Publisher: FarSight Studios
Developer: FarSight Studios
As a guy who really likes pinball but doesn’t have access to a way of playing locally, The Pinball Arcade is basically a godsend. I’ve really enjoyed what the folks over at FarSight have done with the series up to this point, having played and bought just about all of the 1st and 2nd season table packs on PS3/Vita in the past. If you have any interest in iconic pinball tables under the Gottlieb, Stern, Williams, and Bally brand then you really should check this fantastic series out. And with the PS4 version of the game having just launched in recent weeks, you’re now able to play the most beautifully rendered console version of The Pinball Arcade that I’ve seen so far.
For this review we were given the initial table pack that kicked off The Pinball Arcade originally. This includes three tables, Theatre of Magic, Black Hole, and Ripley’s Believe it or Not, along with the free Tales of the Arabian Nights available for just downloading the game from PSN. I’m certainly familiar with these tables by now, putting hours upon hours into the XBLA and PSN versions of over the past year or so. And I’m happy to see that the PS4 version plays just as well as I remembered, with outstanding, lifelike physics accompanying the beautiful visuals on display.
Each table is lovingly reproduced in digital form, with even finer attention to detail evident here thanks to the added horsepower of the PS4. While The Pinball Arcade has continued to see improvements on most platforms, with adjustments made to lighting specifically, it seems like FarSight has really nailed the tables seen thus far right out of the gate on PS4. Black Hole is a table that really stood out to me here, the oldest table of the four that I played and arguably the most simple in design. But despite its lack of bells and whistles in comparison to something like Theatre of Magic, I found it to be the most visually striking table of the four. The lighting here is really well done, and all the little details spread across the table stand out so well, especially in direct comparison to the PS3 version of the game
I really can’t wait to dive back in with The Pinball Arcade, and check out more of the tables I’ve played, and a few of those that I missed. The only real negatives to mention here is that the variety of tables available isn’t quite on par with what’s out there for other versions. This isn’t surprising, as there’s always been some disparity between releases on platforms. It’s also a bit of a bummer that you’ll have to rebuy all this content despite owning it on PS3/Vita. There have been some allowances made for discounts if you own all the season 1 tables on PS3/Vita and purchase the season 1 pack on PS4, but individual pack discounts would have been nice as well.
All in all, this is a fantastic version of the best video pinball game around. It looks absolutely gorgeous on the PS4, and the level of detail stands out to me on the tables played in a new and exciting way. The day one assortment of tables stands out as a fantastic selection, including big names like Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Twilight Zone. And there’s a lot more on the way, which will provide you with a lot of playtime if you decide to go all in with the game. And considering the first table is free, and is also an excellent table to boot, there’s really no reason to not give The Pinball Arcade a shot. You’re bound to love it.