Archived Pages from 20th Century!!
|Reviewed by: Chris McMullen|
|Author:||Empire||Price:||Street: $25.99 US|
|Category:||Pinball Game||Released:||August 1996|
|Platform:||DOS, also on Win 95 (Win 95 version on same CD).||Version:||1.60|
|Multiplayer:||Up to 4 via Turns.||Under Win95:||Satisfactory|
|Graphic modes:||640x480x256, 800x600x256, 1024x768x256|
|Sound devices:||All Sound Blasters, Gravis Ultrasound.|
|Computer||Memory||HD space||CD speed|
What is it about pinball games, exactly? Nearly every software house
in existance seems to think they should put out a pinball simulator,
and that, of course, their game will be the zenith of the genre.
Maybe I'm exaggurating a little, but there's certainly no shortage
of pinball games around. 21st Century started it all off with
Pinball Dreams on the Amiga, and have been churning out
pinball titles ever since. Epic Megagames joined in, with
their originally titled Epic Pinball. Codemasters
jumped on the spherical silver bandwagon with Psycho Pinball
, and there's been a steady stream of pinball games ever since.
So what does Empire's offering, Pro Pinball: The Web
have to offer?
'We really wanna see those fingers..'
Well for a start, it looks a lot better than your average pinball
game. The table, bumpers, balls and all, look like they've all
been created using 3D Studio, Lightwave, or some
similar computer rendering package. The table has a very hi-tech
look, with a big animated scoreboard; hit a particular bonus bumper,
or shoot your ball up the right ramp, and an animation will appear
on the board. It appears that Empire have taken the 'simulation'
rather than the 'game' approach. There are three flippers, and a number
of different ramps, and other bonus bits, all there to help you rack
up the points. There's even a basic shoot-em-up that you can play on
the scoreboard, if you hit the right bonuses in the right order. The
whole point of pinball is racking up the points, and in The
Web, there's a whole host of different ways of doing it. Hit
the target hole, and you have 30 seconds to hit a number of flashing
targets; get them all in time, and you get a whacking great bonus.
The Web has all the things you'd find in a real pinball machine.
Look. A pinball table.
There are a number of different graphical modes, depending whether
or not your PC can cope. The table looks a lot sharper in 800x600
mode, although it's still pretty impressive in 640x400 mode. You
can also play in 32,000 colour mode, though I can't say I've noticed
the difference between that and the standard 256 colour mode. The
music is particularly good; the game uses audio tracks straight from
the CD. The sound effects aren't that noteworthy, there's a bit of
speech, with the usual pinball type thwacks, whacks, and dings.
The Web, which is the name of the first pinball table,
is supposed to have a kind of cyber theme, although I actually thought
the table design was pretty anonymous. Most other pinball game programmers
give each table a distinctive feel, such as 'The Jungle', or 'The Carnival',
that kind of thing. The Web could have done with a singularly
obvious theme running through it. As is, it loses a little on that front.
Still, perhaps Pro Pinball's other tables have something else
Ball saved? Thank goodness for that. It would have ruined my day if I'd lost it.
Slight problem, there. You see, there are no other tables. The Web
is the first, and the last table in the package. No other tables included. Nil.
Nada. Zip. And that's where, for me anyway, Pro Pinball falls
down. Most pinball games include three or four tables at least, yet here is
Pro Pinball with just the one. Now, I believe that quality
is more important than quantity, at least where games are concerned. However,
the single table included doesn't have any real impact. I'm not a pinball
fanatic, but I do play pinball on occasion. And I always go to the pinball machines
that stand out, such as the licensed ones, like Street Fighter II, or
The Addams Family; as it stands, The Web is wholly
I know these shots all look the same, but bear with me, okay?
|Originality & Storyline:||Originality? It's another pinball game, albeit a nice looking one. There's no real storyline.|
|Graphics & Video:||Good; it even emulates the animated board thingy.|
|Audio:||The CD music is good; the sound effects are average.|
|Longevity:||For people who like swapping pinball scores, a month. Everyone else, a couple of days|
|Presentation:||There are a few menu options, but no options to change the gravity and so on.|
|Packaging & Docs:||The usual; a manual that covers most of the features.|
|Bugs & Problems:||None spotted.|