Halloween COUNT-down 2009: The greatest pinball ever concieved

On rare occasions, something that we love crosses paths with something else that we adore and creates a synergistic windfall of glad tidings. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Beer and pizza. Steak and cheese. Scooby-doo and the Harlem Globetrotters. On the extremely rare occasion, a third item enters the picture, transforming the fantastical into the transcendent.

During the 1950s, some strange alignment of the creative forces of the universe occurred, and every single type of monster that we will ever need was created. The so called, and coincidentally named, “Universal Monsters” known as Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon are the archetypes of nearly every kind of horrorific character that has or will be created to frighten. Dracula is the original and quintessential vampire from which all others are based (even the insipid Twilight). The Wolfman, or werewolf, represents all those wild animals that go berserk and acquire a taste for human flesh, from Cujo to The Birds and even FrogsFrankenstein is the supernatural killer that can’t be stopped, and is often driven by some sort of deformity, whether physical or mental, like Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers. Like the modern zombie, The Mummy has risen from the dead to shuffle relentlessly after those that have disturbed their sleep, their “mummy’s curse” representing the guilt of greed of those who would seek their treasure. Terrors from the deep such as Piranhas, Leviathan, and Jaws can actually be traced back to the earliest seafarers, but, well…the Creature from the Black Lagoon was in 3D!

Now then, as a fan of these classic monsters, I’ve certainly found my share of licensed entertainment that sets my heart a flutter.  If there is one thing I love more than video games, though, that thing is probably pinball.  There are quite a few tables out there that have featured some of the aforementioned beasties, and that is all well and good, but there is one particular machine that manages to cram all of them into one gloriously magnificent orgy of macabre flipper-flipping, plunger-pulling, quarter-eating, super monster fun.  That greatest pinball machine ever concieved, my friends, is Monster Bash!

Pinball and monsters combined were enough for me to swear fealty to the gods of Williams, but they were not content.  Why would all of these seemingly misanthropic and anti-social monsters come together on one single game board and share the spotlight?  The answer is simple and AWESOME!  Rock and Roll.


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Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show 2008

Over 100 pinball machines in one room set on FREE PLAY for an entire weekend and I could not pull myself away from the Greatest Pinball Ever Conceived:  Monster Bash.

Even the allure of a previously unknown Baywatch pin couldn’t keep me away.

If there was one thing that could have torn me away from the glorious Monsters of Rock stylings of Monster Bash, it was Hyperball.  I’d never even heard of such a game before seeing it here.  Essentially a rapid-fire “pinball machine gun”, Hyperball is on it’s way to becoming a personal obsession hitherto unmatched in the annals of kentdog OCD.

Check out some more pictures of the event, and if you can, someone please explain the meaning of this:

October 22nd, Pinball Quest for the NES

Pinball. It’s not quite a video game, it’s not quite a sport. Pinball Quest for the NES. It’s not quite a pinball game, it’s not quite an RPG. It’s something….different. I’m not sure how, but Pinball Quest made it’s way to my cellphone and since I’m too damn busy to play games anymore, the only gaming I get is when I’m sitting on the Great White Throne in my bathroom. And so it was that I met Pinball Quest. POP!POP! VIVA!GOLF and CIRCUS are the three main tables to choose from. You’d think that a circus would warrant an exclamation point, especially after it’s used with such abandon on the other two tables, but you would be wrong. It’s a somber circus; the kind with sad clowns. All these things meant nothing to me. I was there for one thing, and one thing only: RPG MODE. Like some obscene cross between The Legend of Zelda and Balls of Steel, RPG MODE has you battling skeletons, witches and warlocks with your giant, steel ball of justice. You can purchase additional bumpers and upgraded paddles from the Devil himself. Yup, Old Scratch has found himself dealing in used pinball machine parts. I guess the soul trade is not what it used to be since the end of the Inquisition.

The first stage takes place in a forest where Pinball Quest throws you into a graveyard to battle it out with a series of juvenile delinquent headstones. The dead get no eternal rest in Pinball Quest, so you must destroy their headstones and piss on their bones. All of sudden, I’m Ol’ Dirty Bastard, cuz the first level is basic and easily mastered. It’s after this level that you have your first meeting with Beelzebub, and his appearance foreshadows an even greater evil just around the corner. For all I know, this is Satan’s last appearance in Pinball Quest, because I could not, for the life of me, get past this second level. See, if the ball happens slip past your flippers, it falls all the way to Level 1 where you must battle all the way back to the top. Now, it’s bad enough that the flippers react like they are underwater, but you’ve also got to contend with a warlock throwing magical rings that paralyze them, as well. These damn flippers are so slow, I hesitate to call them flippers, at all. They’re more like gentle touchers. I guess it doesn’t make much difference when the physics call for the ball to increase it’s velocity and angle by 300% at random intervals.

What the hell does all of this have to do with Halloween? Take a look down below…