Version 1.2: 2008-04-19 (corrected some terminology; updated info for Skate Scene Pinball Bridge Ramp)
Version 1.1: 2006-03-07 (added update sections to DBZ TV Game reviews)

Classic Arcade Pinball TV Game: FAQ

I have had Jakks Pacific's Classic Arcade Pinball TV Game, developed by Hotgen, ever since it first came out, and over time, I've come to know the three tables pretty well. No one seems to have written any sort of guide or FAQ online for them, despite the varied scoring features of the tables, so I thought I'd go ahead and give it a shot on my own.

To contact me about this guide, for which I use the term "FAQ" rather loosely, please send a personal message to user onmode-ky at the fora (this will require having or opening a forum account). Side Content: Games from the Dragonball Z TV Game

Paleolithic Pete

Of the three tables, this is the easiest for increasing the score multiplier, getting extra balls, and activating 3-ball multiball.

Quick Reference:

Table Features

Super Star Strike

My personal favorite, SSS has a unique mini-table design, a single outlane, and 2- or 3-ball multiball.

Quick Reference:

Table Features

Skate Scene Pinball

Unlike the other two tables, this one has no multiball and no mini-table. It makes up for it with a longer table and more scoring variety.

Quick Reference:

Table Features

Dragonball Z TV Game (by Handheld Games) - Dragonball Z Pinball

This playfield is split into a main table which has 3 regions (upper, middle, and lower) and 7 subtables linked primarily through warp holes to the main table. While on the main table, the game scrolls with the ball up and down through the regions. Each region has two warp holes activated by eliminating groups of circling, and otherwise harmless, enemies (the lower region's holes are protected with character-shaped covers which must be hit several times to open them), and the seventh subtable is accessed either by bombarding a perpetually present, floating enemy in the middle region a large number of times or by punching through a crack in the left wall. The basic game objective is to defeat each subtable to collect its Dragonball and, once all seven are collected, to give them to the dragon at the top of the main table.

The game mechanics are a bit repetitive. Each subtable, which is one screen in size, is defeated by destroying one or more resident enemies, usually moving targets, by hitting them a bunch of times with the ball. It's not that hard, particularly since the ball is pretty big, and I didn't notice any particular increase in speed or difficulty when I tried the hard mode. What's harder is that after each subtable defeat, you then have to get the ball (now a Dragonball) to the upper main table region to dump into a collection hole. Transferring the ball upwards is a challenge, made harder by the enemy characters wandering around in circles in each region, so if you let the ball slip down into the next region, you'll have to fight your way back up. Obviously, the lower region has a drain you can't fight out from.

Once you get the final Dragonball into the collection hole, you are then locked in the upper region, and the Dragonballs are shot back into the region one at a time for you to give to the dragon. You alternate shooting the balls into the dragon's left hand and right hand, and the final ball goes into the dragon's mouth. Once all this is done, you've finished all the table objectives, and a short cutscene gives you a big bunch of points and some (2?) extra balls (I think there was a third reward, but I can't remember what it was; I have not had this TV Game for a while now). After that, the table resets (not including your score), and you keep playing. In forging my high score, I beat the whole table twice and got 5/7 of the way to the third finish before finally being out of balls, of which I think you start with 5.

That's about all there is to it. There is not a whole lot of scoring depth, as far as I could tell. All you do is hit the character targets, get the Dragonballs, and give them to the dragon. There may have been a score multiplier, but I don't remember it.

Update: After finding it at a clearance price of $4, I bought the DBZ TV Game again, this time for keeps. The price is low even for the one game alone for which I bought the unit, the "Kamehameha Assault" game (described below). While demonstrating the games on the unit to a friend, I played a round of the pinball game, and the following notes are based on that:

You do start with 5 balls, similar to older, real pinball tables. There is a score multiplier, which I have seen reach 3x, but I don't know how it is activated or incremented other than that the final part of the triggering mechanism is hitting a bumper in the center of the main table's lower region. Also in that region, the left and right outlane kickbacks seem to be activated by hitting the rebounds (slingshots) over the flippers, but again, I'm not sure of the full triggering sequence. Giving all the Dragonballs to the dragon nets 2 extra balls and 10 million points. Extra balls are also earned for every X number of points earned, but I have forgotten the value of X (10 million?). There is a center post between the lower region's flippers which can be brought up by lighting all three of the middle region's lanes.

I noted earlier that I bought the DBZ TV Game just for the "Kamehameha Assault" paddle-type game. While I know a fair amount about the unit's pinball game now, it still does not interest me; it is simply neither varied nor challenging enough. The round I played while demonstrating the games lasted for possibly 1.5 hours, during which I set a new personal high score of 51,260,600 points and beat the whole table 4 times . . . and I ended the game prematurely by purposely losing the 9 balls I had remaining. This was in Hard difficulty mode. Thus, I really have no reason to play that table anymore. The scoring/gameplay mechanics are very simple; the speed is too slow; and, the game is too easy, even in Hard mode. This is particularly true after you find that you can pull off the physically impossible feat of getting a ball that is directly below a flipper to essentially teleport above it by rapidly toggling the flipper. The Classic Arcade Pinball TV Game's tables are superior and much more enjoyable, both for the casual and serious player.

Dragonball Z TV Game (by Handheld Games) - Kamehameha Assault

A better reason to get the Dragonball Z TV Game is the "Kamehameha Assault" paddle-type combat game, which has much more engaging gameplay. It forces you to divide your attention between dealing with the opponent's attacks, attacking the opponent, and trying to accomplish the task that will actually win the round for you (collecting all the Dragonballs with the bouncing energy ball; fighting with the opponent is inevitable, but it could cost you a win, and this paradox is one of my favorite parts of this game). If only "Kamehameha Assault" had been a game for two human players, one-on-one, I would have kept the DBZ TV Game even without being interested in the other two games. This may be the best paddle-type game I've seen since Warlords.

Update: As noted in the previous section, I eventually did buy and keep the DBZ TV Game for "Kamehameha Assault," paying $4 for the unit.

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