Symmetry is bad (?)


#1

Symmetry is bad.

Anything in the center is the same shot from left and right. That’s bad. It takes the space of two shots but it is really just one.

Left and right ramps (or whatever) with complete symmetry, is the same thing. They are sort of the same shot.

Unless one of the primary flippers is weaker than the other. Then it is different shots, but that’s still bad because the shots should have been the same.

I have never played TZ. How different is it to shoot the powerball? Are you wired with that as “different shots”?

Are there any machines where the flippers are intentionally stronger or weaker during a mode? (Tilt don’t count :slightly_smiling_face:) Maybe that could make a game richer. Is that a terrible idea?

Sanity check? Thank you.


#2

wizard of oz and Dialed In have times when the flippers act funny. WoZ weakens them, DI flutters them during some events.

Houdini, Simpsons Pinball Party, and maybe a couple other games have modes where your flippers are reversed (left button controls right flipper). Houdini also has the choice of inverting them (button press lowers the flipper).

Powerballs pretty significantly change any game they are put in, the game plays faster, but the shots aren’t different otherwise, imo.

I think symmetrical games can be fun, but do prefer notn symmetrical layouts generally. Symmetry mostly went out of style with EMs, much less common in Solid States, WPT is the most symmetrical recent game that comes to mind. Can’t really think of any others since the Early SS era.


#3

I have always thought that because the ball is lighter you have to flip just a little bit later. This is without any thoughtful research but seems to work for me.


#4

ACDC is pretty symetrical. I’m sure there are loads of other more recent examples too. I don’t think it’s a bad thing necessarily


#5

Well, in ACDC the right ramp is just about as far from the center, as the left orbit, not the left ramp. So the left ramp and the right ramp are completely different shots.

What I mean is that when two things of the same kind are their respective mirror images with the line of symmetry going exactly in the middle between the flippers, then that is a waste. As a special case, anything placed centered on this line, is its own mirror image, so it is half wasted.

Just wondering if someone agrees with me. As a challenge: Name a fun game with a completely centered ramp?


#6

Mousin’ Around and Who Dunnit? come to mind first. You didn’t say the center ramp has to be the fun part of it.


#7

Fire! works and also is thread-appropriate.

LOTR has a centered center ramp, too.


#8

Thunderbirds /sarcasm

Does Stern KISS/Aerosmith count as fun games? Aerosmith might be more “fun for a masochist,” though.


#9

Center ramps?

Earthshaker. Comet. Road Kings. Cactus Canyon. No Good Gofers.

The Addams Family.


#10

I dunno, but Aerosmith doesn’t count because the ramp is not in the center. The left post of the ramp is in the center. Even if neither of them are backhand, left and right are different enough to not have any redundancy.


#11

So many games I play seem to try to mimic totem flippers via mismatched alignment that nothing is symmetric anyway.


#12

Iron Maiden. Demo Man.


#13

I’ll go on record as abhorring these modes. There are enough ways that games in the wild get worse and worse to play, mostly due to maintenance issues. I don’t enjoy having the game purposefully screw with the strength of the flippers.


#14

Fish Tales and Hobbit both have those centered symmetric criss-cross ramps. In Fish Tales at least I think they’re pretty fun; the U-turn and Double Cross awards are a nice touch. On the Hobbit they suffer from being too far back on the playfield which makes them a bit of a snooze IMO.


#15

Woah, what’s the double cross award!?


#16

If you hit both ramps roughly at the same time during multiball (and avoid a collision~) you get a bonus. It’s something non trivial like 5 or 10M I think?


#17

Sometimes symmetrical layouts can be a very good thing!


#18

And my favorite EM of all time…


#19

Taxi has mostly symmetrical cross over ramps although the cross over happens on the return. Can’t remember what the bonus is called for hitting both ramps at the same time. Cross over bonus?

Pat Lawlor seems to have the least symmetrical games. And with all the upper flippers, his games often use different powered flipper coils. TZ uses three different flipper coils. Bottom ones are the same, uppers are both different. If you don’t like aymmetry, get a Pat Lawlor game.


#20

I agree TAF’s main ramp shot is mostly centered, but the ramp entrance is offset to the right (the A target at the left of the ramp entrance is actually the center of the playfield) which might explain why it is generally easier to shoot it from the left flipper than the right.