by Atari

Pity the long-suffering Jaguar fan who have waited, year after year, for a decent Baseball, Basketball and racing game. Instead of filling up all the major voids in the 64-bitter's game library, Atari brings us a mediocre pinball game... *yawn*.

No, this game won't be the object of your deepest fantasies, because it's nothing more than a direct port from the outdated SNES version. The four available pinball tables - Party Land, Stones and Bones, Billion Dollar Game Show and Speed Devils - each have their own unique characteristics, but the game engine itself is so poor that even 100 different screens wouldn't have been able to save it.

For starters, ball movement is incredibly unrealistic. The physics of the ball rebounding off bumpers and rolling down the board are way off; anyone who's ever played pinball knows how a ball should move around. I'm not sure how the developers calculated the weight of the ball, but even novices will be able to spot the inherent flaws in gameplay. You'll also notice the ridiculous scarcity of bumpers and drop targets, while "Stones & Bones" contains only one set of flippers (the rest have three.)

To add insult to injury, the graphics are uninspired and the sound is generally weak. The boards seem washed out and fuzzy, and a more liberal use of colors could have helped, especially in the circus-like "Party Land" board. The music will get annoying after a few plays with its repetition and cheesy tunes that don't mesh well with each of the board themes.

Pinball Fantasies is yet another disastrous effort that only helps to advance the cause of Jaguar bashers, unfortunately.

Title Pinball Fantasies
Publisher Atari
System Atari Jaguar
Graphics 4
Sound 5
Gameplay 3
Overall 4
Reviewer Keita Iida

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