Pinball Hall of Fame
August 23, 2005 - This is pinball at it's finest baby! Not just any made up tables by some game designers either but rather recreations of real Gottlieb pinball tables. The look of each table, each bumper, switch, mini game, and so on has been accurately duplicated in videogame form. While to some this may not be a good thing... if you like classic real pinball machines you'll be right at home. Many people that review games today like to compare an experience with everything else on the market rather than explore a game for it's true experience. I'm not going to stoop to padding this review with such comparisons. This isn't Metroid Prime 2, it's not Halo 2, it's not mario... and so on... thus it shouldn't be compared to em and I hope no one that wants this game is expecting those kind of experiences but instead wants a solid pinball game. Camera work in this game really is beyond excellent. It does a fantastic job of following the action. A dynamic camera done right? Who thought that was possible! Never did I feel like I wish I could be looking at another part of the table. Instead the camera seemed to go where it should in following the ball yet still giving a good overview of the play area. This is definitely one of the few pinball games to get the whole camera thing right rather than forgetting the camera and putting it straight above and either putting the full table on screen (thus making it too small) or scrolling up and down (thus not really showing the area in the best advantage point for that moment and never seeing enough of the table). Something extra fun thrown in are unlockables that are earned if you finish the challenge on each table. For example in "Victory" you have to finish the race (which means going through 7 check points and the finish line) as well as earn 3 credits in one game. It's a good solid challenge that's neither impossible nor too easy. Each table has such a challenge and they are all unique. Nicely for there's basic information about where to score and whatnot so it really helps in getting to know each table. What kind of unlockables are there? Well you get stuff like Tournament Mode, pinball museum pictures, a Zoltan machine (as seen in the classic Tom Hanks movie BIG), and even a Play-Boy pinball machine. Good stuff, and the challenges make you want to play some of the older tables that you otherwise might dismiss due to their simplicity. Make no mistake there are plenty of tables in this game (7 total I think) and atleast 1/2 of them are modern enough that any pinball wizard should have a great time. Pinball Hall of Fame The Gottlieb Collection turned out a heck of a lot better than I ever imagined. Though IGN would compare it and score it according to Halo and other games I'm scoring just for how fun a pinball experience it is. But before I do that one more bit to wrap this review up. Great pinball collections are far and few inbetween. Many forgo giving you "real" tables to play on and instead push the pinball experience to more of a Videogame experience. Don't get me wrong, I tend to like many of those games as well but the ones that try to do realistic pinball often don't try hard enough to give a good camera or good view of the action. Here you get it all. Some classic tables that serve a great history lesson (with actual writen history and fliers for each table) as well as more modern stuff that is as fun to play today as any other pinball machine. So if your on the fense about this game, hopefully I've said enough to give you an idea of what you'll be getting if you hunt this title down. And no, the ball doesn't feel floaty at all. It seems rock solid and near perfect. And to think, this is a budget title too!