Like Pauly Shore’s career, pinball machines are nearly extinct. Finding one usually requires a special trip to some out of the way dusky bar in the heart of a busy city. Just like the vanishing video arcades, seeing the decline of pinball machines is an upsetting feeling and now only lives on through video game renditions. But for pinball purists, the PSP’s Pinball Hall of Fame will act like a light in the darkness.[p]Offering ten classic pinball tables, Pinball Hall of Fame will please any pinball fan. Gottlieb was the original creator of every table featured in the game. Spanning from the 1930’s through the 1990’s, playing this game can provide a pinball history lesson. From the wide body of Genie, to the flipperless Playboy machine, each machine has its own uniqueness to spark your own favoritism. Some of these machines even started the multiball technique or other classic pinball gimmicks. Chances are, if you played pinball machines growing up, you will probably remember at least one of the boards in this game. [p]Pinball video games have one major gameplay factor that can either make or break the game. This single factor lies solely in the ball physics. If the ball falls too fast, bounces irregularly, or moves to slow, every bump and bounce will be a random crapshoot. Luckily, the physics in Pinball Hall of Fame are pretty accurate, although at rare times, the ball can feel somewhat a little too floaty. Also, tilting the table isn’t as controllable as it could be as it mapped to the analog nub. However, tilting is rarely done right in any pinball game but it helps add to the random theme that pinball contains. [p]One of the biggest frustrations is the lack of availability of the tables upon first booting up the game. Once enough credits have been collected, then new tables can be unlocked. While this is a good way to keep the game inside your PSP, players with less patience might be turned off. [p]Besides ball physics, table view is the one other important pinball gameplay factor. Pinball Hall of Fame offers a wide assortment of different views, with some tables even presenting vertical play. However, this vertical play can feel a bit awkward as holding the system while using the analog nub is a little uncomfortable. But within time, each view is useful and appreciated.[p]The sound has been recreated faithfully, offering the zaps and buzzes that are remembered. Effects from classic video games like Missile Command also will complete the nostalgic theme. A narrator will even guide the player through a brief history lesson when selecting the corresponding table. This shows that the developers took an extra step in the audio department. The graphics have been transformed in an accurate way, although muddy textures sprout up from time to time, but the ability to view each table from multiple angles forgives this minor flaw. [p]Pinball Hall of Fame even offers a couple different multiplayer modes. Up to four players can compete in with "pass the PSP" mode. Or, other PSP users can download a sample of the game via the PSP’s ability to use Game Sharing. Plus, most of the tables can be sent to blank PSP systems. [p]Pinball games are usually hit or miss, and Pinball Hall of Fame is a hit… but only if you are into pinball as these games are usually only played by long time fans. This game will meet expectations by providing an enjoyable pinball experience. One of the game’s many tables is sure to become a personal favorite, and the adding Blackjack and Poker modes only add to the entertainment value. This game can be found for $20 dollars and will definitely be worth every penny to pinball fans.
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