know what flippers, tilt and bumpers are, you might
enjoy this collection.
by Cole Smith
23, 2005 - Playing
a pinball on a videogame is little more than a novelty.
It's not bad when you can see the entire screen at
once as on the next-gen consoles or PC but it's too
small to track the action on a handheld which leaves
you to scroll the screen to reveal the playfield in
various components. The effect is less than under-whelming.
was a leading manufacturer of pinball machines from
the start of the era right through the golden age
to its eventual collapse. There is a great assortment
of simulated pinball game that commemorates the company's
ingenious designs from the thirties to the nineties.
I recognized a few of these games but it just makes
me pine for the real thing. The offerings here are
oversimplified and are unlikely to hold most gamers'
attention for longer than a half-hour or so. After
a while it's about as exciting as playing bingo.
starters I will admit that the ball physics is good.
It bounces, rebounds and travels just like the real
thing. It even has a decent sense of weight which
you can sense when you hit it with your flipper. The
ramps, bumpers, flippers, targets, bonuses and specials
are replicated exactly for each machine. They all
work well and if you spend some time with the game
you can actually figure out how to play the game of
pinball as you hit various targets in sequence to
score more points, extra balls and light specials
which result in a replay.
you want to play all of the games in this collection
you're going to have to learn how to score big because
you will need a certain amount of points to unlock
the other games. In this way you are basically forced
to endure the game. I must admit this is a sneaky
way of squeezing some replay value out of this title.
flippers are responsive and if you want to add some
English to your shots, you can hit the analog stick
which replicates bumping the machine. It doesn't always
do what you want it to and like the real machines,
the game is prone to tilting which instantly puts
a stop to the ball in play. For as much use as this
feature is, it's just not worth the risk of losing
to finesse the ball is the hallmark of all pinball
wizards. If you're just flipping the flippers every
time the ball comes near the outhole then you don't
know what you're doing. The first thing you have to
learn is to use each flipper independently. Don't
hit them both at the same time. That's amateurish.
In order to hit drop targets in a specific order you
have to catch the ball on the flipper and finesse
it into position. These are skills you may want to
cultivate. The game facilitates these moves well and
it's fun to try them out but if you've already got
your pinball skills down pat the game is not going
to hold your interest for long.
graphics on the playfield look authentic but on some
games it can be a little bit too busy. Too many overly
bright colors, shadings and even glare can make it
a little difficult to see the ball. Different camera
angles are available but either way they are either
too close or too distant. You can even position the
screen sideways which makes things a little easier
to see but when holding the game system like that
it's difficult to access all of the controls smoothly.
multi-player mode will give you a boost as you can
play against three of your friends in a tournament
in which the title will be awarded to the player with
the most points. You can even share pinball games
with another gamer via the wireless system. Only one
copy of the game is required.
one thing the developers got down perfectly are the
sounds. If you close your eyes you will think that
you're actually standing in front of an actual pinball
machine. You'll hear the analog sounds of bells, buzzers,
solenoids, gears and the unmistakable pop of a replay.
Games from the 80s and 90s have more electronic and
digital sound effects that are also perfectly replicated.
with authentic pinball sounds you will also hear various
arcade machines in the background; of the videogame
kind - the very ones that killed pinball. There is
also a narrator that explains the origin of each pinball
machine. This is a great feature and one that I would
really like to see more of. I would pay big money
to see a two-hour pinball documentary that also included
simulated, digital versions of each machine to try
out. We get a taste of that in Pinball Hall of Fame
but what I really want is a meal, dammit.
of 10 of Gottlieb's greatest pinball tables. Three
additional tables from the original Pinball Hall
of Fame PS2.
player "game sharing" via wireless connection
with one disc.
in a 3D environment, the gameplay visuals and sound
effects are so authentic; it will take the player
back in time to when pinball machines ruled the