festeringneon's Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection (PlayStation 2) review

Highly addictive, great value, and worth every penny. (literally)

I didn't know what to think of this at first. Don't get me wrong, i'm an advid fan of pinball games, but it always seems to be a hit or miss sort of an idea, especially this day and age where the sport just doesn't get as much respect as it deserves.

On that note, Pinball Hall of Fame: Williams Collection for PS2 is no title to skip for any fan of a little nostalgia, and certainly not to be missed by a fan of the genre.

Game wise you have choices to make, go right in and start hammering away with the 20 starting tokens (half of the tables are free in the beginning) or jump right into a Tournament, or the Williams Challange. I started with just jumping right into arcade mode. It was nice to see the surroundings full of character, and the 8* tables in various areas throughout the 80's themed "game hall". (* Wii version has 10). In arcade mode, you can try out any of the free tables and try your luck at the challanges (i.e. Get 600,000 points or, get 3X multiplayer 2 times). Or, you can pay 1 token for the pay tables and play as well. If you unlock one or more of the table challanges, it will grant you more tokens as a reward in which you can unlock the remaining tables for free play. (100 tokens to purchase free play on each table) or, if you beat all challages on any table, it will grant you the ability to unlock any table of your choosing for free play. Williams Challange consists of you having to beat certain scores to advance to the next table, in which you get 3 retry's a table to beat the high score, or you can manually retry for a better score and "token rating". It's fun and challenging all at the same time and makes you want to just up your score to put it that much further out of reach for whomever decides to contest it.

GRAPHICALLY: The game is quite impressive. The startup video at the beginning looks like it is streaming in 100K internet video quality, but the actual gameplay is quite impressive on the PS2. Everything looks right, the lights flicker, and not much can be said other than it looks solid. (8.5)

GAMEPLAY: Gameplay is probably the most impressive part, the ball moves just like it should, nothing feels cheesy, the ball bounces in the most accurate spots, and everything feels just like it should. The flippers respond accordingly and bumpers add just the right amount of pressure. I've only noticed one time where a ball seemed to go through my flipper, but only that one time. (9.0)

SOUND: The sound is amazing, everything from Pinbots robotic voice, to "Oh no looks like rain!" on Whirlwind, the sound is highly accurate, and really submerges you into the experience. It really adds character to all of the tables, and makes you want to keep coming back for more. (9.0)

DEPTH: 8 tables in the PS2 version, the modes listed above, and that's really about it.. It's almost a good thing though it may have kept costs low, and gives just the right amount of bang for the buck, and at half the cost of the Wii version at $15 new, it's a bargain. (8.5)

(**btw: look on buy.com and sign up for a new account to get this for $12.99 + $4 shipping - $10 new customer = $7.39 less than a buck a table!)

NOSTALGIA FACTOR: I only added this, because c'mon.. if you've ever played any of these tables in the past in real life, this brings you back to some of the funnest moments ever had in an arcade and Pinball Hall of Fame hits it on the dot. The only thing I missed but is impossible to recreate, (unless you have a bored friend) is the fan turning on in Whirlwind when the storm happens.. but that's minor.(9.5)

END THOUGHTS: Go buy this game. If you have a PS2 or PS3, have fun man.. grab some friends, chill, and have a go.

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