SCEI are on the right track with Flipnic: Ultimate
Pinball. Instead of trying to simulate the real-world
looks and physics of a pinball machine, the developers
have created an imaginary hybrid where analog meets
digital in a unique design concept that could only
exist in one's imagination.
takes video-pinball into the third dimension and beyond.
Instead of flat, uninspired tables, the playfields
in Flipnic take on epic proportions with multi-tiered
levels and huge interactive environments that were
never meant to be included in a pinball machine. Imagine
setting up flippers, bumpers and ramps in a rainforest
where you deflect the ball off of trees, roll it down
paths and over majestic waterfalls. There are other
levels that feature futuristic laser patterns and
graphics are amazing, but the gameplay is somewhat
limited. There are only a few of the requisite pinball
paraphernalia in each of the levels. The physics is
good but it's too forgiving. The layout is a little
sparse and it too is easy with large ramps that are
almost impossible to miss. Once you explore all of
the levels you'll find that the game lacks a sustainable
challenge. It would have been great if each level
became progressively more difficult.
works more like a shooter than a pinball game. By
using the flippers you try to hit various targets
and complete your mission. Sometimes you will have
to launch the ball up ramps and other times you will
have to target enemies such as an army of crabs that
are crawling toward you. For more control over the
ball you can move the table by pressing a button.
If you overdo it the game will tilt and you will lose
the ball that's in play.
such as pong and foosball implement the pinball control
scheme and make excellent two-player modes. The sheer
simplicity of the design, rules and control scheme
allow virtually anyone of any skill level to take
up the challenge immediately and put up a good fight.
pinball "bells and whistles" sounds accompany
your play. It's also neat to hear sound effects such
as water and explosions that are not typically associated
with pinball sound effects.
is certainly a step in the right direction. You can't
go wrong for twenty bucks. You'll make that up in
the two-player modes alone. At the very least give
it a rental and see the future of pinball.