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Hands-On: Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection

Kevin Kelly

Sadly, we don't have a hands-on for Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection, and that's a real travesty. It was one of the best games released for the Wii last year, and if you're a Wii owner and a fan of pinball (admittedly, that's probably a niche market), then you need to go out and pick it up somewhere. It's a great pinball simulator, features faithful recreations of some of the best pinball tables ever manufactured, and even includes tilt via the Wii Remote.

The Gottlieb Collection, which brings eleven new tables to the Wii, will finally appear in North America this year. This set includes the history for each table, along with a scanned copy of the flyers that manufacturers used to send out to get arcades interested in new machines, a feature lacking in The Williams Collection. They've tossed in two arcade staple bonus games as well, and the only thing missing is a slot for your quarters and the soda-sticky floors. Read on for more info, including a list of the tables in the game.

Gallery: Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottleib Collection | 4 Photos

The Gottlieb Collection includes:

  • Play Boy (1937) (!)
  • Ace High (1957)
  • Central Park (1966)
  • Big Shot (1974)
  • Genie (1979)
  • Black Hole (1981)
  • Goin' Nuts (1983)
  • El Dorado (1984)
  • Victory (1987)
  • Tee'd Off (1993)
  • Strikes N' Spares (1995)
As an added bonus you get Love Meter: where you grip the controller and it tells you how "hot" you are, along with Xolten, which predicts your future. Sure, they're just fluff, but if you stumbled into an arcade in the 1980s you'll remember Love Meter. Xolten sounds like it came from the devil. I've never heard of it.

What's interesting is that The Gottlieb Collection actually came out for the PS2 and Xbox in 2004, and later appeared on the Gamecube and the PSP. The Gottlieb Collection came out in 2006 as a PAL only release, and The Williams Collection came out in 2008 for most major platforms, beating Gottlieb to the Wii in North America. That is unless you count sticking the Gamecube copy into the Wii.

As a self-admitted pinball addict, I've played several versions of these Collections, and the Wii just feels the most natural when you use the triggers on the Wii Remote and the Nunchuck, and waggle if you need a little table nudging. Visually, Gottlieb is just like Williams, and has highly detailed reproductions of these historic tables. Hopefully they'll hit some of the other manufacturers in future releases, as well as putting out The Machine: Bride of Pinbot in The Williams Collection 2. Here's hoping.

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