Flipout 2018 Highlights

Wow, what a weekend it was! The third Mr. Pinball Flipout 2018 in Melbourne was an absolute flippin blast!

To ensure we got our fill of pinball, we arrived at Flipout 2018 nice and early and were quite chuffed to have found ourselves first in line for entry. Within minutes of arriving, we looked behind us and were greeted by a line snaking through the Sandbelt Hotel, with guests eagerly awaiting the clock to strike 10:00!

Once the doors flung open, we were greeted by a cacophony of pinball machine noises that were music to our ears. Being first through the doors, our eyes immediately fixated on the pair of Jersey Jack Pinball’s new Pirates of The Caribbean (PoTC) machines. We knew we had to play these right away otherwise we would have had to queue up to play these, as Jersey Jack Pinball machines always prove popular with the masses. Once we drained our third ball on PoTC it was time to move on to the next big new pinball machine for 2018 – Chicago Gaming Company’s Monster Bash Remake (MBR)! This was the first time the machine was available for play anywhere in Australia, so we counted ourselves quite lucky. There were two MBR machines to play and an original Monster Bash (MB) so we could play them back-to-back and compare the old versus the new – as much as we are fans of the original MB, the Remake just takes it to another level, from the vivid art work and amazing light and sound package, to the ultra clear coated playfield that ensured your shots were precise, making this a complete and wonderful experience. Oh yeah, the huge HD screen just topped off what already is a stellar pinball machine.

Up close and personal with the new Monster Bash Remake

Pinball has had its fair share of controversies over the years, and none are bigger than John Popadiuk’s failed Zidware venture. We won’t bore you with the controversy, which is still a sore point for many (and rightly so), but Mr Pinball had somehow secured one of only a handful of Magic Girl machines to be available for play at Flipout. As you will see in the video and accompanying photos, Magic Girl is one tall and absolutely stunning machine. The machine might be gorgeous, but that’s where it all ends – there is no substance to it, as the game is incomplete, rendering the experience to be somewhat subdued. However, it was amazing to actually see and touch this rare and exotic machine.

Oo’er, the exotically rare and controversial MAGIC GIRL

From one controversial machine to another, we threw some tokens into Alien and plunged the ball to check out (the now defunct) Heighway Pinball’s last production machine. The dark theme nails the feel and atmosphere of the huge movie franchise and of course the Xenomorph sticking its tongue out to grab your ball was one feature we were keen to see in the flesh – it didn’t disappoint. Alien is a striking machine, demanding your attention with it’s unique lines and huge backboard. I just wish Heighway had completed the machine and got the code to a level where the game would just suck you right into the Alien universe. Hopefully the dedicated community of owners out there will do this machine justice with code updates in the future!

Heighway Pinball’s strikingly beautiful and scary Alien machine

While there were plenty of other hard-to-find-on-location machines on free play, like Team Pinball’s The Mafia and Spooky’s Total Nuclear Annihilation (TNA), it was Ben Heck’s America’s Most Haunted (AMH) that actually grabbed us by the scruff of our neck and would not let go. While initially waiting for our turn on TNA, we noticed that no one was playing AMH, so we thought, what the heck, let’s flip this thing. Wow, the machine sucked us in right away – it was so up our alley, that we forgo more machines, including playing TNA more than a couple of times! We played AMH close to 60 times, so we would say that it was our most played machine at Flipout. The cheesy theme, the great sarcastic callouts and butter smooth shooting were among the many things we loved about it. The changing RGB lighting was just the icing on an already delicious cake! We may have to have a chat to Mr Pinball’s Wayne Gillard about finding AMH a new home.

Pinball Party Bus’ Dion Miksad shows us how to play AMH

Ausretrogamer and Pinball Press Co-Founder, Alex Boz reckons AMH was best in show!

With 60 plus machines on offer, including some amazing EM machines, there was plenty of variety to cater for all kind of pinball tastes at Flipout 2018. Of course the event also had an array of great seminars, from Jersey Jack Pinball CEO, Jack Guarnieri’s keynote speech, to Haggis Pinball’s unveiling of their new pinball machine theme. For the competitive types, Melbourne Silverball ran IFPA endorsed tournaments all weekend which were also streamed live on Twitch.

After 7 hours of constant pinball in a day, we had a bout of severe arm-pump, which sadly rendered our day complete. We definitely didn’t leave disappointed – Flipout 2018 far exceeded our expectations. We left the venue with a big smile on our face, knowing that we will have great memories locked away in our cerebral cortex. We can’t wait for Flipout 2019!

We have our tickets ready!

Big thumbs up for Scott Danesi’s TNA!

Plenty of great seminars at Flipout 2018

Just one final plunge!

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Pinball: FlipOut 2018

To say pinball is going through a resurgence would be a gross understatement.

With pinball becoming ever so popular it was inevitable that a major event would pop up, and thanks to Mr. Pinball, we now have the annual FlipOut event held on the first weekend of December.

FlipOut 2018 will be on December 1 and 2 at the Sandbelt Hotel in Moorabbin. The event will have a swag of awesome and boutique pinball machines to play, from Heighway Pinball’s (defunct) Alien, American Pinball’s Houdini, Spooky’s TNA and the exotically rare Magic Girl, to Chicago Gaming Company’s Remakes and Jersey Jack Pinball’s array of brilliant machines – Dialed In, Wizard Of Oz, The Hobbit and their latest, Pirates Of The Caribbean. You would be hard pressed at finding any of these machines to play on location, so FlipOut 2018 may be your only opportunity to experience some of these games.

Highlight from FlipOut 2016 – meeting the one and only Jack Guarnieri

It’s not all just playing pinball, FlipOut will also feature a keynote presentation by the ever so brilliant Jersey Jack Pinball founder, Jack Guarnieri and a stacked list of pinball related seminars. If you are the competative type, FlipOut will have IFPA sanctioned tournaments to prove your wizardry against some of the best players in Australia. Oh yeah, there will be autograph/signing sessions and lots of prizes and giveaways throughout the two days of FlipOut 2018.

If you want to attend FlipOut 2018, you better hurry, as tickets are selling fast! We have our tickets and can’t wait to get there! Hope to see you all at FlipOut 2018!

Event Details:

  • Event: FlipOut 2018
  • When: December 1 and 2, 2018
  • Where: Sandbelt Hotel, 630 South Road, Moorabbin
  • Sponsors: Mr. Pinball, American Pinball, Jersey Jack Pinball, Chicago Gaming Company, Pin Stadium Lights, Team Pinball, Hot Rodded Pins and Melbourne Silverball
  • Tickets: Available via Mr. Pinball – ranging from $30 (single day entry) to $100 (full access all weekend, plus tournament entry)

 

Pop Culture Temptations

It is quite dangerous working near cool pop culture stores in Melbourne. Within a stones throw from the office, we have Minotaur, All-Star Comics Melbourne and  ZiNG Pop Culture tempting us with their wares.

With mid-year sales going on right now, the temptation is unbearable – sorry wallet…

 

Blast Some Xenomorphs in Alien Pinball

Back in March 2017 we were going gaga over Heighway Pinball’s Alien machine. Fast forward almost a year and a lot has changed. We won’t go into specifics of the company upheaval from last year, but rest assured that the new Heighway owners weren’t going to let this important IP go to waste.

Eerie glowing egg bumpers and the Xenomorph waiting to snatch your ball!

We are finally seeing more and more Alien machines reaching their customers and hitting barcades across North America. We are hoping Australian establishments site this cool machine ASAP! We definitely want to wage a flippin war against the Xenomorphs, so we may need to visit Wayne at Mr Pinball, the Australian distributor of Heighway’s highly anticipated machine, in the very near future to get our Alien fix.

Choose your mission, Alien or Aliens and watch out for those pesky facehuggers!

Alien Pinball is an absolute treat for fans of the first two films of the classic sci-fi horror series. From the facehugger slingshots, glowing egg bumpers and the scary Xenomorph head that snatches balls from the playfield, it’s up to you, the pinball wizard, to complete the two sets of missions (there are five missions in each set) to reach the ‘All Out War’ multiball wizard mode.

Just like Ellen Ripley, the fate of the universe rests in your hands, so search and clear all decks, watch for the proximity alert, avoid the acid burn and before you yell “game over, man!” just remember, in space no one can hear you tilt!

Photos: Heighway Pinball

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Is the ‘Alien’ Universe So Beloved?

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

Another multiplayer shooter title set in the “Alien” cinematic universe for consoles and PCs is in the works at game developer Cold Iron Studios. The developer was just acquired by FoxNext Games, part of 21st Century Fox.

Aaron Loeb, FoxNext Games president of studios, said in announcing the deal, “…all of us at FoxNext Games are thrilled to be working with them (Cold Iron) as they create an action-packed persistent world, steeped in the mysteries of this beloved ‘Alien’ universe.”

Loeb’s quote got me thinking: Is the “Alien” universe still “beloved”?

“Alien: Covenant” was a big disappointment at the box office. It doesn’t seem like the best time to invest in making a new “Alien” game. There needs to be a break from the “Alien” franchise for a while. I’m an “Alien” universe fan. “Alien 3” for Super Nintendo and “Aliens: Colonial Marines” for Xbox 360 are two of my all-time favourite video games. And James Cameron’s “Aliens” is one of the greatest action movies ever made.

When it comes to first-person shooter games, it’ll be hard to top “Aliens: Colonial Marines.” If FoxNext Games and the creative team at Cold Iron can create something as entertaining as “Colonial Marines” it’ll be a surprising accomplishment, but fans of the “Alien” universe are not demanding a new game. But if they make something fun and original, I’ll probably be buying it on the day of its release.

Lately, with the films “Prometheus” and “Aliens: Covenant,” I’ve felt a little burned by the franchise. I did find the third act of “Covenant” entertaining, but overall, it felt like forced storytelling by the legendary Ridley Scott.

Game play is key; although, could a new game set in the “Alien” universe tell a better story than some of the recent films? As an “Alien” fan, I’ll keep my hopes up that FoxNext Games can produce something distinctive.

 

image source: jonvilma.com

 

Electrifying the 80s

What a way to start the new year with these awesome 80s metal posters from the ‘Electrifying the 80s‘ collection via Displate!

There are 14 metal posters in the Electrifying the 80s collection that will make your eyes pop! Here are a few to whet your 80s loving appetite…

image source: Displate

 

Reebok’s Alien Stompers: It’s Game Over Man!

If you thought last year’s Alien Stomper shoes by Reebok were out of this galaxy, wait till you see what they have in store come July 18!

The good folks at Reebok will be bringing us not one, but two Alien-themed pairs of runners, titled the Alien Stomper “Final Battle” Pack. The twin pack will consists of two out of this world pairs, one that pays homage to the Queen Alien and the other to the Power Loader P5000, just like in the climactic battle in James Cameron’s 1986 sequel!

Learning from last year’s mistake of only having the Alien Stomper available in a men’s only shoe, Reebok have ensured that these new runners will be unisex. If you miss out on these, it’s game over man!

source: Reebok