Space City Pinball League Season 8 Week 2: Fasten your seat belts and prepare for turbulence

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.

Our story continues on another Monday night at Eighteen Twenty Lounge. Fresh off the relatively smooth sailing to a 32 point finish, our intrepid hero finds himself with a new week of league play, new opponents, and new challenges.

Okay, guess maybe I should cut the bovine excrement and get to the meat of the story. We had the same games as last week with the exception that Aerosmith replaced Guardians of the Galaxy. I got to play exactly one warm-up game on Deadpool, posting a 250M+ score good enough to make the high score list (but not grand champion, which starts at 300M by default on this title).

This week my opponents would be John Speights, Joe Cuellar, and Matt Quantz. All three I believe have been mentioned in prior posts. We would be playing, in order, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Ghostbusters, Metallica, and Deadpool.

One of my clutch performances last week was on Iron Maiden, so I was looking forward to playing it again this week. I would be taking the fourth player spot in this game, which is supposed to be advantageous. Joe would take a slight early lead with a 9.8M+ first ball, with the rest of us close together just under 4M. Joe would play the extra ball he won on his second ball as his third ball to thunder ahead with 237M+. Matt would wind up in a rather distant second with 111M+. John’s 30.7M+ would be good enough for third as I could not get anything of substance going, signing off with a disappointing 13.3M+. Not the start I wanted, to say the least.

Things would go a bit better on Aerosmith. After my second ball, I had two balls locked in the toy box towards multiball. I figured if I could start multiball there was a good chance I could win. I was staring down a 16.4M+ from Matt, with my own score sitting at 9.4M+, Meaning I would need to put up at least 7 million and change to have any chance to win. I got Toy Box Multiball started relatively early in the third ball. I was elated; I briefly considered aborting the multiball and trying to lock an additional ball (I had all six toy box locks lit), but decided against it, given I’ve been burned before. So a three-ball multiball it would be, and a good multiball it was, perhaps the best ever of the few games I have played on this title. I would sign off with a nice 56.9M+, not only good for first place but higher than the other three players’ scores combined. Two games down, eight standings points on the tally.

Next on the list would be Video Mode Chee– I mean, Ghostbusters. I still hate what this title has become with the last code update. This particular game on this particular night would more or less be decided by who did the best in the video mode. I’m sorry, but is this a video game league or a pinball league? Yeah, I know. Perhaps the worst part of it all is that Matt got a stuck ball, which had to be freed by Phil Grimaldi (acting as league official) playing my ball to get the stuck ball freed (we did not have keys to the games). On top of this, John lost the play of his ball due to the machine losing track of how many balls it had and kicking out two to the plunger. So at the end of all that, the three of us had to play a consolation ball (which, surprisingly, did not affect the eventual outcome of the game). I would finish in second place, bringing me up to 13 standings points on the night. Not awful, but still disappointing.

Again, things would go a bit better on the next game on the list, Metallica. I got an early Electric Chair Multiball that went very well. Between this and a Lady Justice mode stacked on top of it, I put up a 49.5M+ on the very first ball which was easily enough to win by itself as it turns out. I would eventually sign off with just over 80M, again more than the other three players’ scores combined. That would bump me to 20 standings points on the night with one game left to play.

We would wrap up on Deadpool. For some reason, I found myself unable to get much of anything going. I would sign off with a paltry 9.3M+, a far cry from the 250M+ I put up during warmups. Fortunately for me, John would manage to do even worse with a sub-3M finish, giving me a third-place finish to end the night.

A weekly total of twenty-three standings points is still enough to keep me near the top of the standings. My total of 55 through two weeks is good for third behind Phil Grimaldi (at 60) and Tim Hood (at 56). Barring a complete meltdown next week, I should easily clinch an A division seed again. The real question is if I can fight my way back up to the #1 seed. Of course, any seed higher than #4 (where I finished last season) would be an improvement.