(Topic ID: 160371)

Which Stern pinballs have the best theme integration?


By pninja005

3 years ago



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  • 55 posts
  • 39 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Nevus
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 3 years ago

After a long time booted some of the Stern oldies like LOTR, BDK and Sopranos today.

Wow, had a blast to play these again, they are really masterpieces with perfect theme integration.

What other Stern pinballs do you believe have the best theme integrations?

#2 3 years ago

TSPP
LOTR
STLE
MET
ACDC
TRON
...

#5 3 years ago

Stargazer

#6 3 years ago

I think they all have done a great job.... Ripleys should receive honorable mention

#7 3 years ago

Most I can think of do a good job of theme integration. I can't say Tron is any better than IM or XM is any better than SM. Hard to quantify what is better or worse.

Perhaps if you guys can give me an example of a pin that has bad theme integration I could understand it better.

#8 3 years ago

Wheel of Fortune and World Poker Tour.

Many people don't like the themes on those games, but there's no denying how incredibly well integrated they are.

#9 3 years ago
Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

Wheel of Fortune and World Poker Tour.
Many people don't like the themes on those games, but there's no denying how incredibly well integrated they are.

Agreed for WoF, but not completely for WPT (which I own). The reason why I am partially disagreeing is you are never playing against an opponent in WPT, which is a essential Poker feature... WPT has a great ruleset, theme integration is good but not exceptional.

TWD and LOTR are high on this list

(and TSPP is cool)

#11 3 years ago

I would agree TSPP. Was the first one to pop in my head.

#12 3 years ago

Yup, TSPP for sure. #1 IMHO.

#14 3 years ago

Seawitch: has a round orbit shot that mimics being in a pipe while surfing. Babes riding big spiky fish near the ocean. Very realistic.
Nine Ball: has a bank shot that you cannot make from the flippers directly that mimics actual billiards shots. Has a wizard who can harness electricity with his fingertips, again just like in a typical pool hall.

-mof

#15 3 years ago

Wrestlemania. The gameplay perfectly replicates the mind-numbing tedium of watching professional wrestling.

#16 3 years ago

TWD.

The pinball design totally immerses oneself into fighting zombies; it is hard, fast, and unforgiving of bad shots.

The shots include so many show elements; barn, prison, well walker, cdc, tunnel, arena, bicycle girl, woodbury, food, weapons, aid, etc. Modes include terminus, horde and last man standing. Add the fish tank and crossbow as well. Even stepping back and looking at it from a generic zombie theme point of view, the pin is very strong.

Many note the DMD dots are the best of any pinball to date and I agree. Lots of zombie action and gore.

Get to Horde or one of the other wizard modes and you will see one of the best programmed and most adrenaline producing experiences in pinball with pretty much perfection on sound, images and GI interaction.

Sounds have no theme integration stock but many members here have provided amazing sound files to use. One member is a sound engineer and has place hundreds of sound bites carefully to match shots, modes, clips, etc. Amazing. And others have done well enough to have many fans as well.

Aftermarket support for mods is huge and there are lots of ways to customize the pin.

A unique layout and Lyman coding has produced a fantastic pin for theme integration and play using the various sound options available.

#18 3 years ago

Tron is probably my fav

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from Cobray:

Tron is probably my fav

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#20 3 years ago

From all the ones ive played..... Id say Tron for total package is ahead sofar my opinion

#21 3 years ago

The theme integration was fine. It had good dots and good call outs, it just wasn't a good full package game. Too many mechanical problems.

#22 3 years ago

Tron
TWD
LOTR
TSPP

...and hopefully Ghostbusters

#23 3 years ago

Another vote for Tron. Honorable mention for TSPP. Good theme integration, I'm just not a huge fan of the game.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from pninja005:

After a long time booted some of the Stern oldies like LOTR, BDK and Sopranos today.

Sorry, but Stern "oldies" are Stars, Big Game and Flight 2000.

#25 3 years ago

Austin powers
Family guy
Sopranos

#26 3 years ago
Quoted from pninja005:

After a long time booted some of the Stern oldies like LOTR, BDK and Sopranos today.
Wow, had a blast to play these again, they are really masterpieces with perfect theme integration.

BDK has "perfect" theme integration? Why the hell is there a crane on the playfield?

#27 3 years ago

I very much question many people's judgement of good game versus good theme integration. There are some terrific games listed here, but just because the game is terrific doesn't mean its theme integration is any good.

#28 3 years ago

Ironman!

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

I very much question many people's judgement of good game versus good theme integration. There are some terrific games listed here, but just because the game is terrific doesn't mean its theme integration is any good.

Good point.
So what's theme integration?
mof

#30 3 years ago

From Stern: Tron & LOTR really nail it.
From Bally/Williams: TAF and IJ are also well integrated.

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Good point.
So what's theme integration?
mof

Taking the assets of the game's theme and implementing them into gameplay in a way that makes you actually feel involved with whatever the theme is.

The best example I can think of is America's Most Haunted. AMH uses the balls and toys in very innovative ways, to make each ball feel like a character in a story. For example, in the doctor mode, one of your fellow ghost hunters gets trapped in the morgue with the doctor ghost (this is shown on the playfield by the ball getting trapped in saucer behind the door). Another ball is launched out (you) as you try to save your friend. You bash the ghost to distract him (the ghost toy then looks forward right at you and makes remarks directly to you the player), and then you hit the door to damage it while he's distracted. The ghost then snaps back to looking at the door and makes more comments. You repeat this process until you bust down the door, and as you're doing so your partner who is trapped in the morgue is making comments back at you. That's just illustrating one mode of the many in the game, and each integrates the theme and makes you feel involved with the game's story and world in similarly innovative ways.

So an example of a game in this thread that's been brought up a lot that I can't seem to find good theme integration in at all, Tron. What about the features in Tron have anything to do with the Tron element they're suppose to represent? Like if Quorra multiball didn't say Quorra on it, how would you know it has anything to do with the character Quorra? You're not interacting with the game in any special way that relates to the character, you're just playing a multiball. I find all the modes/multiballs in Tron to be similarly detached from the theme. Don't get me wrong, Tron is an incredible game, I just can't find any way that it represents the qualities of good theme integration.

#32 3 years ago

Most Stern's have nice theme integration. I would put LOTR, Tron, XM, TSPP on the top tier. GOT toward the bottom.

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

I very much question many people's judgement of good game versus good theme integration. There are some terrific games listed here, but just because the game is terrific doesn't mean its theme integration is any good.

For example, POTC. Great game, pathetic theme integration. No music, sound effects, or voice from the movie. The playfield artwork isn't even related to the film. It's a generic pirate theme game with potc backglass and cab art.

#34 3 years ago

TWD for sure - you actually feel like you are in a battle for your life against the Zombies!!!

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from T7:

TWD for sure - you actually feel like you are in a battle for your life against the Zombies!!!

Friend of mine who owns the game said this too. I need to spend more time on the premium

#36 3 years ago
Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

I find all the modes/multiballs in Tron to be similarly detached from the theme. Don't get me wrong, Tron is an incredible game, I just can't find any way that it represents the qualities of good theme integration.

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#37 3 years ago

Give quality evidence and explanation then I'll be happy to agree with you.

#38 3 years ago
Quoted from mattster:

For example, POTC. Great game, pathetic theme integration. No music, sound effects, or voice from the movie. The playfield artwork isn't even related to the film. It's a generic pirate theme game with potc backglass and cab art.

If POTC had better artwork, had used some voices from the movie and a few other minor tweaks it would be an incredible game. I like it as it is even with its "flaws" but it could be even better. If the next movie does well at the theaters I wonder if we could see a VE version?

LOTR is my favorite and TSPP not far behind as far as game integration. Great playing games as well. I actually think Williams did a better job of game integration on STTNG than Stern did on ST. But that could be my bias coming out that I liked the TV show of Next Gen better than the movies especially Into Darkness which I found very disappointing.

#39 3 years ago
Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

Wheel of Fortune and World Poker Tour.
Many people don't like the themes on those games, but there's no denying how incredibly well integrated they are.

WPT? There's a lot of shit in that software that doesn't remind me of poker. Bombs dropping on the DMD for one.

#40 3 years ago
Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

Taking the assets of the game's theme and implementing them into gameplay in a way that makes you actually feel involved with whatever the theme is.
The best example I can think of is America's Most Haunted. AMH uses the balls and toys in very innovative ways, to make each ball feel like a character in a story. For example, in the doctor mode, one of your fellow ghost hunters gets trapped in the morgue with the doctor ghost (this is shown on the playfield by the ball getting trapped in saucer behind the door). Another ball is launched out (you) as you try to save your friend. You bash the ghost to distract him (the ghost toy then looks forward right at you and makes remarks directly to you the player), and then you hit the door to damage it while he's distracted. The ghost then snaps back to looking at the door and makes more comments. You repeat this process until you bust down the door, and as you're doing so your partner who is trapped in the morgue is making comments back at you. That's just illustrating one mode of the many in the game, and each integrates the theme and makes you feel involved with the game's story and world in similarly innovative ways.
So an example of a game in this thread that's been brought up a lot that I can't seem to find good theme integration in at all, Tron. What about the features in Tron have anything to do with the Tron element they're suppose to represent? Like if Quorra multiball didn't say Quorra on it, how would you know it has anything to do with the character Quorra? You're not interacting with the game in any special way that relates to the character, you're just playing a multiball. I find all the modes/multiballs in Tron to be similarly detached from the theme. Don't get me wrong, Tron is an incredible game, I just can't find any way that it represents the qualities of good theme integration.

The ball in Tron represents the identity disc, programs, and light cycles.

When the ball is shot into the spinning disc, it's literally flung back at you, similar to the disc battle in the movie. Light cycle multiball and Quorra multiball are similar battles that follow the movie fairly closely.

Tron as a theme is executed spectacularly.

#41 3 years ago
Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

Wheel of Fortune and World Poker Tour.
Many people don't like the themes on those games, but there's no denying how incredibly well integrated they are.

I knew you would be involved with this thread the second I saw it!

I'll go with simpsons

#42 3 years ago

BBH
all the bits you need are there ( except the chicks! )

#43 3 years ago

LOTR, TWD and maybe GB (I need more time on it to be sure).

#44 3 years ago

LOTR and TSPP, no doubt.

Can't think of a better theme integration than getting the fellowship past Balrog over the Moria bridge or modes like Homer's Day.

#46 3 years ago

I would have to say Tron and Star Trek because of the music and sounds. All of Stern's machines have good theme integration but for me the sounds are what really set the machines apart. Tron with Daft Punk and hundreds of hours programming sounds for Star Trek. Sorry but shitty beast and hillbilly did not make the cut.

#47 3 years ago

In TSPP's Bart's Day mode... You shoot Springfield Elementary, Kwik-e-mart, the treehouse, then TV. For Homer's Day, it's the power plant, Moe's, the garage, and the couch. That's theme integration!

#48 3 years ago

Lots of good theme integrations by Stern.

Mustang too. Fast, fun, & bitchin' - just like the car!

#49 3 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

WPT? There's a lot of shit in that software that doesn't remind me of poker. Bombs dropping on the DMD for one.

Bombs dropping on the DMD? It's been a while since I've played a WPT, but I don't remember that happening. Where's it at in the game?

Quoted from Mudflaps:

The ball in Tron represents the identity disc, programs, and light cycles.
When the ball is shot into the spinning disc, it's literally flung back at you, similar to the disc battle in the movie. Light cycle multiball and Quorra multiball are similar battles that follow the movie fairly closely.
Tron as a theme is executed spectacularly.

I can kind of see what you mean with Disc Battle and Light Cycle, but not the others. The spinning disc throwing the ball back does very well replicate the disc battles, I hadn't noticed that before. Once you're in the multiball though, I find that it really lacks the kind of content that makes you feel like your action is progressing you to any point. Like sure hitting the disc feels like a disc is being thrown back at you, or hitting the ramps flows like riding a light cycle, but there's really not much for callouts and animations that truly make it feel like you're truly participating in a battle against opponents. I guess that's partially a limitation of using a movie license though, because it restricts them to using callouts and clips from the movie, rather than callouts and animations that are more inclusive to you the player.

Quoted from EvanBingham:I knew you would be involved with this thread the second I saw it!
I'll go with simpsons

Of course! Over analyzing theme integration and game design theory is one of my favorite pass times

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