The Pinball Arcade on XBLA - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 301 Old 03-28-2012, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Coming soon (very soon), on XBLA: The Pinball Arcade - a DLC-based true pinball sim.

EDIT: Available now - click here.


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post #2 of 301 Old 03-28-2012, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately it was supposed to be released this week on XBLA and PSN, but it looks like it might be delayed until next week.

This was posted on Facebook:
"Microsoft has asked Crave (the XBLA publisher) to delay the release for a week to get better placement on the dashboard. We're sorry for the delay, but as of yesterday we were still hopeful to get review codes to give to the press and at least the option to release today. Even Microsoft seems to have expected the game to have been released this week. We will update again later today when the date is official."

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post #3 of 301 Old 03-28-2012, 06:55 AM
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What does "better placement on the dashboard" mean? All I needed was to try the demo and decide if it was as good as FX2. I don't care about the dashboard...

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post #4 of 301 Old 03-28-2012, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepaul View Post

What does "better placement on the dashboard" mean? All I needed was to try the demo and decide if it was as good as FX2. I don't care about the dashboard...

I think it means marketing the launch - maybe an ad on in the Xbox windows?

The devs replied that they knew it was going to be tight to get it released this week, and it's not MS's fault. Next week turned out to work better on everyone's end.

As for the PSN release, according to the dev on Facebook:
"The PS3 and Vita build were approved by Sony last week and we thought that April 10th was going to be locked in. However, we found a bug ourselves that would've made it impossible to ever update the game or add DLC. We're desperately working with Sony to find a solution that doesn't slip the date."

EDIT: from Facebook: "The Xbox 360 version has past certification testing by Microsoft and we can now officially announce that the game will be released for 360 on April 4th."

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post #5 of 301 Old 03-28-2012, 10:31 AM
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That Playstation bug sounds horrible! If it has a bug like that, they better delay it!
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post #6 of 301 Old 03-28-2012, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

That Playstation bug sounds horrible! If it has a bug like that, they better delay it!

...but not for XBOX 360!!
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post #7 of 301 Old 03-30-2012, 08:57 PM
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Initial slate of achievements is up.

http://www.xbox360achievements.org/g.../achievements/
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post #8 of 301 Old 04-02-2012, 12:43 PM
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Two more days!

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post #9 of 301 Old 04-04-2012, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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It's out - grab it here.

Anyone play it yet?

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post #10 of 301 Old 04-04-2012, 12:30 PM
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Yea, the little you get to play for free.

The video is correct: the ball takes little dodges as it rolls, kinda like there are supposed to be magnets it's rolling over. Black Hole was affected least, but it had a bug where the first time it came up, it didn't display the table correctly and the ball was only in sight at the top.

Not unplayable, but no way would it be judged as realistic as Pinball FX2. Not going to buy at 800; maybe 400...

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post #11 of 301 Old 04-04-2012, 02:47 PM
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can't wait to try the demo! beating FX2 physics will be easy to do. Pinball Hall of Fame already does that.

people at cheapassgamers are chiming in much faster than here and they really like Pinball Arcade. I'll get to try it out in a few hours...
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post #12 of 301 Old 04-04-2012, 05:25 PM
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hey DaverJ, I'd like to hear your impressions on Pinball Arcade... you're the resident pinball expert...

here's my take... alright, just finished up the demo... and I can't wait for my Microsoft Points to come in the mail! please come faster!

I was a big fan of Pinball Hall of Fame. So of course, I tried out Tales of the Arabian Nights first...

here it is in Pinball Hall of Fame (don't judge the animations too much in the 720P video because PHoF is a 60 fps game but Youtube caps videos at 30 fps so you're losing smoothness of the animation and speed as well):



immediately, the Pinball Arcade version looks better. The resolution seems higher now. It's much brighter and very neon looking than the version you see above. I think they made it look too good as even the arcade machines didn't look this good brand new. I think PHoF would match the more subdued colors of the original arcade machine. But the look of the new version is fantastic and maybe matches expectations of today's gamers more who never played pinball at the arcade.

In terms of the gameplay... It's different... I wish I had the arcade machine here to test which version is more authentic. But I will say I can't play the Pinball Arcade version the same way I play the PHoF version. Controlling the plunger for trick shots is harder in Pinball Arcade. I always felt in control in the PHoF version. With the PA version, it seems like luck so far (but that may be because I'm so used to PHoF). It's also harder to trap the ball in the Pinball Arcade version which actually is probably more realistic than PHoF.

Now for the other tables, I never had any other table for comparisons so they held up much better! I'm digging the 3 other tables in the initial bundle! But again, the colors just pop. Real pinball tables didn't look this good! I have played Black Hole at the arcade and Theatre of Magic. But never Ripley's.

When I purchase Pinball Arcade, I'm definitely doing new videos and hopefully do a side-by-side comparison video for Medieval Knights and Tales of the Arabian Knights (once I figure out if it's easy to do or not). At the very least, I can show video of one version for a couple minutes and then switch over but that causes comparison problems (if you've taken statistical analysis, you know all the expectation problems).
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post #13 of 301 Old 04-04-2012, 08:52 PM
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No online play yet. They say it will have it eventually.

Anyone know when that will be?

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post #14 of 301 Old 04-05-2012, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

hey DaverJ, I'd like to hear your impressions on Pinball Arcade... you're the resident pinball expert...

Heh... thanks, but far from expert. I wish my reflexes were better to become a wizard, but still - love the game.

Anyway, initial impression: I've only played a couple games of Arabian Nights so far, and I like how it played, but not sure I love it yet. I haven't played in 1080p yet - does it support this resolution natively? The game seems realistic and I appreciate the attention to detail (background, flyers, etc.). It's great playing real tables in a purist setting like this. For the most part it captures the feel of playing real pinball, which means initial games are pretty short.

But the interface is disappointing. Loading and launching a table feels clunky; not as slick as I had hoped. And the table's local leaderboards pop up at the end of a game, but I would love if the on-line boards came up, or at least could be toggled without going through the menus. I also missed FX2's notifications about chasing other players scores.

So far I feel it's a win to play the real tables, and the physics seems good - but as other mentioned, might be a little questionable in spots. From what little I've played of Pinball Arcade, Pinball FX2 feels much better designed and fun. Pinball Arcade takes the sim approach, and FX2 takes the fun approach. I'm left wishing these real tables were in FX2's game.

My mind could change though, once I've played more and had more time to appreciate the realistic experience that Pinball Arcade offers.

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post #15 of 301 Old 04-07-2012, 12:15 PM
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for those still on the fence about getting the game (and why are you???)...

720P recordings:


Ripley's Believe It or Not! 0:48 start of gameplay.


Theatre of Magic 0:50 start of gameplay.


Black Hole 0:49 start of gameplay.


Tales of the Arabian Nights 0:26 start of gameplay.

Note that Pinball Arcade is a 60 fps game but Youtube caps videos at 30 fps so you're not getting the true sense of animation smoothness and speed that the game actually offers. Also, sorry about the high compression that is occurring that is outside my control (hence the softness of the video). I'll try to play with the encoding settings so that the video is not so heavily compressed and later reupload if I can. I still kept the original high bitrate vids so there's hope I can trick Youtube somehow. Youtube's transcoding is awfully heavy handed. But they're the only free site that allows gameplay vids (which are technically copyright infringement).
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post #16 of 301 Old 04-07-2012, 03:33 PM
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The pinballs have the most realistic movement I've ever experienced from a pinball video game.

It will improve over the next few years, however it will need a heck of a lot more refining to improve on what they already have.

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post #17 of 301 Old 04-07-2012, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

for those still on the fence about getting the game (and why are you???)...

I don't think it look all that realistic, that's why.

At least with FX2, the ball moves 'correctly': force exerted in a direction sends the ball in that direction. The way it worked in real pinball games without magnets underneath to alter trajectories. THIS game, the ball moves in odd ways, often. I tried catching one, and the ball rolled UP a flipper despite the ball not rolling in that direction at the time. And the ball appears to 'slide' along the table often, exceeding the kind of speed you'd expect from the force involved.

Sure, FX2 is a little cookie-cutter-perfect, so when the X-Men table puts a ball into play it follows the exact same path every time, but I don't WANT randomness in a simulation of a game that shouldn't be random. I use to spend weeks learning the exact timing of making a shot on a real table, and extra movement is not appreciated here. If the ball goes to an exact place every time you make an exact move, that's GOOD.

So if you don't see the defects that I do, then enjoy the game, but it's just not as good a SIMULATION as I expect after FX2...

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post #18 of 301 Old 04-07-2012, 09:29 PM
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I found this pinball sim to be "ok", but there are some physics oddness, and the graphics are not very sharp.

Pinball FX 2 is much better, IMO.
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post #19 of 301 Old 04-08-2012, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I had a chance to play some more, and despite my initial disappointments (interface, limited leaderboard integration), this is a very solid playing pinball game.

It helps that 3 of the 4 initial tables are excellent. The Black Hole is a boring and unforgiving table with very little meat, but man... Theater of Magic, Ripley's Believe It or Not and especially Arabian Nights tables are immensely addictive and satisfying playfields. I think these are emulated as good as video pinball can right now, which is on par with Hall of Fame.

There has been a couple bugs - stuck tables and lost balls. I've used the "Call Attendant" option, which worked once.

I'm confused how the DLC will be integrated. Right now the main screen is a single table, and the other tables are selected by scrolling left or right. There's really no option to add a table, yet. There's also no option to quickly choose which table to play. I hope they work on this initial interface!

Overall, those that love pinball should really spend some time with this collection.

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post #20 of 301 Old 04-08-2012, 07:15 PM
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I'm excited about the possibilities. The Simpsons. Terminator 2. Jurassic Park. Stargate. Star Trek. Addams Family. Attack from Mars.

Those are just some of my wishes for tables. Make it so, FarSight!

I'm a little wary that they say they're going to patch in online multiplayer, online competitions, etc. Wonder how long they're going to take considering they have so many different platforms to support.
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post #21 of 301 Old 04-08-2012, 08:11 PM
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Comparing Pinball FX2 to Pinball Arcade is only natural... but in actuality, it's apples and oranges.

Pinball Arcade is a pinball emulator (they are using the REAL game ROMs), and Pinball FX2 is a pinball simulator.

I love both games. I like all the polish and features of FX2. I love all the effects on the ball and the HD graphics are unmatched. Some of the tables are quite enjoyable.

But the actual pinball tables in Pinball Arcade (PA) are superior. I don't think anyone has been able to match the actual game design/rules of the pinball greats. I too find Black Hole a little boring... but there is an audience for it... I see comments on Farsight's Facebook wall all the time from people who like Black Hole the best.

The painstaking way that PA has recreated these historical and real tables is astounding. It really brings you back to the arcade when you play them. I agree the overall interface of the menus and loading screens etc. are inferior to the competition, but I really don't care about any of that. What I care about is playing pinball. And the tables in PA are simply the best I have ever played short of the real thing.

So at the end of the day, FX2 looks/sounds better, and PA plays better in my opinion. If I was forced to choose a winner, it would be PA. I see myself spending way more hours at it than FX2 (even though I have logged quite a few already on FX2). But since I don't have to chose a winner, I pick both. I like both and will continue to play both.

PA was well worth the 800 points, and I am so excited about the possibilities of some of my favorite tables coming to this game. "The Addams Family" would be epic. I played that game so much and now I can't find it in my city (San Antonio, TX) in good working order. So sad. I miss that table so much.

I did find out these guys: www.pinballzarcade.com have most of the top tables in perfect working order, so next time I'm in Austin, I plan to pay them a visit.

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post #22 of 301 Old 04-08-2012, 08:22 PM
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For anyone not familiar with the tables... here are some videos of the real things:

Tales of the Arabian Nights:
http://vimeo.com/36394306

Theatre of Magic:
http://vimeo.com/34622504

Ripley's Believe it or Not:
http://vimeo.com/35617133

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post #23 of 301 Old 04-08-2012, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [KYA]Mega View Post

Comparing Pinball FX2 to Pinball Arcade is only natural... but in actuality, it's apples and oranges.

Pinball Arcade is a pinball emulator (they are using the REAL game ROMs), and Pinball FX2 is a pinball simulator.

Ummm, the ROMs in an old pinball machine wouldn't do much more than have the audio stuff. The game mechanics in a video version are part of a simulation of how a ball 'should' roll. There's a solid pinball feel behind how the ball works in FX2, where (IMHO) there isn't REALLY in PA. Try catching the ball on a flipper, the Most Important Thing in getting the shot you want, and see if it's consistent across dozens and dozens of tries. Proper physics won't have the ball dance around on you...

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post #24 of 301 Old 04-08-2012, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepaul View Post

Ummm, the ROMs in an old pinball machine wouldn't do much more than have the audio stuff. The game mechanics in a video version are part of a simulation of how a ball 'should' roll. There's a solid pinball feel behind how the ball works in FX2, where (IMHO) there isn't REALLY in PA. Try catching the ball on a flipper, the Most Important Thing in getting the shot you want, and see if it's consistent across dozens and dozens of tries. Proper physics won't have the ball dance around on you...

I agree. The wonky physics really affects the enjoyment factor for me.
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post #25 of 301 Old 04-08-2012, 10:04 PM
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Theater of Magic came out around the time I turned 21 and was in the bars I frequented as well as my student union. Sure seems like the scoring is inflated for some reason. But it's been over 15 years.

Would love to see the old World Cup 94 pinball (never happen, I'm sure).
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post #26 of 301 Old 04-08-2012, 10:57 PM
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All the odd movements of the ball happens with real pinball. I believe what's happening is it's accounting for the spinning of the ball...that is why it goes in directions not expected...that happens in real pinball too.

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post #27 of 301 Old 04-09-2012, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepaul View Post

Ummm, the ROMs in an old pinball machine wouldn't do much more than have the audio stuff. The game mechanics in a video version are part of a simulation of how a ball 'should' roll. There's a solid pinball feel behind how the ball works in FX2, where (IMHO) there isn't REALLY in PA. Try catching the ball on a flipper, the Most Important Thing in getting the shot you want, and see if it's consistent across dozens and dozens of tries. Proper physics won't have the ball dance around on you...

My point about the ROMs is that these are real pinball tables. The ROMs drive the rules of the game, the dot matrix scoreboard, the sounds, and all the light sequencing, etc. I am fully aware the physics engine and 3D modeling of the tables was done by Farsight.

Regarding the physics, we're going to have to agree to disagree. I find the physics of Pinball Arcade to be more "real life" than the physics in FX2. I do like the physics in FX2, and I agree to some extent that FX2 is more predictable, and I've had a lot of fun playing it, but PA definitely wins (for me) when it comes to the physics emulating a real pinball table. The comment on spinning might be what you are experiencing. Several of the current tables do in fact feature electro-magnets too, but I don't think that is what you are describing. Once I trap a ball, I have about the same accuracy hitting the ramps as I do on a real table... which is not to say I'm 100% accurate. Timing can be VERY subtle, so what seems like the same shot to you... in all likelihood isn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyM View Post

Theater of Magic came out around the time I turned 21 and was in the bars I frequented as well as my student union. Sure seems like the scoring is inflated for some reason. But it's been over 15 years.

Check out the video I posted a few posts up... and I think you'll find exactly the same scoring in the arcade version.

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post #28 of 301 Old 04-09-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [KYA]Mega View Post

Check out the video I posted a few posts up... and I think you'll find exactly the same scoring in the arcade version.

Yeah I guess so, it wasn't my favorite table but I don't recall ever getting a billion on it which didn't look too hard from the video. And maybe Johnny Mnemonic was worse than I remember, because that one was the real offender.
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post #29 of 301 Old 04-09-2012, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

I agree. The wonky physics really affects the enjoyment factor for me.

Apparently, one person's wonky is another person's quaint...

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post #30 of 301 Old 04-09-2012, 03:55 PM
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I saw this post in another forum:

Theatre of Magic
This 1995 table is quite complex, with eight different illusions to master. Disappearing balls, magna-saves, and other tricks all add to the fun. It also contains a Mortal Kombat 3 cheat code as a well-known Easter egg.

Does anyone know this cheat code easter egg?


I also saw this list of upcoming tables. Quite a few from PHoF Williams and Gottlieb collections. But there's never been an HD Gottlieb version (only 480P for Xbox1 and Wii while 480i for PS2 and Gamecube). But I don't really like Gottlieb tables anyway.

Taken from various sources, from a post (I take no credit and who knows if this is complete as it's from people collating various articles):
  • Bride of Pin*Bot
  • Cirqus Voltaire
  • Monster Bash
  • Attack from Mars
  • Dr. Dude
  • Earthshaker
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • Elvira and the Party Monsters

previously in The Williams Collection:
  • Medieval Madness
  • Funhouse
  • Black Knight
  • Space Shuttle
  • Pin•bot
  • TAXI

previously in The Gottlieb Collection:
  • Big Shot
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