Pinball, it’s America’s past time. Okay, maybe not, but when you think of old school 1980s arcades it is one of the first things that comes to mind. Pinball Hall of Fame - The Williams Collection let’s you relive those days gone by in comfort of your own home and it does it in great fashion. This game has to be one of the best pinball games I have ever played.
I like to play pinball from time-to-time when out at a local restaurant/bar if they have a machine. It is something you still can’t easily get at home, but with The Williams Collection you can get pretty darn close. With a compilation of ten William’s pinball tables to choose from, Pinball Hall of Fame - The Williams Collection should keep you busy for awhile. Some of the pinball machines included are: Black Knight, Space Shuttle, Taxi, Pinbot, Funhous, and Gorgar. Most of the pinball tables are enjoyable in single-player or multiplayer modes, but a few of them are duds and you probably won’t be drawn to them as much as the others.
Pinball Hall of Fame - The Williams Collection is setup with challenges for each table to keep you coming back for more. These challenges include getting a certain amount of points, activating multi-ball, hitting all the targets and more. Playing each pinball table is even more fun when you have extra things to try to accomplish besides trying to get a high score and these should keep you coming back for more. Also, as you play the tables you will earn credits that will help you unlock the other tables and allow you to play them without having to spend credits each time.
Multiplayer is just as fun as single-player modes if you have some friends or family to play with you. My wife, 4-year old son, 12-year old niece, and I all enjoyed playing through the different pinball machines in tournament mode. I think this game would be a great party game or family game night addition, since I think everyone knows how to play pinball or can pick it up very easily.
The graphics in Pinball Hall of Fame - The Williams Collection’s recreate the classic pinball tables in 3D well enough to draw you into the game and they look good. But… isn’t there always a, but? The graphics admittedly are a little fuzzy around the edges and have jaggies and stair step effects in some areas. I am not sure if this is the games fault or that the Wii doesn’t support any higher resolution than 480p. The tables don’t look horrible but they are not as crisp and photo realistic as I would’ve liked on my high-definition television.
The sound effects are exactly as you would expect and it sounds like they sampled the original sound effects from the boards, since they sound authentic to me. Pinball Hall of Fame - The Williams Collection also has background sound effects from other video games next to the machine you are playing to give you that true arcade experience. The Williams Collection has 80s style hard rock music playing throughout the arcade as you move from machine to machine to suck you into the era when these pinball machines were kings of the arcades. I have no issues with the sound effects and music and expect you to enjoy them too.
Another feature of Pinball Hall of Fame - The Williams Collection is that they included sales flyers that were used to advertise the machines to arcade owners for each pinball machine. These are fun to read through to give you some background on the machines and how each machine has its own unique traits.
Also, related to the background information and unique traits mentioned above is the ability to read or have read to you each table’s objectives. Each pinball table has a story to go along with it and certain challenges that you need to accomplish to rack up a big score. I knew there were different areas of each pinball table that would give you bonus points, but reading through this information before starting to play a certain table helped me get a better grasp of what was supposed to be done on the table to get a high score. This doesn’t mean I was able to do it all the time, but at least I knew what I was doing wrong when I didn’t.
Playing pinball is a lot of fun and I never thought I would enjoy a pinball game on my Wii more than some of the other games I have for the system. I think Pinball Hall of Fame - The Williams Collection will appeal perfectly to the casual gamers that are buying the Wii, but that doesn’t mean that hardcore gamers also won’t enjoy this game. If you are looking for a great pinball game for your home, but don’t have the room for a full blown pinball machine then Pinball Hall of Fame - The Williams Collection is the next best thing.
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