While listening to the latest edition of Retro Gaming Radio, I heard a review of a new Wii game, Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection. The review was very positive and sent me out looking for the game. It took quite a lot of digging to find a copy. Hell, at one point a guy at EB Games told me the game wasn’t available on the Wii. Finaly, though I found a copy at Best Buy for freakin’ $19.99. I like when I find games I want, cheaply 🙂
Anyway, the wait was definitely worth it. If you like Pinball, then you should buy this package. The game play is very good, as is the presentation, despite the opening video being of such low quality as to be almost painful to watch. The setting is an arcade, that you wander from pinball machine to pinball machine. place is filled with the sound of various video games from the 80s and populated with and generic unplayable arcade cabinets for ambience. One thing that gets me is the fact that the arcades I remember were always kinda’ dark. I don’t remember them being bright and colourful like this fictional arcade. Any bright colours that didn’t emanate from the games themselves came either from a neon sign or two or the red fire exit sign at the back of the place. The in-game graphics are ok – typical Wii graphics, with a few jaggies here and there that were quite noticeable on my HD plasma, but not enough to ruin the total experience. I would compare it, visually to an early XBOX game. When I compared the graphics to the game collection, Pinball Hall of Fame – The Gottlieb Collection on the original XBOX, to my eyes the XBOX version looks a little sharper to me. Either way, it wasn’t terrible, just not overwhelming graphics. They would probably look fine on a standard definition TV.
The controls work very well. You use both the nunchuck and the Wii-mote. The B button (trigger) on the Wii-mote and one of the Z buttons on the nunchuck are right and left bumpers, respectively and you pull back on the nunchuk’s analog stick for the plunger. Sound seems dead on to me. I love the sound of Pinball machines, and this collection delivers. From the clanging and cluncking of bells and bumpers to the thud of the plunger and the rolling of the ball on the (simulated) wooden surface of the play field, it’s all there. Add a reasonably convincing rumble element and you’re talking about a winner. The tables are all from Williams, a big games manufacturer. They range from a late elecro-mechanical table to some very good modern machines with all the bells, whistles, multi-level play fields, evil taunting disembodied robot voice glory. A lot of choices of Pinball tables and various unlockables adds to the overall enjoyment.
Though far from perfect, you have probably guessed that I like this game.
Oh: and apparently there are versions for both the PS2 and the PSP, though I have not seen either in any of the stores in my area.
While writing this, I was listening to “Right Back” by Sublime