Quoted from dung:
Then you had the Showcase 1/2 cabinets without side art on the backbox. towards the end the BOM really started to go downhill and the games were very simple shallow.
People say this about Sega's, but I don't think it's fair at all. Using one of my favorite games of all time (period, doesn't matter manufacturer) as an example - Viper: Night Drivin' - which was toward the end of the supposed "cheapening" of games, we have a game with three plastic ramps, one metal ramp, three additional black lights all with starters and whatnot wired into it, bouncing raccoons (for no reason), a "celebrity" announcer (celebrity in quotes because it's Mancow), Slash on music, and a new type of ball for the playfield. Compare this to the actual 'cut down' games that Stern did a few years ago like Iron Man and NBA, and I find it hard to believe that the Sega's were really having a great reduction in the BOM. And I could say the same for Godzilla and LOS in terms of how much 'stuff' there was bolted to their playfields.
Having said that, I feel like Sega's are a much more acquired taste, meaning that their rulesets are not nearly as clear as what we have come to expect from their B/W counterparts. If you take the time to learn them though, the rules can be quite unique. It's why I fell in love with VND - I HATED it at first - I actually worked at an arcade for a year with one and could play for free whenever I wanted (I was the closing manager and the owner told me to stay as long as I wanted). I would NEVER play it because I thought it was such a turd. A friend showed me how to play it on his, and I within three months had one in my house that has had 5000+ plays on it since and never left. I have found similar rule "things" with many Sega's, and while I have walked away from a lot of them quite disappointed, they are now something that whenever I get a chance to I like to play for a while to really understand what they were trying to do.
The best in my opinion:
VND - The fastest game ever made if you set it up right. This comes from a guy who has an IM, Metallica, AMH and Airborne (doesn't get enough credit for how fast it is) set up near it. I love fast games. One of my favorites ever, period.
BF - With the exception of some little code eccentricities, this is a totally solid game that is ridiculously deep.
SST - It's also a really fast game. Bloody, gory, but it plays NOTHING like anything else in the area. I love it for that. Third flipper is unique.
Mini-Viper - It's not really fair to throw this in considering there is only one and not many people have played it, but Sega did a great job packing a pin into a small package. With more time, it would have probably worn thin (I doubt software was fully developed), but it was great fun to shoot.
South Park - I give the nod here because it's the perfect representation of the theme and it's a perfect location game.