With both PS3 and PS Vita launches of the Pinball Arcade releasing today, I thought that I’d share some details about our game and offer some general gameplay tips.
The launch tables include one from each of the four major manufactures that we’ve licensed. Tales of the Arabian Nights (Williams), Ripley’s Believe It or Not (Stern), Theatre of Magic (Bally), and Black Hole (Gottlieb). Tales and Black Hole were part of the Pinball Hall of Fame games. We’ve spent a lot of time improving the physics and the graphics of our pinball engine over the past few years, so we feel that they’re definitely worthy of updating.
When we first made the Gottlieb collection we gathered reference from the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. We took a lot of pictures, recorded the audio with microphones, and took notes on the rules along with gameplay video reference. We actually re-programmed all of the rules from scratch.
That was a huge challenge! Now, we buy all of the tables and take them apart. Plus, we now have a bunch of physics experience and improved technology to make tables look and play almost exactly like the real thing. ROM emulation is a huge part of the improved technology. Our simulations now run the same exact code as the original tables with authentic music, sound effects, and voice over. It’s been a learning experience, and it’s our goal to continue to improve.
When choosing tables, we look for tables that are universally recognized as being great (ipdb.org and pinside.com are two sources that we highly respect); we throw in a large helping of what our fans want, what our pinball expert friends think would be good picks, and what tables we at FarSight love and think will make for great videogame simulations. Of course, the final decision is also impacted by what’s feasible to license.
To score well at our game, I strongly recommend that you master the art of nudging the table without tilting. In general (video and real pinball), the key is ball control and knowing what to expect as much as possible. It is usually much easier to be consistent with a shot fired from a cradled position than when you hit the ball with a live deflection. But equally important, you should try to learn where and how the ball feeds towards the flippers as best you can and how to keep the pinball or pinballs (in multi-ball) under control as much as possible by mastering different passing and catching techniques.
A lot of people are calling our game the greatest pinball simulation ever created. At FarSight, we take great pride in our work and we take this distinction very seriously. We are focused on adding a steady stream of great pinball tables into the Pinball Arcade for both PS3 and PS Vita.
Add-On Packs 1 and 2 Coming Soon!
We plan to release two great Add-on packs within the next four to six weeks: Add-On Pack 1 (Medieval Madness, The Machine: Bride of Pin*Bot™) and Add-On Pack 2 (Cirqus Voltaire, Funhouse).
Just recently announced, we also have two more Add-on packs on their way. Both Add-On Pack 3 and Add-On Pack 4 are scheduled for a late summer release for PS3 and PS Vita, with each expansion adding two new tables. All four tables are historically significant and are treasured by pinball enthusiasts for their exquisite craftsmanship and innovative mechanical design. Read on for more details!
Add-On Pack 3
Monster Bash was originally released in 1998 and was designed by George Gomez. The goal of the table is to get six of the most iconic Universal Studios Monsters to form a band the likes of which has never been seen! If you can dig out the Mummy, he’ll dust himself off and plug in his bass. Dracula will fly out of his coffin, dying to sink his teeth into a mean guitar riff. The Creature from the Black Lagoon will crank on his sax! Frankenstein will jump off his slab and jam on his keyboard. The Bride of Frankenstein will start to sing about her Ball and Chain and the Wolfman will give you a howling drumbeat. With the help of the PHANTOM FLIP auto-play feature, you can let go of the flippers and watch the game complete your shots! The manufacturer released 3,361 units of the table.
Also included in Add-On Pack 3 is Gorgar, a classic 1979-era table designed by Barry Oursler, a legendary designer credited with Pin·Bot, Cyclone, Comet, Space Shuttle, and Jungle Lord to name just a few. Gorgar was the very first “tal king” pinball machine. With a vocabulary of seven words (Gorgar, Speaks, Beat, Me, You, Hurt, and Got), Gorgar is able to say phrases such as “Gorgar speaks”, “Me Gorgar, beat me”, and “You hurt Gorgar”. It has a magnetic Snake Pit that holds your ball captive as he thunders, “Me got you”. The audio also features a heartbeat sound that races faster and faster as the action of the gameplay builds up when the player is doing well.
Add-On Pack 4
Creature from the Black Lagoon was designed by the legendary John Trudeau. Doctor Flash, as he’s known, was involved in the designing of over 50 games for Gottlieb, Williams and Bally! “Creature” combines the excitement of watching a famous Universal monster flick with the fun of a drive-in movie date. The player has to save their date from the Creature and is rewarded by seeing the world’s first ever pinball hologram! This classic table also features story and dialog from the movie.
Black Knight was designed by Steve Richie – who also lent his talents as the voice of the B lack Knight. This table was the first ever to introduce a split-level playfield, with three ramps leading to and from the upper playfield. This classic also featured the first ever Magna-Save: a magnet that allowed users to push a button which saves a ball from draining down the outlane. Another first was Bonus Ball. In a multi-player game, this feature awards the player with the highest score a few additional seconds of free play.
With our successful campaign to help raise money for the Twilight Zone table and other great tables already in development, FarSight is very excited about adding many more amazing classics to our collection over the upcoming years!