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Gottlieb Pinball Classics - Wii Review

Billed as the most accurate pinball simulator of all time this PS2 port was one of the launch titles for the Wii.

The RRP of the game is a quite staggering £40 which to put it in context is £10 more than the magnificent Resident Evil 4 and the same price as Zelda Twilight Princess. Much as I love pinball there was no way I was going to shell out that kind of cash for it. Luckily came to the rescue selling the game for a much more reasonable £17.99 which is the point at which I decided to make my investment.

The game features exact emulations of 11 tables from the history of the famous pinball manufacturer focusing on tables that are either historically significant, or favored by pinball enthusiasts. Unfortunately licensing restrictions prevent many of the classic games making an appearance so there is no Streetfighter II or Mario pinball to be found which is a shame.
The play of the tables is to some degree a touch hit and miss. Some of the tables notably Black Hole and Victory are great tables with lots to do and keep you entertained. Unfortunately some of the tables have been chosen because of their appeal to competitive pinball players which equates to them being exceptionally hard rather than fun, though fortunately this is only the case for a couple of the tables.

As a pinball simulator the game doesn't make huge use of the Wiimote, but the buttons for the left and right flippers are on the Wiimote and Nunchuck which makes it feel more like a real table than holding a gamepad and you can nudge left and right by shaking either hand.

As a PS2 port the graphics are pretty much as you would expect and though clear and smooth the textures aren't that sharp and don't do anything to dispel the 2 Gamecubes taped together myth put about by Wii haters.

The game is a very full package featuring voice over histories of each game with promotional material and strategy guides and offers a nice 4 player tournament mode, but does have a slightly weird system whereby you have to play tournament games until you earn credits to play games in the arcade which you can then unlock for freeplay by attaining challenge goals. This kind of thing seems to be all the rage in games these days, but personally I would rather just be able to freeplay all the tables from the off without jumping through any hoops.

All in all if you want a realistic pinball simulation then this is the game for you, but make sure you don't pay the frankly insane full price for it.

Published 2 Sep 2007

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