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“Y’know, things break,…”

-Peter Moore

I heart pinball. I like the real thing. Do you know what’s almost impossible to find? A public table that isn’t busted. Do you know what I also like? Modern Video Pinball. Why? That shit never breaks. I don’t boot up Pinball FX and find the left flipper don’t work. Hell no.

Hey, you know what would be kinda cool? A pinball cabinet that would frikkin’ work no matter what day of the year I walk up to it. That would be a crazy idea, wouldn’t it? It’d be like somebody took a Pro Pinball game for Playstation, hooked it up to a pinball cabinet, made the TV HD, then tate’d the screen.

I walk into Lucky Strike in Novi, MI., A friggin’ leprechaun appears and he’s all like, “Bam! Ultrapin! Go play it!” ‘n I was all like, “Werd! ^_^”

[youtube Qke66DCMiFc]

Footage from mpr933

This unit I got to play had ten selectable tables with the baseboard dot matrix display kept intact for every machine. There are twelve possible pinball tables selectable on these cabinets: Funhouse, Black Knight 2000, F-14 Tomcat, Fathom, Eight Ball Champ, Strikes and Spares, Sorcerer, Xenon, Firepower, Attack From Mars, Pinbot, and Medieval Madness. The flippers have the same mechanical feedback as a real table, almost as if there were two real flippers activating right under the tv screen. The cabinet also has motion sensors so tilting the cabinet will work like it does in real life. ‘Tis a slick contraption indeed.

How well does the Ultrapin work against the real thing? They take some getting used to. I spent some credits on Attack From Mars and Pinbot. I pretty much tanked on both games quite a few times. Normally on Attack From Mars I pretty much always get the Replay. This VR one, I couldn’t break 500 million. I noticed also some ramp shots were somewhat easier to hit than the real table. I could rarely hit the ramp and ball lock shots on accident in the real thing for Attack From Mars. The girlfriend didn’t fare so well. She didn’t like the VR tables very much. She recognized Attack From Mars in the laundromat we went to a few times ago and was all about playing me in this video version because she beat me the last few times at the real thing. She didn’t have any timing skills on the Ultrapin. It made her look like a noob and she wasn’t havin’ it. She said there was a delay in the flipper response. I didn’t really think so, but I’m writing here to report things. “That’s what she said.” End joke.

Here’s some comparison action from robertbrooks9
[youtube 1UKTfgn08dM]

I always wanted to own a pinball table. I also know I wouldn’t know what the fuck to do if parts on my personal pinball table started to fall apart. Would I buy an Ultrapin instead? Yes I would. If the price was right…

Lucky Strike is a really high-end adult lounge/arcade/bar. Like, “A Bud Light is $4.75,” high end. Similar with a Dave & Buster’s or a Gameworks if you know what those are. If you wanted to track Ultrapin down, those kinds of places would be where to start.

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6 Responses to Ultrapin

  1. Zinswin says:

    That looks awesome. Great write up. Does it do all the ball rolling/bumpering sounds effects well? Does it have motors/vibration so it feels like the real thing? It’s a bit hard to tell from the video, but how do the 3D effects come off? This would be an awesome home machine if all those fell into place.

  2. D.J.I. says:

    Thanks, guy.
    You’ll feel vibrations in the flipper buttons when you hit them, but for say, bumper hits and what-not, there wouldn’t be any vibration from those even though certain tables you would know. The 3D vibe doesn’t play off as well as you’d hope. This is probably because you’re staring at a tilted TV screen. But the graphics you do see are fairly impressive. Everything on each table is replicated right down to the sound effects, dot matrix display, and vocal one-liners. The only noticeable change would be the table lighting like you see in that comparison video. I observed no critical faults in the ball physics. Even during multiball.

    Table-purists may scoff at the final product, but Ultrapin is a functional and very respectable effort at digitizing the real thing. It’s worth playing once; by everybody.

  3. carrotpanic says:

    Man, Lucky Strike.

    Did you go hit TEQUILA RAIN and get groped by 45 year old women?

  4. Hilden says:

    If your pinball machine breaks, you come to me. And then I point you in the direction of my uncle, cousins and or Lloyd from SS Billiards. They’ll get you set right.

  5. Hilden says:

    Oh, also, if they made this so you could add tables, that would be awesome. There are some great MAME’D tables out there that I’d love to play.

  6. D.J.I. says:

    hahahaha, Tequila Rain!!
    According to the girlfriend, so many fights broke out there that they closed it down. I believe to have danced a jig at Bar Louie when she told me that. I think it’s called embargo now, but with some special spelling to it only wealthy douchbags could read.

    I think the Ultrapin has some closed hardware and the add-on packs are in groups of two with six tables being default. I couldn’t verify that though.

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