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Thread: My 10 favorite tables, and some not-so-favorites

  1. #1

    Default My 10 favorite tables, and some not-so-favorites

    I've only been playing Pinball FX2 for a month or two, so I know I'm years behind on a lot of this table discussion. In that time I've picked up tables in bits and pieces and now I have all 39 tables which are currently available for the Steam version.

    There isn't a single table in the batch which I despise and refuse to play. There are some I play less often because the goals of the table are less clear to me than others, and some I play less often because they seem to have less of the flashy stuff or less unique/varied mechanics which seem to grab my attention. But here are the ones I seem to consistently return to. I'm somewhat of a pinball noob overall, so forgive me for using any incorrect terminology below.

    * Super League Football -- Although the rest of this list makes it clear that I prefer the Marvel and Star Wars tables to the original themes, I think this table is amazing. There's a lot of stuff going on, short-term and long-term goals, and it really does a good job of simulating its theme. After completing a season of play (which took MUCH more than the minimum of 10 games in order to do so), I've taken a break from this one but it definitely ranks as one of the best in the collection.

    * Star Wars: Return of the Jedi -- I've noticed that a lot of tables don't give a noteworthy first impression when you play the demo, but really shine when the constraints are removed and you can get to some of the deeper elements of the table. This one really blew me away with how much it offers in terms of different modes and goals, and also the fact that you can have many of these going on simultaneously! A lot of tables seem to limit how many special modes can be active at a time, but this one can get truly crazy.

    * Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back -- At first I wasn't as impressed with this one, but I've since learned that it seems to have even more going on than the Jedi table. A table gets boring if it feels like you're just knocking the ball around randomly, but this table has tons of objectives available. Some of them I haven't even reached yet, like taking down an AT-AT.

    * Star Wars: Starfighter -- Like the tables above, it has a huge variety of objectives to play through and that seems to be key to me maintaining interest in a table.

    * Fantastic Four -- Overall I like the Marvel tables the best, but this table in particular impressed me with all the variety and also just a general improvement in animation, like having the ball pop out of the Thing hole so that he can swat it back into play.

    * X-Men -- At first I found this table too frustrating and I still have trouble hitting that Iceman ramp as reliably as I'd like to, but eventually I started to recognize all of the variety that this table offers and I've been having a lot of fun trying to see it all. It took me many, many games before I finally activated the Storm Spinner, for instance. I almost never get the ball over into the left launch lane, not sure if I'm doing something wrong or it's supposed to be rare. And that Iceman ramp is a constant frustration, I always seem to just barely miss it. Unfortunately, a bunch of modes require hitting that ramp.

    * Thor -- When I first got this table, I wasn't very impressed. Visually, it didn't grab me as much as some of the others. But as I played it more, I began to appreciate the fact that it is relatively easy to start one of the main missions. I dislike when a table takes too long to start missions because then you don't get to see the cool stuff too often...this is my main complaint with the Darth Vader table. The Thor table is easier than most when it comes to kicking off these special modes, so I have fun trying to complete them rather than just trying to get them started.

    * Wolverine -- This seems to be a bit more simplistic than some of the Marvel tables, but for some reason I have fun playing it. I have yet to win one of the battles with Sabertooth, though.

    * Iron Man -- I know a lot of people dislike this table, but it appeals to me because it's very straightforward...I understand exactly what my goals are. I don't complete the Iron Man missions all that often, but at least my path is clear to me so it feels like I have a real shot at one day "beating" this table.

    * Moon Knight -- This is another one which impressed me early on just because it seems like there's a lot of variety to be had. I like the unique skill shot and just the overall look of the table. I just wish Konshu wasn't such an annoying character.

    That adds up to 10, but I feel like stuff is missing...I could have a considerable "honorable mention" list because there are many more which I have a lot of fun with. They might have been left off the above list because I feel like I have a little less understanding of all the deep objectives of a table...this is a problem I have with a lot of tables, acutally, but reading 3rd-party guides can help tremendously since I think the included table guides can sometimes leave things out entirely or else not describe them in enough detail for it to make sense immediately (I still struggle with the Boba Fett table in particular, for some reason).

    There are also some tables which I find myself avoiding except when I'm in the need for something different. These might not be bad tables at all, it might just be that I need to study them a bit more so I understand more what I'm doing and they can start to shine.

    * Ghost Rider -- I really like the unique skill shot, but overall this table feels really repetitive. I especially dislike the area with the reverse paddle where you're supposed to hit the ball into the lock, because I usually don't know I have a shot until the ball has already rolled past the flipper.

    * Civil War -- This table infuriates me because it always seems to send balls right down the middle. I also dislike the two return lanes just over the flippers because they seem to threaten a drain every time the ball rolls out of one. I absolutely love the look and theme of this table, but I can't keep the action going long enough to really enjoy it. I actually posted separately about this table a while back in order to vent some frustration. I haven't touched this table in a while.

    * Earth Defense -- I don't "get" this table, I always feel like I'm just randomly hitting the ball around. I think I need to spend some quality time with a 3rd-party guide so it'll click with me.

    * World War Hulk -- I actually like this table a lot, but there are SO many ramps! I find it difficult to get a main mission started on this table; I always seem to miss the subway entrance and instead hit one of the ramps on either side.

    * Darth Vader -- I don't think this table is bad, but it is easy to get into a repetitive pattern (the REBEL and BASE ramps) and it takes a long time to get a main mission going.

    * Excalibur -- This one seems really cool but I have a hard time with it, particularly trying to hit the ball into that left saucer to get modes started.

    * All of the Zen Classics pack -- Overall, these tables seem a bit more simplistic than some of the others but that might be because they are older designs. El Dorado seems to have the most potential, and Shaman seems to have the least going on with it...but that could just be that I haven't gotten familiar enough with it to see all the cool stuff you can do.

  2. #2
    Table Designer deep's Avatar
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    I'm glad you mentioned 3 from my 5 already released designs on your list I hope you will enjoy my future designs as well!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by deep View Post
    I'm glad you mentioned 3 from my 5 already released designs on your list I hope you will enjoy my future designs as well!
    Which 5 are yours? I don't have a good idea of who has done what, except I believe that Croftanator did Super League Football, X-Men, and Avengers.

  4. #4
    Table Designer deep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphammer View Post
    Which 5 are yours? I don't have a good idea of who has done what, except I believe that Croftanator did Super League Football, X-Men, and Avengers.
    In order of release: Fantastic Four, Ms. Splosion Man, Infinity Gauntlet, Star Wars: Episode V, Star Wars: Episode VI
    You can find credits on almost all of the tables with free view

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rafie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deep View Post
    In order of release: Fantastic Four, Ms. Splosion Man, Infinity Gauntlet, Star Wars: Episode V, Star Wars: Episode VI
    You can find credits on almost all of the tables with free view
    I love all of those tables! I just wish I can get all of the gems. LOL Still can't do it! LOL
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    I've seen the credits plate on a lot of tables but I think it lists real names and I don't know how to map those to forum names. Maybe it does have forum name too, I'll have to look more closely.

    I like Infinity Gauntlet but I never seem to get very far with it...need to spend more time with it. I've only dabbled with Ms Splosion Man because I'm unfamiliar with the theme so that doesn't have any particular draw for me, but I think its a very visually appealing table with the unique colors. I like the way the windows explode when the ball rolls down the left edge. I just revisited that table yesterday, actually, need to spend more time learning it.

  7. #7
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    I'm surprised Mars didn't make your list. It's incredibly playable, re-playable and ultimately rewarding. Happy to see your post garnered the interest of a table designer! Thanks for posting @deep! You've accomplished some truly amazing things.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gork View Post
    I'm surprised Mars didn't make your list. It's incredibly playable, re-playable and ultimately rewarding. Happy to see your post garnered the interest of a table designer! Thanks for posting @deep! You've accomplished some truly amazing things.
    Mars was part of the last batch that I picked up, so I haven't spent as much time with it as the others. It does seem like a good one, though, I like having lots of different special modes or whatever and it seems to be one of the better "original theme" tables for that (as opposed to Star Wars or Marvel). Epic Quest also. And really Excalibur has a lot going on too...I just find that the table layout somehow makes it more difficult for me than some of the others. I don't really think Excalibur deserves to be on my "worst" list in the original message.

    Anyway, last night I played a long game on Infinity Gauntlet and ended up raising my high score from something like 10 million to 49 million. So I guess I hadn't spent as much time on that table as I thought. I saw some things for the first time, like the Adam Warlock mini-playfield and also the mode where a bunch of rocks actually cover up your flippers so you can't see exactly what you're doing! That's just devious, as is the upside-down mode.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    I think you will find it interesting in a year or two's time going back to this list. Once you start beating wizard modes and breaking billion scores, it quickly changes your preference for tables and your criteria for selecting favorites. Super League Football e.g. for me is one of my least favorites due to its lack of variation and repetitive gameplay and once I reach a billion score on the table, I doubt that I will ever play it again. Any way, we are blessed that Zen keeps on producing new tables so that there is something for everyone, irrespective of their skill level and interests.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloda View Post
    I think you will find it interesting in a year or two's time going back to this list. Once you start beating wizard modes and breaking billion scores, it quickly changes your preference for tables and your criteria for selecting favorites. Super League Football e.g. for me is one of my least favorites due to its lack of variation and repetitive gameplay and once I reach a billion score on the table, I doubt that I will ever play it again. Any way, we are blessed that Zen keeps on producing new tables so that there is something for everyone, irrespective of their skill level and interests.
    Super League Football is the only table where I've ever seen the wizard mode (the gold sparkly balls), so I think I'm a long way from that! I don't think I've even made it to 100 million on any table except maybe Football, but I'd have to check...it's hard to remember since different tables score higher or lower than others. So right now, I don't even pay attention to wizard mode instructions in the table guides...that seems very unattainable right now.

    However, when I go back to a table I haven't played in a while, I've noticed that I'm doing surprisingly better. So I think bouncing around through all these different tables is definitely improving my general skill, although to truly be great at a particular table I would probably have to focus a lot more on it and let some of the others wait. Right now, I just like the variety of playing several tables in a single sitting.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphammer View Post
    Super League Football is the only table where I've ever seen the wizard mode (the gold sparkly balls), so I think I'm a long way from that! I don't think I've even made it to 100 million on any table except maybe Football, but I'd have to check...it's hard to remember since different tables score higher or lower than others. So right now, I don't even pay attention to wizard mode instructions in the table guides...that seems very unattainable right now.

    However, when I go back to a table I haven't played in a while, I've noticed that I'm doing surprisingly better. So I think bouncing around through all these different tables is definitely improving my general skill, although to truly be great at a particular table I would probably have to focus a lot more on it and let some of the others wait. Right now, I just like the variety of playing several tables in a single sitting.
    There are a few tables that you can focus on for wizard mode e.g. Mrs. Explosion Man, Sorcerer's Lair and to a certain degree Ghost Rider as they don't have too many missions to get there and are much easier to get to. You are right though that you need to spend time with each table if you want to start getting to wizard mode and beating scores. Each table plays different so you have to spend time with it to start eliminating certain danger shots and to get your aim attuned to hit the ramps and targets more accurately. You'll also notice that as you get better, your games get longer until you get to the point where even finishing one game in a sitting requires quite a bit of time. Anyway, just have fun which ever way you prefer as time spent playing is how you will improve. You are welcome to follow my signature as over the years I worked on some tips for new players as well as high scoring and wizard guides for some of the earlier tables as well as a bunch of other stuff.
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  12. #12
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    Mine favorite are :

    Secrets of the Deep- the most beautiful table ever created got some unique mechanics that reminds me on a pinball game JunkYard

    Pasha- sounds and the story narrative is awesome (when i am playing it i feel like i am in some story), and it is really fast

    BioLab- complexity and artwork amazing, amazing modes.

    Excalibur- fast pacing table with some old school mechanics beautifully Incorporated in the game.... hit the middle

    Star wars: Darth Vader---yep red with Darth Vader's voice and music pam pa ma papapam what i could say XD

    Tesla - still didnt figure it out and that is awesome XD... amazing artwork and theme.

    And 1 i hate the most is table V12---really i cant stand it. I know that you guys from Zen really put some work into it but really it sucks


    And what i would like to see is some variance of tables like Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Circus Voltaire, Fun house, Twilight zone, Petar Pan, Monster Bash, Theater of Magic---i know that these one are licensed but you could get some ideas ^^

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