So tell me of this mysterious game
Ahhh, Pinball, a superficially simple but subtly complex game.
A game where heroes are forged in the fires of force and geometry, a game where dreams are shattered by that evil temptress called gravity.
A game that separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls and the Wizards from them all!
Welcome to the intense, extreme and often emotional sport of Pinball!I wish to be a wizard separated from boys and girls!
This isn’t a journey to be undertaken lightly my friend, but if you are sure, I will teach you!
Come with me as we traverse the pleasures and pitfalls of this wild and exhilarating sport.
Throughout the course of this review we’ll journey through the basics, the concepts, the joys and the jargon.
I’m going to give you all the information you’ll need to be a pro, as for becoming a wizard?
Well that’ll take hard work and dedication, but I have faith in you my prodigy.Field of Dreams
As a potential paragon of pinball, you will first need to be aware of the forum of the faithful that is the arena for this glorious sport.
This arena or playing field takes the form of a table, but not just any table, this is a table with a slant, rising upward before you like the altar of aspiration it truly is.
As an aspiring Baron of the Balls, you will take your place at the base of this tilted table of temptation. You should strive to feel comfortable here; this is where dreams are made.Balls of Steel
On to this table you can launch a steel ball, your avatar on this plateau of promise.
The tormenting tilt of the table will then conspire with gravity to defeat you as your ball succumbs to their merciless grip and begins to roll downwards towards impending doom.Impending Doom?
That’s right. At the base of this alluring alter of ambition lies the abhorrent abyss of agony, the pit, the void, the gaping mouth where all balls are inevitably sucked.
Despite your skill level, this will eventually happen to you. It is the destiny of every ball to be sucked into the mouth eventually.
But fear not friend, you are not defenceless, you can fight back.They Call Him Flipper
On this tilted board of dreams you also have some interactive devices the pros like to call “flippers”
At the press of a button you can utilise these “flippers” in an attempt to intercept the rolling steel ball and change its path, hopefully away from the previously mentioned hole which is waiting to consume your ball.Nice Pins
If that isn’t enough excitement for you, the table also has strategically placed targets which we’ll call pins.
Although your primary objective should always be to avoid the devouring pit of doom at the base of the table, you also have the secondary goal of trying to hit the various pins with your mighty ball of steel.
So it’s a game of pins, balls and tables.
If you want to sound like a “real pro” you should refer to this pinned platform of perils as a “Pinball Table”Pinball Wizard
But wait, there’s even more. The order in which you strike these “pins” can also be important.
If you strike the correct targets consecutively you may be awarded with additional points to help boost your score.
That’s right; the pinball table isn’t only there to confound you with its attempts to swallow your balls.
You can also quantify your prowess through the facility of a score.
This is where the true pinball wizards achieve their bragging rights.If only there was some sort of training simulator
So, now you’re ready to master the mechanics of the fickle mistress that is pinball, but which game should you choose to hone your developing pinball powers?
Surprisingly, when looking for the simulated experience of this seductive sport, you’ll find that the market isn’t exactly flooded with titles.
Sure, there are a few options out there, but if you’re serious about your pinball wizardry then the “go to” game at the time of writing is Pinball FX2 and best of all the price of admission is free.Free is Good
Most of us can afford “Free”, in fact it’s my favourite price point for a game.
So what do you get for an investment of zero? A pretty well designed pinball table with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a digital version of the game, that’s what.
As well as the free table to cut your teeth on (which will likely give you many hours of game time on its own before you get bored), you also get the chance to enjoy a few minutes play time on many of the additional tables available to purchase in the game.More Please
When you do decide to move on from the starting table, the choice is vast, from the generically themed tables of Rome and Tesla through to Star Wars and The Walking Dead, you’re sure to find a table to suit your mood.
The additional tables are reasonably priced, and although you’ll undoubtedly have your own favourites, they are all of a high standard, expertly designed and fun to play (and yes, I’ve played through most of them)Let’s Get Physical
The physics in Pinball FX2 is spot on. The ball bounces around exactly as you’d expect it too, the motion is fluid, the flippers respond smoothly and no matter how frantic the action gets, everything rolls along nicely.Master your Balls
Pinball FX2 is an outstanding title in the genre; it sounds good, it looks amazing and it plays better than the real thing.
There’s a score table out there waiting to put your name up in lights.
It is time for the student to become the master.
Go now, Show the world what you can do with your balls!
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