Games played: Getaway, Metallica, Medieval Madness, Iron Man, Theater of Magic.
The league night of August 9th was the third of the season, but only the second I’d been able to attend, so I kept getting mixed up about whether it was the second or third night and having to be straightened out on that. It was a disorienting kind of night for me. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 17 years now, and just can’t get used to the sudden vanishing of most of the 2000 block of Michigan Avenue (across from our league venue). The demolition of the block happened between the second and third league meeting, so this was the first time many league members got to see the empty hole in the landscape. I used to buy comics in that building, sometimes; I used to eat dinner with my parents on special occasions in that building; more often, I used to stand in front of that building waiting for a bus to take me to campus for grad school. I know it (knew it) like I know my house. And now it’s gone, just to remind me that I am old and grad school was a long time ago.
But I digress. Pinball, right?
Some pinball was, most certainly, played. Matt had to come late again due to work and had me and Mike organize the start of things. (That will be happening at tonight’s league meeting, too, and seems to be the new normal.) The night began with Jason’s group being put on Metallica. Jason, who said he had not played Metallica before, played a blockbuster game, something in the high 200 millions if I remember correctly. Joseph was in Jason’s group too, and had his best ever game on Metallica, which would have been more impressive had it not been something like a third of Jason’s score. Between the two of them, their game lasted so long that my group ended up having to skip past them and come back later.
Speaking of tearing up games, Chris ended up battling for the kingdom in his game of Medieval Madness, though unsuccessfully. I’m sure he didn’t go home crying over his score, in any case.
For some reason the random number generator decided we should play Getaway too. This seems to be the season of Getaway. At least we won’t be playing it again tonight – probably.
We were supposed to play Addams Family, but apparently something catastrophically broke on it while the first group was playing (I don’t recall what). I wanted to declare that we’d play T3 instead, since it has never been played in league since being installed, but the right ramp was registering only about 50% of the time. I thought it was still “good enough” by league standards, but Mike insisted he didn’t want the league to play something that was known to be defective. I agreed to do a random draw between three games Mike thought were working fine. One of them was Theater of Magic. I had in the back of my mind that something was wrong with ToM but couldn’t remember what, and when I mentioned that, no one else seemed to remember anything wrong with it. So we did the random drawing and Theater of Magic ended up being selected.
When my group got upstairs to play it, it all came back to me. The left flipper was permanently slightly raised, meaning that the two flippers were not even close to even and it was nearly impossible to shoot anything on the right side of the playfield. More importantly for me (and many others), it made shooting the center ramp extremely difficult. I ended up bombing out with a score of under 100 million. When I went back downstairs to complain, Adam said he didn’t see what my problem was, since he and Chris both scored over a billion. I was dumbfounded until I remembered that the pros just shoot the left loop over and over. In response I can only attempt to claim the moral high ground in that I was trying to play the game as intended. That said, we are scheduled to play ToM again tonight and I may not be quite so wedded to “how it was intended” this time.
After this grueling night of long-playing and cockeyed games, we all agreed that we were in no shape to go to Theio’s, and we all went straight home to bed. If you believe that, I have a vacant lot on Michigan Avenue to sell you. Actually, several of the Theio’s regulars went over there as usual. If you haven’t been coming with us on our Theio’s forays, you should! Just ask Mike or me after league if you’d like to tag along, because we just about always go.
See you all tonight at 7, I hope! Oh right, this is the part where I’m supposed to link to the photo gallery (though I don’t actually have any additional photos this time) and the results for the night.