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Thread: Williams Pinball Universal Monsters™ Pack on October 29!

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    Senior Member jrolson's Avatar
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    Williams Pinball Universal Monsters™ Pack on October 29!



    We are happy to announce that our next Williams™ Pinball pack is coming to haunt you – just in time for Halloween – with two iconic tables: Monster Bash™ and Creature from the Black Lagoon! The Universal Monsters™ Pack arrives on Tuesday, October 29, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows 10 and Steam. Mobile users can play through the Williams™ Pinball app for the Apple App Store and Google Play.

    The creatures of the night are here, and they are ready to ROCK! Dig up the Mummy, rebuild Frankenstein, lure the Creature up from the slimy depths of his beloved lagoon, let Dracula taste some garlic, give the Wolf Man a full moon to howl at, and get the Bride of Frankenstein wailing, so you can reunite the Monsters of Rock!
    Experience Universal’s classic in Creature from the Black Lagoon, where everything comes together: a monster flick, the fun of a drive-in movie date, nostalgia, and high-tech pinball wizardry!


    Williams™ Pinball: Universal Monsters™ Pack comes with the physics update included in the Volume 4 pack, classic, arcade, and tournament modes available and new achievements.

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    Senior Member Lroy's Avatar
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    Happy Flippin’ Halloween!
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    Just played both of those in person. Great to see them coming to the game!

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    Senior Member gameaddict4life's Avatar
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    The creature effects on Creature from the Black Lagoon look pretty amazing. Probably the best use of the "enhanced" Zen effects yet. I wonder what will be censored on these tables though? Bride of Frankenstein saying "organ"? More clothes on the damsel in Creature? The censorship thing always puts a wet blanket on these tables for me. I've still bought some Volumes when they go on sale but with the graphics on these, especially Creature, I might pick this one up at full price. I've been playing both Monster Bash and Creature on Pinball Arcade on PS3 in anticipation and they aren't too bad on there, even with the dated graphics and vacuum ramps. Creature though has some really bad translucent plastics and honestly I can't really see where I can and can't shoot the ball even after playing it for a bit. The music is great though. Both of these tables have really good sound. I hope it's not ruined by Zen's overzealous censorship.
    It's all good.

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    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gameaddict4life View Post
    The creature effects on Creature from the Black Lagoon look pretty amazing. Probably the best use of the "enhanced" Zen effects yet. I wonder what will be censored on these tables though? Bride of Frankenstein saying "organ"? More clothes on the damsel in Creature? The censorship thing always puts a wet blanket on these tables for me. I've still bought some Volumes when they go on sale but with the graphics on these, especially Creature, I might pick this one up at full price. I've been playing both Monster Bash and Creature on Pinball Arcade on PS3 in anticipation and they aren't too bad on there, even with the dated graphics and vacuum ramps. Creature though has some really bad translucent plastics and honestly I can't really see where I can and can't shoot the ball even after playing it for a bit. The music is great though. Both of these tables have really good sound. I hope it's not ruined by Zen's overzealous censorship.
    If you are one Steam, censorship is not an issue as you can toggle it on and off. I'm on Xbox one and luckily am not phased on little bit by the censorship. There is a whole discussion on the Steam forum about a chevrolet logo and John Trudeus name not appearing on the table so you can go check there if you are interested. Chris and Jarod also chatted about it on the latest Blahcade podcast and pointed out the things that were censored on the table such as the lady on the back glass now has a dress one.

    They also talk about the monster in creature walking around on the table during multiball. I mostly play Classic Arcade then the enhancements are off by detail, but I doubt that I'll play with it on even though it looks amazing, because it will block your view of those potentially dangerous centre and left ramp shots.
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    I played the actual Monster Bash machine last summer, the re-release version with the color DMD. I think it’s a fun table so I am very excited Zen is releasing this! Didn’t get into The Pinball Arcade version as it felt slow and bland. Didn’t care for Creature From the Black Lagoon on Pinball Arcade for the same reason. I am sure Zen will bring out the life in that machine! Can’t wait!

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    Wish they would have included a Zen original table of the Universal Monsters since they have the license... or a separate pack of original tables. Nothing but censored TPA 'upgrades' on PS4 since last September.

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    Senior Member Hinph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomwaits View Post
    Wish they would have included a Zen original table of the Universal Monsters since they have the license... or a separate pack of original tables. Nothing but censored TPA 'upgrades' on PS4 since last September.
    But, you know, Williams/Bally had better table designers than Zen. I support the guys at Zen and hope their lives are going very well and their family pets live long and flea-free lives, but I think even their designers would admit that they're no Pat Lawlor, Steve Ritchie, John Popadiuk, etc. Dropping names, son.

    As a result, I enjoy the recreations more than the Zen originals. I buy them all though. I like flipping balls into stuff.

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    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinph View Post
    But, you know, Williams/Bally had better table designers than Zen. I support the guys at Zen and hope their lives are going very well and their family pets live long and flea-free lives, but I think even their designers would admit that they're no Pat Lawlor, Steve Ritchie, John Popadiuk, etc. Dropping names, son.

    As a result, I enjoy the recreations more than the Zen originals. I buy them all though. I like flipping balls into stuff.
    Sjame... how must poor Deep feel about this? I think he and some of the other designers like Thomas Croft are designing very interesting and engaging tables. Both of them have been designing Zen's tables for almost 10 years already. You also have to compare apples to apples as they have a very different design philosophy for their originals with the main differentiators probably being that they are not restricted to real life physics and mechanics and that they don't design tables that have to make money in an Arcade. Either way, I'm also enjoying both sets of tables and can't wait for Zen's own more real life like tables that will play well with the simulation Classic Arcade / Tournament physics.

    Interesting thought for me is If I had to rate the designs of those Williams / Bally tables based on The Pinball Arcade's rendition, I wouldn't (and didn't) think much of them. It was only once Zen put their touch on them that I started developing an appreciation.

    P.S. You might be able to tell that I've never played real pinball tables (not many around where I live) and also not Visual Pinball.
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    Senior Member Hinph's Avatar
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    Not hating on Zen's designers at all. I like a lot of their digital tables. I just like the classic machines better. Zen has done a much better job than Farsight on their recreations so far, so I'm happy all around right now.

    I hope you get a chance to play a real pinball machine. It's a very satisfying thing.

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    I want Zen original tables because they're something new, and I think they could do some great designs with the Universal Monsters themes. Their designers may not match Lawlor, Ritchie, etc but I've already spent plenty of time with all the Williams tables between real world and TPA on PS3/Vita/PS4. Zen built their customer base on years of quality original tables and they've completely abandoned that for the last 13 months.

    Personally, I have no interest in endless TPA 'upgrades'... esp when they feel it's necessary to edit classic pinball artwork to cover bikinis that may offend all their diehard 8 year old customers. I've bought every Zen original table since ZP1 (and every TPA table on 2 platforms) but haven't made a pinball purchase since the Zen Solo pack.

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    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomwaits View Post
    I want Zen original tables because they're something new, and I think they could do some great designs with the Universal Monsters themes. Their designers may not match Lawlor, Ritchie, etc but I've already spent plenty of time with all the Williams tables between real world and TPA on PS3/Vita/PS4. Zen built their customer base on years of quality original tables and they've completely abandoned that for the last 13 months.

    Personally, I have no interest in endless TPA 'upgrades'... esp when they feel it's necessary to edit classic pinball artwork to cover bikinis that may offend all their diehard 8 year old customers. I've bought every Zen original table since ZP1 (and every TPA table on 2 platforms) but haven't made a pinball purchase since the Zen Solo pack.
    Having access to the Universal Monsters license for a digital recreation of an old physical property is a completely different thing than having it for an Original and New digital release. However, since SGI (the Bally/Williams folks) also have close ties with and currently use the Universal Monsters IP for casino related releases, maybe Zen and SGI can get something figured out.

    Zen had an original table pack done and scheduled for release, but there are other factors (the Epic games deal, the Switch Star Wars release, and behind the scenes business stuff) that required it to be put on hold (or cancelled until the next iteration of Pinball FX is released).

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    Making originals with Universal Monsters isn't the same license as the new pack, but Zen has made original tables for Universal IPs like Jaws, ET, BTTF, and Jurassic Park so I doubt the license would be out of reach if they chose to do originals.

    My point was that I'd be happy with any original tables at this point. Two more Williams packs with the remaining non-licensed DMDs doesn't interest me at all, and that may be all they release over the next 6-8 months.

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    Senior Member gameaddict4life's Avatar
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    Well it must be more profitable for them to do real world recreations than their originals now. I have a few Zen originals but they don't hold a candle to the recreations of the Williams/Bally tables. I first got into Zen with their South Park tables which were ok but I still want a recreation of the real life Sega table (the only real world pinball machine I've actually played). Son of Zeus is a visual treat but the feel of it is really off after playing the Williams/Bally tables. Other tables like Adventure Land (sp) are a mess from a table design standpoint, IMO. So between the poor physics and not so great table designs of Zen originals I'll take more recreations every time. The censorship is lame but after listening to the latest Blahcade podcast it doesn't sound too bad for this new pack. Also there's always a chance for everything to be uncensored down the road but who knows. I think it would have been really cool if they made a separate app for these recreations. A true Pinball After Dark game. Anything goes baby!
    It's all good.

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    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gameaddict4life View Post
    Well it must be more profitable for them to do real world recreations than their originals now. I have a few Zen originals but they don't hold a candle to the recreations of the Williams/Bally tables. I first got into Zen with their South Park tables which were ok but I still want a recreation of the real life Sega table (the only real world pinball machine I've actually played). Son of Zeus is a visual treat but the feel of it is really off after playing the Williams/Bally tables. Other tables like Adventure Land (sp) are a mess from a table design standpoint, IMO. So between the poor physics and not so great table designs of Zen originals I'll take more recreations every time. The censorship is lame but after listening to the latest Blahcade podcast it doesn't sound too bad for this new pack. Also there's always a chance for everything to be uncensored down the road but who knows. I think it would have been really cool if they made a separate app for these recreations. A true Pinball After Dark game. Anything goes baby!
    I believe Zen made a great decision for their long term benefit but not necessarily for either the traditional Williams only or Zen original only crowds. If they had it in two separate apps, there is a very good chance that a lot of Zen original players would just have ignored the Williams app and vice versa. Now they have cross pollination, especially with their strokes of brilliance of having the enhanced graphics (that you can turn off / on instantly), and that you can play the Williams tables with Zen's original physics and all their game modes and power-ups etc. I come from the traditional Zen only side and properly fell in love with the Williams tables on Classic Arcade because of the challenge it presents me with. I tried a couple of times over the years, but I just couldn't get into the TPA, so it would have been easier for me to dismiss the Williams tables if they were in a separate app, and I would have missed out ;-). Similarly, a lot of traditional real pinball players who avoided Pinball FX3 like the plague, now bought into the Zen ecosphere, and from what I have read on this forum and other places, quite a few people realised that there is some fun to be had with Zen's originals, which they never would have done if it were separate apps. The next logical step for me, for Zen to capitalise on this great collision of opposite worlds, is to produce their next originals with both Zen physics and Classic Arcade (with the flipper physics). That is personally my hope as I don't have the time anymore to spend hours on single games on Zen's originals even though I still love many of the tables and their designs and themes.

    Regarding the censorship - there is a good chance Zen didn't anticipate the reaction from the traditional real table guys because many of the Zen traditional guys, like myself, couldn't care less about censorship. All I care about is how realistic the table play and I can't wait to try out the new flipper physics on the Universal Monsters pack and for it to be implemented in Volumes 1 - 3 (and 4 as they tweaked it more). I still find it hard to care about it even though I'm happy that they listened to the impassioned pleas and made the uncensored version available for Steam players. I doubt that they'll ever change Pinball FX3's age rating on the consoles as they have been targeting the game as family fun from the get-go.
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    Senior Member gameaddict4life's Avatar
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    All good points. The current rating limits what tables can be made though. With the next generations of consoles around the corner (PS5 December 2020) I wonder if Zen is thinking ahead to the next iteration of the game. Perhaps it's then that we'll see the rating expand or maybe even have some kind of spin off game in addition to the main one, at least on consoles.
    It's all good.

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    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gameaddict4life View Post
    All good points. The current rating limits what tables can be made though. With the next generations of consoles around the corner (PS5 December 2020) I wonder if Zen is thinking ahead to the next iteration of the game. Perhaps it's then that we'll see the rating expand or maybe even have some kind of spin off game in addition to the main one, at least on consoles.
    The next 'generation' of consoles (Xbox and Playstation) is nothing more than an iterative baby step in capabilities that are 100% compatible with the previous generation and also will continue to utilize the same digital store. While there will likely be a Pinball FX4 at some point, the rating would probably not change as it would impact the other licenses that are available for Zen to migrate over to the updated version. However, should Zen ever get other real-world pinball factory licenses (Stern, etc), it may make the most sense for Zen to go the premium stand-alone release route and charge somewhere in the 19.95 range per table and keep ratings on a table by table basis. But then you lose the subsidizing effect that multi-packs provide... so who knows. Maybe we'll see that pinball recreations are no longer a viable business once you begin attaching the expensive third-party licenses to them (this next pack should give us an idea), and Zen moves on to other genres.

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    Senior Member Hinph's Avatar
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    $19.95 per table? I don't think even most of us enthusiasts would be willing to pay that, and the masses definitely wouldn't.

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    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    If you would like to see the tables properly showcased in terms of modes and what you can do with the new flipper physics, take a look at Pinballwiz45b's recording of his Twitch stream a couple of hours ago.

    Sorry Zen guys, it was fun chatting to you, but you must definitely practice some more before you can match his skill levels ;-). Maybe you should invite him to Budapest for the next table launch stream ;-)

    He got Jackpots and Super Jackpots in Creature and he finished the Monster Bash (for the achievement - cool to see that you have to work for it ;-).

    Monsters looks easy enough and Creature looks like a lot of repetition but still fun. One major thing that stood out for me is how much easier it is to control the ball compared to e.g. Medieval Madness, where you really struggle to stop the ball from slipping off the flipper. I would venture to say that you are going to be in for super long game times to get anywhere close to a top scores on these tables, even in Classic Arcade. But yes... we'll find out on Tuesday ;-) .

    I didn't watch all of it and skimmed over a lot, but here are some cool things that got me excited and that definitely looks much better than the Vol 4 ball / flipper physics...

    - 10m33s - nice tip pass
    - 18m0s - two awesome looking live catches
    - 19m22s - cradle separation during multiball (not used but can see it will work).
    - 25m19s, 25m28s, 31m39s, 39m55s - Deadflip pass (great flipper movement / reaction)
    - 31m10s - Lymann's Lament on Monster Bash

    Add this - ?t=0h10m33s - and replace the time at the end of the address and it should jump you straight to the point of interest...

    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/499069884
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    Senior Member Pete's Avatar
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    I tried very hard to like zen's non bally/William's tables. And I just can't really get behind any of them. The southpark tables were fun. The star wars ones I've played were horribly bad. I know some will totally disagree with me and that's cool I just personally once buying and playing them a couple times never have any desire to play them again. Which is why I feel zen should just retheme any decent bally/William's tables they cannot get the rights to so they get some use out of all those great playfeilds and rule sets which are much better than anything they could come up with on their own. Also zen needs some good artists that do pinball style art, I feel the typical zen art is very Disney-esque and highly shaded art, whereas real pinball art is much more comic book ink and hard shaded without blending.

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    Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloda View Post
    I doubt that they'll ever change Pinball FX3's age rating on the consoles as they have been targeting the game as family fun from the get-go.
    This what strikes me as strange and rather stupid about our culture nowadays. These original tables with their original racy graphics and sounds were in thousands of arcades, amusement parks, miniature golf courses etc. with little kids playing them...no problem. Now all of a sudden it’s a problem.

    One of the first pinballs I ever played was at at a miniature golf arcade. It was...wait for it.....Playboy of all things. And I was underage, and there was no brown wrapper around it or seperate room for it. LOL

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    Senior Member Citizen's Avatar
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    Real pinball machines weren't ESRB rated and social media wasn't around to tell everyone what to be mad about, so outrage over little Timmys being corrupted by pinball was relegated to isolated incidents of soccer moms noticing something that offended them, which probably didn't happen often because most parents aren't going to pay much attention to their kid playing a pinball machine (although I'm sure some little Timmys did get in trouble for playing Playboy).

    That said, I also think some of you are confusing "people having a problem now" with "staying within the confines of the ESRB ratings."

    People largely don't give any more of a damn now than they did in the 80s and 90s. But again, the tables weren't being submitted for ratings then. Zen picked a rating they want to stay within for FX3, and unfortunately it's lower than how the ESRB sees the original, unmodified versions of these tables.
    Last edited by Citizen; 10-26-2019 at 02:04 PM.

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    Senior Member gameaddict4life's Avatar
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    Why doesn't Zen just recreate a mature table and resubmit for an M rating with the ESRB? This is where combining these recreations with the original stuff becomes a problem. Disney and the like don't want to be associated with that so it won't happen. That's why we need a separate game.
    It's all good.

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    Senior Member Citizen's Avatar
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    M would be unnecessary. T would cover them. And they probably don't want to do it because it's a pain in the ass to resubmit to the ESRB, and then they'd also have to do the work of splitting one game into two for Steam, Switch, PS4 and XBO, and they'd STILL be dealing with Disney when it comes time to ask for, you know, Indiana Jones.

    They should have made Williams Pinball separate to begin with. But, you know, hindsight and all. If you had asked me a year ago if I wanted a separate app, I'd have said no, not knowing what we do now.

    I don't think Disney is actually even holding them back from the T rating, to be honest. Disney is a convenient scapegoat and I do know Disney is nuts about FAMILY FRIENDLY ONLY (syt has shared personal industry experience on this), but keep in mind that the mobile version is rated T. If they were afraid of pissing Disney off with a T rating, they wouldn't have let that happen.
    Last edited by Citizen; 10-26-2019 at 07:35 PM.

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    Senior Member zmcvay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scared Stiff View Post
    This what strikes me as strange and rather stupid about our culture nowadays. These original tables with their original racy graphics and sounds were in thousands of arcades, amusement parks, miniature golf courses etc. with little kids playing them...no problem. Now all of a sudden it’s a problem.
    Depends where you were I suppose. Grew up in Pearl City, HI late 70’s, early 80’s, and the arcades I can remember with pinball almost always had them separated in a different area/room, usually the darkened one with lifted smoking restrictions. Pinball was mostly looked at as a more teenage/adult thing and separated from the more brightly lit family sections with the arcade games and skeeball. Main reason I never really started playing pinball until college.

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