Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Silver Ball Planet Osaka

I realize that content has been a bit thin on the ground recently, job stress, large backlog and a packed schedule has made it hard to find time to write stuff for the blog.  One of those things taking time away from me was a trip to Osaka where I checked out a place called Silver Ball Planet, a huge pinball hall somewhere in the middle of what my friend called the "American village"

I know that strictly speaking Pinball isn't video games but its always been one of those things I've enjoyed.  Granted, my experience playing on actual tables like this is extremely limited but I've always enjoyed the odd stint on a pinball video game and when I do get a chance to play on actual tables it's always an absolute blast.

The place itself is this huge sort of warehouse looking place filled with all sorts of Pinball machines.  Some are insanely old while others are surprisingly modern.  The one that struck me the most was a machine based on The Walking Dead.  I didn't snap a pic myself but here's a image of the layout I got off Google

I mean, I've not looked too deeply into its production but my guess is that it must have been made and released at somewhat recently with the rise in popularity of the comic and TV show.  I find it cool that despite pinball being a somewhat niche thing, they are still making new tables in the modern day, that fact makes me kind of happy.

On the flip side there are machines made from the god knows when old times but the fun thing about these machines is that they were 10 yen per play

Most of the machines were priced, as one would expect, at 100 yen per play but if you were running out of coins then there were a few machines like this priced at 10 and 50 yen per go.  There was one machine that was 100 yen for 4 plays for some reason and if, unlike me, you're good at pinball then one coin can last you a long time.

One of the more video game related things that surprised me a little bit was that sitting next to the Tron pinball table was the goddamn Tron arcade game

It felt a little out of place surrounded on all sides by pinball tables and I was a little busy so didn't have a chance to try the thing but it was cool to actually see an arcade cabinet this old in the flesh.  I'm already planning my return trip to Osaka to play more pinball so this will probably be the first thing I try on my return trip before I start playing any actual pinball.

It doesn't matter if you're a pinball wizard or a piece of shit who just smashes the flippers and hopes for the best, Silver Ball Planet is a fun and cheap day out that I think anyone could get at least some degree of enjoyment out of.  Pinball is one of those games that's easy to get into but has qualities that make it hard to master.  There was an advert in the place for a beginners tournament which made me curse the fact I don't live in Osaka because I would have loved to check that out.  Anyway, to round out this post here are two pictures of the Super Mario tables.

The small shitty looking one
The bigger, more impressive table.  Notice the Space Invaders table off to the right too!

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