Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I recently visited Ottawa back in February and took the opportunity to drop by House of TARG! How could I pass it up? During my latest visit, there were quite a few new tables in the roster compared to my Summer 2014 visit. One of the newcomers was Williams' classic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. We took a good look at the innovative table in my Round 2 review of House of TARG. The designer of T2, Steve Ritchie, was well represented at the House of TARG. The TARG lineup also included Rollergames, The Getaway, and Spider-Man, all designed by Ritchie. I have talked quite a bit about the first two tables but I have yet to really dig into Spider-Man here on Bumper City. Stern's Spider-Man table has had a few appearances in Toronto. I first came upon it at Ted's Collision when I moved to the city but it was in horrendous shape. Throughout the years, it had intermittent appearances at California Sandwiches. During its latest stint, I was able to get up onto the high score boards! 

This was around Summer 2014 when California had Mustang and Spider-Man. Mustang's novelty was starting to wear out so I spent a lot of time playing on Spider-Man. During my trip to House of TARG, I made sure to get a few rounds in on their Spider-Man table.

As I had mentioned, Spider-Man was designed by Steve Ritchie under the Stern banner. Ritchie's design philosophy is at full power on this table. Beautiful flow, tight shots, and the signature upper playfield flipper are all on display. Spider-Man is the perfect balance of the signature, combining well-flowing playfield with in-depth gameplay. There are so many shots and so many modes to complete, you can find yourself playing Spider-Man for a good couple of hours!

The table was a recent arrival to the roster and is dressed up to the nines! TARG's Spider-Man is outfitted with LEDs, giving the table a bright and vibrant glow. Everything was working perfectly which was a blessing but also a bit of a curse for me. The reason why is that when Spider-Man was at California Sandwiches, the right flipper was noticeably weak. It was a damn shame as you couldn't hit the left ramp for the life of you. However, the weak flipper gave the ball the perfect speed to hit the lock target without sending it out of control!
So, you could hit the target, the ball would drop down to the left flipper with little issue, leaving you with plenty of shots to make. TARG's right flipper was working much better so that strategy was thrown out the window. Nonetheless, Spider-Man offers plenty of different modes to play and welcomes a variety of strategies.
The main jist of the game is to defeat all the villains. You have Sandman, Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Venom AND BONESAW OHHHH YEAH!

Each of the modes offers something a little different. The Black Suit and Doctor Octopus's Fusion Malfunction mode lead to multiball modes while the others have hurry-ups or specific shots to hit. A key strategy is to stack the modes, especially the multiball modes. What I like to do is hit the lock target and get the first two locks of Black Suit Multiball over with as it is pretty easy to do. The only risk is the lock target but it is manageable to keep control of the ball. After that, you just have to hit either loop to lock a ball. Get the two balls for Black Suit lit then hit Doc Ock to activate Fusion Malfunction which is a 2-ball multiball and starts after a second hit into the Doc Ock scoop located under the good doctor. Make sure Black Suit Multiball is lit then hit either of the orbits to start the mode. You get a three-ball multiball that you can improve upon by then hitting the Doc Ock scoop and starting the Fusion Malfunction multiball mode! All you have to do from there is just go nuts and hit everything you can. If you can focus with four balls flying around, I recommend aiming for the ramps. They feed the balls back to the flippers and you can get some crazy combos going. Big points are yours if you rack up those combos!

Sandman gets a lot of real estate on Spider-Man's playfield and shares quite a few similarities to the UFO from Attack From Mars!
You first must knock down the target bank to access Sandman's mode, after which you have to hit the targets to wear him down and ultimately hit the scoop within. Despite its location, Sandman is a pretty easy target and will award some BIG POINTS if you work your way through his modes.

Spider-Man is a pretty visually stunning table. The artwork shines through despite the use of production photos from the movie (usually a requirement with licenses). Kevin O'Connor's design style is evident with the ever present bold colours and line-use to highlight shots. The upper playfield is a tangle of wire and plastic and if it's outfitted with LEDs like House of TARG's, it lights up beautifully!
The table is awash in the classic Spider-Man red and blue which really makes the entire table pop.
The soundbites and music were difficult to hear among the loud atmosphere of music and people at TARG. Spider-Man actually has some decent soundbites with quite a few custom callouts and insults from J. Jonah Jameson! If you're familiar with Peter Parker's ornery boss, you will get a kick out of the put-downs he throws your way!

During my stint at House of TARG, I had a few wild games on Spider-Man. One particular game got me the Number 4 score with 118 million points! Tough competition in Ottawa! I wasn't just up against the default high scores; I was taking on real people with real scores and there were some high level scores!
I also scored myself the Bonus Champion award!
It was one helluva game! I played a good long while and had to take a well-deserved break afterwards! Swig of beer for the workin' man...

Spider-Man is considered by many to be one of Stern's all-time classic tables. A tight and well-flowing design by Steve Ritchie combined with a very in-depth ruleset will keep you entertained for days to come. The table is also a stunner when it's outfitted with LEDs, especially red and blue lights. The key strategy for Spider-Man is all about stacking the modes. Stack up the two multiball modes and activate them while you have one of the villain modes lit, like Sandman, to rack up a big score. Don't get too frantic though; Spider-Man is full of tight ramps and loop shots so if you don't aim well, you won't get jack! House of TARG has a great line-up of Stern tables, like The Walking Dead, X-MEN, and Metallica but if there is one Stern table that you must check out, I definitely recommend taking Spider-Man for a spin. This table is solid proof that Stern is capable of making all-time classics on the level of the Bally and Williams tables of the 90's. If you get the chance to play Spider-Man, don't pass it up! Just make sure it's in solid working condition to get the full experience!

No comments :

Post a Comment