|Download added: law_n_justice.jpg (23565 bytes)|
"Law N' Justice, a nice-looking table with cool downbeat techno ambiance."
Interesting port of Digital Illusions' old "Pinball Illusions" game--had that one back on the Amiga. They've added a new table from somewhere, Vikings, so you've now got a total of pretty detailed tables. PLUS you can play each in either straight-overhead 2D, old Amiga style, or in a surprisingly lovely-looking low-or-high-res 3D isometric view, which really puts the flat overhead view in the shade as far as playability goes--in overhead, the ball just whizzes up and down the screen way to fast to follow, and you can only see a narrow slice of the table.
The sound is surprisingly muted, except on the new Viking table. Weird. The ball feels a lot "heavier" than in most pinball games, which takes some getting used to but feels good once you have.
|Sound is super-loud in the "Extreme Sports" table. Irritating to have to keep adjusting the volume.|
Still, all the tables are at least pretty fun, with rock-hard gameplay and an impressive variety of modes--hit a mode or two well and you're on your way to a satisfyingly ridiculous score with lights flashing, sound effects trumpeting and lots of beefy digital voice work. The super-heavy ball bangs around like there's no tomorrow without a hint of slowdown or anything nasty like that, accompanied by generally good tunes (I really dig the moody, pulsating theme in Law 'n Justice).
Unfortunately you won't be keeping those score long since there's no save mechanism. Grererererrrr.
Two of the tables (Law n' Justice, Vikings) I really like a lot, the other two I like somewhat, but all offer a vast amount of nearly impeccable pinball action... Oh yeah, I didn't talk about physics really. Well they're good. And the ball is heavy. Okay I covered that. Did I talk about the weird texture mapping on the 3D ball where the reflections, if you could see them clearly enough, would seem to be rotating with the ball? No? Well, it looks a little strange. So there.
It's much more of a realistic pinball sim than a fantasy sim but it does a darn nice job so I won't hold that against it... much.
| paleface 11:09:30 06/03/10 [relations updated] |
|The "high res" option does not appear to do much when played on a PS3, at least not on HDMI output--I think it might have been an interlacing thing or something--and so you're pretty much playing "low res" 3D, which is...really chunky. Really. Bummer.|
So I tried switching it back to 2D, which was so nice in the other games by Pinball Illusions' original developer, Digital Illusions--namely "Pinball Dreams" and "Pinball Fantasies" (see entry 197)--but now I notice that the 2D was completely redrawn--to match what they could do in 3D, I suppose--and looks significantly awful when compared with the original Amiga 2D, which was done in the golden age of Amiga 2D graphics, and just has a really nice, hand-made, burnished look to it. Instead what you get here is a pale, crappy imitation, with additional pictures plastered over the tops of things on the table to make the view confusing, and really ugly 2.5D-ish simplifications of what was gorgeously painted 2D in the original. Also, the ball and certain FX remain 3D, and look nasty.
Another down side of the no-save thing is that the default pad setup is stupid--flippers on the pad and face buttons, not the shoulder pads--and of course doesn't save, so you have to change it up every time.
Finally, I think they sped the ball up a little vs the original, and it is just a bit too fast, particularly when trying to play it in the 2D mode, which best approximates what the tables were designed for.
So in fact this port is something of a shambles, unfortunately. The tables are still pretty nice examples of video pinball design, but nearly everything else has been mucked up.