When I initially heard about Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection for the Wii and PSP, I will admit that I was a bit skeptical. After all, there have been so many pinball games released over the past few years, that I have learned to stay as skeptical as possible, just to keep from getting burned. That's when things started to get weird, because I kept hearing from numerous people who had played it on the Wii and absolutely loved it! Well, I figured it was time to check it out and see what all the fuss was about.
The first version of the game I played, was on the PSP. I figured that if nothing else, it would be a safe platform to try it out on, to get a feel for the pace and flow of the action, as well as get a base familiarity with each table. As you would assume from the name, the pinball tables are an assortment of classics, from different eras in the history of the company. There are two "floors" that feature tables like, Pin*Bot, Funhouse, and Black Knight.
Instead of just playing for a few minutes, here and there to pass the time, I found myself making time to play the game. This was definitely not what I expected, but was a welcome shock. At one point, my father, who is a self professed pinball fanatic, and I were sitting on the couch in my dimly lit house, madly passing the PSP back and forth, frantically trying to top eachother's high score. Not only was it a genuine bonding experience, it was the excuse that I needed to get the Wii version.
The Wii version was pretty much a straight port of the PSP game, with waggle-ish controls that have been thrown onto the game to make it feel special. I was originally confused about how the controls would work on the Wii, especially considering how a Wii-mote has always felt so wonky in my hands, but in fact, they are more intuitive than you might think. A Wii-mote is combined with a nunchuck, using both controller's trigger buttons to control the flippers. Oddly enough, when you spread the controllers apart in your hands, it almost fells like you are playing on a real table.
This is a game that could become a serious time sink for me. Look for the full review coming soon!
Check out the trailer for Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection, below: