Saturday, May 31, 2014

Guelph Pinball Club Trip Report... PREVIEW!

My buddy Nathan of The Pinball Club and The Grunk had told me of a magical place in Guelph. I told him that there was nothing magical about Guelph but then he started telling me about The Pinball Sessions and Guelph Pinball Club.
Nathan told the tale of this little recording studio in Guelph that houses an abundance of pinball machines and also used to be the convenience store where he bought smokes. I thought it pretty cool but unfortunately, I am not a musician nor do I live in Guelph so I figured it would be a pipe dream to see this magical place. Nathan, ever the resourceful one, then said "let's rent a car, head out to Guelph, and play pinball". Well, shucks, I can't turn that down! The Guelph Pinball Club was getting together one Wednesday and so we struck out to Guelph to see what this Club was all about. Suffice it to say, it was mind-blowing.
Lots of System-11s, lemme tell you! Whirlwind, Taxi and Pin-Bot! How about some more modern machines?
Not bad! The Addams Family and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Two solid 90's DMDs. Star Trek TNG is also a SUPERPIN widebody!
There were a few SUPERPINS in the mid-90's. Two that come to mind are Twilight Zone and Judge Dredd.
Guelph Pinball Club has one helluva collection; this ain't a gathering of some honky-tonk half busted beasts. Dan B., one of the minds behind Pinball Sessions, collects and fixes up pinball machines and gives people a chance to play some of these fantastic tables.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ottawa Pinball Expo Part IV

Ottawa Pinball Expo was more than several months ago and has almost become a distant memory. Good thing that I have a good memory... and lots of pictures. I'm not quite done sharing all the great stuff I saw at Ottawa Pinball Expo so let's keep it going...
Quick recap! During Part 1, we looked at some System-11 tables like Atlantis...
Part 2 looked at a couple of the licensed tables, like Doctor Who...
Part 3 was all about going back in time to the days of alpha-numeric displays with a look at Swords of Fury and Time Machine.
Let's start where we left of on Part 3. I gave a sneak peek of Williams' Time Warp!
Notice anything strange about this psychedelic trip of a table? It has some odd looking flippers, doesn't it?
In the late 70's, Williams was experimenting with new ways to refresh the pinball game and so they developed banana flippers. Due to the curvature of the flippers, it's harder to aim shots and so adds a bit more random element into flipping. It wasn't the most successful of Williams' new experiments and only one other table bore the banana flippers, that being Disco Fever. Nonetheless, Time Warp is a real trip to play and the flippers add a lot of fun and frustration to the table.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


The final tournament of Kensington Brewing Company and 3030 Dundas West's Pinball Sundays was held this past Sunday on May 11.
Now was the time for my redemption. I attended two out of the past three tournaments, Brass Taps and Get Well (click the links to see my recaps of the events) and came up short both times. At the Brass Taps tournament, I made it to the finals where I lost to my friend, Adam.
At Get Well, I was eliminated by Tyler in the Semi-Finals.
When I found out that the final tournament at 3030 was going to be postponed until May 11, I took advantage of the time between to practice my game. I spent a lot of time and money working on my pinball game, whether it was endurance practice at California Sandwiches...
playing on broken down machines at Bar 918...
working on accuracy and setting high scores at Unlovable and Monarch Tavern...

... or back in the mean streets of Oshawa at Leisure Lanes, mastering the finesse of the Whitby Shuffle
I put a lot of time in to build the five S's of World Cup Soccer...
May 11th rolled around and after having a nice Mother's Day brunch with my mother and family, I headed back to the big city in preparation of the final tournament. Days before the event, it was announced that there would be a mystery machine for the tournament. It ended up being Williams' JUNGLE LORD!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Second Look at X-MEN

X-MEN has been out for about a year or two now and has popped up in the city a few times.
An X-MEN table took up residency at the former Pinball Cafe when it was first released back in the Summer of 2012.
Another X-MEN table spent a good amount of time at Rosa Bianca Cafe on College St.
There's also a table out in Oshawa at Stag's Head
 And, most recently, X-MEN has shown up at Glamour Sports Bar on St. Clair West.
... But it has left the building. X-MEN had replaced a European sports bar staple, World Cup Soccer, at Glamour Sports Bar which was a good thing!
Glamour's WCS table was pretty beat-up; there was a piece of plastic that covered the Final Draw eject hole so it was impossible to activate Multiball besides getting it as the Mystery award. ALRIGHT, enough talk about World Cup Soccer! If you want more, then go read my review about the table here!
It's a long way to the top!
I reviewed X-MEN when it was first released when I came upon it during the 2012 Canadian Pinball Championships, although at the time I wasn't too familiar with the table at the time and couldn't get too much into it.
Now that X-MEN has been out for a while and had a good stint at Rosa Bianca amongst other places, I am taking a second look at it for a more thorough review.