Hyper 3-D Pinball contains a good crosssection of the different types of pinball tables in today's arcades, and is worth a serious look. The ball action is fast and fluid, and the sweet SGI graphics create the most realistic flipper and bumping action available to date. Many of the features of real pinball are here, including: scrolling marquis-style displays, skill shots, sling shots, jet bumpers, loops, rollovers, kickbacks, jackpots, multiple ramps, ramp targets, double return lanes, super spinners, combination bonuses, multiple multi-ball options, hidden areas, and video modes. The machines can even be tilted if they're rocked too hard!
Gameplay is great. Players have the ability to change viewpoints on the fly, switching between top-down and a three-quarter perspectives in a flash. Of course, each view has its advantages and disadvantages. In the top-down view the entire table is visible, but detail is sacrificed, making it difficult to find ramps and bonus bumpers. The three-quarter, 3-D view drops players right into the thick of the action, but the effects of the scrolling screen soon become straining. The game thankfully contains a 3-D mercy feature when it's started in multi-ball mode, automatically switching to the top-down view. This puts all the action is on the table, so to speak.
Overall, the music and sound effects are OK. The bumper and flipper sounds are fairly authentic, but some of the machines sound outdated. The control is straightforward and the Saturn gamepad provides a smooth feel, though an add-on flipper control would have made for more realistic action.
Hyper 3-D Pinball isn't for everyone (casual players will probably get bored with it rather quickly), but pinball fans will love it. And while there's nothing like playing at the local arcade, Hyper 3-D Pinball could easily become a favorite after hours "silver ball" haunt.