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Retro blast here, what is pinball to you?

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  • Retro blast here, what is pinball to you?

    In 1986 I headed off to college and lived in a dormitory. In the main lounge stood PINBOT and right next to it the video game VANGUARD. It was the only time in my life I had access to a pinball machine at any frequency.

    Pinball was always intimidating ... to begin with, I never knew the rules so my plan was always to just keep the ball alive. Most times the rules were written in such small text on the lower right and left corners of the tables, right where people, including me, would put their cigarettes while they were playing and that resulted in burn marks all over the rule sheet. Even playing PINBOT, I wasn't exactly sure of all the rules. Anyone who has never played PINBOT, it has a large wide open space down the middle so you have to be careful while playing. It doesn't have as many targets as the machines that came after it, so you really had to aim.

    Pinball was intimidating because a bad run and your quarter was gone in minutes. Quarters were not easy to come by those days, besides, I needed them to buy cigarettes and beer! Even though I could last a lot longer on Vanguard, I played PINBOT just as much. Unlike a video game, pinball has no real beginning, middle, or end. If you play a video game, in many cases, once you have played a particular part of it, you have seen that part and done it ... the next time around its the same and yet, even though the pinball table remains a constant, each time you play it, it is different and there is always the fear of loosing your ball the entire time you are playing it.

    In short, pinball is a panic, and it is more difficult than most video games these days. Its that twitch game-play that used to be in video games that keeps me coming back, its the fear of death, its the electronic sounds and pings and pangs, clings and clangs, clinks and clanks, and the robotic chitter chatter jibber jabber.

    20 years after college and my love of the game is resurrected with Video Game Pinball! There are no burn holes in the rule sheets but quarters are still hard to come by so thank God there isn't a quarter slot in my PS3, PS Vita or Nexus 10 Tab ... it gives me the opportunity to keep on playing and learning the ins and outs of the tables.

    This game has inspired me to pick up The Pinball Arcade and Pinballisitik Pinball but the beauty of Zen is that you can do things you never could do on a real table yet all the tables feel like real tables.

    In the words of Gary Stern of Stern Pinball, “The thing that’s killing pinball,” is not that people don’t like it. It’s that there’s nowhere to play it.” “This is a ball game. It’s a bat and ball game, O.K.?” ... now we all have a place to play pinball, and place to talk about it too ....to me, Pinball is a Panic, what is it to you?
    I've been playing video games since the days of Pong and it looks like I'll be playing em till the day I'm gone...

  • #2
    Pinball to me is an everyday adventure. I hardly even play any ps3 games compared to zen even though there is about 6 games in my cabinet out of 35 thats still unstarted.When I get home from night shift its zen forums then 1 hour of a choice of 31 great tables. Played tons of real pb from mid 70's to around late 80's then it kinda faded out. I guess, to make a long story short I couldnt live without my zen pinball.

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    • #3
      The interesting thing about Zen is that some tables turn me off upon my initial play throughs, for example Excalibur and Sorcerer's Lair, I have overlooked these tables for about a year and was heavily into Moon Night and more recently Fear Itself. For the past few days though, I am really loving Excalibur and Sorcerer's Lair and can not get enough of them! 3 times I almost completed siege the castle and missed it by the final shot ... that just makes me come back for more. In addition, I have never won a single duel. The thing about pinball is once you start to learn some of the rules, its not like nailing them comes very easy. I love the build up to some of the sequences, such as siege the castle ... a series of shots that build on top of each other step by step, slowly progressing to the final goal...but watch out, one drain and you are back to square one again ... there are no other video games that give me a sense of panic or fear of dying than pinball ... that nervousness felt in the heat of battle ... sweaty palms ... lightning fast reactions ... grave disappointment after drudging your way through a sequence, only to drain when you are so close to completing it ... or the absolute glory felt when you do pull off a sequence.

      The sense of satisfaction you receive when completing a sequence on a table is really unmatched by any other video games i have ... and I have over 120 games loaded into my PS3 which has a 1 TB drive in it. No other game forces me to button crunch or gives me that sense of tension. I consider myself a hard core gamer but I am in no means a Pinball Wizard ... yet the simple fact that I can now play video pinball and do good at some tables, makes me feel like I can now accomplish something I was never able to do since 1986. its exhilarating and exhausting as well.

      Recently I picked up a Nexus 10 tab and its my favorite venue for playing Pinball ... its just more responsive, easier to see the full table, and although nudge is horrible compared to the PS3 or Vita, flipper input is much better.
      Last edited by RETRO BLAST; 03-28-2013, 12:55 PM.
      I've been playing video games since the days of Pong and it looks like I'll be playing em till the day I'm gone...

      Comment


      • #4
        I played pinball for the first time when I was 5 or 6 years old, somewhere around 1987. I had to stand on a chair to see the playfield My very first tables I played on was High Speed and F-14 Tomcat. My parents were always worried, because if I wasn't at home, or school, I went to an arcade right away and arcades weren't the safest places here in Hungary that time Since then, I played on dozens of tables and still like to play. I have 3 pinball machines at home (Jurassic Park, Tales from the Crypt and Demolition Man).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by deep View Post
          I played pinball for the first time when I was 5 or 6 years old, somewhere around 1987. I had to stand on a chair to see the playfield My very first tables I played on was High Speed and F-14 Tomcat. My parents were always worried, because if I wasn't at home, or school, I went to an arcade right away and arcades weren't the safest places here in Hungary that time Since then, I played on dozens of tables and still like to play. I have 3 pinball machines at home (Jurassic Park, Tales from the Crypt and Demolition Man).
          Originally posted by s-carnegie View Post
          Pinball to me is an everyday adventure. I hardly even play any ps3 games compared to zen even though there is about 6 games in my cabinet out of 35 thats still unstarted.When I get home from night shift its zen forums then 1 hour of a choice of 31 great tables. Played tons of real pb from mid 70's to around late 80's then it kinda faded out. I guess, to make a long story short I couldnt live without my zen pinball.
          Now that is dedication s-carnegie and quite deep, deep. Today I treated myself with buying a micro HDMI TO REGULAR HDMI cable to hook up my Nexus 10 to my 55 inch Sony Bra via TV .... And let me tell you, with only having spent 5 minutes with it so far, its AWESOME....the grafx are sharp as hell, the sound is perfect, and because the inputs for the flippers are more responsive and feel better than the impurts on my PS3, I AM IN HEAVEN! EVEN THE NUDGE SEEMS TO BE WORKING BETTER! I'm not sure how to add friends to my swarm account but if any pinball fan wants to add me, my username is RETRO BLAST ....GAME ON GANG!
          Last edited by RETRO BLAST; 03-28-2013, 05:40 PM.
          I've been playing video games since the days of Pong and it looks like I'll be playing em till the day I'm gone...

          Comment


          • #6
            Check out the new rig ...[ATTACH=CONFIG]285[/ATTACH]...[ATTACH=CONFIG]286[/ATTACH]
            Last edited by RETRO BLAST; 03-28-2013, 05:38 PM.
            I've been playing video games since the days of Pong and it looks like I'll be playing em till the day I'm gone...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RETRO BLAST View Post
              Recently I picked up a Nexus 10 tab and its my favorite venue for playing Pinball ... its just more responsive, easier to see the full table, and although nudge is horrible compared to the PS3 or Vita, flipper input is much better.
              You can adjust the flipper sensitivity on the tables by going to the Operator's Menu.

              Utilities >> Extra Features >> Flipper Sensitivity

              Note: Changing any of the extra features won't disable the trophies and leader boards.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by deep View Post
                I played pinball for the first time when I was 5 or 6 years old, somewhere around 1987. I had to stand on a chair to see the playfield My very first tables I played on was High Speed and F-14 Tomcat. My parents were always worried, because if I wasn't at home, or school, I went to an arcade right away and arcades weren't the safest places here in Hungary that time
                Your story is very similar to mine. For me, I was 8 years old and it was 1990. My first experience, was at my Birthday Party at the local skating rank. They had a few arcade machines including one pinball machine. The pinball machine (I believe it was Banzai Run) caught my eye, because it was really strange looking compared to other pinball machines that I've seen (but never played). I put my quarter in and it wouldn't work. My friend came over and pointed out that I needed to press the start button (Doh!). She also taught me how to play, but I really sucked and my attention span wasn't there that day either (since it was my birthday).

                The next week, I went to the local arcade and saw that they had five pinball machines (Pool Sharks, Robocop, Back to the Future, Black Knight 2000 and Rollergames). Again, one of them caught my eye (Rollergames). It was the unique looking habitrails. I popped in my token (remembered to press that start button) and I've been hooked on pinball ever since.
                Last edited by shogun00; 03-28-2013, 06:05 PM.

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                • #9
                  Right on shogun00, I enjoy hearing all these stories....the interesting thing is , I'm 45, and pinball was really on its last leg when I was young, so I am happy to see people out there younger than I got a chance to see some real tables when they were young too. After college, it was rare to stumble across a real pinball machine. I am happy that there is a rebirth in pinball today and that because of video game pinball, interest in real pinball has spiked and new companies are beginning to produce new real pinball tables....I hope a run across one one day...it would be nice to see a newly released table and get to play it..
                  I've been playing video games since the days of Pong and it looks like I'll be playing em till the day I'm gone...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RETRO BLAST View Post
                    the interesting thing is , I'm 45, and pinball was really on its last leg when I was young, so I am happy to see people out there younger than I got a chance to see some real tables when they were young too. After college, it was rare to stumble across a real pinball machine.
                    Come to Western New York (or Upstate in your case) sometime. There are a few classic arcades around here and a few of them still have pinball machines. Every Summer, I stop by the local amusement park and they still have five old pinball machines (High Speed, Whirlwind, Spy Hunter, F-14 Tomcat and Cyclone).
                    Last edited by shogun00; 03-28-2013, 06:48 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shogun00 View Post
                      Come to Western New York (or Upstate in your case) sometime. There are a few classic arcades around here and a few of them still have pinball machines. Every Summer, I stop by the local amusement park and they still have five old pinball machines (High Speed, Whirlwind, Spy Hunter, F-14 Tomcat and Cyclone).
                      I'm in Astoria NY, New York City, how far do think western NY is from me?
                      I've been playing video games since the days of Pong and it looks like I'll be playing em till the day I'm gone...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RETRO BLAST View Post
                        I'm in Astoria NY, New York City, how far do think western NY is from me?
                        Oh about 8-9 hours.

                        I have a few relatives that live in Long Island and I used to live there myself, so I know the distance quite well.

                        I was just suggesting of taking a trip to Western NY.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shogun00 View Post
                          Oh about 8-9 hours.

                          I have a few relatives that live in Long Island and I used to live there myself, so I know the distance quite well.

                          I was just suggesting of taking a trip to Western NY.
                          If they had PinBot or The Black Hole ....I'd be there !!!
                          I've been playing video games since the days of Pong and it looks like I'll be playing em till the day I'm gone...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RETRO BLAST View Post
                            If they had PinBot or The Black Hole ....I'd be there !!!
                            Not where I live (near Jamestown), but I wouldn't be too surprised if the Buffalo area had them.

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                            • #15
                              When I was little (like 6 maybe?) my parents put my brother and I in a bowling league. Once a week after school, I'd walk to the bowling alley and I'd bum a quarter or two off someone and play the Data East Simpsons table. I was (and still am) a huge Simpsons fan. I was absolutely terrible at it but because it was The Simpsons I was determined to blow as much money as possible on it.

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