(Topic ID: 296418)

What Company’s Machines Feel the Best?

By aFineMoose

3 months ago


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  • Latest reply 3 months ago by frenchmarky
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    Topic poll

    “What Company Has Made the Best Feeling Machines.”

    • American Pinball 4 votes
      1%
    • Bally/Williams 140 votes
      52%
    • Capcom 3 votes
      1%
    • Chicago Gaming Company 17 votes
      6%
    • Data East 3 votes
      1%
    • Gottlieb 4 votes
      1%
    • Jersey Jack 18 votes
      7%
    • Sega 3 votes
      1%
    • Spooky 2 votes
      1%
    • Stern 74 votes
      28%
    • Other 1 vote

    (Multiple choice - 269 votes by 226 Pinsiders)

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    #1 3 months ago

    I haven’t played much pinball, so a lot of the minutiae is lost on me. That being said, I still love the feeling of certain producers over others. What say you?

    #2 3 months ago

    stern, Bally, williams, Sega, DE and Capcom all feel about the same. JJP and AP feel weak.

    #3 3 months ago

    I would have to go with Bally/Williams.

    #4 3 months ago

    B/W unparalleled & the clear winner
    but modern sterns are crisp and durable

    #5 3 months ago

    B/W and its not close, with Stern a solid second.

    #6 3 months ago

    B/W then Stern.

    #8 3 months ago

    I enjoy the snappiness of Sterns, but Bally/Williams just feel so solid in the way that a lot of older machinery does (who cares about efficiency!?)

    As for JJP, I’ve only played a couple games, which were done zero favours by the environment, so I moved along before getting much of a sense of the machines.

    11
    #9 3 months ago

    For EM's it's Gottlieb by far. Solid state it's Bally. In the 90's B/W's. Modern games Stern.

    #10 3 months ago

    Bally Williams hands down. Even though I love SAM era Sterns, and now I've got a SPIKE Jurassic Park & a few Spookys that I really enjoy, when you start flipping a 90's B/W game...it's just the most perfect snappiest feel & the most solid builds & well thought out/executed designs.

    #11 3 months ago
    Quoted from tomdrum:

    For EM's it's Gottlieb by far. Solid state it's Bally. In the 90's B/W's. Modern games Stern.

    This

    #12 3 months ago

    I don't think many of you own or have played Capcom games. Their flippers are built like a brick shithouse, and they were the first to offer flipper power control.

    #13 3 months ago

    If your just talking about the heft/sturdy feel, I would add the OG Heighway Alien in there. Its freaking rock solid feeling compared to any of my other pins. Also there is no stupid lockdown bar that doesn't feel right, or feels wiggly or doesn't fit right etc.

    #14 3 months ago
    Quoted from metallik:

    I don't think many of you own or have played Capcom games. Their flippers are built like a brick shithouse, and they were the first to offer flipper power control.

    He’s right.
    Capcom flippers are insane. I love my Breakshot and Flipper Football. They are so damn snappy. B/W flippers eventually need a rebuild, my Capcom’s have taken a beating and the stops are obliterated and they STILL maintain the fresh, snappy power.

    I wish any modern company would buy the IP and use Capcom flipper mechs. What a great design.

    #15 3 months ago
    Quoted from metallik:

    I don't think many of you own or have played Capcom games. Their flippers are built like a brick shithouse, and they were the first to offer flipper power control.

    It's more than just the flipper feel. Compare a SS Stern to a Bally of the same era. Bally's were really well built. I love Stern Meteor but it has a cheap build quality compared to a Bally. As someone who nudges games, a Bally with it's heft plays better than a Stern which with it lighter weight would tilt a lot easier with the tilt bob being equal. Same with a Chicago Coin EM to a Gottlieb EM. Gottlieb EM's were the Cadillac's of that era.

    #16 3 months ago

    Honestly, I can find issues with all of them!

    Gottlieb EM, Williams SS, W/B DMD, Modern Stern are my picks.

    Quoted from Oneangrymo:

    If your just talking about the heft/sturdy feel, I would add the OG Heighway Alien in there. Its freaking rock solid feeling compared to any of my other pins. Also there is no stupid lockdown bar that doesn't feel right, or feels wiggly or doesn't fit right etc.

    What aboot the poster-boards for side panels and the horrible Bally lift top; uff!

    #17 3 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Honestly, I can find issues with all of them!
    Gottlieb EM, Williams SS, W/B DMD, Modern Stern are my picks.

    What aboot the poster-boards for side panels and the horrible Bally lift top; uff!

    Side panels rock! They are hardy plastic, not like these art blades that scratch if you move the playfield from other manufacturers. Look at my Wonka, came from the factory with rips in the art blade. Wont happen on the OG heighway side panels that actually light up.

    #18 3 months ago

    No I mean the physical outside of thr cabinet. Don't rhey have plastic inserts that you csn remove?

    #19 3 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    No I mean the physical outside of thr cabinet. Don't rhey have plastic inserts that you csn remove?

    Oh yes they rock man . It lights up too . Love em !

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    #20 3 months ago

    B/W

    #21 3 months ago

    Stern then B/W but I find little difference between the 2. Stern gets my pick cause of the modern lighting, code and themes. I always like the way Data East games played, it was just that shit music.

    #22 3 months ago

    My Capcom Breakshot's adjustable-power flippers were tight and snappy but the settings were not something to be vicariously toyed with or you could easily start breaking things. Very solidly built.

    For EMs Gottlieb wins for me, unless you're more into really fast playfields and DC power and then Williams was the master at that. Bally multiplayer cabinets also felt like they were built like a tank like Gottliebs.

    #23 3 months ago

    B/W is unbeatable.
    Stern shoots strong/snappy but feels like the carton cabinet is gonna collapse every time you flip, easy now

    #24 3 months ago

    I’ve always thought stern LE”s feel like a normal Bally/Williams. Which is a good thing.

    #25 3 months ago

    In my opinion it depends which models of the producers are played:
    Playing B/W often gives me a great feeling, it's the same with the old stern machines (for example RBION or LotR).
    The new sterns don't feel familiar for me.
    JJP plays absolutely smooth (especially DI), I love playing them.

    #26 3 months ago

    Nothing else 'feels' like a B/W...nothing

    #27 3 months ago

    I like each of them for their own feel. Variety makes Pinball great.

    For example, my 1977 Gottlieb Centigrade 37 would be strange if it played like a WPC.
    Here are a few more that I would not enjoy if they felt like another company’s game.

    1981 Bally Eight Ball Deluxe
    1988 Williams Banzai Run
    1993 Data East Jurassic Park
    1997 Williams Medieval Madness
    2010 Stern Spider-Man
    2013 Spooky America’s Most Haunted
    2020 JJP GNR
    2021 Stern Mandalorain

    #28 3 months ago

    There is something about playing a Bally/Williams that has been worn in. From the feel of the lockdown bar on your palms to the flippers and rubbers that feel like a worn in leather jacket(love it). I can still remember the feeling of the lockdown bar and flippers on my old I500. In terms of play I still think I prefer Stern. Why Stern? Because of the flipper mechs and the strength(nothing compares to the snappy Stern flippers). Gottlieb's are right behind Stern in terms of flipper strength and response(plus they are built like tanks). JJP is my least favorite and the weak plungers drive me crazy(need stronger springs,etc).

    #29 3 months ago

    100% B/W

    #30 3 months ago

    I like the feel of the early JJP, WOZ and Hobbit, they remind me of the B/W Superpins, strong, smooth with no vibration from the cabinet.

    More recent JJP feel closer to modern Stern, snappy and less solid when hitting the ball

    #31 3 months ago

    JJP flipper always have and still, feel like complete crap.

    #32 3 months ago

    It appears that most people responding took this as a "whose flippers feel the best", to me there's more than that to how a game feels to play include cabinet build quality, lockdown bar finish / edges, etc.

    #33 3 months ago

    cabinet doesn't effect gameplay feel. Nor does the color or finish, of your lockdown bar.

    #34 3 months ago
    Quoted from bobukcat:

    It appears that most people responding took this as a "whose flippers feel the best", to me there's more than that to how a game feels to play include cabinet build quality, lockdown bar finish / edges, etc.

    That's becasue I think most people care more aboot gameplay than cabinet craftsmanship & weight.
    My SW plays so fucking hard and smooth it's awesome, but when I shake it it does squeak a bit Doesn't matter to me becasue it doesn't involve gameplay. I've also never really cared aboot side art or faded cabs etc because it's pretty pointless to me.
    I've also never felt the edges of my machines, becasue that seems weird. But I'm not a wood worker .

    #35 3 months ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    cabinet doesn't effect gameplay feel. Nor does the color or finish, of your lockdown bar.

    Respectfully disagree. Nudging a Star Trek, The Next Generation is a completely different experience than nudging a Stern Led Zeppelin.

    #36 3 months ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    Respectfully disagree. Nudging a Star Trek, The Next Generation is a completely different experience than nudging a Stern Led Zeppelin.

    And becasue it's lighter it makes it worse? Does that make a RFM the best for nudging?

    #37 3 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    And becasue it's lighter it makes it worse? Does that make a RFM the best for nudging?

    It makes it different, which means some may prefer one experience over the other, after all "feel" is a very subjective term. You say you don't care about how lockdown bars feel or their edges but everyone was pretty un-excited about playing a game with the Pinbar and it's sharp corners / edges.

    #38 3 months ago

    Huh, never heard if a pinbar. Most current manufacturers all feel good to me with lock down bars.

    #39 3 months ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    Respectfully disagree. Nudging a Star Trek, The Next Generation is a completely different experience than nudging a Stern Led Zeppelin.

    so every widebody game is nudging different as well. How much effort you have to put into nudging has nothing to do with feel. Some games are lighter, some are heavy. How high the legs are also changes this. If the lifters are all the way up, the game is going to be unstable and more bouncy. Tilt out easier. Nothing to do with build at all.

    #40 3 months ago

    I like the heft in a B/W, they tended to not tilt as much because of that to me. Modern pins lack that "gawd, did we just carry that up three flights of stairs?" feeling.

    #41 3 months ago
    Quoted from Bublehead:

    Modern pins lack that "gawd, did we just carry that up three flights of stairs?" feeling.

    I know, it’s great.

    #42 3 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    And becasue it's lighter it makes it worse? Does that make a RFM the best for nudging?

    My machines are on carpet. Even with furniture sliders they’re very sunken into it.

    Ripley’s is easy to nudge, but the Shadow needs to be manhandled. Can’t wait until I get new floors: the Shadow needs nudging way more than Ripley’s does.

    #43 3 months ago

    I'm surprised Bally Williams isn't running away with the vote even more than it is. My second favorite is Stern, but even the snappiness of the flippers doesn't detract from the fact they feel sorta flimsy. It is hard to describe. Not to mention the weight of the machines are so light.

    #44 3 months ago
    Quoted from aFineMoose:

    Ripley’s is easy to nudge, but the Shadow needs to be manhandled..

    Huh, Ripley from the heavy era as well

    #45 3 months ago

    B/W. Just moving them around tells you something.

    #46 3 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    And because it's lighter it makes it worse? Does that make a RFM the best for nudging?

    Yes definitely subjective. I can move my JP Pro easily and make saves I simply CANNOT make on R&M because it's significantly heavier.

    #47 3 months ago

    I voted for the manufacturer that gives me a hernia when I move their pins.

    #48 3 months ago

    Oh and there was a Williams EM era I loved in the 70s as far as how the game felt in your hands. Very deep, smooth palm rail and the flipper buttons were flat but with a smooth rounded-off edge, and no bezel. The button when pressed was flush with the rail. I really loved the ergonomics of that setup on my Doodle Bug.

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