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I'm not bothered by the fact there's only 7 tables on this version, compared to the home consoles. This version has Taxi, Space Shuttle, Pinbot, Gorgar, Whirlwind, Funhouse, and Black Knight. The Wii version has ten tables, including Jive Time, Firepower, and Sorcerer which are not in this collection.
The two things which really make this collection less than what it could be are:
1) The graphics are dark. Really dark. As in you need to play it in a dark room, even with the 3DS brightness on max. I find myself squinting to try to see the board. I don't know what went wrong here. Maybe the game developers did all their work on an emulator or something, and never saw the game running on actual 3DS hardware until the last minute. This is the biggest problem with the game.
2) As another reviewer noted, the game runs at 30 fps rather than 60. I usually don't care too much about frame rate in video games, but here's a case where 60 fps is critical. When the ball moves super-fast due to bouncing or ricocheting off a bumper, there are times when I lose track of the ball onscreen due to the lack of fluidity in the graphics. That is a real killer in pinball. I never have this problem with the Wii version. Some of the camera modes alleviate this problem, but it's still there. There are some 3DS games which run in 30fps when they are in 3D, but go up to 60 when you turn the 3D off. I think something like that would really have helped here.
The games are still fun to play, but I find the experience frustrating sometimes for these two reasons compared to the Wii version.
-- There are only 7 boards. The game does not include Jive Time, Arabian Knights, Medeval Madness, or No Good Gofers, which were included in other versions of the game.
-- The game runs at 30fps, half the frame rate of all the other versions (including PSP).
-- The 3D effect is very good. During the menus the tables "pop out" of the screen, which is very jarring (most games draw into the screen rather than out). In-game it looks very good, though.
-- You can turn the 3DS upside down to play the game upside down. I have no idea why you would ever want to do this.
-- The game is VERY dark. I don't know why. I feel like I want to squint half the time. Just hit the "Home" button on the 3DS to see the huge contrast between in-game and the 3DS's dashboard. It's hard to see the graphics, even on the 3DS's highest brightness level. I don't know why this wasn't addressed or why nobody caught this as it's the biggest problem with the game.
-- The interface is cluttered and doesn't look very good on the lower screen.
That being said, this is still one of the best pinball sims ever made, and the table selection is still good. For home versions I recommend the PS3 or 360 versions, which are utterly gorgeous (running at 1080p!), and for the go I recommend the PSP version (the PSP still has higher resolution than the 3DS). I really hope Farsight puts their efforts into making some new sims based on Williams's gigantic backlog as opposed to half-hearted ports like this one.
So let's get one thing straight - it's a portable version of a console game. Anybody who thinks that a portable version of a console game is going to have all the same features and graphical power are in most cases being hopelessly optimistic. I have heard that the PSP version is better and it may be true, but if you're looking at reviews of this it likely means that you chose Nintendo over Sony so hearing people tell you that it's better on PSP won't help you.
Let's take a look at the pros.
For starters, it's a fun game, easily the best portable Pinball game I've played, second only to possibly its PSP counterpart. The game uses real pinball tables from Williams, arguably the greatest pinball machine manufacturers of all time. The tables' periods span from 1979 to 1990. As a result, the games are simpler than modern tables so its easy to keep track of the rules and goals, but they are challenging enough to keep even experienced pinball wizards busy. There are also in-game instructions for each table if you're new to the games or just need a refresher.
Much like the console versions of the game, it enjoys realistic, believable physics that would be seen on a real pinball table. The graphics look basically the same, not suffering from looking too polygonal like portable versions often do.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Easily the best realistic pinball reproduction available on hand-held. The three dee is just perfect.Published 8 months ago by Burt
Great game but its too dark. Did they test this game before they released it? You have to play it in the correct environment. Despite this flaw, I'm enjoying the game.Published 9 months ago by Surf City Saint
Pinball hall of fame took me back to when they had pinball machines out now it's all home video game consoles or you can go to the movie theater and they might have one with their... Read morePublished on July 4, 2014 by thomas henry
I love pinball games, and the challenges, and the individual Williams Classic Pinball machines are not only wonderful to play, but also a welcome stress relief after a tiring day.Published on June 26, 2014 by Jonathan Comly
I love shopping at Amazon for Christmas gifts! My brother always looks forward to the smiling boxes and so do I! Everything arrives in great condition and when expected. Read morePublished on January 20, 2014 by Felicia A Czekaj