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The Pinball Arcade Scores on PS3 and PS Vita Today

Bobby King's Avatar + Posted by Bobby King on Apr 10, 2012 // Lead Designer, FarSight Studios

With the PS3 and PS Vita launches of The Pinball Arcade on PSN this week, I thought that I’d share a few more details about our game and offer some general gameplay tips.

The launch tables include one from each of the four major manufactures that we’ve licensed. Tales of the Arabian Nights (Williams), Ripley’s Believe It or Not (Stern), Theatre of Magic (Bally), and Black Hole (Gottlieb). Tales and Black Hole were part of the Pinball Hall of Fame games. We’ve spent a lot of time improving the physics and the graphics of our pinball engine over the past few years, so we feel that they’re definitely worthy of updating.

When we first made the Gottlieb collection we gathered references from the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. We took a lot of pictures, recorded the audio with microphones, and took notes on the rules along with gameplay video reference. We actually re-programmed all of the rules from scratch.

That was a huge challenge! Now, we buy all of the tables and take them apart. Plus, we now have a bunch of physics experience and improved technology to make the tables look and play almost exactly like the real thing. ROM emulation is a huge part of the improved technology, so our simulations now run the same exact code as the original tables with authentic music, sound effects, and voice over. It’s been a learning experience, and it’s our goal to continue to improve.


When choosing tables, we look for tables that are universally recognized as being great (ipdb.org and pinside.com are two sources that we highly respect); we throw in a large helping of what our fans want, what our pinball expert friends think would be good picks, and what tables we at FarSight love and think will make for great videogame simulations. Of course, the final decision is also impacted by what’s feasible to license.

To score well at our game, I strongly recommend that you master the art of nudging the table without tilting. In general (i.e. video game pinball “and real” pinball), the key is ball control and knowing what to expect as much as possible. It is usually much easier to be consistent with a shot fired from a cradled position than when you hit the ball with a live deflection. But equally important, you should try to learn where and how the ball feeds towards the flippers as best you can and how to keep the pinball or pinballs (in multi-ball) under control as much as possible by mastering different passing and catching techniques.

Our first DLC pack is going to include Medieval Madness and The Machine: Bride of Pin.Bot. These are two of my personal all-time favorite tables. We hope that you enjoy our digital versions as much as we enjoy getting to recreate these classics!

//Add Your Own

87 Comments   6 Replies

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51

+ KAW143 on April 10th, 2012 at 9:13 pm said:

FenixJester has pretty much listed my top ten wanted, as well (though I would likely reorder them a little).

You’ve already mentioned that you are working on The Twilight Zone, which is a brilliant table. But, is there any hope for Star Trek: The Next Generation?

The Williams Collection is one of my favorite PS3 games, and I’m looking forward to experiencing these tables on the new engine, but I can’t help but pray and wish for even more tables.

I honestly don’t know how you make these tables feel so real. The concept of being able to play some of my favorite licensed tables using your technology is just … well, words fail me. It’s beyond awesome, amazing, spectacular. We don’t have a word for how happy this thought makes me.


52

+ Biggz124 on April 10th, 2012 at 9:14 pm said:

No Demo?! :(


53

+ devilmosh on April 10th, 2012 at 10:10 pm said:

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this game since I purchased it this afternoon! I missed out on a lot of real pinball growing up (I was one of those poor kids who would walk to the arcade to watch others play), so keep it coming. I have enough quarters for this!

The realism is fantastic. So far, I’ve only found one odd occurrence (glitch?) where Ripley’s repeatedly counted down over a missing pinball between plays and never would let me shoot again, so I rebooted. It only happened once, though, out of several plays, already. I don’t flinch over something like that when a game has just been released, but thought I’d mention it. Then again, I didn’t read the instructions so perhaps I was supposed to do something and brain-farted, lol.


54

+ PrimeroIncognito on April 10th, 2012 at 10:16 pm said:

This game probably has the best ball physics I’ve seen in a pinball game to date. Near-perfect physics. Great presentation too. At one point I could even smell the arcade as I was playing. No joke. I’m not just saying that to sound cool or anything. The game feels so realistic that it actually triggered an old memory of the smell of a certain arcade I used to play at… almost 20 years ago.

However, I have experienced a couple of glitches, and I hope FarSight is already aware and working on a patch, but I would like to report them anyway. I’m having the same problem with the trophies not syncing, and the game also froze on me TWICE while I was scrolling through the leaderboards.

And that damn Ripley’s table is frustrating as hell. Is anyone else losing their ball down the outlanes (especially the right one) at a ridiculously alarming rate? The ball just wants to keep going down that side, sometimes even right after launching the ball! I don’t even get a single chance to keep it in play! @#$%!

Other than that, this game is great. Looking forward to the future DLC tables.


55

+ devilmosh on April 10th, 2012 at 10:28 pm said:

@ 50 You can disable Facebook in the “Help & Options” at the bottom of the screen (left stick down and to the right on the cabinet selection screen).


56

+ Sevyne on April 10th, 2012 at 10:29 pm said:

I have to agree with Ecks (#50) on all of his nitpicks. The facebook thing is especially annoying. I’m hoping we’ll see something done about at least some of those issues.

Aside from agreeing with those problems, I’m really enjoying the game. I’m in no way an awesome Pinball player, but it’s great being able to play these childhood favorites not only through the PS3, but on the go as well.

Also, due to the size of the Vita it’s a little tricky playing in Portrait mode. I think once I get used to it though it will be the best way to play. It just feels and looks more like the complete package if that makes any sense to anyone.


57

+ Ecks on April 10th, 2012 at 10:59 pm said:

devilmosh, I didn’t even realize you could scroll through that row of choices. I’ve tried changing it so it says Disabled or Enabled, but every time I load the game, I still get the prompt to allow access to Facebook from games.


58

+ ccanfield1 on April 10th, 2012 at 11:00 pm said:

Love that it is one price for both PS3 and Vita versions. Thank for that.


59

+ devilmosh on April 10th, 2012 at 11:13 pm said:

Ecks, you’re right. I tried disabling it, as well, but it doesn’t remember your settings when you quit the game.

This goes double for camera views. I have to change them each time I load anew. I do like the way I can lock an angle from moving, btw. That’s a wonderful feature.

Hopefully this can be addressed in an update.

And like others have stated, this isn’t taking away from the stellar job done on these tables. I’m still thrilled with them!


60

+ Dessron on April 11th, 2012 at 12:18 am said:

I confirm what #50 said: Trophies for PS3 version doesn’t sync to the server (But Vita version is ok)


61

+ JohnPete83 on April 11th, 2012 at 3:38 am said:

Hi,
do you want to win great games with PlayStation Network?
Then go to: dying2win.playstation.com.tr.vu


62

+ Frodobald on April 11th, 2012 at 3:53 am said:

With the Pinball Arcade and Zen Pinball 2 my other account’s Vita will become a portable pinball machine. Where will I find the time to play other games/platforms?


63

+ AcuraPSV on April 11th, 2012 at 8:05 am said:

What about europe, why not release it? this is what bothers me more that there is discrimination with content in the territories, this bothers the users, which is the point of throwing something in digital format and the exclusive priority to a continent, not talking about retail versions, as a consumer is a serious such political mistake …

I’m pretty sad to generation, even waiting DLCs for RR that owe us namco europe that we still have to give, dividing the players who can not play online due to lack of this content etc etc etc … sony after not wonder then that no success… by cause of your politic.

sorry pinball arcade, you might not have any guilt


64

+ GGCAN on April 11th, 2012 at 8:09 am said:

Really love this game on the Vita and the touch controls; feels almost like real pinball.

However, when I play on the PS3, it’s a different story.

Seems on the PS3, there is a lag when you hit the flippers and it’s really annoying, as many times you miss the ball, because it takes a few seconds after hitting the flippers for them to actually flip.

I’ll be playing this on my Vita, instead of the PS3, until a fix comes out for that lag.


65

+ IcedTequila on April 11th, 2012 at 8:12 am said:

Please let me flip portrait mode on vita 180 degrees so I can play with buttons for flippers, x & triangle buttons.
PSVita was designed for mechanical controls not ios, android touch screen poo


66

+ GGCAN on April 11th, 2012 at 10:18 am said:

@65 IcedTequila:

Take a look at posts @13 and @23.

They both mentioned portrait mode, like you and the comment that was provided by Bobby King, was that it does indeed support both portrait and landscape play.


67

+ THE-PLASTICA-MAN on April 11th, 2012 at 12:29 pm said:

Please is there a demo on PSN for the PSVita? I really want to try it.


68

+ RETRO_____BLAST on April 11th, 2012 at 5:37 pm said:

I love the game and hate the lack of options when it comes to settings. I want to be able to freely map out the controls as I please … use the L & R buttons for the flippers, the right stick for the plunger, and the front touch screen for the nudger … or use the D Pad as the nudger … or use the D Pas for left flipper and the Circle button for the right and the L & R as the nudger … get my point … make it as user friendly as possible, if not, I will be buying a lot less new tables than I would if I had more mapping options for the inputs.


69

+ Miss_Ann_Thrope on April 11th, 2012 at 5:37 pm said:

I have to second GGCAN here. The lag on the response time in the PS3 version is enormous and definitely distracts the quality of play. I noticed it on the flippers and plungers on all four tables. The Vita version is silky smooth. Guess I’ll make do as well until a patch comes along. Outside of the current lag issue, this is a top notch job and worth recommending.

Oh and I’d like to request both Black Knights please. And Addams Family, even though I imagine that’s a tall order in terms of licensing.


70

+ PolarDad on April 11th, 2012 at 11:23 pm said:

I only got to play this briefly before going to work but noticed right away that there doesn’t seem to be any camera options when launching the ball, making skill shots on certain tables nearly impossible. If I’m incorrect about this, please let me know otherwise I’d recommend fixing this.

I’ve been a huge pinball fan since the 70s (yeah I’m THAT old) so I really hope this ambitious project will be successful. I will definitely be looking forward to the monthly DLC.


71

+ madhukrishna9999 on April 11th, 2012 at 11:49 pm said:

nice


72

+ RETRO_____BLAST on April 12th, 2012 at 5:13 am said:

I was looking for a way to contact you at Farsight Studios and went to your website and found no option to do so …. I think detailed feedback in the form email to your company would provide you with great insight on changes players are wishing for in updates to Arcade Pinball considering you plan on releasing new tables every month or so … I believe that by responding to that feedback in terms of game updates most wanted by players will increase you sales down the road. Please help!


73

+ apoc on April 12th, 2012 at 1:00 pm said:

Bring on the Addams Family!!!


74

+ sillybennaboo on April 12th, 2012 at 8:11 pm said:

+ IcedTequila on April 11th, 2012 at 8:12 am said:
Please let me flip portrait mode on vita 180 degrees so I can play with buttons for flippers, x & triangle buttons.
PSVita was designed for mechanical controls not ios, android touch screen poo

This idea. Please implement this extra mode. Portrait allowing us to use x & triangle buttons instead of touch controls for the flippers. Touch controls are a novelty at best.

Right now its looking like I will be giving you my money for the next several years. If you give us new tables every month for 2.50 per table, I’ll buy them all. oh and “Indiana Jones Pinball” please :)


75

+ lanceanz on April 13th, 2012 at 1:15 am said:

You’re kidding – it’s released? Been looking a couple of times a day since 10th US time. If New Zealand doesn’t get this I’ll be not feeling to kindly towards my Vita. I thought at least this would be a game I could enjoy. The small number of games available to purchase on the Vita are way overpriced too. Around $NZ25 more than I can buy them in the shop.


76

+ MVTorres805 on April 13th, 2012 at 5:53 am said:

I’ve already got in the top 5 for Ripley’s. (MJT) What a fun game. I’m glad my Vita is getting some action.


77

+ RETRO_____BLAST on April 13th, 2012 at 8:37 am said:

*** BLACK HOLE PS VITA MAJOR GAME GLITCH *** When you plunge the ball and it goes on top and through one of the three lanes with the red lights on them, the left lane light will not turn off in the Vita version no matter how many times a ball passes through the lane … this means you can never get the score multiplier going !!!!! PLEASE FIX ASAP, it works fine on the PS3, NOT THE PS VITA ….


78

+ Bob_Jowler on April 13th, 2012 at 12:50 pm said:

Excellent choice by including Bride of Pinbot, definitely one of my all time favorites. Speaking of classics from Williams, has any consideration been given to Whitewater? Nothing like pulling off the 5-way combo!


79

+ Maxfx4u on April 13th, 2012 at 6:13 pm said:

*** BLACK HOLE PS VITA MAJOR GAME GLITCH *** Yes I can confirm this. How this got by the testers I’ll never know. Game at this point is BROKEN.


80

+ RETRO_____BLAST on April 14th, 2012 at 6:44 am said:

@79 …. God that BLACK HOLE GLITCH IT KILLING ME … I was trying to find a way to contact FARSIGHT about THE OVERSIGHT… went to their website and I can’t find an option to email them … Not only is it killing us point wise, I use that top left of the three middle rollovers as my opening skill shot because it is the most difficult roll over to get when you plunge and while mid game as well. This is my favorite table but I am discouraged to do so on the PS Vita … How do we give FARSIGHT some INSIGHT on their OVERSIGHT?


81

+ RETRO_____BLAST on April 14th, 2012 at 6:49 am said:

They must have filmed that trailer of the BLACK HOLE at the top of this page on the PS3 becasue you can see that left top middle rollover working !!!


82

+ belly_style on April 16th, 2012 at 9:09 pm said:

2 things:
1. I am an avid pinball machine collector & happen to own a Black Hole machine (1 of my 45 machines) & have noticed something very wrong with the Black Hole machine on “The Pinball Arcade”. After you launch the ball there are the top 3 lanes that feed the ball into the pop bumper section and left of those top 3 lanes does not work! I cannot “de-light” it and complete the top 3 lanes. Is it just my download, or can someone else verify that thiers does not work also?

2. Mabye it’s just because I’m still getting used to my new Vita, but I purchased “The Pinball Arcade” on my Vita hoping to own the liscence & download it on my PS3 without having to pay for it again & was NOT able to just dowload it to my PS3. What am I doing wrong?

Oh, & 3. Great job on the Vita, Sony. I applaud you, once again.


83

+ belly_style on April 16th, 2012 at 9:17 pm said:

Ah, just saw that everyone is having the same problem. Guess I should have read the thread first. :)


84

+ johnisntnothing on April 20th, 2012 at 6:33 pm said:

@ Bobby King

I have purchased, played and completely beaten both Pinball Hall of Fame games.
(Side note: I <3 the williams collection ) That being said, I was very disappointed that when i downloaded the PBA it only had 4 tables. I had to do alot of google searching to find this thread ( which was right under my nose :P )
Why wasn't this game advertised more? I read game informers every month and i do believe this should have been mentioned.
Also, is there going to be a date for the new tables? and the following tables? I hear its going to be every month its updated so i should check may 10th? I beat the first 4 tables the second day.

overall i LOVE the game, i don't think it should have been released for download until it was ready. i mean seriously, it has 4 tables and the challenges / tournaments aren't functional yet.
3.5 / 5 stars from me. it lost 1.5 for not having more tables.

i do love it though. THANK YOU


85

+ Pendharker on April 25th, 2012 at 11:11 am said:

I’m also going to throw down my wishlist of tables:

1) Star Trek: The Next Generation (my most favorite table of all time!)
2) Funhouse
3) Terminator 2: Judgment Day
4) The Addams Family
5) Hook
6) Twilight Zone
7) Pin-Bot

That’s a nice little primer. I’m so VERY excited to see what tables you come out with next. Thank you for being so awesome!


86

+ Pendharker on April 25th, 2012 at 11:16 am said:

I saw that you mentioned Medieval Madness and Bride of Pin-Bot for May. Are you able to tell us what other tables you’ve been able to secure the rights to? Which tables can you tell us for sure are coming soon?


87

+ fishtankcol on May 6th, 2012 at 2:23 am said:

bobby , please can you advise when this will be out to buy on psn in the uk ???

really really want this ……
cheers Colin


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