Sunday, May 5, 2013

2013 Portland Pinball report

Man, I had fun in Portland last weekend!  Now, I have mentioned before on this blog that Portland, Oregon is a pinball paradise and I'm here to tell you that this is more true than it has ever been.  Sure, Portland has some real A+ arcades like Ground Kontrol, and bars packed to the gills with pinball machines, like C-Bar, but I think the thing that makes Portland special is that every little nook and cranny of this city is filled with pinball.

We stayed with my buddy Greg while we were in town, and were hanging out a lot with our pal Liz.  Both of these friends have dutifully added the Pinball Map app to their smart phones, and a number of times on this trip we found ourselves at "Point A" (at breakfast for example) and then we had to get to "Point B" (back to Greg's apartment).  We'd pull up the Portland Pinball Map and look at what was open between here and there, and we'd hit as many machines as possible.  There are A LOT.

For an example, let's take Tiny's Espresso.  This coffee shop was open for us on Friday morning.  When we walked in, Pinball was not immediately evident, but I made my way through the main room into a weird back hallway and sure enough, there were two pinball machines tucked in a corner:

THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, PEOPLE!  How often when you are walking around in the world do you see a weird spot like this - a dead end at the top of a ramp platform with some empty space - and do you think "Man, you could fit like two pinball machines in there!"???  I think about this stuff ALL THE TIME, and as far as I can tell, Portland is the only city that hears these thoughts and/or WISHES and makes them come true!  Bars, coffee shops, laundry mats, restaurants - there are pinball machines everywhere!  This is how it should be.

I also tracked down the new Avengers machine to give it a try.  We found one at the Belmont Inn, with $1 per credit (ouch!) or $2 for three.  This feels especially steep when the machine is in a line with a bunch of other great machines which are priced at 50 cents per credit.  Do I have TWICE as much fun playing Avengers as Attack From Mars?  Definitely not.  I understand that there has been A LOT of inflation since Attack From Mars was released, and that it's a new machine, but the $1 price point definitely limited the number of games I played on that machine.

Anyway, it was fun!  The design feels very open while still having a few ramps.  That black widow ramp shot is pretty darn hard to hit!  Hulk multiball was really fun and I love having drop targets on a machine again!  Overall a challenging board that I'd like to spend more time with, if I could ever afford it.

I have a lot more pinball photos from my trip, but I think I'll spread them out into a few posts.  Now that the dust has settled from the DTZ #5 release, we should have some more time for blogging!  In conclusion: if you ever have an excuse to visit Portland, DO SO.  And don't forget to pack some quarters!