The Pinball Arcade - Playstation 4

Release Date:

14 January 2013

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
8.2

Summary:

Pinball Arcade on the PlayStation 4 contains a tight selection of pinball games that were pulled together and developed by FarSight Studios. Along with Crave Entertainment and Alliance Digital Media, the game was released as part of a push for the next generation of consoles. The game features a plethora of pinball tables that are licensed by industry juggernauts and the game itself offers a host of DLC to keep players coming back for more.

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Pinball Arcade Season 2 on the PlayStation 4 is a pinball video game developed by FarSight Studios. The game is a simulated collection of real pinball tables licensed by Gottlieb, Williams, Bally, ...
by System 3
Release Date: 30/01/2015

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Posted:
2015-02-21

Darren_Summerell

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PS4

8.0

The Pinball Arcade is a tight selection of pinball games that were pulled together and developed by FarSight Studios. Along with Crave Entertainment and Alliance Digital Media, the game was released on the PlayStation 4 as part of a push for the next generation of consoles. The game features a plethora of tables that are licensed by industry juggernauts and the game itself offers a host of DLC to keep players coming back for more. While the idea of a pinball based next gen game certainly seems bizarre, it isn't hard to see why a devoted selection of fans keep their fingers on the bumper. Let's take a look at the nitty gritty behind this pinball arcade simulator.

A brief glance.

Let's be honest. When you are looking for a next gen pinball game you really are scraping at the bottom of the barrel in terms of selection. The factg are pretty simple, there aren't many titles around that even begin to try and offer this sort of simulated experience. So right off the bat this game has an audience and an opening to do something special. Originally released for PC, and pushed through Steam's Green Light program, The Pinball Arcade enjoyed a succesful run on older consoles. It made its premier on the PS3 and Xbox 360 back in 2012 before being upgraded and ported to our current consoles. With that being said, owners of the PS4 should still be interested in getting a hold of this game. It isn't merely a port. It is a complete experience that really can't be rivaled.

An authentic experience.

Grab your beer but forget the quarters. You aren't going to need them for this game. The team behind Pinball Arcade did their best to bring you everything that you would need in order to forget that you aren't actually in an arcade or at the back of a bar. When you turn on the game you will be greeted with an array of menus. From there you can either jump straight into the action, picking one of your available tables, or you can opt to download some of the other available tables. The game naturally comes with 'Tales of the Arabian Night' as a free way to play. But the team behind the game has released a whole slew of buyable tables as part of the DLC. You don't need to get them to play. You might never even want to get them. But they are there and they increase your experience with the game by 10fold. They are also enjoyable and appropriately priced.

How does it all look on the Playstation 4?

Looking at a game that was developed for the last generation may scare off a few propel. But when it comes to pinball our eyes shouldn't be so preoccupied with graphics. That being said, the game looks great. The tables are immaculately detailed and the animations when you activate certain effects will pull a grin from even the most stone faced of players. There are flashy effects, cool cutaways, and some really neat features to keep you interested. The colors pop off of the television and the textures of the table will have you thinking that you are leaning over it. On a 1080p screen you will be fully immersed. Without purchasing another table you can still get a full experience out of just 'Arabian Nights'.

Expanding the game room.

Most players who enjoy pinball will want to expand their arcade room. This means that they are the guys who will look to the DLC as a way to increase the breadth of their experience. For as cheap as the DLC is, especially when considering the game itself is free from the arcade, DLC feels more like the actual purchase price. So once you find your way to the buyable tables you will have more than a couple of options to choose form. There are four seasons of tables and they can be purchased in seasonal 'packs'. This is a bulk purchase that gives you multiple tables for a discounted price. However, if you'd rather just pick the games that appeal to you, you can also go individually. Games range from licensed megastars (Twilight Zone, Star Trek: The Next Generation) all the way to a slew of original designs. There is something for everyone and we really enjoyed how many options we were given. At the time of this writing there are 55 total tables available. This is where we most readily applaud the designers behind the game. With so many companies going for annual releases (and we can easily imagine the Pinball Arcade doing something similar) the guys opted for DLC. That means you don't have to keep buying new games to get new tables. They keep the experience completely centralized and they allow their players to opt for more. It's a small thing but something we respect.

Hit the rails.

All of the above writing is besides the point if the game itself isn't fun to play. Clunky controls can ruin a great concept and potentially interesting experience. Thankfully the guys got The Pinball Arcade correct. The game excels at the sole purpose that people bought it for. Using the bumper, the rails, and all of the other little features will have you accelerating to the high score table in no time. The ball feels fluid off of the machine and its interaction with the environment is solid. The physics of the game seem appropriate and we have a feeling that this is a close recreation of the actual game.

A few final thoughts.

The Pinball Arcade manages to do something quite nifty with their PS4 port. They brought in their original game, upscaled its looks while keeping its soul, and they made it worth purchasing for a new demographic. The clever usage of DLC over annual releases keeps frugal gamers happy, and the availability of a free table puts players in the driver seat before asking them to buy the car.

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