Ruiner Pinball


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7


ruinerpinballjag1.jpg (102863 bytes)There are benefits to video pinball as opposed to the real thing. Ruiner Pinball uses this to its advantage, offering two impossible tables, and doing so with style. This barely qualifies as Jaguar material, but there's no question it's enjoyable, and for that it doesn't matter what console it's on.

Important to any simulation, especially with pinball, are the physics. The poorly titled Ruiner doesn't do this very well. The ball seems especially heavy, and the rebound effects don't push the ball enough. There's an adjustment period here you'll need to work with. Given time, you'll start racking up scores, and hopefully with the music turned down since it's flat out terrible.

The two tables, one appropriately named Ruiner and the other Tower, offer separate experiences. Ruiner takes place in a nuclear situation as players attempt to stop the inevitable from happening. Atmosphere is heightened by extensive voice work, suited perfectly to the table and the nuke-happy 1950s it relies on. Tower is less interesting, a simple medieval torture chamber.

Both have gimmicks, one being two tables side-by-side, the other three "towers" high. This extends the game from what initially seems like a weak selection, and you'll continue to find new ways to score. Part of that is due to the view, situated mere inches from the table, and directly overhead.

ruinerpinballjag2.jpg (83813 bytes)When a ball is lost, the screen zooms out as it tallies up your points. This is the view that should have been used, or at least offered as an alternative. It's nauseating sometimes given the speed and the pace of the images flashing across the screen. Small detail is high, and these tables make everything clear to be sure you know where you're trying to place the ball, even if you're about to throw up.

Pinball fans looking for something deeper will be better of with the other Jaguar title, Pinball Fantasies. There are four tables to choose from, and while they're not as gimmicky as the ones here, traditional players will appreciate those more. This wild diversion is worth a go just to experience the uniqueness of the tables, odd physics or not.


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Last updated: Saturday, September 17, 2005 04:56 PM