How many have played Fantastic Journey?

A Victorian steam powered adventure

Re: How many have played Fantastic Journey?

Postby pinwolf » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:22 pm

I definitely recommend a gampad with analog input for pinball play on a pc desktop - and especially for BRUSA & FJ.
Apart from the ability to 'nudge&magno' with just one finger, one get's a much better control on the strength of nudging and the flippers.

Some more tips:

Low Slope makes the ball more 'floaty' (means less control with flippers for "Drop Catches" etc.) - but ramp shoots gets easier.
High Slope gives super flipper control but the ball drains like a stone in a well.

Condition regulates how shopworn the surface is.
'New' is like playing on ice and 'neglected' slows down.

Flipper Power regulates how hard the ball is hit with the flippers.
1 is 'soft&sensitive' - 7 is 'hard&rough'

To learn the basics tricks like "Post Pass" etc. and to get a general feeling for the physics best table setup is
Slope max, neglected surface and Flipper Power on 1.

Just train for a while with this. Ramp shoots will be almost impossible, but it's not about high score.
Learn the standard flipper tricks, and get a feeling for the physics.
Here is a good description:
http://www.pinballnews.com/learn/skills/index.html
http://www.pinballnews.com/learn/skills/index2.html

Also train to 'magno save' and nudging. Play 4-player games with lots of balls for this.

Don't forget to switch on the little 'rust' ball markings to better see the spin of the ball.
(I think people who pledged for an own ball design will get a slight little benefit when it comes to PP ULTRA online highscores in the future...)

I play Fantastic Journey mostly on normal difficulty and standard settings. But you can experiment with the table setup to pull some extra tricks. There is for instance some combination which gives you (almost) always a free spinner shot through 'Ball Rescue' etc.

Fantastic Journey IS the best virtual pinball table simulation. Nothing comes closer to the real thing till now.
Let's see what T!Ultra brings.
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Re: How many have played Fantastic Journey?

Postby Orsetti » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:03 pm

So, after BRUSA, what I did not like after Timeshock, FJ was a great table again. but I have to admit, that the ball physics was quite different from my beloved Timeshock. But the theme of FJ was great.

After a while I got a feeling for the table and had a great time with it. And what I never managed on Timeshock, I did on FJ: I reached the final stage of it. Afterwards I tried BRUSA again. Now I came better clear with the physics, but I still disliked the game mechanics. And forgot of it for some years.

But today FJ is #2 behind Timeshock. In fact, Timeshock now is missing the great feeling of the physics from FJ. So I'm especially pleased, that this will be solved in the Ultra Version of Timeshock. Because now Timeshock plays somewhat "incomplete", compared to FJ. The situation right now is, that Timeshock is still the best table ever, but FJ plays best ever (for a virtual machine).

Looking also forward for Fantastic Journey Ultra. Make it happen!

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Re: How many have played Fantastic Journey?

Postby emusik » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:07 am

I have played it yesterday for half an hour and have to see the big problem of the table. If you don´t hit the ramp beside the boiler of the left side the ball allways falls through my two flippers. This makes this table a little bit unfair.
Last edited by emusik on Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How many have played Fantastic Journey?

Postby cottonm4 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:25 pm

ErikM wrote:FJ was always my least favorite, for two reasons.

One, the physics. Even if it's more accurate than the earlier games, it's less fun and I always feel I'm fighting against it. The left lock lane in particular is just about completely impossible to shoot with a moving ball. The middle spinner lane and right boiler also feel a lot harder than they should be. I recently came across this thread on another pinball forum: http://www.gopinball.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2077 . It makes some excellent points about the mechanics of flippers. The targets on FJ feel like they are all placed out of line with the flipper sweet spots.

******************************
Erik, since you posted, I have been going back and forth between FJ and BRUSA. I find I have an easier time targeting the U-Turn, U-turn ramp, Taxi, and Magno-charger in BRUSA when compared to hitting targets in FJ. I never was a good enough player to notice the difference and just figured my crappy flippers skills made FJ more of a challenge.

******************************


Two, a massive imbalance in the rules: the boiler awards totally dominate the adventures in terms of risk/reward. The adventures are single-ball modes highly prone to draining, while the boiler awards give all sorts of risk-free and reducing goodies like multiballs, kickbacks, magnosaves, video mode. And Double Playfield means the boiler outscores everything else too. High-level play on FJ means ignoring the adventures and only playing the boiler, which makes it pretty boring.

*******************
I never was good enough of a player to notice this distinction of how points are awarded. I did notice that the adventures were/are very hard to get.
**********************


I do love the theme, and those concerns can certainly be addressed in a new edition, so it would be my pick for next after Timeshock.
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Re: How many have played Fantastic Journey?

Postby Penguinator » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:43 pm

I have totally opposite opinion about FJ's target placement. The amount of time I've spent on playing it probably affects my judgement, but FJ is the only table where I can hit all major targets with really good confidence; ramps, orbits, lock lane, even the GATHER drop targets are all easy to shoot after trapping a ball. The only target I can't hit as well is the LUCK lane, especially after trapping. And in addition to that, doing passes (ie. post transfer) is much easier than in Timeshock and you can do many useful backhand shots with the right flipper (ie. boiler and contraptions).

The targets in BRUSA are much, much harder for me. U-Turn, Police Car and Taxi are pretty easy, but the ramps are much harder (especially the ones you need to do with the upper flipper), not to mention a regular shot at the Taxi (or a weak shot at U-Turn) can send the ball straight towards the drain which is very risky since there is no center pin.
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Re: How many have played Fantastic Journey?

Postby pinwolf » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:59 am

Penguinator wrote:... The only target I can't hit as well is the LUCK lane, especially after trapping...


Left Slingshot...but you have to be lucky.
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Re: How many have played Fantastic Journey?

Postby ErikM » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:19 pm

So this thread got me thinking about Fantastic Journey enough that I went and played it again. The physics are more playable than I'd remembered. Even the left lane can be hit from a moving ball a fair percentage of the time. (Trick: aim alongside the right wall of the lane, not into its center.) I think I was rememembering how the left lane can't be backhanded.

The flipper sweet spots do point at targets, but the problem is those targets are the mostly unimportant right ramp and blue drops. They can be hit from almost any incoming ball but that doesn't help a whole lot compared to the stuff that you need to hit more often. The spinner, boiler, and contraption scoop are the important shots, and decidedly not lined up with the flipper sweet spots. Compare to Timeshock, where the spinner is the most common shot, and is a joy to hit fluidly at high speed. FJ's important shots feel a lot clunkier, especially shooting for jackpots in frenzies.

But the physics around the flippers are remarkably sophisticated and detailed. You can do lots of subtle moves with FJ's flippers that Timeshock and BRUSA don't allow. It's almost too easy to catch most incoming balls for a controlled shot. Now I can't wait to play Timeshock this way.

Anyway, so I played FJ, and actually kept playing to a new high score. I put it in on Ante's page although it didn't update yet.

Penguinator wrote:The targets in BRUSA are much, much harder for me. U-Turn, Police Car and Taxi are pretty easy, but the ramps are much harder (especially the ones you need to do with the upper flipper)


The upper ramps and loops are difficult to shoot deliberately, yes. But BRUSA is very cleverly designed that you are never required to shoot them. They come up in city modes, speedways, and duels, but you never need to win any of those in order to proceed. Duels can be lit from Open the Trunk in lieu of the combos. The wizard modes Big Race and Really Big Race don't use the upper shots either. FJ is much more demanding that you must hit particular shots.
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Re: How many have played Fantastic Journey?

Postby Ante » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:40 am

ErikM wrote:Anyway, so I played FJ, and actually kept playing to a new high score. I put it in on Ante's page although it didn't update yet.


Congratulations Erik, I will update it as soon as I am in the office (in 30 minutes :D)!

[Edit] Wow 400.383.661.270, well played :mrgreen:
Last edited by Ante on Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How many have played Fantastic Journey?

Postby pinwolf » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:05 am

Interesting how opinions about playability can flip. :)
The reason, I think, is - that pinball sport skills is all about the invested training time to build muscle memory.
And that must be done for each table separately (real or virtual).
Best scores one gets, when one has not to think about it anymore...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_memory

I think that is also the reason that casual 'flipper games' get boring so fast. (because it takes not much effort 'to get it')
And that leads to the need for as many tables in one game as possible...
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Re: How many have played Fantastic Journey?

Postby insx » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:53 am

louck?
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