by Chris Brown
In early 2008 Crave Entertainment released Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection on the Wii. The game was warmly received and won some deserving praise from various online media. It was a very good game that I bought several copies to give to friends as gifts. This year at E3 2009, I was pleasantly surprised to see that The Williams Collection was going to be released for the Sony Playstation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360. So now that I’ve had my flipper button fingers at the ready, how does the game stack up on the the consoles? For the most part the game looks and plays very well and adapts nicely to the additional graphics.
Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection offers a good selection of Williams pinball machines through the seventies, eighties and nineties. For the Xbox 360 and PS3 release of the title, the game adds four additional pinball machines that weren’t available in the Wii release. Twelve of the pinball machines are easily available to play, with one (No More Gofers) players have to unlock in a very difficult challenge. Not every machine is a winner in my book, but there is enough pinball machines for players to find one that they find themselves returning to again and again. For me I was enamored with the very simply, yet fun, Gorgar. With the high-definition upgrade for the PS3 and Xbox 360, the pinball tables look nice, but I do wish they were a little wider and a bit easier to see. The high-definition cheats a bit using the game-room as part of the background instead of really bringing the table a little closer to the player’s view.
Despite the slightly narrow appearance of the pinball boards, each machine can played using several different camera views which can be switched simply by pressing a button on the gamepad. This helps out tremendously is keeping the players eye on the ball, the flippers, and other points of high-scoring interest. It did take a short bit finding the perfect angle that works for each person, but once found the angle felt comfortable and very playable. The Williams Challenge can break even a good video pinball player. In the Williams Challenge the player must complete an objective on each of the game’s pinball machine in order. You get three tries on a pinball machine to reach the objective or else you have to restart from the beginning. If a player manages, and I’m assuming here because I only managed to beat just three of the objectives, to get through all the Williams pinball machines, then the last and final Williams machine will be unlocked and available for play. The Williams Challenge is both frustrating and fun. The challenge itself is an excellent motivator to play and replay the video game. Besides the Williams Challenge, the only other way to unlock the final pinball machine, No More Gofers, is to complete tasks to gain tokens. The final pinball machine can be purchased when the players collects enough of these tokens. Pinball Hall of Fame:
The Williams Collection doesn’t have any online gameplay, but up to four players can take turns battling for the high score just like in the days of the drive-ins and arcades. Pinball Hall of Fame does have an online leaderboard which should make for some competitive play with your online pinball wizards.
Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection is published by Crave Entertainment and is rated E10+. It is available for purchase on store shelves now. A copy of the Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection was provided to The Married Gamers for purposes of this review.
The Married Gamers Report Card: B+