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Centaur
  PBLPinballNA  
  opened by paleface at 04:45:17 07/19/10  
  last modified by paleface at 19:11:47 08/27/12  
  paleface [sys=PBL; cat=Pinball; loc=NA]
           
I was immediately attracted to the stark black and white, illustrated artwork covering the playfield and back glass of this table; with all static surfaces being black or white--black predominating--and bumpers and lights in dark red, the intense gothic look certainly stands out among the usual color-laden fare you find in the pinball parlor. Upon closer study I was somewhat less fond of the back glass illustration, mostly featuring the male, pants-less "centaur," some sort of cyborg whose human upper body melds somewhere around the thighs into the struts holding the front tire of a motorcycle. Interesting idea, but he is not exactly an attractive dude.
 
Anyway, the lushly black table itself is pretty sexy, and I enjoyed the harsh robotic digitized voice--pretty thorough for 1981--telling me to "DESTROY THE CENTAUR" in various ways at the appropriate junctures. The table layout is quite simple--no elevated ramps, even--but the bumpers, targets, and top rollovers have nice center placements, and are just enough off-center so as to feel different from other tables with this same common general configuration. I also like the arc chute on the left side--different, simple, and very challenging to hit. All in all the layout is deceptively simple: subtle, and quite effective.
 
What I didn't like about the table was that in a dark parlor, the fairly dimly lit, black-coated table is pretty tough to see. This overall impression could have been colored--yep that's sort of a pun I guess--by what appears to have been a custom feature of the particular pin I played: photos of other Centaur tables on ipdb.org show the black flippers as being wrapped in light red (okay PINK) rubber, but the flippers I had sported black rubber, making them very hard to see in the dim room, and this was surprisingly distracting. Also, they felt a little under-powered.
 
The design of this table made a considerable-good!--impression, and I would love a chance to play it somewhere with easier to see, stronger flippers.
 
  paleface 04:48:06 07/19/10
           
Well how did I manage to forget to mention that the table is by Bally?
 
  paleface 19:11:47 08/27/12
           
I played this in a better-lit parlor with a fully functional table, and it's nice that the black and white table art really highlights colored lights, so it's easy to see where something important is. I didn't really get into the action a whole lot in limited play--it sort of inhabits an awkward phase between the classic old bell and bumper electromechanical tables, and the later super-involved digital stuff. Probably still need to play it more to get a fair shake--lost my balls pretty darn quickly this time.
    

 
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