouTube video

Awesome stack man..... but your right about the issues u mentioned..... still great shooting on that ball.

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from drsfmd:

Star Wars on the other hand... well, it's not *horrible*, but it's nothing that couldn't have been produced during the Clinton administration.

I would hate to see the price tag for those LED screens during the Clinton administration... or the RGB inserts/GI for that matter.

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Martians: the afmr martians barely jiggled at all. What's up with that? Is it a power setting? This is one of the defining features of AFM and I'd want it to work exactly like the original.

It must be something wrong with this machine? they look weak and powerless, and sad.

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from Axl:

It must be something wrong with this machine? they look weak and powerless, and sad.

It was the "and sad" that got me!

#24 2 years ago

Really hoping that their next game is Big Bang Bar or KingPin

#25 2 years ago

They barely jiggled on the one I played too.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from Cappi:

I would hate to see the price tag for those LED screens during the Clinton administration... or the RGB inserts/GI for that matter.

They are incorporating some peripheral technology that didn't exist then, but it's not "innovation".

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from drsfmd:

They are incorporating some peripheral technology that didn't exist then, but it's not "innovation".

The real innovation these days is rulesets. Lyman and Dwight have gotten a lot better at game coding in the past 25 years!

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from Axl:

It must be something wrong with this machine? they look weak and powerless, and sad.

No, it was like that on the one at pinburgh as well. Levi is spot on with the differences.

10
#29 2 years ago

If I was going to send a pile of money to anyone for a pinball machine, it would not be to Stern. Thanks for the review.

#30 2 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

The real innovation these days is rulesets. Lyman and Dwight have gotten a lot better at game coding in the past 25 years!

That only applies to code that's actually complete.

#31 2 years ago

I'm happy you're diggin the new pin, I know i'd love to have one of these someday. Subjectiveness and percentages aside, I guess it comes down to what's real deal in everyone's mind.

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

The real innovation these days is rulesets. Lyman and Dwight have gotten a lot better at game coding in the past 25 years!

Some people would argue after GB and SW that rules might be getting more complex but not 'better'

#33 2 years ago

The aliens can be boosted to be quite intense and loud when maxed in the system settings. Default is really subtle. Same thing with the strobe light, on max it's pretty blinding. I also found the need to raise the flippers from factory alignment a bit.

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

The real innovation these days is rulesets. Lyman and Dwight have gotten a lot better at game coding in the past 25 years!

Depends on what you enjoy about "rules" I think pinball rules peaked in 1990, and have been pretty much become worse since.

15
#35 2 years ago
Quoted from tamoore:

Depends on what you enjoy about "rules" I think pinball rules peaked in 1990, and have been pretty much become worse since.

Rules on games like TWD, GOT, WOZ and maybe even DI are leaps beyond anything from the 90s

#36 2 years ago
Quoted from Eskaybee:

Rules on games like TWD, GOT, WOZ and maybe even DI are leaps beyond anything from the 90s

To you. To me, they're not. There are just more of them. They're not better.

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from tamoore:

To you. To me, they're not. There are just more of them. They're not better.

Better may be a subjective term but I think rule-sets today are a lot more exciting than games of the 90's. More risk/reward and stacking ability and just a lot more depth and breadth overall. I think late 80's System 11 games are more exciting than games of the 90's as well as they have really exciting and difficult jackpots and have lock stealing strategies when playing multiplayer.

#38 2 years ago

This is good to hear! I can't wait for my AFMLE to arrive......

15
#39 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

These remakes are not competing with new games like Star Wars or dialed in. They are competing with a game that was produced during Bill Clinton's first term. And they are competing with other remakes.

If I buy a 2017 AFMLE from Chicago Gaming and don't buy a 2017 machine from (any other company), you can be damn sure it's competing with "modern" games.

Your logic is not sound.

16
#40 2 years ago

Guy starts a thread about why he thinks a game is great = people come in saying why the game sucks. At least everyone is keeping Pinside threads consistent these days.

Levi made some good points, but game set up and adjustments can make a difference. I played AFMr at Pintastic, and thought it felt pretty damn good...and a very pretty game. The Martians were jiggling all over the place on that game. And thanks Gorilla...I knew someone would post a response to all the critique that makes sense. A pinball game has.......settings?

Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

The aliens can be boosted to be quite intense and loud when maxed in the system settings. Default is really subtle. Same thing with the strobe light, on max it's pretty blinding. I also found the need to raise the flippers from factory alignment a bit.

Enjoy your game KPG, I'm sure it's nice and you're having fun with it. For those that prefer or own the original AFM, enjoy that too. It's all pinball....and it's all good.

#41 2 years ago

When they start remaking games from the 50s and 60s, then that will be the real deal in modern day pinball.

#42 2 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

When they start remaking games from the 50s and 60s, then that will be the real deal in modern day pinball.

Your avatar is freaking me out. It's like a cross between Chucky and Charles Xavier, or maybe The Ancient One from Dr. Strange.

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Inserts: We all know about this one - the insert strobe on AFMr is terrible. It's difficult at times to see which lights are solid and which are flashing.

I've heard this complaint before, and I've also heard people insist it's easy to fix with settings. I need to see in person myself I guess, I hope it's that simple.

#44 2 years ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

Your avatar is freaking me out.

Really? lol.

Hugo (resized).jpg

#45 2 years ago
Quoted from bigehrl:

ummm.... yeah, Stern. DO NOT take this blatant negative criticism and disrespect of your entire team's hard work and good-willed career efforts over the last 20 years, that have only been intended to create something fun, the wrong way.
or, be offended.
cute.

Facts are the facts....he's 100% on point...although I don't see a big difference between the MMRLE and AFRLE builds.

#46 2 years ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

Guy starts a thread about why he thinks a game is great = people come in saying why the game sucks. At least everyone is keeping Pinside threads consistent these days.

Don't forget the pile on Stern bashing. No pinside thread is complete without it.

#47 2 years ago
Quoted from smokedog:

Don't forget the pile on Stern bashing. No pinside thread is complete without it.

It's not like they've done anything to deserve it......

11
#48 2 years ago
Quoted from smokedog:

Don't forget the pile on Stern bashing. No pinside thread is complete without it.

Stern (resized).jpg

#49 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Flippers: Alignment and feel are way off. This is an issue on all the XXXXrs I've played. Why are the flippers so shallow and the stroke so short? Is this something that can be adjusted easily? For games like MMr and AFMr where shooting up the middle is such a key shot, why are they shipping these games so side shots are easier and later than they are supposed to be, and shooting up the middle is so much more difficult than it should be?

Everyone I have talked to says they flip identical to original but I find that shots on both MMr and AFMr are way late compared to my originals and the MB I play that sits next to them on location. Just played one at GEX a few days ago and I couldn't hit the force field at first. If I aim at the lock, I hit the left ramp. The flippers on the originals feel much snappier. Is there a power setting to turn them down or something? Do they have 11629s in them?

11
#50 2 years ago

Maybe if people with deep pockets stopped buying NIB games like ice water in hell, we wouldnt be in this situation where 8500 buys you half asset games that fall apart quicker than a house of cards.

Sad that were exctied for what we ALWAYS should have been getting instead of what this community is willing to settle for to "have the new Shiney toy first" or to "have my dream theme, no matter how bad it is...but this is it after this...."

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