(Topic ID: 236646)

Why are MM, AFM and MB consistently ranked the top 3


By cantbfrank

9 months ago



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    #51 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    They’re the best games. Period. They’re the perfect blend of great physical design & gameplay/rules - all coded by Lyman Sheats...the master of pinball rules design. He always knows how to make a game fun for newbs, with nuance for pros. He knows how to choreograph a game. You don’t know it while you’re playing, but it’s like there’s a maestro guiding the experience.
    All the newbs talking about “depth” is getting tiresome. The term has been taken out of context and turned into a a term that = better quality. That is wrong. “Depth = fun” is a MYTH. Some deep games are very fun, like LOTR & TSPP. The depth was part of the rules being so organic to the themes and layouts. It gave these games so much to do, like an adventure, but things that made organic sense to the theme (Shoot shots to collect the fellowship characters in LOTR, for example.). Today’s so-called deep games have Rainman level math memorization & slot machine nonsense that has nothing to do with the layout or theme...modes are “shoot colored shots” rather than having any “fun” reason. Modern “depth” & rules have become sterile and mechanical. Not intuitive & satisfying like the best 90’s pins.
    I didn’t even mention the mechanical features and clever engineering. Great toys, divertors, and other clever features. Stern games just don’t have this anymore.
    Great games are timeless and forever. There’s a reason people still play Pac-Man when modern 4K gaming exists. There will never be an epiphany where the top 90’s games become “bad”.

    BOOOM!!!

    Blown the F up!!!!!!

    #52 9 months ago
    Quoted from NPO:

    Nope. Absolutely not.

    Because there is a sense of character with B/W. They don't appear to be a cheap "cash in" with their games.
    Look at how unique and different most of the PFs are. NO other PF resembles the layout of Corvette. No other game has a ramp like CFTBL with the whirlpool at the end of it and the massive loop it does with the lights on the side. Today's companies haven't released anything close to "Red and Ted" or "Rudy" from Roadshow or Funhouse.
    One innovation after another from a working gumball machine AND clock in TZ, the Thing flipper in TAF, strobe MB in AFM, mist ball in BSD, the Shadow "disappearing ball", Champion Pub's jump-roping ball - just unprecedented in comparison.
    B/W games are fricking bricks in terms of strength and build construction. Just compare their leg brackets to "today's leader" and that says it all.
    B/W has an excellent mix of licensed themes as well as unique themes. For every Terminator 2 there was a Cactus Canyon, for every Johnny Mnemonic there was a Medieval Madness, for every Doctor Who there was a Whirlwind.
    Then you have the themes that were unlicensed but "close enough" to actual licenses: AFM to Mars Attacks, MM to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, No Good Gophers to Caddyshack. They weren't carbon copies of well known media; they were unique enough that they could stand alone and become beloved.
    Then you have the really unique and different "well, let's try this!" attempts at something different. Safecracker is an excellent example of trying to appeal to a newer crowd with the board game on top, the tokens you can win, and a smaller machine packed with just as many goodies as a full-sized game. Pinball 2000 was another try at something different. I really wish SWEP1 had come out FIRST and then Revenge from Mars. That might have saved that format, but hey, at least they TRIED....!
    Finally, they are JUST FUN. I don't need a book of Chinese stereo instructions to understand how to play AFM. I plunge the ball, listen to the call-outs and figure out what to do. I don't need to choose from 27 different characters at start-up; I either play as the humans or the martians in my own mind while I complete the game. And when I play these games, they don't literally fall apart around my hands as I play, and if the boards fail, well hey, at least I have the schematics to fix them and any mods added won't "nuke the boards". They are steadfast and proven to work.
    I'll play AFM over nearly any game that comes out today. There are two games that nearly got it right: Alien and TBL. Too bad both are extremely limited to the general public.

    Yep! This pretty much sums it up for me. The only thing I might add is some of the best artwork period!

    #53 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    All the newbs talking about “depth” is getting tiresome. The term has been taken out of context and turned into a a term that = better quality. That is wrong. “Depth = fun” is a MYTH. Some deep games are very fun, like LOTR & TSPP. The depth was part of the rules being so organic to the themes and layouts. It gave these games so much to do, like an adventure, but things that made organic sense to the theme (Shoot shots to collect the fellowship characters in LOTR, for example.). Today’s so-called deep games have Rainman level math memorization & slot machine nonsense that has nothing to do with the layout or theme...modes are “shoot colored shots” rather than having any “fun” reason. Modern “depth” & rules have become sterile and mechanical. Not intuitive & satisfying like the best 90’s pins.

    Very good summary on "depth". Just having many (stage 1,2,3..) layers of shoot these flashing shots may be depth, but it certainly is not fun, more like chopping wood. LOTR was a true depth game, IMO.

    #54 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Great games are timeless and forever. There’s a reason people still play Pac-Man when modern 4K gaming exists. There will never be an epiphany where the top 90’s games become “bad”.

    There’s also a reason people play modern 4K gaming

    #55 9 months ago

    So many factors, each minor by itself, contribute to me preferring B/W games over newer sterns. But one that is often overlooked is that in many of those games there was an adversarial relationship with the game (ie. fighting the genie in TOTAN, battling the ringmaster in CV, destroying the martians in AFM etc.) You don't get that as much in the music and movie licensed games of stern. Maybe that's more a licensed vs. original concept argument but it still comes into play.

    In addition, balanced scoring goes a loooooong way with me. When single shots can be as much as your entire game it kind of makes playing the rest of the game pointless and you're just trying to set up everything for the big cash in. I like risk/reward but there should also be multiple ways to get to the end goal.

    #56 9 months ago

    The only other thing I haven't seen mentioned is that these games leave a lot to the player's imagination. When you use universally loved and well-known licenses like Stern does, the story has already been pretty much told at that point. Everybody already knows AC/DC songs. If you're a new player, you can almost bet exactly what kind of experience you're going to get even when you see that machine from across the room. It may be a good experience, but there's no real mystery there. Games like AFM offer something somewhat unknown and encourage you to continue playing to finish the story. That's why FunHouse is so beloved. Nobody had ever seen anything like it before. Even though the story was short, it was still a story that could grab you.

    #57 9 months ago
    Quoted from phoenixpin:

    I love MM, AFM and kinda sorta MB, but I’ve always wished they had actual plungers instead of a big button. It loses 1-2% charm from an otherwise high charm score from me - anyone else?

    Everyone rags on Stern for cost cutting but this is also a bit of the old cost cutting imo. Or perhaps it’s the old manual transmission vs automatic debate.

    #58 9 months ago
    Quoted from bigdaddy07:

    LOTR was a true depth game, IMO.

    "Path Of The Dead" Killed this one! Yes I know one of the best Stern games out there, I agree. I owned several of these.... all ended up out the door.

    #59 9 months ago
    Quoted from phoenixpin:

    There’s also a reason people play modern 4K gaming

    Wasn’t my point. Point: Old great games don’t become bad due to new great games. Good games are forever.

    (also in the case of pinball, new games aren’t great lol)

    #60 9 months ago
    Quoted from Pahuffman:

    The only other thing I haven't seen mentioned is that these games leave a lot to the player's imagination. When you use universally loved and well-known licenses like Stern does, the story has already been pretty much told at that point. Everybody already knows AC/DC songs. If you're a new player, you can almost bet exactly what kind of experience you're going to get even when you see that machine from across the room. It may be a good experience, but there's no real mystery there. Games like AFM offer something somewhat unknown and encourage you to continue playing to finish the story. That's why FunHouse is so beloved. Nobody had ever seen anything like it before. Even though the story was short, it was still a story that could grab you.

    very good point.

    #61 9 months ago

    A deeper rule set may make a game more of a challenge, but a deeper rule set doesn't make a game great. I like a lot of the newer Sterns, but not in a way I like those great Bally Williams titles... and I think it's because they feel cheaper, but also they just don't seem as original, fun, or playable. They take a lot longer to learn, which might be part of it, that doesn't appeal as much to the general public and more casual players, even if that's what tournament players love the most. I watch people playing pins for hours at our Northwest show every year, they line up to play the newest Sterns, they go to battle, they get frustrated, they have a quick game. Then they wander around the floor and start playing 90s pins and are laughing with their friends, talking about which games mean so much to them, etc. It's part nostalgia for sure, but there is something more that keeps people excited about a game that's 20-30 years old.

    For me what makes a game great is a fantastic integration of artwork, music, call outs/sounds, if the physical game and playfield toys feel solid and well-built, if it's fun to play for 2 minutes or 20 minutes, originality, and understand-ability. Ultimately it's a gut call if a game goes into my top 10, it's the feeling I get from the game, it's not always logical and it's a combination of a lot of factors.

    #62 9 months ago

    These games are so entrenched that who knows if anything will take them off the top3 even in 20 years they might still be at the top.

    I’m more interested in why these three and not say CFTBL / IJ / TZ / Sttng. Its hard to point out why these 3 are top and not some others.

    #63 9 months ago

    I’m pretty new to this hobby so my opinion is only from what I’ve played over the last 2yrs. I think the top 3 GOAT pins have been on top for many reasons. They are fun first of all, they have time on their side, they are all kind of easy so anyone can walk up and get to a multiball and feel a sense of achievement. When these games were made they were competing with arcade games so the art work had to look awesome to get your attention in return you would give it your money, so that led to awesome new themes not just movie or music titles like today. I do believe today’s new titles are just as good (not all) if not better depending on your skill level. I played a lot of video games as a kid(born in 1979)so I tend to like the new big tv display and feel comfortable looking up to see what I have to achieve or where I stand. I think the new display plays a big part on the older crowd (gentleman)on their opinion of the new age of pins in return reflects on the top 3 pins. One last thing, WOZ is a great pin with lots to do very deep and also fits all the criteria of the GOAT pins.

    #64 9 months ago
    Quoted from rai:

    I’m more interested in why these three and not say CFTBL / IJ / TZ / Sttng....

    Creech is easy because it's a very narrow game which turns a lot of people off.
    IJ I would assume new players find holding a ball for 30 seconds during videa modes "kills their flow."

    #65 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Wasn’t my point. Point: Old great games don’t become bad due to new great games. Good games are forever.
    (also in the case of pinball, new games aren’t great lol)

    I can agree with this. Fair!

    #66 9 months ago
    Quoted from rai:

    I’m more interested in why these three and not say CFTBL / IJ / TZ / Sttng. Its hard to point out why these 3 are top and not some others.

    Partially themes....even though they're generally good licenses, they're very focused licenses & don't appeal to everyone. Creech was "old" and not everyone cares about it or the 50's drive in theme. TZ is also an old show that not everyone was into. Not everyone was into STTNG...niche show. IJ a pretty huge mainstream one.

    Then there are the games.

    -CTFBL is probably the one 90's game I hate. The design, the awful music and sound design...everything.
    -IJ is a great IJ game, but compared to the other 90's games, it's not that great. Airballs off the drops, clunky pops area..it's just average. There's an anti-widebody contingent in game ratings.
    -STTNG is a legit phenomenal game....but, some may not like the widebody factor.
    -TZ is divisive. Some think it's the best game ever, some find it too convoluted and confusing. Again -widebody.

    MM, MB, and AFM stay at the top because they are all things for all players. Themes with zero turn-off factor. Layouts that are easy to get a hang of and know what to shoot. Awesome sound packages. Simple to understand rules, nuanced rules and goals to master.

    #67 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    They’re the best games. Period. They’re the perfect blend of great physical design & gameplay/rules - all coded by Lyman Sheats...the master of pinball rules design. He always knows how to make a game fun for newbs, with nuance for pros. He knows how to choreograph a game. You don’t know it while you’re playing, but it’s like there’s a maestro guiding the experience.
    All the newbs talking about “depth” is getting tiresome. The term has been taken out of context and turned into a a term that = better quality. That is wrong. “Depth = fun” is a MYTH. Some deep games are very fun, like LOTR & TSPP. The depth was part of the rules being so organic to the themes and layouts. It gave these games so much to do, like an adventure, but things that made organic sense to the theme (Shoot shots to collect the fellowship characters in LOTR, for example.). Today’s so-called deep games have Rainman level math memorization & slot machine nonsense that has nothing to do with the layout or theme...modes are “shoot colored shots” rather than having any “fun” reason. Modern “depth” & rules have become sterile and mechanical. Not intuitive & satisfying like the best 90’s pins.
    I didn’t even mention the mechanical features and clever engineering. Great toys, divertors, and other clever features. Stern games just don’t have this anymore.
    Great games are timeless and forever. There’s a reason people still play Pac-Man when modern 4K gaming exists. There will never be an epiphany where the top 90’s games become “bad”.

    "All the newbs talking about “depth” is getting tiresome. The term has been taken out of context and turned into a a term that = better quality. That is wrong. “Depth = fun” is a MYTH."

    100% true. If you look at all the different types or skill level of people that play pinball. I would say 2/3 fall between casual, beginner and hobbyist players. Deep rules are just confusing if you don't have the time to learn the game. I have much more FUN on a new game I can walk up to and figure out most of what's going on in a couple of games.

    #68 9 months ago

    Is this a trick question? They are people’s favorite games. Stern has been ripping off those layouts for years now! That’s got to mean something pretty major

    15
    #69 9 months ago
    Quoted from arcademojo:

    100% true. If you look at all the different types or skill level of people that play pinball. I would say 2/3 fall between casual, beginner and hobbyist players. Deep rules are just confusing if you don't have the time to learn the game. I have much more FUN on a new game I can walk up to and figure out most of what's going on in a couple of games.

    The 90's design and rules sensibility knew how to bring you into a game further and further, so it got more satisfying every time you played it. Example, MM:

    Newbs first play: That castle looks cool, I'm gonna hit that. Oh cool, it blows up!

    Playing more and more they discover:
    -Ohh, each time I attack the castle, it's supposed to be a different one, I'm collecting these inserts as I defeat each king.
    -Oooh, I can also hit the ball through the castle wall and that starts a multiball!
    -Ahh, each area is a little quest...save the princess, revolting peasants, jousting, catapult.
    -Ooooh, if I complete one of these, I can then start a multiball!
    -Aaaaaaah haaaaah, if I complete more than one THEN hit the scoop, it's a better multiball!
    -WHOAAAA...If I complete them all before hitting the scoop, I get Multiball Madness

    Then they understand the game, all the concepts, and how to have fun with it and advance toward the final wizard mode. Is it "deep"? ...who cares, it's phenomenal pinball design that allows you to discover organic elements of fun until you totally get it - and then it's still fun to try to use that knowledge to play the game in a fun way.

    That's why these games are top 3.

    When a newb or even a seasoned player walks up to something like Star Wars it's more like:
    -What the F does this button do, I don't get it.
    -What's this wall of text on the screen? Why does any of this matter?
    -What do all these colors mean, why are they always changing?
    -Why do I want to pick 2 modes stacked over one mode or why would I chose to pass?
    -F this game, I gonna go play MM instead.

    #70 9 months ago

    You can have all those wonderful flashy lcd screens but will those games even be functional in 26+ yrs like the B/W machines still are? Time will tell where all the mass produced stern games will end up on any future lists. Stern is running out of bands to make another game out of with yet another incomplete set of rules to go with it. At least JJP has come out with some creative adventure themed games which are exactly the 90's style games that made B/W games so much fun. Imo WH20 should be higher on the list for depth and callouts and creativity alone. Most new games simply want to ad some flashy screen playing movie clips (which ironically are 20+ yr old movies ie. Star Wars) instead of adding some ingenuity to build a creative mechanical part that adds something creative to a game.

    #71 9 months ago

    I’m going to take the view that depth is actually underrated. I fully understand why simpler games, when all other elements of the game are 10/10, are voted consistently so much higher in a popularity contest. They are great, and they are also crowd pleasers. They were built predominantly for operators and meant to be fun and engaging for as many people as possible. If you had a home arcade with 5+ games, they are a fantastic choice too.

    But if you were buying a single pin for your home, like I currently have for mine, I don’t care how great those 3 games are - I just could not buy one because they lack the depth. For a single game, I actually do want a game with complex rules and strategy and character selection that takes tons of time to learn at the expense of being welcoming when you first walk up to the machine (or even first 10 times). And when I say “character” selection I don’t just mean JJP POTC, it’s characters on SW, minor villains on Batman66, beer mugs on Oktoberfest, songs on ACDC, even CIU on Metallica.

    All that said, I also would rank these 3 great games so high. I just wouldn’t buy one, or at least one as an only pin. These ratings can change depending on what we’re rating it for: popularity in an arcade, lastability, operators, small vs large collectors, tournament players, etc.

    #72 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    The 90's design and rules sensibility knew how to bring you into a game further and further, so it got more satisfying every time you played it. Example, MM:
    Newbs first play: That castle looks cool, I'm gonna hit that. Oh cool, it blows up!
    Playing more and more they discover:
    -Ohh, each time I attack the castle, it's supposed to be a different one, I'm collecting these inserts as I defeat each king.
    -Oooh, I can also hit the ball through the castle wall and that starts a multiball!
    -Ahh, each area is a little quest...save the princess, revolting peasants, jousting, catapult.
    -Ooooh, if I complete one of these, I can then start a multiball!
    -Aaaaaaah haaaaah, if I complete more than one THEN hit the scoop, it's a better multiball!
    -WHOAAAA...If I complete them all before hitting the scoop, I get Multiball Madness
    Then they understand the game, all the concepts, and how to have fun with it and advance toward the final wizard mode. Is it "deep"? ...who cares, it's phenomenal pinball design that allows you to discover organic elements of fun until you totally get it - and then it's still fun to try to use that knowledge to play the game in a fun way.
    That's why these games are top 3.
    When a newb or even a seasoned player walks up to something like Star Wars it's more like:
    -What the F does this button do, I don't get it.
    -What's this wall of text on the screen? Why does any of this matter?
    -What do all these colors mean, why are they always changing?
    -Why do I want to pick 2 modes stacked over one mode or why would I chose to pass?
    -F this game, I gonna go play MM instead.

    Very articulate and completely spoken as well as could possibly be.

    #73 9 months ago

    Im not impressed by neither of those game in the top-3, and ive played them all.

    #74 9 months ago
    Quoted from phoenixpin:

    But if you were buying a single pin for your home, like I currently have for mine, I don’t care how great those 3 games are - I just could not buy one because they lack the depth.

    The thing is, they do have depth. They're complete rulesets that have a lot to do and fun goals to achieve. Very well thought out, masterful game creation. If any feel "too easy", you can set it up steeper, open outlanes, change settings and always have a challenge. "Back in the day" we used to view games like Back to the Future as "shallow"...because they literally had almost nothing to do. Hit drops, lock ball. Hit drops, lock ball. Hit drops, lock ball...Multiball. Repeat. THAT was shallow. I don't think I'd really consider any game post-Addams as shallow. Sure, when LOTR came out we were like "Oooooh shit, that's DEEEEP" and got a taste for what an ultra deep pinball machine could be...but, it didn't turn everything that came before it "shallow"....nor did it make the LOTR-wannabe games instantly good.

    #75 9 months ago

    I am not expert player by any means. I had MM for over a year before I even knew about "Barnyard Multiball" I have had my game now for over 4 years and I still have gotten the Video Mode only once. I was so excited to have finally gotten there that biffed it! MM is not easy nor is it shallow. So many people just think it is just knocking down castles and Royal Madness.

    #76 9 months ago
    Quoted from whthrs166:

    I am not expert player by any means. I had MM for over a year before I even knew about "Barnyard Multiball" I have had my game now for over 4 years and I still have gotten the Video Mode only once. I was so excited to have finally gotten there that biffed it! MM is not easy nor is it shallow. So many people just think it is just knocking down castles and Royal Madness.

    Royal for the show, castles for the dough.

    #77 9 months ago
    Quoted from phoenixpin:

    For a single game, I actually do want a game with complex rules and strategy and character selection that takes tons of time to learn at the expense of being welcoming ...even CIU on Metallica.

    MET is a good jumping off point....IS it a deep game?

    #78 9 months ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    No Stern has ever made me laugh while playing.
    I love plenty of Sterns like TRON or IMDN but they lack soul. There’s no wink-wink nudge-nudge. And that’s why AFM, MM and MB are the top games, they have that special sauce.

    Agree totally, I still laugh when I play MM and MB. And mostly cry when the Shadow beats the crap out of me

    #79 9 months ago

    My meme from many years ago...
    Predicted the first three remakes in order haha.

    FB_IMG_1550672475697 (resized).jpg
    #80 9 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    MET is a good jumping off point....IS it a deep game?

    It’s a lot to get there. It’s fun for sure but getting to your 3rd CIU and beyond (with old code) I’d get pretty, pretty tired

    #81 9 months ago

    The old 90s games are just more fun to play then any newer game made after 2000. Atleast thats what me and my friends agreed upon when we discussed this topic.

    #82 9 months ago
    Quoted from Guinnesstime:

    It’s a lot to get there. It’s fun for sure but getting to your 3rd CIU and beyond (with old code) I’d get pretty, pretty tired

    Right but by your 1st CIU you're just doing the same thing over and over. As awesome as CIU modes are, there's only 4 of them. Throw in some MBs, some great double/quad rules....I mean what else? It's the same issue again with what people think is deep.

    #83 9 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Right but by your 1st CIU you're just doing the same thing over and over. As awesome as CIU modes are, there's only 4 of them. Throw in some MBs, some great double/quad rules....I mean what else? It's the same issue again with what people think is deep.

    Wide rather than deep I guess. I just mean, I get tired by that time. I absolutely LOVE Seek and Destroy, though. That mode is fantastic and gets overridden by multi balls a lot which sucks.

    #84 9 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Right but by your 1st CIU you're just doing the same thing over and over. As awesome as CIU modes are, there's only 4 of them. Throw in some MBs, some great double/quad rules....I mean what else? It's the same issue again with what people think is deep.

    What I like about it and other Lyman games like AC/DC...you can play it how you want. There's not one path to fun or enjoyment or scoring. If you just wanna bash the toys and get Multiballs, you can do that...if you wanna stack modes like Fuel, Justice, S&D, you can do that, if you wanna try to get through the CIU's and go for End of the Line, you can do that. For me, Met's always fun no matter what mood I'm in or how I feel like approaching the game.

    #85 9 months ago

    Someone above mentioned Whitewater...hugely underrated, IMO. I’ve owned AFM and TZ....both gone. WH2O still here. Charm, great shots, and fun!

    #86 9 months ago
    Quoted from Blitzburgh99:

    Someone above mentioned Whitewater...hugely underrated, IMO. I’ve owned AFM and TZ....both gone. WH2O still here. Charm, great shots, and fun!

    Brilliant & super fun game. I've never been bored of it. I love how the music builds and gets more exciting as you advance rafts...it's a lovely bit of choreography that is really rare in pinball & probably goes unnoticed by most or unappreciated...but it makes me feel more happy/excited as I play. Chris Granner is a genius. WH2O is a perfect game that dispels the "depth=fun myth".

    #87 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Brilliant & super fun game. I've never been bored of it. I love how the music builds and gets more exciting as you advance rafts...it's a lovely bit of choreography that is really rare in pinball & probably goes unnoticed by most or unappreciated...but it makes me feel more happy/excited as I play. Chris Granner is a genius. WH2O is a perfect game that dispels the "depth=fun myth".

    Can't argue with this. As far as games go, White Water is my favorite B/W.

    Whenever I'm looking for a pin, someone asks for White Water as trade. It never fails. I didn't haggle or hesitate when I bought it. I paid for condition. Love the game.

    #88 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    For me, Met's always fun no matter what mood I'm in or how I feel like approaching the game.

    I'm just trying to figure out the whole deep thing.
    You think deep = fun is a myth which any actual player knows, My issue is trying to figure out how to put a value on "deep;" it's like a dumb "flow" argument.
    I'm wondering if peopel that are arguing "deep" games aren;t really "deep."

    #89 9 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I'm just trying to figure out the whole deep thing.
    You think deep = fun is a myth which any actual player knows, My issue is trying to figure out how to put a value on "deep;" it's like a dumb "flow" argument.
    I'm wondering if peopel that are arguing "deep" games aren;t really "deep."

    I think most people today equate "depth" to "content" and/or "complexity" ...but it always seems to be terms in a vacuum...it seems to rarely take the GAME as a whole into account or how all the elements gel into a gameplay experience.

    #90 9 months ago

    AFM and MM may be similar. Stern said "Well, watch this!"

    Granted, this was in the "down times" of Stern, but these both were released within one year of one another.

    Shrek and Family Guy. I mean, damn....

    Clipboard01 (resized).jpg

    Then we had IM, MetPro, and GotG....while they may not all 3 be absolutely identical, there sure are some similarities with some overlap across all three:

    1. Fuel lane on Met and GotG
    2. Ramps in nearly the exact same locations on all 3 games.
    3. "Lock" toys to the immediate left of the right ramp on all 3 games.
    4. Groot and Sparky placement.
    5. Pop bumpers in same location across all 3 games.
    6. Ball scoop in exact same place on GotG and Met.
    7. "Raptor kickout" in same spot on GotG and IM.
    8. Two left in-lanes on Met and GotG, which was a rarity back in the B/W days.
    9. Nothing but bash toys on all 3 of them.

    Points to IM for at least making Iron Monger come out of the PF and retract once defeated. Gives an extra shot up the middle which is very satisfying when hitting it for Monger JP.

    Points to MetPro for metal ramps and habittrails.

    Points to GotG for copying both the previous designs.

    Clipboard02 (resized).jpg
    #91 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    They’re the best games. Period. They’re the perfect blend of great physical design & gameplay/rules - all coded by Lyman Sheats...the master of pinball rules design. He always knows how to make a game fun for newbs, with nuance for pros. He knows how to choreograph a game. You don’t know it while you’re playing, but it’s like there’s a maestro guiding the experience.
    All the newbs talking about “depth” is getting tiresome. The term has been taken out of context and turned into a a term that = better quality. That is wrong. “Depth = fun” is a MYTH. Some deep games are very fun, like LOTR & TSPP. The depth was part of the rules being so organic to the themes and layouts. It gave these games so much to do, like an adventure, but things that made organic sense to the theme (Shoot shots to collect the fellowship characters in LOTR, for example.). Today’s so-called deep games have Rainman level math memorization & slot machine nonsense that has nothing to do with the layout or theme...modes are “shoot colored shots” rather than having any “fun” reason. Modern “depth” & rules have become sterile and mechanical. Not intuitive & satisfying like the best 90’s pins.
    I didn’t even mention the mechanical features and clever engineering. Great toys, divertors, and other clever features. Stern games just don’t have this anymore.
    Great games are timeless and forever. There’s a reason people still play Pac-Man when modern 4K gaming exists. There will never be an epiphany where the top 90’s games become “bad”.

    While I agree with you for the most part, those three simply are NOT the "best". They may best exemplify simple, approachable, layouts and relatable themes but the best games have far more innovation than any of those three....look at CV, TOTAN, TZ, WW, etc are all far more innovative and original than the holy trinity.

    #92 9 months ago
    Quoted from HighProtein:

    My meme from many years ago...
    Predicted the first three remakes in order haha.
    [quoted image]

    Looks more like a question than a prediction. BTW the question to your last question "Next?"is....Cactus Canyon?

    #93 9 months ago
    Quoted from NPO:

    Shrek and Family Guy. I mean, damn....

    Thank JJ for that
    Might as well throw a NASCAR/Dale up there

    #94 9 months ago

    All 3 are just damn fun games. The call outs are great. The art is great. The rules are approachable, not super deep but not shallow either. They are games that newbies can walk up to and understand what to do, but they are deep enough to keep pinheads interested too. Just good clean fun and don’t get old. I have all 3 and they will probably never leave.

    #95 9 months ago
    Quoted from rai:

    These games are so entrenched that who knows if anything will take them off the top3 even in 20 years they might still be at the top.
    I’m more interested in why these three and not say CFTBL / IJ / TZ / Sttng. Its hard to point out why these 3 are top and not some others.

    The ipdb top pins are fairly different from pinsides

    #96 9 months ago

    20190220_195405 (resized).jpg

    #97 9 months ago

    My wife and family absolutely LOVE MM MB and AFM. And I do too. So that has to mean something. Fun for all skill levels. Also, I never get tired of playing those titles. So there's that.

    #98 9 months ago
    Quoted from Dkjimbo:

    While I agree with you for the most part, those three simply are NOT the "best". They may best exemplify simple, approachable, layouts and relatable themes but the best games have far more innovation than any of those three....look at CV, TOTAN, TZ, WW, etc are all far more innovative and original than the holy trinity.

    Well look, they're not MY top 3...it's going to be subjective for everyone...but I was just generalizing why they're in the Top 3. Even if they're not someone's particular favorite Top 3, there are solid reasons for why they're so beloved.

    #99 9 months ago
    Quoted from NPO:

    AFM and MM may be similar. Stern said "Well, watch this!"
    Granted, this was in the "down times" of Stern, but these both were released within one year of one another.
    Shrek and Family Guy. I mean, damn....

    You can actually run either games code on the other!

    #100 9 months ago
    Quoted from phoenixpin:

    I’m going to take the view that depth is actually underrated. I fully understand why simpler games, when all other elements of the game are 10/10, are voted consistently so much higher in a popularity contest. They are great, and they are also crowd pleasers. They were built predominantly for operators and meant to be fun and engaging for as many people as possible. If you had a home arcade with 5+ games, they are a fantastic choice too.
    But if you were buying a single pin for your home, like I currently have for mine, I don’t care how great those 3 games are - I just could not buy one because they lack the depth. For a single game, I actually do want a game with complex rules and strategy and character selection that takes tons of time to learn at the expense of being welcoming when you first walk up to the machine (or even first 10 times). And when I say “character” selection I don’t just mean JJP POTC, it’s characters on SW, minor villains on Batman66, beer mugs on Oktoberfest, songs on ACDC, even CIU on Metallica.
    All that said, I also would rank these 3 great games so high. I just wouldn’t buy one, or at least one as an only pin. These ratings can change depending on what we’re rating it for: popularity in an arcade, lastability, operators, small vs large collectors, tournament players, etc.

    This is why I love this hobby. People can think so differently. I feel depth actually hurts replayability in the long run. In my opinion early SS games like Stars and EBD dance circles around these new "adventure style" pins. I'll only play LOTR once or twice but EBD has me pressing start all night. Games are quick and I never tire of it. Now a pin like AFM sits in a "Goldilocks Zone". A time of modern design elements with the addictive gameplay of early SS machines, it just works on every level for all different kinds of people.

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