Sonic Spinball

Brad:Believe it or not, I’m not actually opposed to the concept of a console pinball game.I like pinball, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to fit a Genesis in my living room than it is a pinball machine.The problem is that few console pinball games are anything like real pinball.Freed from the real-world constraints of actual pinball – those annoying things like gravity, physics, and the fact that the table has to exist in real space and therefore can’t be 3 miles long – video game pinball developers start taking liberties and the results are almost never good.They also tend to turn the whole thing into a series of ridiculous quests.Case in point:Sonic Spinball.

Real pinball is a pretty simple concept – keep the ball in play and try to rack up as high of a score as possible.But given the unlimited freedom of making a virtual pinball game instead of a real one, the developers went ahead and tried to cram in anything they could get away with, regardless of whether or not it made sense or, you know, made the game better.Sonic Spinball has tables within tables, warp zones, and the object of each stage isn’t to get a high score, it’s to complete certain tasks, which ultimately allow you to beat a table and go on to the next one.Since you can only see a fraction of the playing area at once, and the method for completing an objective usually isn’t clear, it makes the whole thing kind of confusing and not much fun.

Stryker:You ever give a 6 year old a box of 100 crayons and ask him to draw a car?I guarantee you he’ll use all 100 colors in the car, regardless of how ridiculous it looks.Sonic Spinball shows the same lack of restraint – if they could put it in there, they did.You know what would have worked?A table with a theme based on the first zone of Sonic the Hedgehog.Get a high enough score, and it unlocks a table based on the second zone, and so forth.Is that really so hard?

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