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Pinball Hall of Fame review

Historic balls on display

Pros

  • Vertical-screen pinball
  • One-owner game sharing
  • Retro arcade authenticity

Cons

  • Unlocks come too slowly
  • Some tables are lame
  • PSP doesn't do transparency well

Pinball machines, despite their casino-like camp and old fashioned-ness, are one of the finest tests of skill and strategy you'll ever find. The placement of each bumper, kicker, and lit target on a typical pinball table is not random - it's a giant puzzle. Knowing the rules of the riddle, which targets to hit in which order for maximum points, is the strategy section. Actually executing your battle plan using a little silver ball and some rubber-coated paddles is the skill part.

To prove it, we point to Pinball Hall of Fame, which recreates eleven pinball tables from the past 50 years - as well as Xolten the fortune teller and a Love Meter for no real reason other than novelty. For posterity, here's a list of the machines: Ace High, Central Park, Big Shot, Genie, Black Hole, Goin' Nuts, El Dorado, Victory, Tee'd Off, Strikes and Spares, and the unlockable Play-Boy.

Actually, many gamers may never flap their flippers on some of these tables, because Pinball Hall of Fame also makes one of the most player-punishing decisions we've ever seen right at the beginning: only four tables are initially available for "Free Play". All the others can only be played if you have enough "Credits", which are earned by logging time on the tables you're already allowed to play.

More Info

GenreArcade
PlatformXbox, Wii, PS2, PSP, GameCube
US censor ratingEveryone
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.
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