01 January, 2019

Zen Pinball: the second Williams batch

Some two months after the first batch of four (well, one free and three paying) tables from the Williams colllection newly licenced to Zen Studios, the second batch is here. The three tables are:

Black Rose,

Attack from Mars,

and Party Zone.

I tested them both in the classic and the new, "enhanced", version. As in the case of the first batch, the remastered version is (slightly) better. Again, Zen has applied self-restrain and did not overburden the tables with unnecessary animations.

Black Rose is the table I preferred among the three, Party Zzone being the one I will not be playing much. Given the quite reasonable price of the tables you can purchase all three and decide after you have tried them out.

My one regret is that the tables are Mac-only and I do not know if there is some plan to port them to iOS devices in a near future. But then, we would, most probably, have to buy them again, so ...

10 December, 2018

FarSight tables

In a previous post I was wondering why the FarSight site did not include the Stern tables among those available. My guess is that that was due to the fact that the Stern pinball arcade existed independently from the rest. Now that the whole FarSight collection is present in Pinball Arcade the artificial separation between Stern and non-Stern tables has disappeared and one can find the complete list of tables on the same page.

While the offer is not comparable to one before the loss of the Williams-Bally licence it is still a quite decent one, with 39 tables. Will this offer suffice in order to save the bacon of FarSight? Time will tell.

01 December, 2018

Stern Starship Troopers pinball

Full disclosure: I am a Heinlein fan. R. Heinlein was a hard traditionalist and his, Hugo winning, novel reflects his ideas, but I do love military science fiction and I adored Starship Troopers. So, I was naturally attracted to the eponymous pinball table.

Of course, the table can only vaguely reflect by the novel and since it lacks moving graphical elements (Zen, I am looking at you) one has to content oneself with just a few dispersed 2D and 3D Arachnids (the alien race that the troopers are battling).

It's not a very sophisticated table and I did enjoy playing it. The extra right flipper must be activated by a special button which is not comfortable at all, but when one masters it (I don't) this can add to the players efficiency. As always the FarSight ball is next to invisible and since in the standalone Stern collection one cannot customise it the gameplay suffers. 

Anyhow, the Stern pinballs have now been incorporated into the main FarSight line but I will continue commenting on the ones that were initially present in the, now defunct, Stern Pinball app.