Full Tilt! 2 Pinball by Maxis/Maxis South (Win95/3.1 CD-ROM)
Full Tilt! 2 Pinball Box Art

Reviewed: 11/1996

Rating: 3 of 6Rating: 3 of 6Rating: 3 of 6Rating: 3 of 6

Full Tilt!

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Mad Scientist, Alien Daze, Captain Hero

Multi-table package with three themes. State-of-the-art 256 color graphics available in 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768 resolution make the non-scrolling, full-screen 3D tables attractive. 3-ball play for up to 4 players, configurable keys for flippers and nudges (left, right, up), highscore tables for the top 5 (again saved to the .INI file). Great and funny sound effects and ambient soundtracks from classical to jazz. The themes are quite good picks, in Mad Scientist you build a Frankenstein monster, in Alien Daze you abduct humans and make crop circles and as "@-man" in Captain Hero you battle superpowered villains with mostly German accents. Where the game falls short is in its fun-only design similar to Sierra's 3D Ultra Pinball series with neglect for careful and realistic pinball detail. I really liked Full Tilt! for its fullscreen view, ball physics and sincerity about pinball. In the sequel this is, to much disappointment, falling apart. The tables are still fullscreen but utilize a larger scale, that is the ball and flippers are now bigger and thus the tables are shorter. To gain real estate again, the top halves of the playfields are expanding to the left and right and most targets and ramps are piled up on and stretch across that area. Captain Hero even features a whole cityscape around it. Score, number of balls and other vital game stats and messages are displayed as text labels in the free screen areas around the tables. There also is an option to turn on floating text labels that indicate targets and scores right on the playfields. Each table has a unique gadget for a plunger and features other gimmicks like balls falling into mercury baths, monsters throwing slime and balls floating through the air. This is fun for about a day but when I wanted to get serious and read up on the table rules, I again had to turn to the online help for lack of a paper manual. While I agree with saving paper, this particular online help makes it hard to grasp the rules. The rules are spread out across many links and hotspots, use terms that aren't present in the search database and refer to targets by describing their approximate location on the table, if any at all - the provided graphical layouts fail to annotate any features (or do I have a graphics problem?). I tried to get serious without help but the ball and table physics really kind of spoil it. The table nudges are nearly ineffective (and it takes forever to actually tilt the table) and the center ball save does not seem to bother about the additional balls during the various multiball plays. The balls are too fast and bounce too hard for tables that short and the flippers don't allow the fine control outlined in the manual's tips-to-play-pinball section either. Add to it that I experience major ball motion choppiness in all but the lowest resolution, even with sound turned off etc. My equipment (see page intro) far exceeds the minimum requirements (486DX2-33, 8MB RAM, 2x CD-ROM) and I have not had a video performance problem on this machine yet. Until I get a decent reply from Maxis, I conclude here that they just did a damn sloppy job with at least the Windows 3.1 version... Full Tilt! 2 is fun for a while but that's about all it is. Unfortunately, this kind of computer pinball design seems to be the trend that some companies are betting their money on. It does not work with me...

Where Found: Maxis mail order, 11/1996

Released/Copyright: 1996, Maxis Inc.