If you are getting 2 of them go for IJ for the best theme integration then get an older ss. I like Embryon the best but Paragon would do nicely also.
Quoted from CrazyLevi:
The bally widebodies all look great. But...
Embryon kinda sucks. The rules make absolutely no sense (I played this game about 20 times at a tournament and still can't make heads or tails of it), there's a pointless and almost impossible to get 2-ball multiball, and it has more of everybody's least favorite feature - the captive ball - than almost any other game I can think of. Slow, ponderous machine and its best asset is the bizarre theme and artwork.
Paragon kinda sucks. It's huge for the sake of being huge, and like all Bally widebodies has a bunch of crap that you don't need. Why is there a twistee ball path on the right side? Why is there the "beast's lair?" Why are there two kickout holes? None of these things make the game any fun. They are there Cause you needed that stuff to make the game a widebody.
Space Invaders kinda sucks. It's a huge, slow machine with almost nothing to shoot at. Swing and a miss Bally. Cool artwork - they were sued (or at least bothered by) Alien artist Geiger so they gave him a machine or two. I think that was the settlement! Times were different back then for sure.
Future Spa kinda sucks. It's another widebody where the best thing about it - tap passing and the stand up drops - are part of a much better, non-widebody game Harlem Globetrotters. There are a like 5 outlanes (if you get the skill shot there are only 4!), and the game is way too wide to create a fun, fast controllable flow. The width of the game takes the power and flow out of the spinner shots and it's tough to get the ball back up top into the lanes. Again, great, weird artwork that will simply blow you mind. It's a total Logan's Run health club orgy.
I think it's just safe to say that you don't like older wide bodies. Any wide body is not going to play as fast as a standard, just the way it is. All of them when in good shape and setup hard can still play pretty fast though. I like Embryon because it has challenging things to accomplish and a very different layout. I love the unique double captive ball in the middle because its fun to pound (no pun intended, or is there.....) and it's extremely dangerous. I also love the flip save as it's unique and just fun to do. The multiball is an incredible challenge to get to. For tournament play the scoring is definitely a little wonky so I can see it as not being the best tourney game. Just to play at home its pretty darn fun though. I have a love hate relationship with Paragon. Love the art, love the difficulty, just don't get that same feeling of joy from it that I do from Fathom or Embryon though.
Different strokes for different folks.
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