Back in May, Pinball Arcade announced that they were losing the rights to over 50 Williams-owned pinball tables. There was speculation as to why Williams was pulling out with no other obvious home for their digital recreations. The Pinball FX series has always been about new tables rather than preserving classics, but that’s all about to change. Williams has teamed up with Zen Studios to bring classic tables to their pinball platform. While the tables are still in development, you can try them out on Steam right now.
The current public beta lets players load quarters into the first batch of four classic tables. The Getaway: High Speed II is all about fast cars and outrunning the police. Junk Yard has you stealing garbage from a junkyard in order to build wacky inventions. FishTales has you angling the waters and then exaggerating your catches. Finally, a table that needs no introduction, Medieval Madness rounds out the collection.
All four of these tables are Pinball Arcade veterans. Zen Studios promises a new physics simulation for their recreations that accurately preserves each table’s playstyle. Each table also receives a graphical overhaul in the move. Zen Studios’ versions are darker, with accurate light sources coming from the table that really go far to simulating a real arcade experience. There’s no date on when these tables will officially release into Pinball FX3 at this time.
First of all, I’m very happy that Medieval Madness only ended up spending a few months in digital oblivion. One can only go so long without hearing Tina Fey’s damsel voice regularly. In all seriousness, it’s great that Pinball FX is expanding, but it remains to be seen if it can capture each table in the way that Pinball Arcade did. I played a bit of both versions of the tables, and Pinball FX‘s physics have the ball gaining speed in a way that Pinball Arcade just doesn’t do. It’s much improved from Zen’s original tables, but I’m not sure that it’s all the way towards feeling like the real deal.