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Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection - DS

Game Description: Crave's acclaimed pinball simulator lands on the 3DS.
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Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection 3DS Hands-On Preview
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Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection 3DS Hands-On Preview

By Jake Gaskill - Posted Mar 23, 2011

Pinball Hall of Fame

What We Already Know: FarSight Studios has made a name for itself by turning out one spectacular pinball-simulator after another, and now it is bringing its most recent success, Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection, to the 3DS. Check out our full console review for all the nitty-gritty details, since the 3DS version contains the same content as the other versions with some minor interface changes.

What We’re Seeing Now: We recently had a chance to go hands-on with the 3DS version of the Williams Collection, and something that players familiar with the console iteration will notice right away is that the camera is a bit lower and closer to the table now. This was done to allow players to see more of the table so they could keep up with action on the 3DS’ smaller screen.

The camera itself was also tweaked to do a better job of tracking the ball and to make sure players see the flippers before the ball arrives, which is always appreciated. You can still cycle between five different camera angels to find the one you like the best, but the lower angle is where the 3D effect shines a bit brighter, since it adds length the table and pushes it further into the screen. Another modification comes in how you navigate the various tables. Instead of walking around the virtual arcade as you do in the console versions, now you just highlight which table you want and hit play.

The game looks and feels solid enough, although we found out that the thumbstick bumps the table too late to save us from losing a bunch of turns from balls rolling right down the middle of the table. The 3D definitely adds to the experience, since you can actually see the ball weaving in and around all of the various obstacles and features as if you were looking down at an actual table. How it will hold up over the course of several hours of fast-paced play remains to be seen.

But speaking of recreating the effect of looking at a real pinball table, the game’s developers have also include a feature that actually swaps the DS’s screens when the unit is turned upside down, so instead of having the table’s scoreboard on the bottom screen and the table on the top, you have the table on the bottom and the scoreboard on top. This makes controlling the game a little awkward, especially since when we saw it the controls had only recently been configured. Still, the effect of being able to mimic the layout of an actual table made us giggle quite a bit.

For 3DS owning, pinball enthusiasts on the go, Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection should definitely be on your radars. Look for more details as we get closer to the game’s May release.

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