Episode 102 – Scrabble was called Scrabble

Jeff is joined by Jessica DeNardo and Bowen Kerins and it immediately gets awesomely weird. Listen in as the three of us go over game theory, what Taco Bell would look like as a pinball theme, new games coming out, competitive pinball format talk, and much, much more.

Check out Bowen’s Patreon at www.patreon.com/pinball to see more about the pinball tutorial videos he’s creating.

Belles and Chimes PDX on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/bellespinballpdx

Support our sponsors!

The Pinball Podcast is sponsored by NiftyLED.Click the banner to check out the new and improved NiftyLED.com!

rxEuUlPyIX5qTIutCqKsIA-MEZELmodsMezelMods.com is offering the code MAUDE for 15% off any Mezel-made items in their store!  Enter code at checkout.desktop-logo

ULEKstore.com us offering the code TPP for free shipping on pinball orders over $30!  Enter code at checkout.

Episode 101 – Pinball Therapy

With the first episode after Don’s flight into hiding, Jeff is joined by listener favorite, Jessica to discuss pinball machines that always seem to do them dirty in competition. Come for the therapy session and let it all out with us.

Next show we’ll be joined by Bowen Kerins, who will lend his words of pinball wisdom. Submit any questions or topics that you’d like us to discuss while Bowen is on the show to pinballpodcast@gmail.com.

Support our sponsors!

The Pinball Podcast is sponsored by NiftyLED.Click the banner to check out the new and improved NiftyLED.com!

rxEuUlPyIX5qTIutCqKsIA-MEZELmodsMezelMods.com is offering the code MAUDE for 15% off any Mezel-made items in their store!  Enter code at checkout.desktop-logo

ULEKstore.com us offering the code TPP for free shipping on pinball orders over $30!  Enter code at checkout.

Episode 100 – Live from Flipperspiel Underground

This week, Don and Jeff recorded live, side-by-side at Flipperspiel Underground in Las Vegas.  Pretty sure we forgot to thank the most important person involved…YOU!  Thank you all for listening and supporting the show for 100 episodes!  Five and a half years of mediocre pinball ranting. Thanks again for joining us!  Special thanks to Daniel and Hollywood Nate at NiftyLED.com for throwing the party, to Adam at Flipperspiel Underground for hosting us in his great arcade, to Ryan Claytor for his fantastic Episode 100 artwork, and thanks to Nick, Lee, Chris, Scott, David and Leeann of ULEKStore.com, the membership of FU, and the NiftyLED Mrs’es for joining us in Vegas.

(from left to right – Hollywood Nate, Ryan Claytor, Nick Pin-Baldridge, Lee, Jeff, Scott, Adam from FU, Daniel from NiftyLED, Don-kneeling)

The second half of the episode is a discussion with Adam from Flipperspiel.  We discuss the club, membership and their newest addtion…a GIANT Killer Queen arcade set-up.

Don’t forget to join the ULEKStore MatchPlay Selfie League Contest!

tpp100color__23070-1479925061-1280-1280

 

Support our sponsors!

The Pinball Podcast is sponsored by NiftyLED.Click the banner to check out the new and improved NiftyLED.com!

 

rxEuUlPyIX5qTIutCqKsIA-MEZELmodsMezelMods.com is offering the code MAUDE for 15% off any Mezel-made items in their store!  Enter code at checkout.desktop-logo

ULEKstore.com us offering the code TPP for free shipping on pinball orders over $30!  Enter code at checkout.

Episode 99b – Self-Absorbed Narcissists

This week, Don and Jeff ONLY TALK PINBALL FOR THE FIRST 25 MINUTES, then in this bonus episode leading into Episode 100, we answer questions about our personal lives.  RIVETING. *cough*  Whatever, Episode 100 is coming next week, and we will be back to regular pinball talk.  Join us in Vegas at Flipperspiel Underground for the recording/tournament!

tpp100color__23070-1479925061-1280-1280

Support our sponsors!

The Pinball Podcast is sponsored by NiftyLED.Click the banner to check out the new and improved NiftyLED.com!

Click the banner to check out the killer selection of mods from Tilt Graphics Inc!

rxEuUlPyIX5qTIutCqKsIA-MEZELmodsMezelMods.com is offering the code MAUDE for 15% off any Mezel-made items in their store!  Enter code at checkout.desktop-logo

ULEKstore.com us offering the code TPP for free shipping on pinball orders over $30!  Enter code at checkout.

Episode 99 – Meet Punky Willy…His Boy Elroy…

This week, Don and Jeff are joined by Jessica DeNardo to discuss new pins, THE WEATHER, our favorite and least favorite solid state Gottlieb’s, and answer a bunch of listener comments.  Join us as we whisk you off to dreamland…

tpp100color__23070-1479925061-1280-1280

New Gameroom Magazine

Coca Cola Pinball game

Support our sponsors!

The Pinball Podcast is sponsored by NiftyLED.Click the banner to check out the new and improved NiftyLED.com!

Click the banner to check out the killer selection of mods from Tilt Graphics Inc!

rxEuUlPyIX5qTIutCqKsIA-MEZELmodsMezelMods.com is offering the code MAUDE for 15% off any Mezel-made items in their store!  Enter code at checkout.desktop-logo

ULEKstore.com us offering the code TPP for free shipping on pinball orders over $30!  Enter code at checkout.

Episode 98 – We give Transformers more lip service on this episode than our previous 97 episodes combined.

HOOOOLY CRAP.  We totally forgot to hype up the Vegas party in a month.  Crazy.  SORRY NIFTYLEDDOTCOM.  Go.  To Vegas.  February 18th.  For our final episode.

This week, Don and Jeff are joined by Jessica DeNardo to talk about new pins and new designers (the latter of which hasn’t happened since we were in middle school in the early 90’s).  We also talk about our favorite and least favorite games from a company that ships 99.9% of all pinball machines ever of all time*cough*.

There might possibly be some clips from Joe Zenkus on this episode, but possibly not because we went long as hell and HATE LONG ASS PODCASTS.  TIGHT 90, BRO.  Maybe next time.  Sorry, Joe.

tpp100color__23070-1479925061-1280-1280

Pre-order your 100th Episode POSTER here!

Support our sponsors!

The Pinball Podcast is sponsored by NiftyLED.Click the banner to check out the new and improved NiftyLED.com!

Click the banner to check out the killer selection of mods from Tilt Graphics Inc!

rxEuUlPyIX5qTIutCqKsIA-MEZELmodsMezelMods.com is offering the code MAUDE for 15% off any Mezel-made items in their store!  Enter code at checkout.desktop-logo

ULEKstore.com us offering the code TPP for free shipping on pinball orders over $30!  Enter code at checkout.

This Flippin X The Pinball Podcast – Bonus Holiday Episode

We did a thing where we had the guys from This Flippin’ Podcast, Joe Zenkus, and Evan Bingham and ourselves all teamed up for a couple of hours of questionable content. It was fun for us, we hope you enjoy the show. Our regular episode schedule will continue.

Review – Ghostbusters Premium/LE Code 1.11 (and 1.10)

When Ghostbusters released, it released with fairly complete code and provided a pretty strong initial experience. Early feedback was mostly positive, but there were a few concerns about the game’s difficulty, the somewhat unneven score balancing, and some pretty basic usage of the game’s major features. With a fairly long gap in time between the 1.05 launch code and 1.10’s release (and the follow up 1.11), there were high expectations that the game would take a major leap forward. After putting significant time in on both 1.10 and 1.11, here’s how I feel the game has changed from launch.

To simplify talking about these two releases, I’m going to treat 1.11 as a single release. Stern has the actual readme files avilable to see exactly what 1.11 added over 1.10, but the main focus of the release was to address bugs. A couple of small things were added over 1.10 in addition to the bug fixes, such as adding light 2X scoring into the skill shots, but the two releases are essentially one major update. I’ll refer to the updates as the 1.11 update for the rest of the review.

With 1.11, it’s obvious that the main objective was to make the game more forgiving and more accessible to entry-level players. Whether this was a reaction to chirping on Pinside or a direct response to gathered data from exported audits from operators and owners, Stern felt that the game needed to be a bit easier to progress through. This was accomplished by adding the options (which are enbabled as factory default), to allow the player to time out active modes as well as to continue modes after a drain. It’s a seemingly small tweak, but it completely changes how Ghostbusters is played.

In 1.05, draining during an active mode was a huge setback to progressing through the game. If you drained out without finishing the mode, you would either need to use your skill shot to continue or start a new scene, or you had to spell G-H-O-S-T and hit Slimer three times to get your modes lit once more. The former method was safer, but it removed your ability to shoot for the rollover skill shots. Going through Slimer was riskier, but definitely higher on the risk/reward scale. In 1.11, you can now go right back into the mode on the plunge, allowing you to shoot for any of the skill shots you wish without harming your ability to progress in the game.

The biggest impact of this change is that you can fairly easily progress through a ladder to reach a mini wizard mode. If you want to get to We Came, We Saw… (WCWS), you can generally get there by ball one or two by just focusing solely on that left ramp ladder and leveraging the ability to continue or time out modes. Given the points available in WCWS and the relative ease of getting there, it’s a strong and safe way to get into big points rather than swapping ladders and trying to get through the first level modes. In addition, you’re going to be progressing through locks to start Storage Facility Multiball on the left ramp. This approach is so far and above any other, that really there’s no real other way to play the game if you’re shooting for a high score.

Nothing is stopping you from playing other ladders in the game, but nothing offers as easy of a path to surefire high scores than playing the “We Got One” ladder. If making the game easier was meant to open options up, the opposite has actually happened here.

The modes themselves haven’t been changed, but a new video mode has been added to the game. Don’t Cross the Streams is lit and collected the same way as Negative Reinforcement on ESP Ability. When collecting the lit video mode, you have the choice of which mode to play. Don’t Cross the Streams is much more interesting, but it would have been nice to have integrated it differently into the overall experience. Throwing it in as an option is kind of odd, especially as the playfield art only indicates the original video mode. As far as strategy goes, Don’t Cross the Streams is a more reliable source of points, but you can get a bigger payout on Negative Reinforcement if you’re lucky. All in all, it’s a pretty minor addition to the overall experience.

Unfortunately, 1.10 ushered in quite a few bugs into the game; some which were squashed by 1.11. At 1.11, it’s far more common to see power drops on the flippers, some issues where bonus isn’t awarded after a ball, awards (Tobin’s Spirit Guide, video mode) being lit but not able to be collected, some scoring oddities, and a few other things that are being identified by players fairly often. While it’s impossible to test code to the point of being absolutely certain that bugs don’t exist, these releases seem to have been very lightly tested. I ran into issues from the very first game I played and only found more as I went on. With some testing it would be impossible to miss some of these bugs, because they are consistent in their triggers and don’t involve rare behaviors. Hopefully the next code release not only cleans up current bugs, but it’s much better about introducing new issues into the mix.

Bugs aside, the code has some additional problems. It didn’t do much to address the uneven aspect of the scoring, and it’s still a rush to get to the mini wizard modes and multiballs. It would have been nice to see some combo scoring, new paths to score multipliers, incentives to swap to different ladders within the same game, and create better opportunities to get scoring going other than just going to the next mode (to help provide a more even ramp up in score). Some additional differentiation for the premium/LE would also be much appreciated, especially with how the Ecto Goggles and the right ramp being loopable could be more deeply explored.

I don’t think that 1.11 makes the game worse, but it doesn’t move it forward very much either. 1.11 is more of a lateral step that introduces a few things of nominal value to the overall package. I appreciate that the mode continues and mode timeouts are optional and that it will give more casual players an opportunity to see the wizard modes, but that’s the vast majority of what constitutes this update. If “easy mode” isn’t what you were looking for, there’s probably more bugs in this update than features for you. We also lost the ability to change the pulse power on the magna slings, which is a big bummer for the home user that is obsessive about dialing in his or her machine.

All that said, I do recommend updating to the newest code release, whether you’re on a pro or a premium/LE model. The issues aren’t showstopping, and the better use of the multipliers in skill shots, the new video mode, and some of the better use of RGB lighting makes it worth upgrading. I do think it’s fair to expect a much more impactful update from Stern in the future, especially if the game continues to sell as well as it has. Ghostbusters is a very good game right now, but a bit more of a push through code evolution could elevate the game into one of the all-time greatest games ever. I hope that Trudeau’s design eventually reaches its full potential.

Code updates are available directly from Stern’s official website.

Episode 94 – Belles + Bad Movies

This week, Don and Jeff are joined by Jessica DeNardo of Belles + Chimes Portland to talk good pinball and bad movies!

Pinball Ambassdor 2016 Poll is up!

https://goo.gl/forms/VXH55v0znn7oRtBv2

Go vote!  Yes, you need a google account!  Sorry/not sorry.

11889614_962483547126759_6460621790582351510_n

 

Support our sponsors!

The Pinball Podcast is sponsored by NiftyLED.Click the banner to check out the new and improved NiftyLED.com!

rxEuUlPyIX5qTIutCqKsIA-MEZELmodsMezelMods.com is offering the code MAUDE for 15% off any Mezel-made items in their store!  Enter code at checkout.desktop-logo

ULEKstore.com us offering the code TPP for free shipping on pinball orders over $30!  Enter code at checkout.

Episode 93 – H.U.O. Positive

This week, Don and Jeff try really, really, ridiculously hard to stay positive. Nailed it (almost)!

356x237

Support our sponsors!

The Pinball Podcast is sponsored by NiftyLED.Click the banner to check out the new and improved NiftyLED.com!

rxEuUlPyIX5qTIutCqKsIA-MEZELmodsMezelMods.com is offering the code MAUDE for 15% off any Mezel-made items in their store!  Enter code at checkout.desktop-logo

ULEKstore.com us offering the code TPP for free shipping on pinball orders over $30!  Enter code at checkout.