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Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection - 3DS Review

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Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection

3DS | Crave Games / Farsight Studios | 1-4 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now (North America)
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18th November 2011; By Patrick

Ah, pinball. Whenever you'd enter an arcade in the 90's, you would be almost instantly greeted by a whirlwind of various colours and sounds, all vying for your attention. However, one thing that you could almost guarantee is that, even though their presence has diminished over time, you would hear the sounds of the pinball machines, no matter where they were in the arcade. This constant has always reassured me, as I love traditional pinball. Games such as
Metroid Prime: Hunters, for instance have tried to capture the feel of Pinball in a more "video game-y" style, but that is not what I wanted. I wanted a way to play my favourite pinball classics again; and Farsight Studios delivered.

    Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection is not a game that tries to be anything it's not. Not once does it try and convince you it's anything but a collection of seven of the most classic Pinball tables, which might be a negative for some, but for me it's an incredibly good thing. All seven of the tables are lovingly recreated in both 3D and 2D, and the five that I've played in person before are exactly the same down to every small little detail, so I assume the other two are also identical to their physical counterparts.

As you could probably guess, all seven of the tables are from Williams. The tables included are PIN-BOT, FunHouse, Black Knight, GORGAR, Space Shuttle, Taxi, and Whirlwind. If you haven't heard of one or any of them, that is no problem as when you choose a table for the first time, the game will offer you an optional description of all the tricks and techniques necessary to maximize points on the table. This addition is incredibly helpful, and taught me new tricks on tables I had thought I had mastered.

    Pinball Hall of Fame also makes great use of the 3DS system hardware. In addition to using the accelerometer to be able to tilt the table by tilting the system, it uses the gyroscope to create an entire second control mode. By flipping the system upside-down at any point, the game will flip upside down as well, allowing for an even better experience with the table in 3D on the bottom, and the scoreboard on the top. All other controls stay the same, with you just using your thumbs to hit the trigger buttons. You look slightly foolish doing it, but it works and works well, and is highly recommended if you don't care about other people seeing you.

    There are three separate modes in Hall of Fame: Arcade, Tournament, and Challenge. Arcade is the mode that you will, without a doubt, spend the most time in, as it is where you are able to just choose a pinball machine and play it. Plain and simple. It is the bulk of the game, and works very well. Tournament Mode is where the multiplayer comes into play, with you competing in a series of tables against players, or against yourself. The only catch to the multiplayer in this game is that there is no wireless or Wi-Fi, and you must pass the system around to the individual players. While this is a fine and workable solution, I would have appreciated something along the lines of Download Play, but either way it is not necessary. 

Single-player tournaments are slightly boring though, with you just marathoning your way through a couple of tables. The other mode is Challenge Mode and is a single-player venture where you play through all seven tables, trying to complete challenges such as "score over 100,000 points". The difficulty does rise fairly quickly, but overall you will not be spending a huge amount of time with the mode.

    All in all, there's really not much to say about Pinball Hall of Fame. If you know what the general premise is and that excites you, then definitely go out and pick it up. You will not be disappointed. If the general premise doesn't excite you or if you dislike Pinball, do yourself a favor and stay away from this title, as it will not convince you to like Pinball any more.

23/30 - Very Good

Gameplay 9/10 - All seven tables have their original content, fun as ever, flipped control scheme works and works great
Presentation 8/10 - 3D effect is great especially in flipped mode, tables are identical to their physical counterparts
Enjoyment 4/5 - If you love pinball you will love this game, very fun to play, optional descriptions of table techniques are available
Extra Content 2/5 - Seven tables, multiplayer lacking multi-system gameplay, additional modes are available but Arcade Mode will dominate your playtime

Equivalent to a score of 77% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by Patrick

Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection 
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