Oldies but Goodies – Slugfest

While at the Houston Arcade Expo, I discovered a game that I sunk a lot of allowance into when I was a kid.  This table was at our local Shopko (department store), of all places.  It’s Slugfest by Williams, a baseball “pinball” table.  As you scored runs, it would spit out baseball cards.  I was a big collector of baseball cards, so this game was an instant hit with me.

It isn’t pinball in its truest sense, however.  Your goal is to score runs.  You do this by selecting the pitch you want (fast ball, change up or curve) and then you use the flipper bat to hit the ball.  There are different players at the back of the field, and you hit the ball into one of them.  Whichever LED is lit at that time is the action you get.  For example, if double is lit, you get a double.

I have played the crap out of this table this weekend and I occupy the top six spots on the leader board now (see picture above for proof).  The sad part about this table is that rarely anyone else is playing it.  It is truly an underrated game.  If you are a baseball fan, see if you can track this one down.

Hidden Gems – Pinball Quest

Genre:  Arcade/Pinball
Platform:  NES

My parents bought this game for me for Christmas one year.  I loved every new game that I got, but I really loved this one.  It wasn’t until much later that I realized how unique this game was.  Since this is my second post about a pinball game, you could assume, correctly, that I really like pinball.  I’d love to have my own real table one day.

Anyway, this game has three traditional tables – Pop!  Pop!, bowling/pool table; Viva! Golf, a golf table; and Circus, a circus-themed table.  Each had unique elements to them and had some bonus games, which was rare for the time.  All three were very fun and I spent plenty of time on each.

This game really became unique when you played in RPG mode.  This took you to a table that was really a story mode.  When you hit certain characters, text boxes would pop up.  As you played through, you went to new and more difficult tables.  It was a very unique way to present a pinball game and I’ve rarely heard anyone talk about this one.  This is why it’s a hidden gem.  Check it out if you can!

Chey’s Top 25 Games – #25 -Pinball FX 2

Genre – Arcade/Pinball
Platform – XBox 360, XBone and PC (Steam)

I have been playing pinball games since I got my first Windows 3.1 Tandy computer (thanks Mom and Dad!).  I started with DOS-based Epic pinball, moved to Sierra’s 3D Ultra pinball, Kirby pinball on the Gameboy, then a gap until Pinball FX on the XBox original and finally Pinball FX 2 on both the 360 and XBone.

This game carries forth the fine traditions of the pinball games before it.  It is a collection of downloadable tables (for a fee, of course).  The graphics are great.  The tables are very busy, but it (usually) doesn’t get in your way of tracking the ball.  The sound effects are also good and unique from table to table.  I would recommend playing with a spotter, though, because you will be so transfixed on the ball that you’ll have no idea what is going on around the table.  The physics are also very good and do change from table to table.  Some tables are really fast, others are ramp-heavy and yet others have an older-school feel.  On some tables you’ll score 50 million without much trouble, and others, 2 million is a feat.

What really makes this game stand out, though, is the sheer number of tables.  I have probably downloaded about 40.  If you like Marvel, you’ll like this game.  There are games of many different characters – Deadpool, X-Men, Avengers, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Dr. Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.  There are about 15 Star Wars tables.  I also like the South Park and Animation (Archer, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and American Dad) tables.  There are also a lot of Zen originals that are fun.