3D Flipper XXL by Data Becker/Independent Arts (Win95/98)
3D Flipper XXL Box Art

Reviewed: 03/2001

Rating: 1 1/2 of 6Rating: 1 1/2 of 6Rating: 1 1/2 of 6Rating: 1 1/2 of 6

Lula Flipper

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Wave Guard, Speed Challenge, Dark Awaken, Saurus Attack

German bargain bin release from Data Becker's "Golden Serie" with four tables promising the ultimate extra-class pinball experience. Wave Guard has a Baywatch theme, Dark Awaken borrows from Aliens, Saurus from Godzilla and Speed Challenge is yet another table about car racing. Non-scrolling, full-screen 3D and 2D plan views at 640x480 and 800x600 resolutions in 256 or high color modes with option for double or triple buffering (uhm, check your video card manual...). Difficulty adjustment in the form of a setting for long or short flippers. Up to 4 players and 3 balls per game in regular mode, unlimited balls in a practice mode. Top ten highscore table maintained for non-practice games. Flipper keys and 3-way nudges configurable although the software cannot distinguish between LEFT- and RIGHT-ALT. Volume adjustment for table sound effects and background music. Option to save game and resume later. In-game video challenges for Wave Guard and Dark Awaken.
I could cut this review short by saying that 3D Flipper XXL (or is it just Flipper XXL, it never quite becomes clear) uses the same game engine and menu system as Lula Flipper and urge you to refer to that review. But lets at least partially re-iterate why we have another excercise in futility and frustration here: While Flipper XXL is not totally unplayable it falls short in major areas such as basic software stability, ball control and physics, table design and common sense. Flipper XXL crashed and terminated on me just when my 4th player was headed for a new high score. Balls drained because the flippers would not react timely or properly to the key strokes. Balls got stuck in corners or during tilts and sometimes the tilt would carry over to the next ball played. On the other hand, I rescued balls from the drain by applying ridiculous amounts of nudge without tilting at all. Aiming at targets with the flippers is extremely skewed making it nearly impossible to hit certain ramps while repeatedly bouncing against the same dead-end table elements. When a ramp is finally hit there is still a good chance that the ball will not clear it. Too often tables modes enforce sequential scoring of a few lit targets while most of the other ones are disabled. Kickbacks are annoying as the ball sometimes misses the activation point entirely or bounces right back into the lane at which point the kickback has already expired. With the exception of Wave Guard the tables appear cluttered and it is often hard to distinguish background art from the targets. Drop target banks are used to excess and synthesized voices take great pleasure in spelling out the corresponding letter and completed words. I say, E.N.O.U.G.H. A.L.R.E.A.D.Y.

Where Found: Media Markt, Switzerland, 01/2001

Released/Copyright: 1998, Data Becker GmbH