Monday, October 24, 2011

Extreme -- A Term I Use Loosely -- Pinball: Urban Chaos

Back in 1995 a game called Extreme Pinball came out for the PlayStation.  How pinball, which I happen to enjoy, can be extreme is anyone's guess, but here was a game based on the concept.  In 2010 the game became available on the PlayStation Network, where I got it for my PSP.  I've played a little bit on all the tables, but the Urban Chaos table, pictured here, is the one I spent the most time on.  Why?  No idea.

The load screen for the table promises lots of urban chaos.  Semis going off broken bridges into strip clubs, helicopters, fire trucks.  You know, a typical night in the big urban center.  At some point you can read about the story behind the table.  Yes, it has a story.  Why any table would need a story is beyond me, but this one tries its best to instill fear.  I can't go into too much detail, as I forgot it as soon as I read it, but I think cities are named after television networks, and there are people rioting.  It's kind of like a Dead Kennedys song, only not as good.

Nobody who plays video pinball plays for the story, however.  If they did, they would be a special kind of weirdo who not only doesn't get laid, but finds masturbating "distasteful," and instead settles for discreet "readjustments."  The rest of you play it for the virtual pinball experience, which this table kind of delivers.

The table makes it look like there is more going on then there really is.  Instead of chaos, it's more like a stroll through the city.  Four flippers, of course.  Many ramps.  Not a lot to see and do, however.  It is within the first ball, though, that you realize why it is "extreme."

You can score a lot of points quickly.  A lot.  Where some games give you a thousand points for some action, this one does ten thousand.  Looking at it with your right eye gives you a cool million.  Hit the ball with a flipper?  Five million.  I exaggerate, but you get the idea.  The extreme is in the scoring.  Oh, and a visual of a car blowing up when the game ends.

This is far from the most horrible game I've ever played, and I will admit to enjoying it despite what seems like every effort made to make sure someone couldn't enjoy it.  There are better pinball games out there (including every single real table ever made), but it makes for a nice diversion while waiting for laundry to get done.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer:  I did not get this game for free, and if you click on a link, I may earn some cash.

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