(Topic ID: 215650)

What is John Popadiuk's Greatest game and the one CGC should do first?


By FarFromHeaven26

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by FarFromHeaven26
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“Which John Popadiuk pinball machine should CGC do first? CV, TOTAN or TOM?”

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#1 1 year ago

Preliminary indicators based on a previous press release by Chicago Gaming point to an imminent re-make of Bally's THEATER OF MAGIC. Though nothing has really been confirmed, the statement posed the term "likely." Which of Popadiuk's three big pinball masterpieces from the 90's do YOU think CGC should tackle FIRST? I believe it should be the aesthetically gorgeous and addictive CIRQUS VOLTAIRE, with the nearly equally sublime and wonderfully-themed TALES OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS a close second. For my taste TOM is a distant third, perhaps even behind Popadiuk's underrated World Cup Soccer machine. I'm curious to see how the Popadiuk votes goes here if you'd be so kind to indulge. Thank you. (I do LIKE TOM, if not on the level of the others.)

Cirqus-Voltaire-Pinball-Machine (resized).jpg

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#2 1 year ago

I vote none. There are better Williams/Bally games to remake like CC, MB, TAF, TZ, IJ.
I'd rather see BBB than anything from JPOP. His games are pretty but the rules are shallow and not fun.

#3 1 year ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

I vote none. There are better Williams/Bally games to remake like CC, MB, TAF, TZ, IJ.
I'd rather see BBB than anything from JPOP. His games are pretty but the rules are shallow and not fun.

Thank you so much for responding "luvthatapex2." We certainly have MB and CC coming and probably in that order so I am with you there passionately. I am also hog wild about BBB which could well be third. However, obviously we are not in agreement on the Popadiuk games, which I count as pinball masterpieces, and I am hoping TAF, TZ and IJ are done AFTER them. But fair enough, and I thank you.

#4 1 year ago

Post a poll.

#5 1 year ago

Personally, I would love to see Theatre of Magic. It's a beautiful game and a blast to play.

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from mof:

Post a poll.

Mop, though I am a long time pinball enthusiast at age 63 (with five pinball loving children), I am fairly new to pinside membership and am not sure how to post a formal poll. I thought I'd just add up the votes cast in this comment section, short of that.

#7 1 year ago

Let's have them finish Magic Girl first.

12
#8 1 year ago

I've owned every popadiuk game except ToM and none of 'em are worth reproducing.

WCS is fun, if basic, but they made plenty of 'em
ToM is OK, if exploitable, and they made plenty of 'em.
ToTAN is a beginner level game and gets real boring real fast - no legs at all.
CV is a 3 shot game (left orbit, RM, ramp), and a PITA to keep running on location.
SWep1 was an appropriately bad game for a pretty bad movie.

CGC is gonna do what CGC is gonna do, but IMHO any of these is a waste of time and resources.

#9 1 year ago

Just curious did you beat the wizard mode on Totan?

15
#10 1 year ago
Quoted from mof:

Post a poll.

Polls are stupid. The discussion is where the meat is.

Quoted from metallik:

I've owned every popadiuk game except ToM and none of 'em are worth reproducing.
.

This is true. The only good one in the bunch is WCS and no point in reproing a lower value game. And even that gets old.

JPop is the most overrated pinball designer in history. Most of his games are gimmick-laden and look cool, but play poorly, or at the very least get old quickly due to repetition of dull tasks and poorly balanced scoring.

Never in history has a designer got so much mileage out of such a weak track record. He parlayed 1 decent game and a bunch of average-playing eye candy into the greatest scam in pinball history and beyond.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from metallik:

I've owned every popadiuk game except ToM and none of 'em are worth reproducing.
WCS is fun, if basic, but they made plenty of 'em
ToM is OK, if exploitable, and they made plenty of 'em.
ToTAN is a beginner level game and gets real boring real fast - no legs at all.
CV is a 3 shot game (left orbit, RM, ramp), and a PITA to keep running on location.
SWep1 was an appropriately bad game for a pretty bad movie.
CGC is gonna do what CGC is gonna do, but IMHO any of these is a waste of time and resources.

Hmmm. And yet CV, TOTAN and TOM are hugely popular as can be ascertained from talking to legions of pinball fans and looking right now at the Pinside Top 100 where each sits in enviable rankings. We could virtually take down every single machine with this kind of analysis. I know several veteran pinball techs who count them as masterpieces and loads of sustained fun, but I asked for your vote and commentary and you gave it. Thank you.

#12 1 year ago

I don’t think IJ will ever get re-made.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Polls are stupid. The discussion is where the meat is.

This is true. The only good one in the bunch is WCS and no point in reproing a lower value game. And even that gets old.
JOn's the most overrated pinball designer in history. Most of his games are gimmick-laden and look cool, but play poorly, or at the very least get old quickly due to repetition of dull tasks and poorly balanced scoring.
Never in history has a designer got so much mileage out of such a weak track record. He parlayed 1 decent game a bunch of average-playing eye candy into the greatest scam in pinball history and beyond.

And again I ask then WHY oh WHY does the pinball community at large and this very Top 100 dispute this opinion? I do NOT find John Popadiuk overrated at all and believe the re-makes will sell big, but I do understand some resentment connected to other matters. I wish myself to give this man his due, and his work speaks for itself. Thank you so much for the commentary.

#14 1 year ago

"This is true. The only good one in the bunch is WCS and no point in reproing a lower value game. And even that gets old."

Every last machine "gets old." Every one. Without exception. MM gets old. MB gets old. TZ gets old. IJ gets old. AFM gets old. There is not a single machine that escapes that sighing final judgement. But we must decide which we want most in our midst with a glowing a sublime sense of permanency.

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from FarFromHeaven26:

And again I ask then WHY oh WHY does the pinball community at large and this very Top 100 dispute this opinion?

I think it comes down to what one likes in pinball. I personally do not feel Popadiuk's games play very well aside from World Cup Soccer. I think the three big ones noted in the original post stand out to some for two reasons:
1) art (they all have arguably some of the best art packages ever in pinball, at least from the 90s)
2) toys (each one has notable gimmicks)

Art isn't really important to me, and I'd take good rules and shots over toys, so for me he just isn't a designer of note. Those who value different factors will have a different result.

All that said, back to the original questions:

JPop's greatest game: World Cup Soccer (if I have to vote "big 3" then TOTAN)
The game CGC should remake: Cirqus Voltaire (rarest of the "big 3" and tied with TOTAN at the top of average pricing for JPop games)

#16 1 year ago

How much of any of those games did he actually design? I like TOM the best and I use to love CV on location, but then I owned one and it just didn't hold my interest at home. Ultimately , I agree there are better options than jpop pins. I should note as others have mentioned, that they are absolutely beautiful games. The problem (IMO) is they just aren't as fun as most of the pins produced in that era.

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

I vote none. There are better Williams/Bally games to remake like CC, MB, TAF, TZ, IJ.
I'd rather see BBB than anything from JPOP. His games are pretty but the rules are shallow and not fun.

EXACTLY. Theatre of Magic is probably his best, but it's too easy (a common theme with his pins) and the wizard mode is disappointing. Cirqus and Tales are both great to look at but are just not great pins. The pins you listed should ALL be higher priority than any of his.

#19 1 year ago

I've owned all of his games except WCS which I shopped/played a ton of. All of his games are absolutely beautiful to look at and fun to play. They have incredible flow, music and gimmicks using magnets. ALL are extremely easy to complete. After a while they become boring and repetitive to play. Some of the callouts on his games get annoying really fast. None of his games were real keepers for me. JPOP's games can still be had for about or lower than it would be to reproduce and there are other gems out there which are better candidates.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from Psw757:

I don’t think IJ will ever get re-made.

I would agree but you never know.

Seems to me they'd burn through all the narrow body games before reproing a widebody even came into the discussion, so even that discussion is many years away.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Polls are stupid

False.

Quoted from CrazyLevi:

The discussion is where the meat is.

True.

You have both to cater to all members. Not everyone posts in a discussion. However, many more will vote.

Nice try though...
-mof

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from FarFromHeaven26:

Hmmm. And yet CV, TOTAN and TOM are hugely popular as can be ascertained from talking to legions of pinball fans and looking right now at the Pinside Top 100 where each sits in enviable rankings. We could virtually take down every single machine with this kind of analysis. I know several veteran pinball techs who count them as masterpieces and loads of sustained fun, but I asked for your vote and commentary and you gave it. Thank you.

To sell really well as a remake, the originals have to be in the $8000-$10000+ range on the used market. Theatre of Magic is usually in the $6s for a nice one. TOTAN BARELY makes it in the high 7s and low 8s. Cirqus doesn't make it, stuck in the mid 6s and low 7s. I just can't see CGC giving priority to ANY of these for a long time.

#23 1 year ago

I'm appreciating the comments, votes and frank discussion, though it is presenting the "other side of the coin" from the actual ratings en masse of CV, TOTAN and TOM which present a far, far more glowing picture of each. I find nothing simple or tiring with the rule sets, at least in direct comparison with the most vaunted machines. What I do see here at PINSIDE are TOTAN, CV and TOM sitting quite pretty numerically with corresponding ratings that elaborate euphorically.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from FarFromHeaven26:

I am fairly new to pinside membership and am not sure how to post a formal poll.

Sure thing. Go to the top of your post. Look wide right at the "three dots" icon, and click that -- you can enter a poll there.

It appears Robin has effectively hidden polls from new users by using the "three dots" -- so it's not like you could have "searched" the page for "poll"...

Good luck,
-mof

3 dots (resized).png

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from FarFromHeaven26:

I'm appreciating the comments, votes and frank discussion, though it is presenting the "other side of the coin" from the actual ratings en masse of CV, TOTAN and TOM which present a far, far more glowing picture of each. I find nothing simple or tiring with the rule sets, at least in direct comparison with the most vaunted machines. What I do see here at PINSIDE are TOTAN, CV and TOM sitting quite pretty numerically with corresponding ratings that elaborate euphorically.

Nobody really takes those ratings seriously. They are a novelty and most importantly an effective and free Search Optimization Tool for pinside. I mean, isn't Maiden #1 right now? It's 2 weeks old.

Obviously, plenty of people like the JPop games. They are GREAT for newbies and for drawing people in with their gimmicks, presentation, and novelty appeal. I'm not sure if that's enough to get them remade. Seems like there would be many safer bets for the remake guys, but if their research makes them think there's money to be made, it could surely happen eventually.

#26 1 year ago

I've owned CV and ToM and played the rest. ToM to me is the most fun to play, but a very easy game. Would I pay 6k+ for a ToM? Most likely not with the code it has. CV was the fastest turn around on a game I've ever owned. I sold it after having it only a few months. I got to wizard mode every other game I played. They are beautiful games and I enjoyed playing them, but owning them for me was another story.

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

To sell really well as a remake, the originals have to be in the $8000-$10000+ range on the used market. Theatre of Magic is usually in the $6s for a nice one. TOTAN BARELY makes it in the high 7s and low 8s. Cirqus doesn't make it, stick in the mis 6s and low 7s. I just can't see CGC giving priority to ANY of these for a long time.

I use to think that would be the case, but you can't disregard the thrill someone might get for that NIB feeling and being the first to play a game. I know unboxing a game is a one time thrill, but I think some people would take a remake over an original for that very reason.

Plus the fact that hopefully, it should be years before you have any major issues.

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Nobody really takes those ratings seriously. They are novelty and a Search Optimization Tool for pinside.
Obviously, plenty of people like the JPop games. They are GREAT for newbies and for drawing people in with their novelty appeal. I'm not sure if that's enough to get them remade. Seems like there would be many safer bets for the remake guys.

Levi, certainly no more seriously than any comment YOU or I or anyone else make on this thread and others. hahaha. If you look at the ratings and the ensuing comments you will find many gave it their observational, analytical and passionate all in assessing their positions. So yes, in a fair sense I can afford each each pinsider their due.

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

To sell really well as a remake, the originals have to be in the $8000-$10000+ range on the used market. Theatre of Magic is usually in the $6s for a nice one. TOTAN BARELY makes it in the high 7s and low 8s. Cirqus doesn't make it, stuck in the mid 6s and low 7s. I just can't see CGC giving priority to ANY of these for a long time.

Vireland, I see CV as consistently the most expensive of the three at Mr. Pinball, E bay and other outlets. We are talking semantics with 6K, 7K and 8K (or higher), as basically all THREE MACHINES are well within the CGC re-make wheelhouse if they decide to move forward. CONDITION dictates just how high each machine will go.

-1
#30 1 year ago
Quoted from Honch:

I use to think that would be the case, but you can't disregard the thrill someone might get for that NIB feeling and being the first to play a game. I know unboxing a game is a one time thrill, but I think some people would take a remake over an original for that very reason.
Plus the fact that hopefully, it should be years before you have any major issues.

Unfortunately with JPop's designs the thrill is gone real fast because they're just too easy for even middling players. I can't see someone being thrilled spending $9000 for a JPOP LE remake for very long. I really can't see CGC doing any of them. The economics just won't work out for a long time, especially if another pin bust is coming (as it likely has to).

#31 1 year ago

None. They are all average or below average pins.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from FarFromHeaven26:

Vireland, I see CV as consistently the most expensive of the three at Mr. Pinball, E bay and other outlets. We are talking semantics with 6K, 7K and 8K (or higher), as basically all THREE MACHINES are well within the CGC re-make wheelhouse if they decide to move forward. CONDITION dictates just how high each machine will go.

The "wheelhouse" is $8k-$10k for CGC historically. Depending on machine, they are either not in the wheelhouse at all, or just barely in it, holding on by their fingernails. Do not see it happening. And if it does, do not see them selling well at CGC prices.

-1
#33 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

The "wheelhouse" is historically $8k-$10k for CGC historically. Depending on machine, they are either not in the wheelhouse at all, or just barely in it, holding on by their fingernails.

Exactly, and my contention remains that a collector's condition CV, TOTAN and TOM are right now in the 8K range at least. Hence according to CGC's mission each of the three qualifies for a re-make at the present time, what with their projected commitment to at least six more.

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

He parlayed 1 decent game and a bunch of average-playing eye candy into the greatest scam in pinball history and beyond.

I am currently wondering if I'm going to see my Alien money again. I'm not sure JPop is the holder of the "Greatest Scam" title at the moment.

Sorry, I haven't yet washed away the bitter taste.

-1
#35 1 year ago
Quoted from romulusx:

Just curious did you beat the wizard mode on Totan?

Beat it every time I got to it, which was pretty often. No-brainer mode, just plunge balls and hit switches. Actually, you can make it a challenge if you deliberately try to not win, and instead stretch it out for more points.... but not really worth the time. Correction, the entire game isn't worth the time

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

None. They are all average or below average pins.

Hahahahaha this is hysterical!!!!

Pinside #14 Tales of the Arabian Nights
Pinside #16 Theatre of Magic
Pinside #23 Cirqus Voltaire

With hundreds/thousands of passionate pinsiders offering their informed views, well I'll choose to just laugh!! Average or below average?! Tell that to the pinsiders.

12
#37 1 year ago
Quoted from FarFromHeaven26:

Hmmm. And yet CV, TOTAN and TOM are hugely popular as can be ascertained from talking to legions of pinball fans and looking right now at the Pinside Top 100 where each sits in enviable rankings. We could virtually take down every single machine with this kind of analysis. I know several veteran pinball techs who count them as masterpieces and loads of sustained fun, but I asked for your vote and commentary and you gave it. Thank you.

Pinside top 100 is voted on by collectors, not players. Here's a question for you: how often do you see ANY Popadiuk game used in competition? WCS94 is pretty popular, but that's it - the rest are turds and suck for competitive play.

Quoted from FarFromHeaven26:

Every last machine "gets old." Every one. Without exception. MM gets old. MB gets old. TZ gets old. IJ gets old. AFM gets old. There is not a single machine that escapes that sighing final judgement. But we must decide which we want most in our midst with a glowing a sublime sense of permanency.

I've owned my AFM and TZ since 1999. I've bought and sold Popadiuk's entire resume during that period. Yea, all games get old after a while, but some have *very* short shelf lives.

-3
#38 1 year ago
Quoted from metallik:

Pinside top 100 is voted on by collectors, not players. Here's a question for you: how often do you see ANY Popadiuk game used in competition? WCS94 is pretty popular, but that's it - the rest are turds and suck for competitive play.

Collectors and players are in a sense interchangeable. Impassioned players in large measure collect and collectors are mostly players albeit in domestic surroundings. I stand by the pinsiders who have proven themselves knowledgeable and articulate.

My post was published to talk about future CGC releases not to access the nature and intricacy of pinball competition.

#39 1 year ago

I can not wait to buy a remake ToM. This has always been one of my favorite games since it came out and a lot on location are beat, don't work exactly right, or have the trunk disabled (the one at Free Gold Watch last week fit into the last). ToM is a great game but if the example is not good, it plays poorly.

Regardless of the ratings and thoughts of pinsiders, Jpop games have much more visual interest than most games out there. CGC will easily remake these games because they will sell. If you know nothing about pinball, you will buy based upon the looks and the feeling it evolves. If they do any modest updates similar to AFMr, pinsiders will buy to get the upgrade.

#40 1 year ago

If I was 63 I would grab what is available now and enjoy it. I don't think I would want to be in my 70's waiting for a remake of CV or TOTAN.

#41 1 year ago
Quoted from metallik:

Pinside top 100 is voted on by collectors, not players. Here's a question for you: how often do you see ANY Popadiuk game used in competition? WCS94 is pretty popular, but that's it - the rest are turds and suck for competitive play.

I've owned my AFM and TZ since 1999. I've bought and sold Popadiuk's entire resume during that period. Yea, all games get old after a while, but some have *very* short shelf lives.

Yeah to each is own in that regard. That is why I never discuss shelf life on these threads as they are so subjective and worthless.

#42 1 year ago

WCS is my favorite one. Pinside ratings aren't a perfect measure of how good the game is. I blasted WCS for its cartoon dog and sports theme but gave it great marks for the gameplay. All of JPOPs other games have much better looks and themes.

Obviously WCS '94 would be dumb to remake. Let's see TOTAN, that's a spectacle that would look the prettiest all lit up I think.

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from Kiwipinhead:

If I was 63 I would grab what is available now and enjoy it. I don't think I would want to be in my 70's waiting for a remake of CV or TOTAN.

Touche Kiwipinhead, now THAT is admittedly sage advice!!!!!

We do own four though now: TAF, Elvis, MM and Gilligan's Island.

#44 1 year ago

I was expecting to find 43 responses of 'Magic Girl'.

#45 1 year ago
Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

I was expecting to find 43 responses of 'Magic Girl'.

If they got it working I would probably be in. It looks amazing.

#46 1 year ago
Quoted from FarFromHeaven26:

Collectors and players are in a sense interchangeable. Impassioned players in large measure collect and collectors are mostly players albeit in domestic surroundings. I stand by the pinsiders who have proven themselves knowledgeable and articulate.

The collectors who buy JPOP games are not interchangeable with "impassioned players." The latter favor exciting games with good rulesets, which is exactly the opposite of what JPOP produced. There is a market for JPOP games among newer players and those who favor art more than anything else, but I don't think that market is big enough for a repro. OTOH it seems that "pinside-top-100" folks like you tend to have deep pockets, so perhaps you'll get your CVR after all.

#47 1 year ago
Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

I was expecting to find 43 responses of 'Magic Girl'.

LOL, I knew Magic Girl would be broached on this thread when i posted it.

#48 1 year ago
Quoted from metallik:

The collectors who buy JPOP games are not interchangeable with "impassioned players." The latter favor exciting games with good rulesets, which is exactly the opposite of what JPOP produced. There is a market for JPOP games among newer players and those who favor art more than anything else, but I don't think that market is big enough for a repro. OTOH it seems that "pinside-top-100" folks like you tend to have deep pockets, so perhaps you'll get your CVR after all.

Notice Metallik, I did NOT nor WILL NOT downgrade your answer as you did mine (above) as I am seeing this as a civil discussion. Not sure how or why Jersey Pinball was brought in as my post was solely to access the viability of titles being posed or considered by Chicago Gaming as part of their re-make schedule. CGC is of course aiming at the collector's market, which in turn is fueled by on-location pinning dating back decades. I've played DIALED IN, TWOZ and THE HOBBIT many many times and appreciate their challenges and aesthetics and furthermore fully ascertain their appeal in competition, but I am looking at a full picture here, i.e. what do some of us want to own in our home collections based on a consideration of a number of factors, all of which can be accessed in pinsider game ratings.

#49 1 year ago

One year PAPA had a WCS in every division, A, B, C. It's a great game in competition.

I put my TotAN in the MAGFest (was a PAPA circuit event this past year) bank two years ago and it kicked everyone's ass. I don't think anyone even put up a high score. If you think it's "too easy" then you don't have it set up correctly.

I've played ToM and CV in competition as well and it's way different than just grinding away at it in your home. Once I cleared the wizard mode in ToM I ditched it due to the massive letdown but it was always fun to play. I ditched WCS94 because we had it in league. I still have CV & TotAN and neither one is leaving. Haven't made the wizard mode in either one yet either.

TotAN is most likely remake IMHO due to the lack of complex mechs aside from the multiball start.

#50 1 year ago
Quoted from FarFromHeaven26:

Notice Metallik, I did NOT nor WILL NOT downgrade your answer as you did mine (above) as I am seeing this as a civil discussion. Not sure how or why Jersey Pinball was brought in as my post was solely to access the viability of titles being posed or considered by Chicago Gaming as part of their re-make schedule

I didn't "downgrade" your post, I simply disagreed completely with your opinion. I also never mentioned Jersey (Jack) Pinball. Please pay attention if you want to carry on a civil discussion.

Quoted from bjsilverballs:

I've played ToM and CV in competition as well and it's way different than just grinding away at it in your home. Once I cleared the wizard mode in ToM I ditched it due to the massive letdown but it was always fun to play. I ditched WCS94 because we had it in league. I still have CV & TotAN and neither one is leaving. Haven't made the wizard mode in either one yet either.

Not sure how you haven't made wiz mode in TOTAN yet, but if it challenges you, that's all that matters. The modes are extremely low scoring, so wishing away two at once with a ruby+bazaar a couple times makes for a quick trip to the end.

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