Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pioneers Bar Walkthrough Tour

Well two weeks ago was the New York Comic Con. I've got a video in the works but my video editing software keeps crashing. I hope to have it up by the end of the weekend since I wasn't able to get that much coverage of anything at the convention due to how crowded it was. When I was on the train going into the city I saw my friend Allen had posted a photo on his Facebook account of a bar that he recently put two games in. It was right near Penn Station so on Friday before Comic Con I made a detour!

Pioneers Bar is located on 138 W 29th Street. They'll be open for a year in December when it used to be a comedy bar. (You can see they left the stage) I had a chance to speak to one of the managers of the place, Ali and he was telling me that they had started doing console gaming as well as their giant Jenga towers but they didn't have any arcade or pinball machines. They had put in a cocktail Ms. Pac-Man game and now with Allen's help they have pinball. When I recorded this Allen had just put in a brand new, fresh out of the box Star Trek Pro and a Metallica Pro table. Then a few days after I filmed it Allen brought in a 3rd game, Wizard of Oz. Ali told me if the people like the pinball he's going to plan on adding in more games. Considering how New York City is becoming bigger now with pinball I don't doubt that they'll have three games for long. So lets hope the folks come out and play! They also have great sandwich and drink specials and they always have events going on like console gaming tournaments and live sports! Be sure to check them out!

Hit the jump for my impressions on Star Trek and Metallica!

Metallica Pro

Believe it or not this was my very first time playing this game. I've yet to play either version of Metallica and I'm happy to say it was well worth the wait. John Borg and the team did a great job with this game. All the way from the song choices down to the amazing art package from Dirty Donny. It's an album cover come to life that you play pinball on. While AC/DC went insane with the amount of modes that are tied into the songs, Metallica scales it down and it's a Multiball focused table. Sure you can hit the ramps to spell out Metallica and go for the Justice For All scoring, but when you can stack Multiball modes on top of each other is where the real points come from. On my very first game I was able to stack Grave Marker Multiball with the captive ball Coffin Multiball. Top that off with the FUEL targets on the left side you then can go into a double playfield scoring round with both Multiballs at the same time so you're getting double jackpots for everything. The only thing I didn't like was since this table was in a bar they didn't have the sound cranked up on the machine so I wasn't able to hear much of the music or the band's custom speech calls. I love the "HOLY SHIT!" call when you start racking up points. Great fun and be sure to hunt one down!

Star Trek Pro

For the first time ever in a Stern Pinball machine, they finally ditched the old light bulbs in favor of LED lights and holy shit does this game shine. You can really see the difference when you look at both Star Trek and Metallica side by side. While Metallica looks great the normal bulbs have a more yellow color. A lot of people hate the new LED lights because they can be too bright. I like them in moderation. With some older games they can really highlight a lot of the artwork and it makes the game look better. Sometimes people go overboard with them. I recently watched a video on YouTube of company that sells used pinball machines and they put a multicolor LED light in a game that was made in the 1960's. It just looked out of place. I get it that people want to run the games with them because LED's run cooler to save the artwork on the backbox and playfield and they also use less power (which is why the Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas is ALL LED) but just don't make it so bright they create their own glare or sometimes the LED's don't have enough to light the whole playfield actually making the game look much darker then it should be. (Addams Family and Twilight Zone at Pinball Hall of Fame where WAY too dark, I almost thought the lights were broken)

Now onto the game..sorry about that but people take lighting in pinball serious. With Star Trek it was once again designed by the King of Pinball, The Master of Flow...Steve Ritchie who also designed The Next Generation at Williams. The game feels like a game from Steve Ritchie, the game is super fast and I was really surprised by the loop shot with the upper right flipper. I almost thought of it like Spider-Man and The Getaway but you actually need to flip a little early because I noticed if I hit the ball on the end of the flipper it wasn't anywhere near the shot. I've seen people that have been able to loop combo up to 10 shots, it gets pretty intense.

Since the game just came out, unfortunately at this time there's not much of a game to it. People in the pinball community have been calling it "Time Out Trek" due to how the modes six modes in the game work. In the game you have six mission modes to complete before you get up to the Kobayashi Maru Wizard Multiball mode. The problem is that you really don't have to shoot anything in the game's modes except for the last shot. You can shoot for combos and multiple shots, but most people find it better just to sit and wait, hold the ball and let the timer run out and shoot the one shot to get credit for it, while trying to light the locks for Klingon Multiball and shooting up the center will light the Vengeance Multiball. I found the game to be fun but I really hope future updates will address the problems and force you to play through the modes rather then just waiting to get to the Wizard Mode faster.

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