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I have always been a huge fan of pinball games, and even today find them more entertaining than most video games. There’s something cool about how mechanical the whole thing is because I feel like I am really in control instead of being limited to the whims of some computer programmer. When I recently found Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection on sale at a local store, I jumped all over it.
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What makes this game so great is that the ten pinball games you play are based on real pinball machines from the past few decades. I remember playing several of these in arcades back in the 80’s, but some of them I’d never seen before. The game also includes some bonus material on each of the original machines, which is kind of cool for pinball enthusiasts. I really liked that the game let you play on real machines as opposed to ones you’d never seen or heard of before. Sometimes other video pinball games can get a little crazy and stray too far away from what pinball is supposed to be.
You start the game in what looks like an old arcade room filled with pinball machines. You can’t play every single one of them, which is kind of annoying. Instead, you just move from machine to machine and go through the list of challenges to complete. Once the game starts, it’s just like playing real pinball in which you use the thumb stick to pull back the kicker and send the ball flying. Like all pinball games, you have to pull off various combinations and skillshots in order to progress through the special stuff. Sometimes you can strategize how you want to play and sometimes you just keep hitting the ball and see what happens.
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Graphics and Sound
The graphics in this game are extremely faithful to the original pinball machines. Even when the action is fierce and quick, it all runs smoothly. Sometimes pinball video games can get going so fast that it is hard to keep up, but I had no problems on the Wii. The sound in this game is authentic, from the original pinball game sound effects to the sound of the metal ball rolling along the surface of the board. Overall, it really does feel like you are playing the real thing.
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Although this is a Wii game, it makes very little use of the motion-sensitive capabilities of the Wii remote. To move the paddles, you just press a button on the controller. The only time you actually move the Wii remote is if you want to nudge the machine. I actually liked that the game just makes you press a button, because it would have been annoying to swing at the ball every time.
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I think this is a great collection of pinball games that appeals to both casual and serious gamers. The level of difficulty is very well balanced from game to game, and it probably won’t take long before you pick a couple of favorites out of the bunch. If you enjoy a good game of pinball, I highly recommend Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection for the Nintendo Wii.