Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection

Not a lot of fanfare for the release of this one, but after playing for more than 4 hours last night, it's without a doubt the best video pinball sim I've played. The physics are perfect, the camera doesn't piss me off, and the tables are all accurate recreations of real-life counterparts. You can tell that pinball fans made this game.

It's on the way from Gamefly. Can't wait to check it out, it'll be nice to finally have a pinball game with the classics in it.

I was planning on picking up this game when it was released for the PS2/Wii earlier this year and got a ton of praise. Looking forward to seeing how much more graphical fidelity is in these versions to determing which system to pick it up for.

Apparently there's 3 more tables in the HD versions of the game.

I too had and eye on this title ever since the stellar praise it got on handheld/PS2 formats. Thing is, I can't for the life of me figure out why it wasn't released digitally on XBLA/PSN, etc. I don't have too much objection over the price point, but rather feel that it's the perfect "in between disc games"/ADD to have on a console harddrive.

Like, when I'm feeling sooo lazy that I just turn on my 360 and browse though my XBLA titles because I want to play something quick and simple without having to dig out a game disc and swap out. It sounds bad, but that's why I love XBLA...it's the immediacy of it that also allows me to keep my current disc game I'm slogging through in the disc tray.

I would have been all over this Williams collection if it was available digitally on consoles. I'm still interested, but way more hesitant.

Another note, interestingly, it was pretty tough to find yesterday. I had to go to several stores to find it: 0 copies at Best Buy, Gamestop, and Target. I heard a rumor that Walmart had them, and had to break my own "never go into a Walmart ever again" rule to find a copy.

Got this on the Wii and one of my favorite things is you shake the nunchuck or the Wiimote to bump the table from the right or left. How do they implement this on the 360? Is it just a button press? Great game!! I really feel like if I went to play Funhouse on a real machine now I would be much better- what a great sim!

The wife and I have been playing the Wii version for the last year since it got huge props on the CAGcast. It's probably our most played Wii game, by a pretty large margin.

The physics are spot-on, and I keep meaning to go track down some of the real machines now that I understand what all the blinky lights and whoops mean.

I'm potentially interested in the 360 version. HD upgrade + achievements? Yum.

Jonman wrote:

The physics are spot-on, and I keep meaning to go track down some of the real machines now that I understand what all the blinky lights and whoops mean.

If you are ever in Las Vegas, visit the Pinball Hall of Fame museum. They have several of the tables in this game, and you can play all of them. My wife and I spend quite a bit of time here every time we hit Vegas.

http://www.pinballmuseum.org/

Larry wrote:

How do they implement this on the 360? Is it just a button press?

Left stick: nudge the table in the desired direction. Works well.

I own this game on the Wii and PSP (which was incredibly hard to find) and still play it regularly. Speaking as someone who has actually played the real versions of most of the tables, this is one of the best and most accurate pinball sims ever made. I really want to buy this again for the 360 for the better graphics and additional tables and...I can't find it anywhere. EB Games Canada (who I normally hate but is the place that usually gets the games other retailers don't have yet) doesn't even have a 360 SKU in their system and I can't find it anywhere else. Crave Entertainment doesn't even list the next-gen versions on their web site (they still show the PS2, Wii and PSP versions as coming soon) so they clearly aren't doing a good job of letting people know this exists. If anyone in Canada knows a retailer that has it, let me know and I will get it.

EDIT: EB Games in the mall my girlfriend works at has one copy they've agreed to hold for me until I go pick her up tonight. Allllllll riiiiiight. If they don't nag me too much, they might even get my business for DiRT 2 as well.

I agree that this would be a great download title. I have the pinball game off of PSN and it's pretty good, but what keeps me coming back to it is that it's just loaded on the hard drive a click away. With all these classic tables, though, I think I'll be okay popping the disc in to play. Can't wait to play Funhouse again!

I've played the PSP version for over a year now. It's definitely worth picking up the next-gen version, if you're interested. the new tables alone are worth the price of admission (Medieval Madness is just great). For those who want a downloadable pinball game, I think PinballFX is on sale in the arcade this week, but it's a really bad pinball game, imo.

Whoa- Whoa! Medieval Madness is on the new release? Stop the presses! I think I will finally get myself a 360 this christmas. And it's funny, it's not really for the 1st party titles. Stuff like this Williams collection- Fat Princess- Magic Online- Settlers Of Catan . . . tha's the draw for me. Stuff like Halo: ODST= whatever.

Larry wrote:

Whoa- Whoa! Medieval Madness is on the new release? Stop the presses! I think I will finally get myself a 360 this christmas. And it's funny, it's not really for the 1st party titles. Stuff like this Williams collection- Fat Princess- Magic Online- Settlers Of Catan . . . tha's the draw for me. Stuff like Halo: ODST= whatever.

Not to piss on your christmas plans, but Fat Princess is a PSN exclusive.

For those who have played this: how does it compare to the Zen Studios pinball games (Zen Pinball on PSN, Pinball FX on XBLA)?

I played PinballFX for about 30 mins when it first came out and absolutely hated it. I hated the table designs, the ball physics, and the overall package. This is coming from a pinball nut.

Jonman:
Not to piss on your christmas plans, but Fat Princess is a PSN exclusive.

DOH!

Well, that didn't take long.

I watched a few videos of the HD version, read a couple reviews and then saw that it's $10 cheaper at Amazon.com ($29.99). Now my copy is on the way.

I'm so weak!

Fanatka wrote:

I played PinballFX for about 30 mins when it first came out and absolutely hated it. I hated the table designs, the ball physics, and the overall package. This is coming from a pinball nut.

Funny enough, most reviews praised the physics as one of the game's strong suits but I agree that they are very unrealistic. It feels like you're playing with a hollow ball. That said, it's still a good game (a no brainer at 400 points in my opinion) and Zen Pinball which the same team did on PSN is also good. Physics aren't much better but the overall experience has an extra coat of shine on it.

One of my favorite games on the Wii - was WELL worth the price a year ago! I wish they'd offer the new tables as DLC on the Wii version though.

It's solid on the Wii, but it NEEDS HD treatment. It's the only Wii game where I find myself pining for more pixels.

I own both the Wii and PSP versions, and I wholeheartedly recommend picking up the new version (at least for Xbox 360). The tables are easier to read thanks to the increased fidelity, the physics feel even beefier than the previous versions (though that could just be a side effect of the resistance of the 360's triggers), and the three new tables--Medieval Madness, Tales of the Arabian Nights, No Good Gofers--represent some of the finest work from the end of the Williams era in the late 90s. Unfortunately, I missed that era in real life, but I can now enjoy it virtually.

This port is probably the closest I'll ever come to owning Pin*Bot, but it's so good that I might finally be OK with that.

Aaron D. wrote:

I can't for the life of me figure out why it wasn't released digitally on XBLA/PSN, etc. I don't have too much objection over the price point, but rather feel that it's the perfect "in between disc games"/ADD to have on a console harddrive.

That's why I'll probably buy it again if it ever becomes part of the "Games on Demand" service.

rabbit wrote:

It's solid on the Wii, but it NEEDS HD treatment. It's the only Wii game where I find myself pining for more pixels.

Exactly.

I ordered through Amazon as well, the GameStop people are like "that game's coming out on the 360? it's only on the Wii.." Tools. I'm still holding out hope that Addams Family, Attack from Mars, Twilight Zone, Star Trek TNG, and maybe a couple of others can get passed the licensing and turn into another collection or some DLC.

I'm also a pinball nut, but I enjoyed Pinball FX. I've still got Galactic Pinball for the Virtual Boy, and NES versions of High Speed and Pin*Bot (not to mention the forbidden pleasure that is Future Pinball and PinMAME).

I've played the Hell out of the PSP version and just played a few tables on the 360.
I don't want to go off on a rant, but I'd LOVE to find the developers of some of the other pinball games I've played and punch them in the solar plexus. How hard is it to understand that giving me dozens of camera angles is utterly pointless if I can't see what is happening using any of them? I don't care if the ball is sparkly or if the fire effect is crunchy... show me the flippers, show me the ball... preferably in the same frame, especially if the ball is moving at a gadjillion miles a second.
This game does the camera perfect. The medieval table is wonderful. Worth full price. A steal at anything less.

I've been really getting into Gottleib Collection on PSP. I love the way they set up the challenge for each table. From the sounds of it, Williams is even better.

Ack, I've scored over 2 million on Firepower a couple of times, but they don't show up on the PSN leaderboard. Only my 1.4 million does. Anybody else having online leaderboard problems?

Update: Nevermind. Seems ok now. I guess the score was sent via snail mail or somethin'. Maybe a kink in the tubes.

Fanatka wrote:
Jonman wrote:

The physics are spot-on, and I keep meaning to go track down some of the real machines now that I understand what all the blinky lights and whoops mean.

If you are ever in Las Vegas, visit the Pinball Hall of Fame museum. They have several of the tables in this game, and you can play all of them. My wife and I spend quite a bit of time here every time we hit Vegas.

http://www.pinballmuseum.org/

Or if you live near Asbury Park, this one sort of surprised me! Lots of old tables.

I got my 360 copy on Friday and I've put a good amount of time into it.

First impressions: Oh hell yeah!

I knew a few tables by name before buying...Whirlwind, Funhouse, Space Shuttle, Medieval Madness. Others I remembered as soon as I booted them up...Black Knight, Firepower, Pin*Bot, Taxi. Bottom line is that for a game that is sadly 100% free of licensed properties such as Adams Family, etc., I'm still amazed at the fact that I both recognize and fondly remember the vast bulk of the tables represented here.

The graphics are crisp and gorgeous. It's so detailed that between the glass-top reflections and "Smart Camera" setting, there's almost a 3D affect that's only broken when the camera zooms far enough out to see the arcade carpet, wall, etc.

Ball physics are snappy and realistic, it feels quite authentic and I honestly forget that I'm playing a simulation with a ball consisting solely of zeros and ones. It's just that convincing. I switched the controls so that the flippers are controlled with the L & R shoulder bumpers. The "click" of these buttons feel far more responsive and quick than the default trigger controls. Pushing the Left stick bumps the table in whatever direction you point in. I find that it works quite well...Pro Tip: you push the stick in the opposite direction that you want to send the ball in, just like in real life.

I'm finding the camera options to be very effective thus far. There's 5 presets each for a static camera or a "smart cam" that dynamically zooms and scrolls up the table when the ball flies up that way. It's great for making the game feel less static and shows off the details of the board design. I stick with the smart camera on all machines. An odd thing I noticed is that different angles work better for different tables. Some experimentation reveals the best settings for each. At least you can switch them on the fly in game.

I'm quite enjoying the challenge goals specific to each board. There's two sets...basic and advanced...5 each on every table. The goals are custom tailored to each table and range from getting certain score accumulations to triggering certain events specific to the machine. It encourages the player to learn the board and see it's unique feature sets. The tables are a lot more complex than I first thought.

On that note, there's an in-depth text/voiced tour of every table where a narrator guides you through the goals and techniques to trigger goals, complete with zooming camera and arrows pointing out material being covered. The info gives a greater appreciation for the pinball's calculated design, eschewing thoughts that they just randomly slap down bumpers, lights and buzzers only there to amass points. It's a sweet addition that proves vital to completing table-specific challenges.

Some criticism would include the horrible butt-rock soundtrack. It's pretty darn bad. Maybe they're trying to recreate the 80's vibe, but it adds a layer of cheese to the final product that makes it feel like bargain-bin budget material. This leads to a flaw in the options menu. There's one slider for music volume, simply titled "radio". Putting it down to zero is the first thing I did, but apparently this setting is tied to the newer table's soundtrack. Now my memory isn't 100% certain, but for example Medieval Madness did have music accompanying all the voice work and sound effects during the game. The unique music certainly shows up when you turn up the "radio" volume in the options menu. So to get the authentic audio experience in the newer machines you have to put up with the ugly soundtrack between games. Oh well.

Another quick problem is that there's no drop-down selection menu to quickly pick a machine and go. Instead you have to relatively slowly cycle through each machine in the arcade with the cheesy announcer calling off each machine. To add insult, there's a back room and an upstairs to the virtual arcade which means more load times to get to machines. It's cool the first time touring the arcade, but only becomes a speed-bump after. Plus, I want to see all the machines listed at once before making a choice, instead of guessing what other tables are scattered in various rooms.

Finally, the pinballs don't hold the camera settings you apply for each. As mentioned earlier, the camera system is aces, but oddly each table has a unique setting that works for it. Since the game doesn't save your preferred camera angle, each time you jump to a new table, you have to cycle back through the camera options to "relearn" what the best one is for that table. It doesn't take long, and it's on the fly, but I can't remember the optimal setting for every different table, so there's a bit of a reacclimation with the camera every time I'm on a new pinball.

So those are just a few quibbles with a game that otherwise kept me obsessed the whole weekend, playing every chance I got around other activities, if even for 5 minutes. This stuff is the definition of "just one more game!", esp. when shooting for table specific goals ("activate Super Jets" in Medieval Madness...you will be mine!).

There was a version of Addams Family they were making for the N^64, which was cancelled, if I remember, when the game was pretty much completed. There's still a chance of it.

Yup here it is:

Addams Family Pinball Simulation
Original Publishing Date (y/m/d): 1998-07-30
Developer: Digital Eclipse

A notice on Digital Eclipses webpage reveals that they are working on a simulation of the Addams Family Pinball. The notice follows.

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Addams Family Pinball (Nintendo 64, Windows 95) -- IN DEVELOPMENT

Accurate, motion-captured physics.
Emulation of the table's control CPU for fully authentic reproduction of game rules and response.
Highly-detailed 3D rendering of table features and artwork.
Addam's Family and Addam's Family Gold modes.
Supplementary multimedia material on the Addam's Family Pinball phenomenon.

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Lots of buzzwords there but more information will undoubtedly become available as time goes on. I don't know of any official release dates though I was told these might be the planned release dates: win95 sometime xmas 98, n64 probably soon there after, playstation sometime in 99.

..

Description
Addams Family Pinball is a Pinball game, developed by Digital Eclipse and published by GT Interactive, which was cancelled before it was released.Canceled
This game is marked as Canceled for all known regions, so we don't expect any cheats, FAQs, or reviews for it.