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What Pinball Looks Like When the Stakes Are High

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the more-fun-to-watch-than-poker dept.

Classic Games (Games) 133

siobHan writes "The PAPA World Pinball Championships recently concluded in Scott, PA (near Pittsburgh), as covered on Slashdot already. The organizers recorded full 1080p/60 HD video of the playfield during the final games, and have uploaded the entirety of the crucial deciding game, with commentary (direct link to just the video). The winner of this game received $10,000 for his skillful play."

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133 comments

PINBALL !! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406086)

Ever since I was a young boy,
I've played the silver ball.
From Soho down to Brighton
I must have played them all.
but I ain't seen nothing like him
In any amusement hall.
That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball!

He stands like a statue,
Becomes part of the machine.
Feeling all the bumpers
Always playing clean.
plays by intuition,
The digit counters fall
That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball!

He's a pinball wizard
There has to be a twist.
A pin ball wizard,
S'got such a supple wrist.

How do you think he does it?
I don't know!
What makes him so good?

ain't got no distractions
Can't hear no buzzers and bells,
Don't see no lights a flashin'
Plays by sense of smell.
Always gets the replay,
Never seen him fall,
That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball.

I thought I was
The Bally table king.
But I just handed
My pinball crown to him.

Even on my favorite table
He can beat my best.
His disciples lead him in
And he just does the rest.
He's got crazy flipper fingers
Never seen him fall.
That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball!

Sounds more monotonous, Yello, Pinball Cha Cha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33407974)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=265Zn06TguA [youtube.com]

Welcome
In lucy's bar
Hey you gentlemen over there
Come on closer
See me play
The sensational game
It's the only thing I've got in my life
And I play it every day
And, well, believe it or not,
It's just... pinball
And for me it's
Claro que si
Claro que si

Come, come close to me
I tell you man you will see
I'm like happy tree
Come close and then you will see

Every ball for me's another game
For you this always looks the same
Every ball for me's another game
For you this always looks the same

Hey you, man you watch me
Might be right I am a fool
But man why don't you tell me
If you know a better tool

All the gates are lit
This is very good for me
It's like a kiss
Watch out man and you will see
Now all lights are on
Believe me man that I have won
I know for you this doesn't look a lot
For me this is the only thing I got

I really couldn't care less
If you take me a for a fool
I know you couldn't show me
Any better tool

Oy oy oy
I like my toy
Claro que si
Is yes for sure
Oy oy oy
I like my toy
A knack inside
I win another game
I press the button and it's not the same

I wish (1)

neuro-commando (1888256) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406088)

I could make that kind of money from playing pinball :)

I would not want to see the breakdown by hour (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406256)

Granted the time at the tournament would make it look good but if you average all the time spent getting there. The payoff is recognition amongst your peers more than monetary rewards.

To get to that level you need like own games and p (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406286)

To get to that level you need like own games and play alot and then you have to pay to get in to the Championships and the good players enter like 4-5 times or more on the same game hoping to get a good qualify score and you need to do on more then one game.

Typical Misleading Summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406610)

"What Pinball Looks Like When the Stakes Are High" is misleading. The winning player received $10k.

Unless losing the game would have meant losing $10k then the $10k is not "high stakes". It's a high reward.

Editors, do your jobs. Just for once, to see what it feels like.

Re:I would not want to see the breakdown by hour (1)

neuro-commando (1888256) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406514)

You're over-examining my comment xD.

Re:I would not want to see the breakdown by hour (1)

1961fordgalaxie (847688) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406854)

I love pinball machines and playing pinball but after playing on and off for 25 years, I am not that good. :)

Monitor (4, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406130)

I knew I had my 20" monitor oriented vertically all this time for an eventual reason - to play this video optimally.

Re:Monitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406182)

It's a shame Vimeo's video player sucks so badly.

Re:Monitor (2, Informative)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406194)

clive and mplayer to the rescue.

Re:Monitor (1)

Browzer (17971) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406204)

At least in Firefox, "Zoom Out" is also an option.

Re:Monitor (1, Offtopic)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406234)

"I knew I had my 20" monitor oriented vertically all this time for an eventual reason - to play this video optimally."

I thought the same thing when I saw this video pop-up: why in the world would anyone make this vertical with widescreen monitors being so prevalent? Any vertical resolution less than 1000 would have a hard time viewing this whole video, and I've seen a lot of laptops offering less than 1000.

Re:Monitor (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406686)

Um, because pinball games are vertical? Seriously if the orientation were different there would be a lot more complaint. Pinball isn't built for widescreen...

Re:Monitor (1, Offtopic)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406794)

If it's a laptop, hold the damned thing sideways.

Re:Monitor (0)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406820)

Or just get a higher res one.

The video, at the res that it was embedded on the page, fit perfectly on my screen. And my browser window, Opera reports, is 1508x972 - so any 1050 pixel or taller laptop display should be able to view it.

(I was about to say, get a 2048x1536 screen in a 4 year old laptop, like I did, but then I realized my browser window isn't full screen, and you don't need anywhere near that.)

Re:Monitor (3, Insightful)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407350)

A better question to ask is "why in the world would widescreen monitors be so prevalent when so much content is predominantly vertical?"

Re:Monitor (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407540)

The question is; why do people buy so much widescreens? The only good reason I can think of is if you watch widescreen movies on your PC a lot.
My 23" 4:3 is nice, and it could even pivot if Windows could handle the pivotting without blue-screening after three or four flips.
A square screen would probably be ideal for general productivity work but I haven't seen one yet.

Re:Monitor (1)

ian_from_brisbane (596121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33408224)

I like to have a lot of windows open, side by side. For me, wide screen is far more pleasing to the eye than looking at a square with one window on it.

Re:Monitor (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33408276)

The question is; why do people buy so much widescreens?

Because Fallout 3 looks so friggin' awesome in 1650x1080.

Seriously, that's why I bought mine.

Re:Monitor (1)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406948)

Just download the mp4 from Youtube using a Firefox plug-in, play with VLC and use the VLC option to rotate the video.

Re:Monitor (2, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407698)

Hahaha!
That was similar to my reaction when I opened the page with my 26" portrait oriented monitor. I said "yeah! take that! landscape mode suckers!". I was waiting to say that for over a year...

Too bad I found the video boring... but it still fills my entire screen so I can see its boring-ness in all its glory!

Pinball Fantasies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406132)

Amazing how much it reminds me of playing Pinball Fantasies on the Amiga. Even the audio... I'm guessing the recognition is supposed to go in the other direction, but I didn't actually see many real pinball machines as a child.

Re:Pinball Fantasies (5, Insightful)

xororand (860319) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406224)

Pinball Fantasies is the best software pinball game that I've ever played. Stones'n'Bones kept me busy for weeks in all its 320x400 pixel glory, scrolling with silky smoothness on a 386 CPU, and awesome tracker music that never got old.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinball_Fantasies [wikipedia.org]

Some brazilian guy is currently building a full size replica of the "Party Land" table. [flickr.com] It looks pretty good already!

Re:Pinball Fantasies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406378)

Anyone played both this and HD Pinball on the iPad? I've been impressed by how much fun HD Pinball is, but do not have enough experience with PC/Amiga/whatever pinball games to compare it to them.

Re:Pinball Fantasies (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406454)

I'd say pinball dreams is in many ways better. My brother has probably got the best scores for that in the world on all tables.

Re:Pinball Fantasies (2, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407550)

They're both by the same developers. They also had a third pinball game, Pinball Illusions, which was also great.

It has always surprised me that those guys could do excellent pinball games and pretty much all other pinball games to this day (except Metroid Prime Pinball on NDS) have sucked big time.

Sure, they looked great and had all kinds of whizzy effects, but the physics just feel wrong in most pinball games. And since it's essentially a game about physics, that's a pretty big problem.

I've always wondered what the technical difference is between a good pinball simulation and a bad one. The physics are pretty straightforward, so it really can't be sloppy calculations. Could it be resolution of dimensions or time? Or perhaps they precalculated a lot of stuff for precission? Why is it so hard to create a pinball game with physics that feel right?

Re:Pinball Fantasies (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407604)

There's a pinball game on DSiWare by the makers of Metroid Prime Pinball, supposedly a very good one as well. Pinball Pulse [nintendolife.com] .

Maybe choosing the right variables is hard to get just the right amount of friction, bounce and gravity into the game. Maybe other developers don't pay enough attention to how real machines behave.

Re:Pinball Fantasies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33407996)

They still do exellent games, but they changed name from Digital Illusions to DICE (Digital Illusions Computer Entertainment)
Oh, and they recently released a brand new Megadrive game. Hardcore [youtube.com]

Re:Pinball Fantasies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33408138)

Fun fact: The developer in question is Digital Illusions, or "DICE", who later made Battlefield 1942 and its sequels.

I checked their Game Archive at http://dice.se, and it seems that they made a fourth pinball game too: "True Pinball", but I've never tried that.

Re:Pinball Fantasies (2, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33408170)

You know, thanks to the Source engine (and consequently Havoc physics) being available for making mods for free to anyone who owns a Source engine game, I'd wager that it could be used to make a pretty realistic pinball game with the built-in physics. I wonder why anyone hasn't done it yet. =|

Re:Pinball Fantasies (2, Insightful)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406988)

If I had mod points left for today you would get one. I literally played this game so much that I developed blisters.

Re:Pinball Fantasies (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33408166)

I don't know what it is about Brazil, but I've seen a lot of creative electronic engineering come out of that country.

A friend's friend purchased an arcade cabinet with a South American version Street Fighter II. It's is a special (I believe bootleg) version of Street Fighter II with all kinds of mods - pressing Start during the game changes characters in the middle of a round, for instance. Slow Hadouken curves upwards, medium goes straight, and fast goes downwards. You can throw a lot of moves in the air and infinitely float... it's pretty cool.

This guy shows me this other thing he has. It looks like a pretty bulky arcade stick. In it is a JAMA board (kind of like a game cart for arcade machines) with this version of Street Fighter, and you can hook it up direct to a television. Crazy stuff.

Re:Pinball Fantasies (3, Informative)

carlzum (832868) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406604)

It's hard to reproduce pinball in a video game, but Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection on the Wii comes really close. The Wiimote and nun-chuck are perfect for the flippers and nudging the table, and the physics are lifelike.

Re:Pinball Fantasies (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406718)

I am completely in love with Metroid Prime Pinball for the DS. I'm not a pinball aficionado, and have no idea if it's really that good, but when I need a short distraction, that's my go-to game--more so even than TetrisDS.

Re:Pinball Fantasies (1)

ockegheim (808089) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407140)

This thing I love about pinball is how analog it is and that it has an extra level of unpredictability that it would be difficult to reproduce digitally. I'm talking about when I play- my multiballs are are a bit more adrenalin-charged and chaotic than these guys'...

Re:Pinball Fantasies (2, Informative)

mccalli (323026) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407344)

Wasn't Pinball Fantasies but its predecessor, Pinball Dreams that got me into pinball. That and a table at university - Fire! [ipdb.org] by Williams. Just about a couple of decades then go by without me playing, and then Pinball Dreams comes out on the iPhone. I liked playing so much that I bought a real table, Gottlieb's Surf'n'Safari [ipdb.org] , for the home.

It's a massive hit - my wife likes it, my kids like it, I like it...it's great. Pinball Dreams is where it started for me though - the Nightmare [youtube.com] table is massively playable and the music great.

Cheers,
Ian

When high (5, Funny)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406160)

What Pinball Looks like When...High:

BEEB BEEB BEEB...LIKE WH0A...NOM NOM NOM NOM...O NOES...

o....when stakes are high...

"I mean if Pacman affected our generation as kids, we would all run around in darkened rooms eating pills and listening to repetitive music."

Re:When high (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406386)

"I mean if Pacman affected our generation as kids, we would all run around in darkened rooms eating pills and listening to repetitive music."

I thought that was called a rave?

Re:When high (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406498)

I thought that was called a rave?

Careful there, you are dangerously close to actually getting the joke.

Kinda makes me nostalgic for Windows (2, Funny)

sirrunsalot (1575073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406172)

Ah, Space Cadet Pinball, how I miss you... Okay. Good. The nostalgia passed pretty quickly. I'm sorry you had to witness my moment of weakness there.

Ah Pinball (2, Interesting)

theskunkmonkey (839144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406196)

Memories of misspent youth and quarters.

I could pop a quarter in an Eight-Ball Deluxe machine and play all day. I was able to hit most of the specials and rack up credits for free play. Sometimes I even left a few on the machine when I had to go.

Re:Ah Pinball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406570)

At 1:37 on that video, he does a skillful tilt of the machine to prevent a ball loss. I was impressed. Almost made me want to go track down a local machine!

Re:Ah Pinball (2, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407564)

"Make the eight ball, corner pocket..."

Re:Ah Pinball (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407814)

For playing with real tilt on a computer:

n900 + dosbox + acceleromymote.

Start the joystick emulation. Run dosbox and the keymapper -- with all those games using port 60 instead of the BIOS you have to remap physical keys anyway; you need left shift, right shift, then whatever you need to start the game (F1-F4 in Pinball Dreams/Fantasies). Then, remap the joy up event to space. Play PD/PF/whatever else.

Laptops don't have accelerometers and are too unwieldy, iPhone has no keyboard. It might be possible to do this on a Milestone if someone writes an accelerometer->joystick driver (probably needing a jailbreak) or adds that to DosBox directly.

Where are the women? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406280)

I noticed something very strange: It's all men. Where are the women players? In the audience? At least, why didn't the audience bring their wives and girlfriends?

Re:Where are the women? (4, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406368)

It's not all men. It's just that the women who are hardcore into pinball look like men.

Re:Where are the women? (0, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407110)

Nice troll, dude.

Who needs real-life women when there is this [google.com] most relevant example?

p.s. Dolan Duck is the best meme ever.

Re:Where are the women? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33407994)

First there is an error in judgment. There is no proof that pinball audience people have girlfriends. Second, if they have one. They most likely want to keep them. Or to put it that way: The women use miss on /., comic con and star * conventions are not at the pinball tournament. They are somewhere else. And if you find out where that is. Don't forget to leave a note. Thanks.

Pinball is in a sad state. (4, Interesting)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406300)

There is only one pinball manufacturer in the world right now, and they didn't get there by being the best engineers, artists or designers. They got there by being/having the scummiest lawyers. Now we're stuck with horrible designs, bad gameplay, and most of the best IP buried in an unmarked grave in wrigley field.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (4, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406340)

Tilt: The battle to save pinball is a great documentary to watch.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406418)

I don't understand the lawyer comment. Stern is a continuation of Sega. We have one manufacturer in the world because Williams left to make slot machines and pinball doesn't make much money. If Stern dropped out then we'd have 0 manufacturers and nobody would take their place. Stern has made some pigs, but they also made Simpson's Pinball Party, Family Guy, and LOTR which are all great games.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (4, Interesting)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406624)

You've obviously never had to service any of them. Stern has a nasty tendency to release their designs before fully testing them. For an entertaining read check out the code revisions and dates for Pirates of the Caribbean.

Back EMF is a recurring issue on several modern Stern designs; due to things like poor wire routing choices and underspec'ing diodes on larger coils.

Want a nightmare? Check out the membrane switches under the motorcycle toy on Harley Davidson.

I could literally rant for hours about Stern and never repeat myself. They are garbage whose horribleness is only eclipsed by the complete shite rolling off the lines of Gottlieb starting in the early 70's and culminating with Water World.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406830)

Oh my god, you just out-nerded even Slashdot.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (4, Informative)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406936)

Gottlieb electromechanical (EM) machines were #1 from the beginning of the flipper period (Humpty Dumpty - 1948), but lagged in features and complexity around the early 70's. But the latter EMs of that decade were unmatched - with classics like El Dorado. But once the games transitioned to solid state(SS) in the latter part of the 70's, Gottlieb never found their way back, and faded slowly from the scene until Barb Wire - their last pinball machine. Until the EM/SS transition, Gottlieb games had a well-deserved reputation for quality of components and reliability. This was all lost in the SS transition with the horrible System 1 platform, designed by Rockwell of all places. And even though they did bring up quality by the 90's it was too late for Gottlieb by then and they faded into obscurity.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (2, Informative)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407074)

You're dead on with that. The spider chips on those cursed System 1 boards made the damn game boards into toxic cheese graters as soon as they failed.

Good riddance to them, the aftermarket replacements are much better products. Now if something could be done about the flawed ramp designs and their "smart switches".

The one thing I do like about Gottliebs from the solid state era is their choice of connector for the interconnects. The rest of the industry's choice of the 0.168 and 0.1 tension pins will plague us for all of eternity.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (3, Funny)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 3 years ago | (#33408376)

> Want a nightmare? Check out the membrane switches under the motorcycle toy on Harley Davidson.

That was on purpose. It pays homage to the years AMF owned Harley.

Stern originally wanted to make them leak oil too, but their lawyers vetoed the idea since patrons might hurt themselves walking on greasy floors.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406608)

That sounds like Bally - the crappiest and most boring pinball machines ever made. Even if nobody played them parts would keep burning out.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (3, Insightful)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406754)

Granted Bally had some stinkers, but with a roster like this it's hard to back up your argument:

The Addams Family
Attack From Mars
Cactus Canyon
Champion Pub
Cirqus Voltaire
Safecracker
Theatre of Magic
The Twilight Zone

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (2, Informative)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407512)

Then there is Star Trek: The Next Generation. Machine was rushed and pretty buggy. Most of the machines you listed were from the WMS era so they were based on shared Williams platforms. Twilight Zone was excellent, sadly it never got the DCS sound system. It was supposed to be the first to have it but.... the game was rushed out the door.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (1)

Dadoo (899435) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407118)

Having lived about half a mile from there, I'd have to agree with you. That's a pretty run-down area, even for Pittsburgh.

I even mentioned this story to my wife, who said she couldn't imagine giving someone directions to the site, from the nearest freeway.

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33407266)

Um... get off the Carnegie exit from I-79, head toward Carnegie, take the first right, and look for the giant sign that says PINBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP?

Damn, that's complicated!

Re:Pinball is in a sad state. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33408074)

You left out these parts:

Guy with the blade...hard left

Dreadlock with used squeegee wiper ... step on it

Shopping cart hobo at 10 o clock,,,horn!

And that's not your GPS talkin'

PC! (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406360)

Pinball really is a lost bit of nostalgia. I bet you a LOT of money could be made if classic machines such as Dr. Who, Attack from Mars, Revenge From Mars, Terminator, were adapted to the PC. I mean, Maxis' Full Tilt Pinball is the last decent pinball sim I can think of. And that was circa Windows 3.1

Re:PC! (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406540)

There already is one. [wikipedia.org] Visual Pinball also has a MAME style emulator for arcade game like Terminator and Addams Family.

Re:PC! (1)

cyclopropene (777291) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406542)

Pinball really is a lost bit of nostalgia. I bet you a LOT of money could be made if classic machines such as Dr. Who, Attack from Mars, Revenge From Mars, Terminator, were adapted to the PC. I mean, Maxis' Full Tilt Pinball is the last decent pinball sim I can think of. And that was circa Windows 3.1

I agree. Although, while I haven't followed this in a while and I don't use Windows at home anymore, I was thrilled 7 or 8 years ago with vpinmame and Visual Pinball for machines like The Twighlight Zone, the Adams Family, and, well, Whirlwind, since I played that a lot in college. Actual ROMs, photographs of the tables as backgrounds, and real physics you could even edit, and it was all free (except for the ROMs technically, I guess...). Not sure what the status of these projects is these days, but I am inspired to check it out.

Re:PC! (3, Insightful)

sho-gun (2440) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406680)

http://www.vpforums.org/ [vpforums.org] is the site you seek.

The best, easily-accessable pinball setup I saw (3, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406376)

There were two:

The arcade at Dixie Landings in Walt Disney World. They had an entire wall that was nothing but pinball machines...at least 20-30 in a row. The second was at a place in Gaithersburg, MD that shut down about 12 years or so ago, called Sportland America. They too had an entire wall of just pinball machines, although they had closer to 40 or 50 of them.

Such good times. I miss pinball machines :(

Re:The best, easily-accessable pinball setup I saw (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406550)

If you're ever in Phoenix, stop by Castles and Coasters... they have 20 or so pinball machines in the arcade, if I remember correctly.

Re:The best, easily-accessable pinball setup I saw (1)

audunr (906697) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407598)

If you ever visit Oslo, Norway, check out the place Tilt (pictures [pinball.no] ). They have 15 machines, selected from the owners' collection of 230.

Re:The best, easily-accessable pinball setup I saw (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407966)

I liked pinball machines as well, but I do not so much miss them. They started to get boring once you would get several million points. I did not see the relation of getting 3 million on one thing and 300 on the other.
500 points or even 5000 points was something I could understand, but 1.000.000?

meh (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406404)

If it's pinball and it's not Medieval Madness, it almost certainly sucks.

TROLLLLLLLSSSS!

What pinball looks like when the stakes are high? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406508)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_pGL7iLcL8FE/S2YyjWuJWYI/AAAAAAAAAcc/zUkHlkAlmqs/s400/Tommy+(38).BMP

It doesn't get any higher that that.

OT: Pinball on a Stick (3, Informative)

British (51765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406552)

If you are in the twin cities area, go to the MN State fair. There's a room with nothing but pins. This is a welcome change from the increasing numbers of shooting gallery & ticket redemption machines invading the fair.

What it looks like (2, Informative)

bug_hunter (32923) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406586)

What it looks like is unfortunately amazingly boring. Most of the game is the player holding the flipper up so the ball stops, releasing, then making a good shot.
The shots take skill, and there's always the trick of using the right amount of tilt etc, but I find it near unwatchable.

Re:What it looks like (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406702)

I was surprised at the bumping the first ball got without tilting. And that player held the ball a lot more than the 2nd player/ball. Got boring after that for me tho so that was my limit.

I got a cheap home pinball machine one year for christmas. I thought the name was "flying circus" but looking around I don't see it. The scoreboard was analog - it was a giant wheel numbered 1-100 around its circumference, and showed the score by showing a small patch of the dial at the top. Every time you hit a ramp or a bumper bell a server would kick the dial another position and ring a bell.

Very basic game, but I quickly got good enough at it to play almost indefinitely on a ball. Over time though, the contacts on the ramps got dirty and the balls started to rust so it didn't keep score nearly so well anymore. Still fun to play though.

Re:What it looks like (2, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406924)

That's why I like the 4th guy. He's a bit more random in his playing style, but he actually nailed several ramps back-to-back, unlike the other perfectionists. His score didn't go quite as high, but he spent a lot less time idling and played it like a normal person rather than a committee-designed robot.

Those guys who just sit there all day, planning their shot like a goddamned golfer, are indeed ultra-boring. There was a crap pin, I think it was Stargate, that had a truly game-breaking oversight in that one of the trick shots could be jammed. Hitting it the first time was difficult, but it was so close to a secondary flipper that if you timed it right, the flipper would just barely wedge the ball against the cup, triggering the bonus for as long as you held the flipper. I remember when I was a kid, people would have a shitty round and ask me to take over the last ball to do the trick, just to score a free game. It was mind-numbing but it's not like a 10 year old has anything better to do :P

Tricks that are cool/impressive in a pinball game: ball stops (because I suck at them), fast loops, precise tilt saves and the efficiency metric I label "points per second". Ultimately it all boils down to knowledge of that particular table and a smooth flowing rhythm.

Re:What it looks like (1)

klui (457783) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407940)

24 minutes 46 seconds--24 minutes 49 seconds was pretty good. Some of the saves down the middle were also quite nice.

Games in Vegas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406630)

The Pinball "Hall Of Fame" in Las Vegas has hundreds of pinball machines. Most of them work well enough.

Oh man (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406756)

Pinball is great, even for the young generation.

In the basement we have 24, Theater of Magic, and Spiderman :)

Re:Oh man (1)

carlzum (832868) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406862)

Theater of Magic! I'm insanely jealous.

The real Pinball Hall of Fame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406764)

I went to Vegas, and spent a week there. These guys know from pinball. http://pinballmuseum.org

Sports that are boring to watch: (3, Funny)

retech (1228598) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406900)

Golf

Bowling

NASCAR

Pinball

Tennis

Bicycling

Sailing

Swimming

Gymnastic Ribbon (WTF is that)

Water Ballet

Re:Sports that are boring to watch: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33407004)

Tennis but not soccer?

Anyway, they're all boring after you see ultimate fighting.

tilt/bump (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33406938)

How in the world is whacking the machine allowed? I thought machines showed "TILT" and disabled the controls if you did that?

Re:tilt/bump (2, Informative)

sirrunsalot (1575073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406992)

I think it tolerates a bit of a nudge before it shows TILT. The mechanism is usually a plumb bob that hits a metal ring and completes a circuit if it's hit too hard. When the guy waits for a while, the synopsis says he's waiting for the tilt sensor to come to a rest. The finesse to hit it that hard and not trip the sensor is probably why it refers to it as "$10,000 for his skillful play."

Re:tilt/bump (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407960)

There's a reason why every pinball videogame includes buttons to nudge the table. Hitting it without triggering the tilt is part of the game.

Re:tilt/bump (2, Insightful)

PSXer (854386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407818)

Pinball machines give you a certain number of warnings when the sensor goes off before you actually lose your ball. Notice that the display says "danger" when he does it and it also seems to give an auditory warning, but I can't make out what it says.

Re:tilt/bump (1)

PSXer (854386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407840)

Actually, I meant to say the display says "warning", not "danger". The one time I accidentally hit submit instead of preview and it actually goes through instead of telling me to wait longer and this happens.

What Pinball Looks Like When the Stakes Are High (5, Funny)

hamburger lady (218108) | more than 3 years ago | (#33406982)

looks pretty much the same as when the stakes are low.

Low Maintenance Tables? (1)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407016)

I've always wanted a pinball table, but I never got one for fear of bad parts and expensive repairs. I'm fine with a $2,000 investment on a good table, but have no idea what to look for and what to avoid. Anyone one have suggestions?

Re:Low Maintenance Tables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33407192)

I've always wanted a pinball table, but I never got one for fear of bad parts and expensive repairs. I'm fine with a $2,000 investment on a good table, but have no idea what to look for and what to avoid. Anyone one have suggestions?

Buy one.

There is a large contingent of pinball fans on the 'net. If you can twist two wires together and make a solder joint (and you can, with about an hour of practice, even if you've never touched a soldering iron in your life), you can maintain a pinball machine. This holds true for machines that date back to the days of electromechanical machines to the present day. There are even drop-in LED replacements for the orange vacuum-fluorescent displays of the 80s/90s-era solid-state machines - I'll be buying 'em when the displays on the office's 30-year-old machine fail, but our machine has been running for ten years, 8 hours a day, and has needed only mechanical maintenance (the odd broken switch or corroded contact, flipper bushings worn, flipper gets sticky, etc... a 15-minute fix with a screwdriver, a wrench, and $20 worth of parts.)

Most of the maintenance problems with pinball are associated with the fact that these machines are run for 8-12 hours a day, in environments in which the players don't really care about the machines. The machine you buy will be on for an hour or two a day, and will be played by a handful of people (you, your family, and the occasional guest), none of whom will be abusing the machine.

Get a pinball machine. They'll be around forever, but they won't be available forever. Get one.

Re:Low Maintenance Tables? (2, Informative)

DZign (200479) | more than 3 years ago | (#33408194)

Check the pinball 101 pages on http://www.flippers.be/ [flippers.be] that should teach you most you have to know when buying your first pinball machine..

Insert Coin (3, Funny)

spacemky (236551) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407018)

"The winner of the $10,000 prize purse at the World Pinball Championships has requested his entire winnings in quarters."

the pinball bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33407166)

this has to be the most watched game of pinball ever. pretty impressive accomplishment, kudos to all involved. long live pinball. long livALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD

Ah memories... (1)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407180)

Most of my college years were spent in front of the Creature From The Black Lagoon table (The table in the article + Licensing Deal). I could drop a 20 pence coin in there, play 5 or 6 games and walk away leaving multiple credits behind.

I don't know that I'd handle the consistency of play required to get into this sort of competition, but my averages were way above what these guys ended on, with a personal best of 911M and change.

Re:Table Selection (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407510)

I didn't get any of the MetaGame from the article, so the best I can figure is that suppose you were indeed a deadly hotshot at Lagoon, the champion might know 5 machimes, and stick the results on Knight Rider or something.

Ramdom Guess here, but certain people can be am expert at any one machine, so if the Champ plays the MetaGame right, his 3rd best machine might leave you ruined.

Re:Table Selection (1)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407744)

Yeah, no argument there.
Lagoon was the only one I really aced, though I could hold my own on Twilight Zone (even with its accursed ceramic ball) and the 90's Star Wars table (The one with the mini-game video games on the LED's up top).

But yeah, like I said, no consistency of play. Put me in front of any table other than those 3 and I was laughable at best.

Oh my God! (1)

conares (1045290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33407754)

It looks just like regular pinball...imagine that!

$10,000 huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33407890)

Hope he has got good insurance. Shame if somethin' wuz to happen to 'is fingers.

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