There is an old saying that goes something like this, “oldies are not always goodies”. Honestly, I have no idea if that is a saying but it has a good ring to it, no? In this case, The Pinball Arcade falls into that category. It is not that the game is terrible by any means, I just believe that the pinball generation doesn’t have as many legs to stand on. I grew up playing pinball games at a “coin hop” a couple blocks away from my home and all four of the “current” tables I have seen at one time or another. You can go as far back as “The Black Hole” to the more recent “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”, each table with its trademark sounds, seizure inducing strobes and comical audio flares. However, even though all the pieces are present I think what made pinball games fun was the atmosphere you played them in. Having your friends near by to heckle you as you attempt to crush their best score or just you on a Saturday afternoon wasting some quarters you received for trading your lunch. Maybe I was missing the smell of mold and cigars, since the location I frequented as a kid was in an abundance of both. Either way, I began with “The Black Hole”-which was retro in every respect and while I had a few moments of nostalgia and childhood happiness, it was soon drained by the fact I was sitting in my office…on my ps3…using a controller. That alone killed the experience.
I moved on to the other tables, playing each one of them at least two times but I just couldn’t get into the tables like I could as a kid. In a way, it’s sad that I lost the love for pinball games and maybe that has much to do with the current “gaming” climate. The mechanics were great, there wasn’t a delay or lag, the tables felt and looked like the real thing…but in the end they are not the “real thing”.
I know this is more of a “I miss the good times” diatribe than a straightforward, by the numbers review and I don’t want to deter you from reliving or beginning your experiences with pinball tables. With that said, it just doesn’t cut it for me. I suppose it all comes down to what I miss as a child and what I can’t rekindle at my current age. It’s honestly a steal at $9.99 on the PSN/XBL networks and DLC tables set at 4.99 for two or more, so if that interests you, that alone should sway your decision. Even though this isn’t what I wanted it perceived it to be, it is however a great piece of history and a proper . As I mentioned earlier, the tables are spot on and the only thing that separates them from the real thing is that they are a digital copy. In the end, I think it’s time for me to move on from that time in my “gaming” career or just my youth in general. So, take this as a grain of salt if you bleed silver and miss the sights and sounds of the pinball realm. For me it, I believe it’s time to retire to the glory days of pinball gaming.