Space City Pinball League Season 3 Week 2: Busting ghosts and getting medieval

Note: Due to recent events, Shawn no longer recommends participation in Space City Pinball League events until further notice. Please see the Bayou City Pinball League website for alternatives.

(Yeah I know this is way late… Real life got in the way of getting this finished last week. It happens sometimes.)

So the Space City Pinball League is back in session once again. I was not able to make week 1 due to a conflict; we are playing on Wednesdays now, which unfortunately is going to conflict with a fair number of meetings and meetups I usually attend. Nevertheless, I’ll try to play as many weeks as I can.

This week’s lineup of machines: Game of Thrones Premium, Ghostbusters (Pro), Kiss (LE?), Medieval Madness (remake), Spiderman VE, The Hobbit, and The Walking Dead. After missing week 1, I had heard about Medieval Madness making an appearance that week. I will concede it was not one of my favorite games back in the day, but I remained eager for the chance to play it nonetheless.

This week I was grouped with Nina Ruiz, John Costa, and Ken Holmes. Going into it I figured I had decent chances to make at least a good showing. Unfortunately we would wind up not playing Spiderman or The Hobbit, two of my stronger games out of this bunch.

Our first game was on Ghostbusters. This is one of the newest titles from Stern, much anticipated and hyped. I’ve gotten in a few rounds on it, so I had an idea what to expect. I would post a modest lead after ball 1, but really blow it wide open during ball 2. I would sign off with a 109M+, dwarfing Ken’s second place score of 7.1M+. So one first place finish to start the night, good for three standings points (the scoring system has changed for this system to 3-2-1-0 and 3-1½-0, from the former 5-3-2-1 and 5-3-1).

Our next game would be on Kiss. This wound up being a game I’d rather forget. It seems that during warmups or when I am just doinking around, I do okay on this title, but almost every time I play it during league play I wind up doing poorly. Such was the case here, where I signed off with a measly 3.4M+ in dead last. So it’s still three standings points on the night going into the third game.

We would move on to Medieval Madness. Again, I’ve had some prior experience with this title (the original Williams version, not the remake), and I didn’t remember it too fondly. Nevertheless, I managed to put up a respectable 8.0M+ which nobody else came close to (despite the fact I accidentally tilted out on the last ball). So, two first place finishes and a fourth, that’s six standings points on the night and we move on to the next game.

That next game happened to be The Walking Dead. I have played this game enough to say I don’t particularly like it (the ramp shots are really hard to make consistently, and the extra ball shot is particularly a pain in the ass, though I have managed to make it semi-consistently). I put up a 17.5M+ which I honestly had hoped would hold up for at least a second place. Unfortunately John and Nina both outscored me with 19.7M+ and 29.2M+ respectively, pushing me down to third. Seven standings points and one more game to go.

Wrapping up the night was our turn on Game of Thrones. This is another title I seem to be jinxed on when it comes to league play. I was barely able to put up a 3.5M+, which thankfully was good at least for third behind Nina’s 8,302,350 and Ken’s 8,210,200 (quite a close finish given the scale of the scoring on this game). I wind up with eight standings points from two firsts, two thirds, and a fourth.

I don’t feel that I did terrible, though there were situations where I should have done better than I did. I barely knew who Nina was, but now that I look back at the league history I have at least an idea. Nina finished tied for 27th last season (for comparison purposes I finished tied for 25th) and her regular season performance looks an awful lot like mine: one standout week of 15 points (week 4) with scores of 11, 10, 8, 7, and 7 in the other weeks. Compare this to my standout week of 17 in week 8, with scores of 13, 10, 10, 10, and 9 in the other weeks. So it’s not that big of a surprise that she was able to hold her own against a player of my caliber.

By the time this goes up, week 3 will have come and gone, and I didn’t play. At least I now know which two weeks will get dropped. It also makes it clear as mud where I actually have potential of finishing; we won’t really know that until week 6.