Monday, April 30, 2012

Played Lately: Pinball Arcade

  • I don't have any special connection to pinball machines. I've never been very good at them and never taken the time to try. But I am fascinated with people trying to recreate the arcade experience. That's why I wanted Microsoft's Game Room to succeed. And that's why I skipped Pinball FX but bought Pinball Arcade instead.

  • The first night with the game, I decided to try out several of the tables. I started with the famous Theatre of Magic, a complicated, intricately designed table. From there I went to Tales of the Arabian Nights, a crazy table along the same lines. I ended the night with an older machine, Black Hole, that has a clearer playfield, but with a crazy second minitable under the main playfield. I didn't set any high scores, but enjoy myself. I skipped the last table, Ripley's Believe It Or Not! because I wanted to save it for a later date.

  • The second night, I focused entire on Tales of the Arabian Night. I played that table at least ten times, some times doing better and some times much worse. I learned a couple things about it. First, it is just as complicated to play as it looks. Maybe more so. I started to figure out how one event might lead to another, but it will take much longer to learn everything. Second, the flippers feel a little weird to me. I suspect this has to do with a comment about the poor flipper physics, like it gave me permission to question it, but there it is. It felt like flippers struck the ball almost randomly. Third, I can see why someone my get obsessed with pinball.

  • Sure, you can knock the ball around a bit, but you really need to practice to get any good at the game. It's obvious that the game expects you to hit balls at various targets on command. When you spend the whole time mashing the triggers just to keep the ball in play, you can't expect to be any good at it. It will take time, patience, and a lot of practice to master, which as I've said before is in short supply for me.

  • You say I haven't actually written that blog post yet? I guess you'd better stay tuned...

© 2012 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

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