Friday, February 14, 2014

Not bad for old school "console" pinball

Some time ago I bought a controller

for some pinball game for either 50 cents or maybe a dollar..
Never used it because I thought it needed a, well, you know, game, to be controlled !
 Turns out, no.. it *was* the game..
Shows how much of a "gamer" I am ;-)
Anyways, seems all I needed to do was put in batteries, and plug it into the TV, just like the really old nintendos.
It had typical early 90's tables, but a fair decent job of 4 different tables

I didn't get enough photos because I think the camera was full..
The thing that got me was that it played really really well! The ball behaved quite well for an early 90s table, and the controller was very accurate and responsive. Had it's own plunger too!
Not bad for a buck.. Although nowadays you can get really slick high calibre tables for $2.99, they don't come with a controller !
And frankly, there won't ever be any that do. The $2.99 app price for all these games has killed dedicated digital pinball games forever, sadly...
Just thought I'd post some pics about this funky score!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

26 million on Crystal Caliburn

A new best for me.. Now I know there's pinball "pros" who can wipe this but for me it's my best yet.. and it's because I have finally discovered a way to increase the size of the table in OSX to fill the whole screen.
If you're running something newer than Snow Leopard you're SOL, sorry. From Lion and on, they simply disabled Rosetta for no good reason. They didn't *have* to, you know. But it seemed like a good idea to Apple to put thousands of PPC OSX developers out of work (including Little Wing Pinball, who have gone belly up thanks to Apple), and millions of $ worth of good applications into the dustbin. After all, Apple "cares" about you..
Anyways, if you still have Snow Leopard, all your Little Wing pinballs will still work.
The older PPC ones though, are really small on a 1680 x 1050 monitor
and you have to squint to see the ball. I tried all sorts of ideas like running the windows one via Wine, but it was useless. Until it occurred to me that the "Universal Access" "zoom" option was perfectly suited for this. With the Ctl key down and scrolling up, you can magnify the screen, and the table also, in this case:
It did take me a few tries to get it properly centered...
And how abot that high score, eh? 26 million!
Anyways, I hope the seggestion on how to increase the size of the table will breath new life into the game, for some people!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

LAtest Pinball Arcade table?

I fluked onto what appears to be a screen capture of the newest table,, What do you think?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Pinball Arcade.. (Apple App store vs Steam)

Well, Steam has recently become available for Mac, and lo and behold, Farsight has *somehow* (and I can't imagine how they managed to finangle this one!), managed to be able to sell the Pinball Arcade for Mac via BOTH the Apple App Store, and Steam!
 I have the full Apple app store copy with both season packs purchased.. However, at the time I first published this comparison, Season 3 was not available from Apple , but was on Steam, so I bit the bullet, installed the Steam version of Pinball Arcade, and bought "Fish Tales", thinking I was going to have to pay for the exact same item twice once it became available through the App Store also.
 However, There's also the free games on the Steam one, as PA always does, and it was playing those that I noticed something odd.
They're NOT the same
I've had some serious time to compare the Steam versions with the Apple versions.
First I should point out that I got a reply on a facebook comment from Farsight, which is unusual enough in itself.. but it was to say that "as of this point, there is no difference between the Apple and Steam versions".
Suure...and I've got the screenshots to prove it. I was mistaken about the Apple graphics being better, The reverse is true.
In fact, the Steam versions are superior in every way. This certainly caught *me* by surprise
I seem to have more power in the flippers, the sountracks are (very slightly) superior, certainly the graphics are crisper and brighter.. I have the graphics set at exactly the same settings  on both versions, for purposes of this comparison
I would suggest you click on them for a better look:
Firstly, here's the Apple App Store version.. Not bad, eh?
But next, here's the very same one with the same settings on the same mac, from, Steam

Not only is the color *significantly* improves on the Steam version, but you get a view of all of the table, as opposed to the Apple one. 
It also (IMHO) plays better.
And, lest you think this is a one off example, I can pick any table and get similar responses.
                                                               Steam (Below)
                                                                   Apple (Below)

Should be obvious  just from appearances that there are differences
 Also, the latest Apple update is broken., No free play option for "Fish Tales", and after they advertise "save by pre-buying season 3 pack" there;s no option ANYWHERE to actually do it!
 No problem like that with the Steam one, I got to try out "Fish Tales", liked it, and bought it.
Of course I could have pre-bought season 3 on Steam. They had a clear purchase option for that, unlike Apple Didn't have the cash though.. 
I wrote Pinball Arcade support, to say their latest update was severely broken""". They didn't reply, They never reply, except with terse one liners that never address the main issue.
Maybe the fact that this review will be qon a well read pinball blog (Not mine! ;-) will change their mind .. they hate anything damaging their profits, I noticed.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Go see The newest pinball blog

Here is the Mac Pinball History, but it covers much more.. it has reviews of iDevice pinballs , like iPhones and iPads, neither of which I own , however, the gentleman that is in charge of this particular blog (who I am happy to say I have developed some kind of good online friendship with), does use these , as well as a Mac.. As mobile devices really appear to be the new source of virtual pinball developement, this is very interesting and always being updated. It's clear that flash pinballs, which I had assumed would make up the majority of new games for devices, didn't take off. Admittedly, on this point, nobody could be happier than I, although I have to say that I have run into a few *exceptional* and complex flash games...
   His name is Basil (Vasili), and you really should check out his site..the link's at the beginning of this article.
   PS.. he's also posted all my pinballs I am getting rid of.. several years worth of collecting from all over the globe.. check it out!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I've been away...

But since I've had a few visitors, Ill try to nmake the flash games easier to find, as well as ensure they are all still working.. At the moment , however, the easiest way to find them is
*start at the earliest post and work backwards...*
See y'all soon!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pinball reviews, and a whole lot more...

My friend Vasil (or 'Basil' if you're "Engrisch") used to write and maintain the "Mac Pinball History" over at the "Tower Of PIn". Well, times have changed, and that website got "harvested" and now is a stub for 'cheap travel packages'  cheap male 'performance' potions and pills, etc.
 So Vasili went it alobnne and started up a Pinball blog of his own, where the latest iteration of his tome can be well perused.....
 He also has reviews of the new crop of pinballs for both OSX, and also iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad.. . The tablet form has given a real much needed boost to pinball development..
I will get back to what the conection is between his new blog and mine, a little further on.. However, I do not have any iDevices.. mostly because iWallet has no iCash, because iBroke ;-)
 Even so, I did splurge for a few $3 OSX games from the App store , and one I got was Farsight's "Pinball Arcade"  .. unfortunately, I have only got the first four tables as I have Snow Leopard, and he "In app purchase" option for more tables only works on OSX 10.7 and up..
 These are nioce tables.. as the following screenshot shows:
                               Ripley's Believe It or Not...
                                Tales Of The Arabian Nights

I did find it annoying that on a desktop pinball there was no option to use the keyboard for launching the ball - It has to be done with the mouse! Also, the flippers can only be activated with the arrow keys...
  I remembered that the Visual Pinball ones were , well, a lot like these tables, but better.. so .. stay tuned...

WELL, after a long time, i hav e 'net access again.. Yay!

So, one of the first things I did, was see what was new out there as regards pinball.. and did find some things.
 First.. all the Android pinballs can now be played on a Mac..
Also, there's more OSX pinballs..
 And... I managed to get Visual Pinball running nicely on my Mac also...
 Here's a screenshot of a couple of my favorites..

Also, there's an Android "app player" called Bluestacks.. that also is good for pinballs.. I tink it's best for those ones that are only available as phone apps.. What is amazing, is how games made for a small phone screen, translate to 1680x 1050.. In a million years aI woild never have thought it would work so well;
More later....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ze Deutsche Beemer Pinballen .. Ya !

I just HAVE to post this.. Even though it's being serious when comparing this game to a BMW.. that's what makes it so funny..and it's probably a good game for the price.. $0.00 ...
And hey, It's way better them the Volksvagen Bora pinball,(a PC game) which has the coolest effects when starting up, and shutting down, but it plays like sh* are't BMW and VW/Porsche competitors?.. I've owned 2 Porsches, and one AUDI, but never a Beemer, as I'm not a "real" doctor ;-) Doc


It seems there are a LOT of LEGO Pinball fanatics.. a whole new underground i never knew about .. er.. that's what makes it an underground, i guess..

Check this out! A LEGO pinball machine!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Don't forget to check out the Cassette Cover Art Gallery!!

The Cassette Cover Art Gallery has many hundreds of hard to find, and even extremely rare, cassette cover scans , just for curiosity's sake, or if you need to repair that cassette with a missing sleeve or tape label, and have given up finding a scan anywhere else, you could well find it here..
Also many interesting bits of  cassette trivia, and history, and who knows what else.
It's worth a minute..
See you there!

Tell your friends anemones
And please !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 post a link on your blog site too

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pinball Dreams for Mac OSX

Yup.. it exists.. really!...... HERE
Anyone who played PC pinball 20 years ago will remember Pinball Dreams.. it belonged to a group of pinballs that were considered at the time, as good as it got, which included 8 ball deluxe and the other two Amtex pinballs, Pinball fantasies, Epic Pinball etc..
 I hadn't played it for some time until i found the Visual & Future Pinball ports of it, which were, I thought, all that existed for Pinball Dreams, and unfortunately, only on Windows..
That's changed now, however, with the recent release of the Mac version.
And... it's GOOOD...
Without further ado.. here's some screenshots...
first the initial startup screen shows one of the four tables.. here is "Ignition"..
To the top left is the controls info dialog.. for more info there's arrows to scroll between screens..
and the top right of the screen is the settings dialog..
and back to the tables screen.. this next one is the sort of wild west one "Steel Wheel"
next is "Beat Box"
and the last one to choose from is the awesome Nightmare, here called"Graveyard"

After selecting a table, you get this screen... for Graveyard, for example)
although there's options for three modes of display, such as moving and such, I prefer this one where I can see the entire table
And here's another, "Beatbox"
I'd like to mention that the sounds are not only authentic to the original game, but really high resolution too...
And now a shot of "steel Wheel"...

And last but not least of them... "Ignition"..
More later , Folks!

There are really GOOD pinballs out there for OSX..

Why i spent so much effort reviewing the new BAKNO pinball and not also the really top rate pinballs that also exist stumps me.. so i will now resolve that..
Starting with one called Pinball HD..
Back when I first got into computers, a game of this calibre would easily cost 40$.. however, maybe because of the recent "device" trend to sell 'apps' at only a few $, this one also,  unlike the BAKNO one mentioned previously, at from $10 - 20$ , this one only sold for less than 5$..
And what a deal it was...
This is the screen you first see when starting up..
You see there are three different tables "The Deep", "Wild West", and "Jungle Style"
The Deep looks like this..once you have gotten past the introduction (which can be bypassed, and only happens at the start of a new game).
I selected 'resume" after starting the pinball up, even though I hadn't played it in a month, it was right where i had left off back then...
Now I switched to 'Wild West".. which is the simplest table of the three, but still has that exceptionally smooth ballplay that the game boasts..
My favorite, though, has to be the "Jungle Style" table. It has four flippers, as opposed to the 2 of the other tables, and the detail on this table, and amount of bumpers, and other interesting things,  are amazing, ..

That's all for now.. but have a closer look at all the detail of all these tables... until I return with an other review of  one of the other good pins for OSX.. which will be the new port of "Pinball Dreams" to the Mac.. an exceptional job , too..
And PS.. remember, click on any picture for a full screen rendering of the shot, at 1680x1050..
See you!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Still tops!

If your running OSX and still haven't heard that Tristan has been ported over to it.. you owe yourself  to check this out... it has the most incredible smooth action of  any pinball i've ever played.. really simple ..only one table.. like all the Little Wing pinballs,.. but when it's this good a table.. who cares?

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Table Editor for Mac Pinball

OK.. i rebooted and it didn't crash on me this time (that seems to be the ticket for the moment)
So I took a few screen shots of the table editor...
Here is the default screen you see on choosing 'editor'
If you want to actually find out how to use it though, you'll need a little help..
And that's just what you get.. a "little' help file.
As it scrolls down, and the window isn't resizeable , in order to see the entire help file, i scrolled down and pasted the rest of the file onto the screen shot, so now you can read the whole help file in one go!
You can move the table around, and change its orientation..

as well as there being several blank templates to choose from

That's all for now.. I have to say.. this is a HUGE improvement over the previous MacPinball aka Pinball...
I actually found myself playing it for half an hour.. just to see all the tables..

A new MacPinball

Well, it used to be called 'MacPinball' but since already the previous release they shortened it to just 'pinball' .. i guess there aren't enough games with that name yet (!)..
And quite frankly.. it sucked..
Here's a shot of it.. after a couple of minutes you pretty much had as much as you could take of it...
There's just nothing to it.. no adjustability.. doesn't even fill the screen.. dull.. i could go on..
Well.. they must have taken letters of criticism (including mine, i might add) to heart..
They completely redid it...
Here is the startup settings dialog .. it's not enabled by default, which is one of the many defaults they got really wrong (more on that later).. but you can enable it by pressing the option key *before* startup..
You'll notice that there is not only the option to choose between windowed and full, but the resolution is selectable also (I chose the maximum for my Mac, which was 1680x1050.. here's what that looks like now..
It scrolls during play.. as shown below..

You can also select camera give a more full view of the table..

There are apparently, 10 tables to choose from.. here's a few...

Unfortunately, that's all the screen shots I could give you.. there is also a table editor window, where you can *design your own tables!*
.... cool.. but it keeps crashing on me after startup.. the only way I've been able to play it is to re-boot first, and make it the first application I open..
Although I think the problem is actually the recent latest updates to Snow Leopard, after which my computer has become unresponsive and dog slow, and memory management is a joke now, there's little I can do about it..
They *could* adjust the defaults however.. the camera angles are not controlled by the arrow keys, but A,S,Z, & X.. leaving the arrow keys (like a cheap flash pinball) for the flippers.
The shift keys are not assignable, and if you want to use the Z and / for flippers, you must first re-assign the tilt and shake keys, to leave room for the camera keys to be re-assigned, to the shift keys, to then re-assign the z and / for flippers, and then re-assign the arrow keys to the camera angles and then the return for the launch...
 It took me HALF AN HOUR to figure this out..

It still crashes on me now, but when it works, it cycles between table.. instead of just racking up points, you complete a table, and then get to go on to an other table, or stay on the one you're on...
More later....!

Update: Dec 12th..
It is now up to version 8.0.10.. and no longer crasheson startup  (for me).. seems quite stable for me now..they may have had others also have this happening, and  found the problem!