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Written by NPO, published April 9th, 2012. 5 comment(s).
So, I have had my JM for about a week now. It started like this:
I was looking hard for a Jurassic Park, and I found one locally. Trouble was it was NOT what I was looking for at all. The machine was a frankenstein, and I got it out of my place after a month. Next, I had a guy (retailer) contact me saying he had a JP and a HS2 that I would absolutely love. Now, he knew how much I wanted JP, so he let me know the JP would be the more expen$ive game before I even got there. I get there, and his JP, while looking good, was still a mess (weak flippers). HS2 looked awesome (although it too was a bit of a junker), and I showed far more interest in it. ALL OF A SUDDEN, he started telling me about ALL this work that had gone in HS2, and right there in front of me, JP and HS2 practically swapped prices. I was disgusted and left.
Down and discouraged, and nearly about ready to leave pinball all together (remember, this is all for my first pin), I have a bud here at Pinside contact me, and he tells me he wants to sell his JM. I had played this machine about a week ago at his place, and it was an underdog pin, but man, it really was a great game. I knew he had taken VERY good care of it, so I said "Heck yeah!" He sold it to me for almost EXACTLY a third of what that nutcase wanted HS2 for, and JM was in WAY, way, WAY better condition. So I bought it, brought it home, and jumped right into the world of pinball.
So ,what can I tell you about JM? Well, not seeing the movie (and am dreading/avoiding it as people have told me to stay far and away from it), I have a "pin only" review of it. The atmosphere is very "Blade Runner"ish to me. Nice and dark, but it has light in all the right places. No one area is too dark, but at the same time, everything that needs lighting attention has JUST enough of it.
I love the sound effects. Hearing "I'm making a long distance phone call" for me just flat-out never gets old. I guess I remember when Keanu was Ted Theodore Logan, and it just gives me that nostalgic feeling of Bill and Ted. The game's sound effects blends very well with the dark atmosphere. Music is really pretty darn good. To me, it doesn't get repetitive - it seems to change enough that I don't get it stuck in my head.
The game has REALLY good flow. Mr. Gomez really designed it very well. The ramps are not too far in the back of the machine, and they are at solid angles that if you get on a roll, man, watch out! Hitting the ramps 5, 6, 7, 8 times in a row is truly a great testimony to the job George Gomez has done. Very well done - almost has a Steve Ritchie feel to it. Orbital shots are not ridiculous outlandish to hit. The only real "just can't quite get it" shot is Crazy Bob's, and boy does it have a price if you miss. Everytime I go for it, I send it right in the middle where the ball rebounds off the pop-up shield for the glove, and it nearly sends the ball SDTM, and man, is that EVER annoying.
As for toys, JM has a big one - the glove/matrix setup. A lot of people say it slows the game, and I will agree with that, BUT, I think it is practically needed. This game plays super-fast, and sometimes it is nice to have the glove. It gives you that 4-5 seconds to just breathe and recover before the ball launcher sends another ball your way. Some people don't like it, but I think it complements the game very well!
The light show in attract mode is pretty solid, especially right after a game when the game shuts all lights off and the flashers steal the show for 10 seconds or so - absolutely beautiful. The translite design looks solid to me - nothing to complain about. To me, the translite really catches me eye and gets me coming back to play!
The fact that it is the #1 Bang for Your Buck machine says it all - it is an OUTSTANDING title for the price. While I am bummed it's not an A-lister, I am also grateful for that because if it was an A-lister I simply could not afford it. If this was called "The Matrix" instead of "Johnny Mnemonic", I could easily see this pin going into the $3000-$4000 range. Thankfully, it is a "sleeper" pin, and it is easily one of the best!
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11y 78,800 1,644 19
Ecellent story and well written. Thanks for sharing this with us! I think everybody who has gotten into pinball can attest and share a horror story about a vendor who tried to show and sell you a lemon.
11y 78,800 1,644 19
Excellent story and well written. Thanks for sharing this with us! I think everybody who has gotten into pinball can attest and share a horror story about a vendor who tried to show and sell you a lemon.
11y 27,400 4 1 25
I came damn close to swapping my getaway for a JM, glad it didn't work out, but JM is a lot of fun.
10y 34,050 161 10
Very nice story! I also have a JM and I also love the game. Did you ever experience Midnight Madness? Check if your machine's time & date is set correctly and then start up a game just before midnight. EXCELLENT!
I've been collecting, playing and fixing up pins for over 15 years now. I've seen some games that were regarded as "B" or even "C" titles shoot up in popularity to the point they become "A" list games, or darn near close to it! Bram Stoker's Dracula was a game that when I first got into the hobby really didn't pique a lot of interest. You could easily have bought that game in great shape for 800 bucks! Try to find a decent BSD for under 2K these days?
I recently acquired a JM for a customer looking for FUN games that wouldn't break the bank so to speak. My opinion is that JM is going to be THE game that those who want to get into pinball with a modern WPC era game will slowly push into the realm of "A" titles in both popularity and price. Maybe it won't happen overnight, but with a landscape of 5K, 6K, 8K and even higher cost games, eventually the prices and enthusiasm for great games like this will be pushed higher. GREAT GAME for the money, and worth twice what it currently goes for.