Pinball - dead easy to do in a videogame, right? Actually, not if you’re going to do it well. You can’t just stick a load of ramps and targets on an oblong playing area, whack a pair of flippers down the bottom and expect it to work like a proper table. When pinball was a big deal in the arcades, the best designers were revered among fans much like Miyamoto or Kojima are today, except without the internet to make global stars of them. So there’s a massive library of classic tables out there, honed to perfection by masters of the art. And then there’s this lot.
It’s not that any of the six tables in this collection are particularly awful. The problem is that they just don’t flow right, not compared to the real-world efforts in the Gottlieb compilation and the forthcoming Williams one, both of which cost around the same price. Licensing issues mean that some of the very best pinball tables ever made - the ’90s Bally efforts - may never appear on any console, but these are poor substitutes.
There’s a reasonable share of gimmicks, such as balls made from different materials, but the physics aren’t entirely convincing at any point, so having a wood or marble ball is pointless. The framerate isn’t what it should be, and there are better alternatives on Wii.
May 8, 2008