19 April, 2014

Timeshock alpha is here

Those are the great news. Timeshock did arrive today. Admittedly this is just the alpha version but it is perfectly playable and far better than most of commercial pinballs out there.

Of course, being an alpha version, Timeshock lacks the polish of a final product. Some parts are even simply missing but this does not influence the gameplay in the least.

The pros. I find the physics great. But then, the alpha version uses the same physics as the original Timeshock. Also the game is perfectly balanced not too slow, not too rapid. The flippers are excellent, very precise and conveying a nice feeling.

The cons now. I find the table too orangy to my taste. Also the blinking lights are too strong of a distraction. Perhaps in the final version there will be a possibility to subdue them a bit. The multiball is a little bit jerky on my iMac, but after all this is just the first alpha. Also, to be fair, I must say that I do not like the ball. It is clearly visible at all times (or perhaps I have been conditioned by hours of play with the pinballs I am usually criticising for their ball). Still, the separation between the upper, non reflecting, part and the lower, reflecting, one makes for a bizarre sensation of levitating ball which spoils the gameplay a little bit.

All in all, I did enjoy playing with the new Timeshock and as soon as somebody posts a screen movie I will link to it so that you can get an idea of what I am talking about.

PS. After I have finished writing the report above I decided to go back to the forum entry and read the instructions. (Yes, I know, I should have done this before embarking upon playing). And, surprisingly, the light-adjustment sliders exist already in the alpha! You can make the table less orangy and the blinking lights  less harsh. The guys of the ProPinball team are really the Numero Uno in the digital pinball world.

PS2. As expected there are videos of the new Timeshock in action now. Here are two links

A 90° rotated (landscape) video


A multiball game

12 April, 2014

High Speed by Farsight

Usually I am announcing the new pinball by Farsight in a more neutral way. This time I am making an exception. High Speed

is a pinball I like. The theme is fun, the gameplay interesting and the table uncluttered. Of course, not everything is perfect. The ball is, at times, too fast, in particular when coming out of the ramps, which makes follow-up somewhat tricky. Moreover it drains a tad too easily to my taste. Also the colours of the table are too gaudy and the only solution I found is to play with the white (ivory?) ball. Fortunately the latter remains visible even in multiball situations so I should not complain.

The one thing that remains unacceptable is the price but I don't think Farsight is going to revert to more customer-friendly prices.

05 April, 2014

ProPinball: now we are talking details

The weekly update for Timeshock is here. Given the state of the game I believe that we are going to have an alpha version within the month. What I find always amazing is the attention of the ProPinball team for details. Just look at this amazing screenshot

It is the reflection of the backbox on the glass of the table. In the forum they are giving also a picture of the table lit by the backbox light. 

This is really unbelievable. The way things are taking shape, Timeshock is not going to be a mere game but the perfect simulation of a real pinball. Let us cross our fingers for the game to be a commercial success so that the people at Barnstorm Games give the go ahead for the port of the remaining Pro Pinballs.

Pure Pinball: T-Rex Savage

Another pinball I had been playing as of late is T-Rex Savage of the Pure Pinball line (alas, a line of just one till now). The one thing I must say about this pinball is that it is graphically very nice. 

Although the table is somewhat cluttered, the play does not suffer from this. Also the only really moving thing, T-Rex’s head, is tucked away at some corner where it does intrude upon the gameplay. Moreover the ball does not drain too easily so as to spoil the game and the duration of the ball save is quite generous. The physics on the other hand is so-so. In particular I find that the flippers are not very accurate. 

After playing a few times I did not find the game interesting enough to get me hooked (even temporarily). Still given the price, roughly 40 % that of a Farsight season-three table, one can give it a try without second thoughts.

Legendo Entertainment, the company producing, among others, Pure Pinball, has a new pinball in preparation: Attack on Pearl Harbor. Given the superb graphics of their Pearl Harbor aerial battle games this is a pinball I am looking forward to.