Extreme Pinball


Electronic Arts

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Digital pinball games have become quite popular over the last few years and so it isn't surprising to see them showing up on the Sony PlayStation. Electronic Arts has supplied gamers with a pinball game for the PSX by porting an identical copy of their Extreme Pinball version for the PC over to this platform. The result is four medium paced pinball tables that will provide you with a challenge until better pinball games are released.

Four tables are found within Extreme Pinball: Urban Chaos, Monkey Mayhem, Medieval Knights, and Rock Fantasy. Urban Chaos is a table that takes you into the future as a cop to fight against crime. Cities are names after their network addresses and the city of Televox 203 has become isolated from other cities because of communication failures and infrastructure decay. Your main goal will be to re-establish communication lines for the city by reactivating the six SCPMON Network links. The links consist of loops and isolated areas that will reactivate the links when the ball passes through them. Once you accomplish that you'll be able to pick up some high scores with a few multi-balls. In Monkey Mayhem you are astronaut Binford T. Dremmel who unfortunately warped through a worm hole and ended up in uncharted space. Running out of fuel you crash on a Monkey planet and where you are taken prisoner by alien chimps. Your mission will be to gather up six tools to help you survive and repair your ship so that you may someday return to Earth. This is realized by many loops, tunnels, monkey bars, and even a few friendly hamsters. Enter the kingdom of the Medieval Knights and find yourself battling against trolls, dragons, bats, and many deadly horrors of the dark castle. Your goal will be to reach the throne room without being evicted into the death's dungeon and left to die. Rock Fantasy will turn you into a manager for a group called the Rock Makers. Your goal will be to assemble the lead signer, guitarist, bassist, and drummer together so that yo can turn them into celebrities. If you manage to succeed, a small screen on the table will display a short video of the group performing on stage.

The music for each of the four tables sets the appropriate atmosphere for each of their themes. Urban Chaos will take you into the future with futuristic techno music and occasional police calls being made. Monkey Mayhem has more drums, flutes and monkey sounds to carry you into the jungle. Medieval Knights has synthesizer music that delivers a mysterious feeling as you are taken back in time. Finally Rock Fantasy contains music with guitars that resembles your average rock music that isn't heavy metal and a voice that says "far out man" every once in awhile.

Two dimensional textured graphics is what you'll find within the game. The graphics are well achieved and contain many details. So many details that it may take a little time to get used to what you should be aiming for within the game. At the bottom of your screen will be the scoreboard which you'll be able to set to preferred on, off or automatic to have the most important information displayed during the game. Not enough of the table is shown all at once making the ball a little difficult to follow at times. Most of the time, however, the ball won't be traveling that fast. In fact, the ball seems to float instead of actually rolling on a table which doesn't make it completely realistic. During the games, different events will change your ball into a ring, bow tie, or simply change it's color.

A screen saver that dims the graphics will be activated after 30 seconds have passed since a game was placed on pause. After a full minute, the screen will be dimmed again to a point where you can barely see what's on the screen. This makes for an efficient screen saver, however if you just walk away from a game that is currently in play without hitting pause, no screen saver will ever be activated.

The game play is quite slow and becomes boring after some time. The games seem to concentrate more on obtaining your objectives than just making millions of points. It's important to know exactly what you should be aiming for to obtain your goals in order to enjoy the game. Once you are aware of them, the games will be more interesting and even frustrating if you can't obtain what's required.

Each of the tables have long loading times. Once you select a table, it can take up to two minutes to load the game. During this time an image representing the table you are loading will be displayed. I found two minutes to be quite a bit of time when games these days load more quickly. Ten years ago I use to spend eight to ten minutes loading games on my Atari 800XL from a cassette player which is obviously much slower than a CD-ROM.

Your control pad will consist of left and right flippers with three different nudge buttons. You'll be able to hit the machine to left, right, or upwards. I found the different nudge buttons to be a good feature, however it would have been nice if we could configure them. Unfortunately, there are no options to do so and one is stuck with using the default control pad setup. With the setup that is provided, it was a little too easy to accidently tilt the machine and lose your ball.


As you may have been able to tell, I didn't particularly enjoy Extreme Pinball. It's fun and entertaining, but not at all as addicting as other pinball games I have played and quickly becomes tiresome. I recommend you try the game for yourself before spending your hard earned cash on it.


Overall: **1/2


Electronic Arts
1450 Fashion Island Blvd.,
San Mateo, CA 94404.

Web site: www.ea.com


In North America:

See developers.

In Europe:

In UK:

Electronic Arts UK Ltd.,
90 Heron Drive,
Langley, Berks SL3 8XP.

Technical Support: +44-(0)1753-546465

In France:

Electronic Arts France,
3 Rue Claude Chappe,
69771 Saint Didier au Mont D'or Cedex.

In Germany:

Electronic Arts GmbH.,
Verler Str. 1,
333332 Gutersloth.

In Sweden:

Electronic Arts,
Business Campus,
Johanneslundsvogen 2,
194 81 Upplandsvasby.

In Spain:

Electronic Arts Software S.A.,
Edificio Arcade,
Rufino Gonzalez 23 bis,
Planta 1a, Local 2,
28037 Madrid.


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