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The Pinball of the Dead
  opened by paleface at 20:20:14 08/31/03  
  last modified by paleface at 16:36:51 07/24/04  
  paleface [sys=GBA; cat=Pinball; loc=NA]
Ahh, video pinny. What could it be missing? How about... zombies! You've got to love Sega for taking the much-maligned cheesy voiceovers from their House of the Dead series and inserting them into pinball tables for dramatic effect.
The three very long tables have multiple pairs of flippers and ball locks leading to fun little boss fight mini-tables. The tables themselves, though... not the best pinball I've ever played, let's just say. The middle one in particular sucks bigtime, with very little to do aside from batting the ball into milling zombies. The first table suffers from this a bit, with plain round areas and zombies milling about.
Only the third table really starts to feel something like a real pinball session, with an asymmetric flipper layout, long chutes, and bumpers (how can you have pinball without bumpers? C'mon Sega). It's also the most interesting visually with a really gory flesh and blood look; the overly digitized graphics of the other tables really don't look that good up close and blend together into a pixelated mess from far away. The sound however is great with the aforementioned voice clips and very good music, particularly in the third table that had me tapping the flipper buttons along to the music.
The ball feels floaty throughout, there's frequent stuttering and slowdown, and although the game has a certain kitschy charm about it, it feels like something of a wasted opportunity.
  paleface 16:36:51 07/24/04
Strike that, this game's execution is execrable. The basic framerate is horrible and gets worth with frequent and inexplicable hitching and stuttering. I don't think the physics are too great to begin with, the ball seems to move quite sluggishly, but combined with the dire framerate they just get downright nasty.
Unless you are simply mesmerized by anything smacking superficially of the undead, the tables will end up pissing you off. They divide themselves up lengthwise into sections, eliminating the possibility of any long shots or ramps, and as if that weren't enough they send in milling creatures to block your shots at nearly every opportunity. This is not pinball, this is bounce-the-ball-around-in-a-circle-hitting-drunken-sprites.

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