The Latest

For Amusement Only


Like a digital phoenix rising from its analog ash heap,
pinball has been reborn as a digital simulation. With increased processing
power, and mass affordability, nearly everyone has the ability to own a DVD of
pinball simulations, regardless on the amount of space in their dwelling habitat.
Today, we’re going to examine some of the more recent titles offered to
players.


Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection – Anyone
skeptical about the ability of a CPU to emulate the nuances and intricacies of real-world
pinball table, should pick up this title.
PHoF:WC’s physics are spot-on, the
ball behaves just like it’s steel counterpart. The titles offers numerous
camera angles from a ‘smart’ camera, that follows the ball, faithfully,
to a full table view. The Wii version offers ten classic tables from the 70’s ,
80’s and 90’s, while the PS2 and PSP counterparts offer only eight tables. While some
may be skeptical of the Wiimote and Nunchuck control found of Nintendo’s
console, we found it to be the most intuitive of all three versions. Especially
appealing was the ability to nudge the table without taking your fingers off
the flipper buttons.
Highly Recommended

Pinball FX – Forgoing backwards compatibility, this title is
the only option for flipper-minded 360 players. While Pinball FX is only ten
dollars, it only has a selection of three tables, with one free download available
on the Xbox Live Marketplace.  Additionally,
two other tables are available for a meager 200 MS points each. FX’s physics
are slightly wonky- there seem to be an overemphasis on ball spin, which can
add some unrealistic curve to the ball’s trajectory. Additionally, the three
tables offered are as bland as their titles indicate- Extreme, Agents, and
Speed Machine. The downloadable Buccaneer table offers a bit more graphical and
aural excitement, however. While worth the asking price, better pin sims can be found
for owners of multiple consoles. Recommended Only for Fans

Dream Pinball 3D – Available for the PC, Wii, and DS, the
title’s sole innovation is the use of different ball materials such as wood,
marble and ivory. DP3D offers the player six tables, and six cameras (with one
full table view). Unfortunately, the Wii version is slightly crippled; in order
to maintain a 60 fps framerate, the flippers are either completely up or at a state of rest.
Without a range of animation, skillful shots are neigh impossible. Reportedly,
this problem is not evident is the DS version. We cannot recommend this title,
as the PC has much better sims available, and a number of older fantasy pinball
games like Adventure Pinball Forgotten Island. DS owners might want to look for
Metroid Prime Pinball, a respectable dual screen title. Avoid

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

16 comments

  1. I’ve been looking for a good deal on the Williams Collection.

  2. Pinball has not been reborn digitally.

    I love pinball and I love my video games, but pinball as a video game is stupid.

    Unlike the yesteryear of going down to an arcade and dropping quarters into Donkey Kong (which has been pretty much the same experience since I bought it for Colecovision) pinball has a physical element that can’t be replicated.

    So, I have one thing left to say: The Williams Collection can kiss my ass!

  3. Thanks, I was think of picking up Dream Pinball, now I’ll save my money.

  4. I sort of agree with Unlickedcub- I used to have a ‘real’ pinball machine in the basement. Having a real machine, and experiencing the tactile play, it’s very hard to try to duplicate that on a console, it feels sterile.

    But, I ended by selling the machine, as it would cost an arm and a leg to fix the machine. (there’s on;y one guy in the phone book, and he would charge me for the 50 miles he’d have to drive out) And it would break often.

    So pinball in arcade=great, pinball at home=good but a headache.

  5. Don’t know why, I just could get into pinball. Its to simple. I was raised in the era of video games and pinball seems so old and kind of boring.

    Every table has the same basic goal! Games are completely different from one another.

  6. FYI: The Williams Collection for Wii is $15 at Costco. Steal!

  7. Pinball fan should check out the PC, there’s plenty of good titles available; maybe 40 or so.

  8. Ah, this makes me wish new pinball games were being created. I haven’t seen a new one in about 10 years. I guess it’s simulation or nothing!

  9. I agree with PHOF:WC. It’s a great game because of the controls and physics.

  10. More Pinball articles; I love the stuff both video and real world!

  11. Black Knight is the most kickass pin table ever. Second best is adams family.

  12. I love pinball sims, anyone ever play the Atari 2600 one? It’s one of the few 2600 games I can still play without getting hopelessly bored.

  13. Anyone know any good pin sites? Also anyone try the Pinball MAME prog for Pc?

  14. I bought Dream Pinball for the Wii- you guys are right it’s pretty much awful. Luckily they let me return it. I got the Williams collection am am quite happy with it. Unlockables, though?

  15. Hey is that a Rocky and Bullwinkle machine with the antlers?

  16. Yeah, but they have this really cool pinball (I forget what it’s called) where you have to fling your ball at a castle and eventually the castle will blow up (fall apart into four sections). The best pinballs are the ones with special stuff you can do.