This new season saw the return of many familiar faces and many familiar pinball machines. New to the league were The Beatles and the remake of Monster Bash; returning from prior appearances were Metallica, Ghostbusters, Star Wars, Deadpool, and Iron Maiden.
I got to play The Beatles very briefly during warmups. It’s a very simple “street level” playfield design reminiscent of 1960s electromechanical (EM) games, with an EM scoring motif to match. The only feature really “modern” about it is multiball (and I do realize there were a handful of EM games that did feature multiball, but on the whole, I would think most players would consider multiball a feature most associated with the solid state and later era). I look forward to getting to play it in league play (hopefully, next week).
I say this because our group would wind up drawing the five games all returning from prior league weeks, with neither of the two “new” games. I would be grouped with Bryan Buckley, Tandy Lofland (a relatively new player who first played Season 8 Week 4), and Jeff Mleynek.
We would begin rather unassumingly on Metallica (I played first). All around it was a pretty low scoring game. I would put up a 3.1M+ second only to Bryan’s 3.5M+… until Jeff blows it wide open with a 34.8M+ pushing me down to third. This was a lousy game for everyone until Jeff’s third ball, but it’s really no excuse for laying an egg like this. So I start with a third-place finish and three standings points.
Next up was Ghostbusters (I played first again). The only good thing to happen during this game: none of the other three players got a video mode. Unfortunately, neither did I, finishing with 2.2M+ behind even Tandy’s third-place 2.3M+. Ugh. Really not the look I want to start the season: four standings points after two games (in a 7-5-3-1 scoring league).
The woeful inadequacy would only continue on Deadpool (I played fourth): 1.1M+ after two balls. I would squeak into third place with 20.3M+. Three games, seven standings points, and I have yet to finish any higher than third.
Next up would be Star Wars (I played second). Finally, things begin to turn around a bit, as I would sign off with 169.0M+ eeking just past Bryan’s 158.9M+, but still well short of Jeff’s 268.5M+. But hey, finally I finish in second for once, putting me up to twelve standings points.
We would finish the night’s contests on Iron Maiden (I played third). Again, Jeff runs away with it. I would post a halfway decent 11.7M+ (despite rage-tilting my third ball) good for second. That would make the sum total on the night seventeen standings points, just a shade better than third places all the way across.
For the first time in three seasons, I would begin a season failing to win a single game out of the five played.
Even as I sit here writing a blog post about this, I need to be ready to clear this out of my head tomorrow night and treat it like a whole new match. Which, in a manner of speaking, it is. There’s still a lot of season left at this point, and I need to make the most of it.