Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New machines at the Pinball Cafe!

Some good news coming in!.. and what always follows good news is also some bad news... But let's start with the good news!

The Pinball Cafe have been really shaking things up with their lineup, having recently replaced Stern's AC/DC and Bally's Mata Hari. What has taken their place, you might ask? BEHOLD...
Joining Bally's Addam's Family in the Horror Corner, HERE COMES A NEW CHALLENGER
Data East's creepy classic Tales From The Crypt! A fast playing and flashy-as-hell table, Tales From The Crypt is a real hectic machine that boasts 6-Ball Multiball DANG! A cool feature, and toy I might add, is the plunger. It's shaped like a big ol' creepy door handle with a trigger to launch the ball. The neat thing about it is it will lock a particular feature if you pull the trigger during gameplay. It is sort of like a mystery award, where a certain mode becomes lit when you make a particular shot. Think of it like The Machine: Bride of Pinbot's Small/Big Wheel awards, where if you hit the left orbit when it's lit, it will select a particular reward, like Big Points or Extra Ball. In TFTC's case, the layout is similar but the rewards change each time something is hit, like the jet bumpers or slingshots, sort of how the illusions change on Theatre of Magic for each hit on the bumpers.

When you pull the trigger, you can lock a certain reward/feature so when you hit the shot to get the reward, you will get the one you selected and locked rather than a random one. This is a great way to get Extra Ball. When it's lit in the wheel, pull the trigger, lock it, and make the shot to get it!

Tales From The Crypt is pretty visually stunning. It's packed to the gills with artwork and there's a whole bunch of things to look at on both the backglass and playfield. If you look up a bit though, you do see this...
I'm always a sucker for backglass toppers.
Tales From The Crypt is a pretty scary machine! You gotta have guts to play it...
Whoops wrong kinda guts...
TFTC can be pretty frightening. If you're squeamish at all, I'd stay away from this. There's a couple of violent animations, like someone getting severed by a guillotine or someone being hanged. It's not a pretty sight.

Next up, a real heavy-hitter from the heydays, Gottlieb's BLACK HOLE!
Black Hole was the first pinball machine to charge 50 cents for a game back in 1981 but ironically it is only a quarter  for 5 balls at the Pinball Cafe. Get to the Cafe and get lost in the Black Hole!

... Also, get some balls stuck.
Good job, Miranda.

Keep it up!

'Cause it's a long way to the top! (of getting balls stuck)
I also got a ball stuck on Tales From The Crypt this past week.

NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS...

To make room (and pay) for Tales From The Crypt and Black Hole, Jason, owner of the Pinball Cafe had to sell Stern's Transformers Limited Edition. When he posted on the Facebook page for the Pinball Cafe saying that he was going to be getting a new machine in, I commented saying "DO NOT get rid of Transformers LE". I thought I had enough clout to help make an executive ddecision ya know? That was one of favorite tables at the Pinball Cafe, it was bright, colourful and too much fun. The table played fast, I mean FAST, you had to have split second reflexes when it came to the Megatron ball return. Megatron launches the ball at MACH SPEED directly at the right flipper. The table also had a shaker motor installed (as is the norm for Stern's Limited Edition machines) which makes shots like hitting Optimus Prime a lot more engaging even though that shot was awesome regardless! Getting multiball on Transformers is CRAZY. There's two multiball modes (that I know of at least): Megatron Multiball and Optimus Prime Multiball which are 3-ball and 2-ball respectively. The best part is that the multiball modes are stackable which has been a regular feature on Stern machines. A neat little technique I liked to use is activate "Destroy Optimus Prime" which is the pseudo ball lock for Optimus Prime Multiball. What I'm saying is you don't actually lock any balls, you just work your way towards it by hitting something, just like activating "Kill the Kraken" in Stern's Pirates of The Caribbean by hitting the ship.

You have to hit the loop that Optimus Prime resides over several times which will raise the ramp so you can attack him. Smack him with the pinball a few times (so satisfying) and multiball is activated. What I like to do though is get the balls locked for Megatron Multiball and activate that mode while "Destroy Optimus Prime" is active. Hit Optimus a few times during multiball and then Optimus Prime Multiball will activate. The great thing about activating Optimus Prime Multiball during Megatron Multiball is that you get an extra pinball on the playfield, racking it up to 4 balls at once and ball save will get activated again for about 30 seconds. Any time you get 4 balls going at once a table is pretty wild but on Transformers, it's DANGEROUS! AHHHHH! You gotta be quick on the draw. The Megatron ball return rewards Jackpot for each shot and spits it out at 88 MPH. Keep in mind too that the machine gets magnitude 8 shakin' going on just from having so many pinballs bouncing everywhere. Throw in all the LED lights on this machine going off like crazy and you got SERIOUS SENSORY OVERLOOOOAD! Transformers was definitely one of the machines I dumped the most money into among the Stern tables available at the Cafe. Getting the crazy multiball is mind-blowing and, if you play well during it, really impresses your friends! I think my buddy AK has video footage of me and my crazy flipper fingers doing working during a particularly intense round of multiball.
I can't give specifics but Jason told me that he got quite the payload from selling off the Transformers LE table. By selling Transformers LE, he was able to acquire Tales From The Crypt, Black Hole and... X-MEN, Stern's latest announcement and the focus of my next post! STAY TUNED. (I was kinda hoping Stern's NBA was going to disappear but no dice...)  

In other news...
There was a bit of a commotion down at Unlovable on Dundas West this past week during NXNE. From what I gathered on the Facebook page, there was a situation involving cops that ended in Unlovable getting closed down "indefinitely". A sad series of events as Unlovable is... well,  a pretty beloved venue. Record label DAPS Records has released a couple of tracks by  Ph├ędre and Beta Frontier for purchase to help generate legal fees for Unlovable. Check out the post here on Gorilla Vs. Bear for more info!

For those that have been keeping up with Bright Lights, Bumper City, you would know that my latest visit to Unlovable was greeted by a revitalized Data East Star Wars table. It's a shame to see such a great table once again "out of service". I wish Unlovable the best of luck in fighting the closing and hope to see them back up and running!

OK SO I don't want to end this on bad news because that is sad! Another pinball machine has popped up in the wild, albeit outside the city... and I'm talking FAAAAR OUT! (If you consider Clarington far) About a week ago, my dad told me that he was at the Clarington rest stop out on Highway 401 heading west and said that they now have Stern's Sopranos machine. I was glad to hear the news, as the machine that was there previously, Stern's Ripley's Believe it or Not!, was on location and was in terrible shape; half the machine didn't work and it was REALLY dirty! My brother Shane and I ventured out that way this past weekend to try out The Sopranos and... Things are good!
yeah i got an iphone and silly filters WHAT OF IT
The Sopranos table is a bit worn down with a small amount of grime and dirt on the playfield. The only thing that I could complain about is the somewhat broken safe. (And no Rated-R mode. Where's the f**kin' money?!) Not the most game-breaking but sometimes on a weak hit, the safe won't register the hit and due to not having enough momentum, the ball sometimes drains straight down the middle.

The Sopranos here at Clarington OnRoute is generous and I mean GENEROUS. 1 loonie gets you 2 credits. The amount of replays this machine hands out is ludicrous! The replay score is about 15,000,000 which is pretty easy to reach if you play half-decent. Shane and I got about 2-3 replays each during our rounds. The score match hands them out less frequently but moreso than other, more prudish machines. (LOOKING AT YOU TRANSFORMERS)

Come drop by the Pinball Cafe soon and...
AND ENTER THE BLACK HOLE

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