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Thread: Pinball anyone?

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    Post Pinball anyone?

    So there are three types of pinball in the world, real tables, digital of real tables, and digital fake tables. The oddity of the last is the best fake table ever made... dates back to the 90s, Timeshock. It hasn't been topped and it is almost as if no one has tried.

    These days, the in thing instead is digital versions of real tables. About 10 years ago, Farsight create Total Pinball Arcade. And released dozens of digital versions of the best tables that have existed. They weren't perfect, suffered from some bugs (or lack of debugging over time). And while the physics provided were the best of its kind for real tables, it could get better.

    Then Williams / Ballys say goodbye to Farsight and move to the Zen table. It was like when Michael Keaton (Mr. Mom) was announced to play Batman. Zen produces nothing but pretty digital fake tables, that I just can't get into, as the tables are more based on fantasy than pinball. The physics are generally fake as well. So when Zen hit a grand slam in its first release of digital real tables, with the best physics to date, it was quite the Batman surprise. Today, comes the latest release Cirqus Voltaire, Arabian Nights, and No Good Gofers. If you are into pinball, these are well regarded tables, in fact, the best release up to now, in my opinion.

    So are there are any other pinball fans about? Pinball definitely is a niche thing. I'm lucky and have two of the best places for pinball in the state near where I live. Granted, they aren't quite like the Silverball Museum in New Jersey or the Coin Op Museum near Pittsburgh, which have 100 or so tables, old and new.

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    I am a pinball fan. There is a pinball place about 45 minutes away from me, CP Pinball, that has about 75 tables, old and new. They have 2 digital tables, I know one is digital real, but not sure about the other. I never play on the digital tables, though. Maybe I will try them out the next time I am in there, which is about once a month.

    They have a couple of what I consider to be odd tables, Spectrum, and Hyberball. My wife loves the Spectrum table, so we play it quite a bit. Hyberball barely qualifies as pinball, it has what amounts to two guns anchored on top of the table in the corners that shoot balls at targets, and there are no flippers. It is a fun diversion at the end of the night when our wrists are getting tired, but otherwise there is not much to it. The best thing about CP Pinball is that all the tables are on free play, they charge $5/hr, or $20 for an all day pass. Definitely worth it to pay the $20 and play to your heart's content.

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    Digital for the home console or PC. If you can play the real thing... there is no substitute.

    My favorite consist of the typical, Attack From Mars, Medieval Madness, Cirqus Voltaire. Then the not as popular Champions Pub. And then oldies like Pro Football.

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    I've always been more of a foosball than pinball player, but I've always liked pinball and never got into it. Might be worth finding some local tables. Thanks for the thread

    What about pinball strategy? Is there something that differentiates great pinball players from the not so great?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I've always been more of a foosball than pinball player, but I've always liked pinball and never got into it. Might be worth finding some local tables. Thanks for the thread

    What about pinball strategy? Is there something that differentiates great pinball players from the not so great?
    Yeah, coordination. Typically strategies are based on how games get scored and how best to organize getting those points. Obviously, being able to do tricks with the flippers is important and hitting the shots is critical. And this requires practice and genetics.

    One thing wonderful about Farsight's TPA was/is the included tutorial which went into great detail regarding rules for each table. Sadly, TPA lacks rights to sell Williams/Ballys tables so it isn't worth getting into TPA anymore.

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    I have been a regular pinball player since I was a kid. A couple of my friends own their own pinball machines and we sometimes get together for a few beers and play the machines. The problem with owning a machine is that you master it after a few hours and it becomes monotonous. And your wrists ache !

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I've always been more of a foosball than pinball player, but I've always liked pinball and never got into it. Might be worth finding some local tables. Thanks for the thread

    What about pinball strategy? Is there something that differentiates great pinball players from the not so great?
    I don't know about "great", but two things occur to me immediately: one, capture the ball in the flippers, so you can pick your target. Second, jarring the machine to your advantage(without tilting of course).

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    I grew up with pinball, but sort of lost interest when all you could with was an extra ball, or nothing.

    I've been to Silverball a couple of times, and it's great. Though the back legs of every machine are set as high as possible, even though you pay by the hour, not by the game. However, they do not have Gottleib's Lady Luck.

    There's something about those analog chimes, it's like a time machine.

    Growing up, there was a place near my home offering billiards and archery, they had some machines there, kinduva local kid hangout. Pinball etiquette was placing a quarter on a machine while someone else was playing to claim next player. Guys would bring their dates and dump enormous piles of quarter...your burning cigarette resting horizontally between the flippers(if you were cool. Many nicotine stains...) There was a machine there, ski themed, a Bally I think that I completely mastered. I could walk in with one dime to my name(one game for a dime, three for a quarter), rack up eight replays(the maximum), and sell them for a quarter. I felt like such a hustler.

    My father told me in his day, the house would pay cash money for replays. He and his buddies would surreptitiously shim the front legs, then take the house to the cleaners for their cigarette money. Until they were busted and banned...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    I have been a regular pinball player since I was a kid. A couple of my friends own their own pinball machines and we sometimes get together for a few beers and play the machines. The problem with owning a machine is that you master it after a few hours and it becomes monotonous. And your wrists ache !
    Similar problem with foosball. I owned a table in my early twenties, but because I was the one playing it most of the time I couldn't find any opponents that could compete with me.

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    So, this is pretty big news for the pinball niche crowd, though many details are not out yet.



    There is an Attack From Mars cabinet and Arcade1up confirmed a deal with Zen Pinball for Williams and Ballys tables. The price for the 3/4 scale cabinet to be determined. The big questions are platform (Android likely for price), flipper lag (Toyshock's product has notable lag!), number of tables (and which tables), and of course the price. The which tables would seem to be set already based on what Zen has already released.

    Yeah, there are also Universal and Star Wars tables, but these are almost certainly the Zen originals, and I have no interest in those tables as I just can't get into Zen's originals. Their replications of Williams and Bally's have been great and there is pondering about whether Stern will enter the fold, though I'd love some old Goetlieb tables as well.

    Toyshock's product was $400. Rumors are $500 or $600, which really isn't that much more, so can the quality be picked up enough? Even if the table were $1000, that would still be somewhat of a deal, seeing that making your own cabinet takes a while and usually costs more than $1000. There is also a detail that there is no plunger on the Attack from Mars cabinet... which means tables with plunger related skill shots wouldn't be possible unless you power the plunger by holding down the push button 'plunger'.

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