Pro Pinball Review

A single table just doesn't provide enough extended replay value to put it ahead of Hyper 3-D Pinball and other Saturn pinball games.

Pro Pinball is a totally accurate simulation of real pinball. That's all fine and good, but if I wanted to play real pinball, I'd go down to a bowling alley and play a little Black Knight. Video pinball should feature at least two things: It should do things that regular pinball can't do; and it should include numerous tables in one package to provide replay value. Unfortunately, Pro Pinball does neither.

The lone table, titled "The Web," has the look and feel of pinball circa 1995. It includes loops, ramp combos, and a ball magnet. The only missing feature is the feel of the machine in your hands (the nudging controls don't come close to the real thing). Pro Pinball's dot-matrix backglass animations are great, and the game also comes through in the sound department: The flippers, bumpers, and launchers all sound like they're on a real machine. The telltale replay "thwack" is even present. (Perhaps Interplay and Empire Interactive should have dropped the whole console thing and made a real pinball machine.) Unfortunately, the music is repetitive, and it ultimately detracts from the gameplay. Luckily, the music can be turned down.

As for gameplay, Pro Pinball requires the players perform several different missions and tasks on The Web, with lots of scoring opportunities along the way. Pro Pinball has one table with six different table views (camera angles). Unfortunately, they all have a similar perspective, and a 2-D, top-down view is conspicuous in its absence. Without this 2-D view, it's very difficult to judge exactly where to shoot the ball, though with a little practice making the ramps and loops is a breeze.

Ultimately, this is a very convincing simulation of pinball, but it falls short when compared to other video pinball games. A single table just doesn't provide enough extended replay value to put it ahead of Hyper 3-D Pinball and other Saturn pinball games. Even with its shortcomings, pinball fans should give Pro Pinball a try - if for no other reason than video pinball games are few and far between.

The Good

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The Bad

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About the Author

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

Pro Pinball: The Web

First Released Aug 31, 1996
released
  • PC
  • PlayStation
  • Saturn

A single table just doesn't provide enough extended replay value to put it ahead of Hyper 3-D Pinball and other Saturn pinball games.

7.4
Good

Average Rating

28 Rating(s)

5.9
Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
Kids to Adults
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