Monday, July 4, 2011

Started to play my Twilight Zone again

Since last week I have room again in my gameroom ! Before I had an extra machine in for a restoration.
That Medieval Madness is now gone, and now I finally could set up the Little Pro mini golf game. The Little Pro was disassembled since last year in my gameroom, it was in the middle path of the gameroom, in front of my Bram Stokers Dracula and Twilight Zone pinball machines.
So yes, I couldn't play any of these games for almost a year.

To be honest, I even think it was about 5 years since I played Twilight Zone.
OK, I may have played like two to ten games a year on it.. not more.. but that was not really playing, really trying to get a highscore, enjoying the game.. it was more to check if the machine still worked.
A few years ago we even had decided to sell our Twilight Zone as we didn't play it anymore.. but in the end played a few games on it again and decided to keep it anyway.. as it's in such good condition, it would be nearly impossible to find one again should we miss it.. but not that we really play it often.

Since three days now I'm again addicted to Twilight Zone. I really want to set a high score and enter my initials.
That's the goal I've set to myself. The machine has reset to its default settings and high scores, so about 600 million is needed.
Not too high.. should be a possibility for me you'd think ?

First put my electronic level on the playfield, the game was tilted almost 1 degree to the right. No wonder the game played weird. Now it's level. But I think I still need to adjust the playfield tilt and make it either more or less steep.

Like it is now set up, the game is just brutal. I've always hated The Addams Family because the magnets can drain the ball so quickly you can't do anything at all anymore.. but my Twilight Zone is even more a drain monster !

I've had more drains the last days than you can imagine and had more than one game that went like this:
- ball 1: skill shot, rocket kicker, popbumpers, left outlane.
- ball 2: skill shot, rocket kicker, popbumpers, right outlane.
- ball 3: skill shot, rocket kicker, popbumpers, sdtm.
game over without the pinball touching the flippers at all.
Other times: skill shot missed - slotmachine kickout - want to catch it on the right flipper and sometimes it bounces up and goes straight into the right outlane. Why ???

I've had dozens of games where at the start off ball 3 I had less than 10 million points (which is what you can earn with one successful skill shot).
Setting a high score seems an impossible task :-(
I did have a few good games - about 5 times I got between 500 and 550 millions. So almost there.. just have to be a really good game with every ball and I'll get there, I'm sure.

It probably also doesn't help that it's been about 10 years since I shopped the game.
While it is still pretty clean (as it's hardly been played), the rubbers are dead. The red flipper rubbers should be bouncy, but they are not.
I've had ball drains whilest trying to pass the ball from one flipper onto the other, because it didn't bounce hard enough off the flipper tip.
So next on the list is to put fresh rubber on this machine and see how much of a difference that makes.

It probably also doesn't help I'm still recovering from pneumonia. My reflexes are too slow, half of the time I see the bal drain and think 'maybe I should've tried to nudge the machine to rescue that pinball'.

But no more excuses. I should be honest: I'm bad at playing pinball.
Don't get me wrong - I love pinball machines. I love to play them, I love to work on the machines, but I'm just not a good player.
I'm just too bad. I haven't played in the belgian pinball championship for years as I'm not well enough so just don't bother (my goal usually is to be in the top half, but in reality I'm somewhere 2/3rd down the list). The competition is held in january, and I only play often in my gameroom during summer. As from october it gets too cold and I almost don't play anymore. So in january I've totally forgotten how to play pinball and do even more stupid mistakes that frustrate me because I know I should do better but it's been too long since I played.

It's not that I'm really bad a bad player - on a game that fits me I can get high results and get a top 5 score.
The problem is if a game doesn't fit me. I'm not good at nudging, trying to save and keep the ball in the game at all cost, .. then I drain with very low points, which gets my ranking down quickly.. and to do well on competitions you have to average well on any game, and do your best with every ball.

This weekend also was the TIF: Italian pinball championship. The previous two years we visited it, but not this year.
Two years ago we included it with the start of our holidays, last year we even drove especially over there for a weekend.
Not this year. It's just not a good weekend (first weekend of july is the start of the summer holidays, so everyone is driving to the south of Europe with large traffic jams as a result. Last years drive was too exhausting, and this year it would have taken many hours more.. this was not worth it..
I feel sad about it as I loved to meet my Italian friends again, I love to meet pinheads, I love to play all those unknown games I've never seen before..

Maybe one day I'll practice more playing pinball and become a better competition player.. but I've been telling this to myself the last years and I seem to play less and less. I'll just forget about playing championships at all and just concentrate on repairing and restoring these great machines..

1 comment:

  1. Forgot to mention, game is set to give NO extra balls at all.
    So when you get the superskillshot door panel, the red will award 10 million + battle the power, while the yellow will only award 10 million and give no extra ball..