The Pinball Arcade: Stern Table Pack 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Josh Di Falco 13.02.2019

Review for The Pinball Arcade: Stern Table Pack 2 on Nintendo Switch

FarSight Studios has brought their second Stern Table Pack to the Nintendo Switch. This package contains six new tables to add to The Pinball Arcade collection, as well as furthering the number of tables by Stern Pinball. Unlike other digital pinball games that create new, enhanced pinball tables, The Pinball Arcade is based around preserving real life pinball tables and adapting them for a digital audience. FarSight Studios does these tables extraordinary effort to keep the tables as authentic as possible to their physical counterparts. So, how does this add-on table pack fares, and what exactly does it add to the pinball collection?

The first of these new tables is Ghostbusters, based on the 1984 hit film. Designed by John Trudeau in 2016, this table is an exceptionally put-together masterpiece of technological marvel that could only be made in recent times. The purple backdrop and the colourful lights do not quite have as much glamour to it as the real pinball table, but it comes close. This table, as all other tables in The Pinball Arcade, is best played with the room lighting set to 0, and the table lights boosted up to 100. Ghostbusters was designed to be easy to play, but even harder to master, and this table shows that.

For novices, this table is a great way to begin scoring some big points quickly, and get a better feel for the art of pinball thanks to the free-flowing gameplay; however, there are many challenges for advanced participants to try and take on for maximum bonuses. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man resides at the back of the table overlooking proceedings; the two-way ramps and the holographic ghost of Slimer which can be interacted with are some of the technological advancements in this table. Molded toys from the film also litter the table, making it one of the more compact and delightful tables in The Pinball Arcade. All of this while original Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson narrates and provides the lines for the table.

Screenshot for The Pinball Arcade: Stern Table Pack 2 on Nintendo Switch

Plus, if the Ghostbusters table isn't enough fun, then lo and behold John Borg and Lonnie D. Ropp's collaboration table, the Harley-Davidson: Third Edition. Originally released in 1999, this table tries to authenticate the feel and rumble of the Harley-Davidson motorbikes, and the Nintendo Switch's Joy Con vibrations really lift to further the experience of riding one as well. Coupled with the classic rock 'n' roll backing track, and there is heaps to love with this table. The table itself is also a huge points sponge - with two easy multiball modes to activate and to take advantage of, and the easy Harley-Davidson jackpots to boot. The balls don't often fall into the 'dead' zones, and keeping them in play is easier than on most other tables. The campaign of the table is to basically collect bike patches from each of the states while partaking in the Harley-Davidson bike tour of the U.S of A.

The third table in the pack was designed by Keith P. Johnson and conceptualized by Jon Norris, and that is the 2001 High Roller Casino pinball table. Based off the decal, sounds and feel of a typical Las Vegas casino, the table aims to authentically replicate the experience, and FarSight Studios has revelled in the game design of further authenticating the table itself into digital format. If anything, FarSight has probably made the pinball table look even more glitzy and glamorous in The Pinball Arcade.

Screenshot for The Pinball Arcade: Stern Table Pack 2 on Nintendo Switch

There are six real-life casino games to be played such as Blackjack, Poker and Craps. A slot machine sits in the back left that can be spun to win chips and leader board points. Launching the ball into the playfield gives the Roulette Wheel a spin to determine the point multiplier. Any further use of the Roulette Wheel opens up multiball modes and other options to boost the high scores. The only real knock on this table is that it can be quite tough to get a consistent ball-flow going for novices, as the ball seems to have a higher rate of going straight down in between the flippers, or on either outlanes. Though some well-timed nudging of the table will avoid those for those who are more advanced in pinball.

Did somebody say action? The fourth table in the pack sees a collaboration between John Borg, Joe Kaminkow, Ed Cebula and Tim Seckel bring to life the Last Action Hero pinball table from 1993. Featuring the characters from the cult film, including sound-bytes from the action-hero himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, this table brings the action, plenty of laughs and heaps of intensity. Reaching high scores is common in this table, thanks to the easy skill shot that only requires shooting the helicopter. A giant crane towers over the playfield and acts as a conduit for one of the multiball modes. While this is not one of the better tables in the pack, it does its job for fans of the Last Action Hero or fans of the cheesy-action flicks in general. Plus, there is a ripper lane which accelerates balls on returns; and can easily kill the ball, so be on alert with that lane.

Screenshot for The Pinball Arcade: Stern Table Pack 2 on Nintendo Switch

The fifth table pays homage to one of the most iconic muscle cars in America: the Ford Mustang. The Mustang Premium "Boss" Edition table was designed by John Trudeau in 2014, with Ford GT car artist and designer Camilo Pardo contributing the artwork to the table. Celebrate the last 50 years of the Ford Mustang, with eight different scenarios to race through, such a drag and road racing and drifting, as well as rocking out to a wonderful soundtrack that epitomises the Mustang. This table is one of the tougher ones to master, and it is best suited for advanced participants. From racing through generations of different Mustang cars, to upgrading engines and shifting gears, this pinball machine has the roar of a real Mustang backing the action, while a model car sits atop a turntable. FarSight Studios have left no stone unturned with this adaptation, though the LED's from the original physical table just cannot be properly replicated for the digital format.

The sixth and final table of Stern Table Pack 2 is The Phantom of the Opera, based on the 1911 novel of the same name. The physical table was designed back in 1990 by Joe Kaminkow and Ed Cebula, with Paul Farris doing the artwork and imagery on display. As is expected with most pinball tables from the early '90's, there is not much to do on the table itself in terms of missions or scenes like more recent tables. Rather, the only aim here is to score the highest points possible. Even that is no easy feat. The organ in the back right is the key to activating multi ball and reaching those higher scores faster. However, the Magic Mirror is a bit of fun as well. Note that is easily the hardest table from this pack to score high points on, due to how low-scoring it is, like Flight 2000 from Stern Table Pack 1.

Screenshot for The Pinball Arcade: Stern Table Pack 2 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Once again, FarSight Studios has packaged together a compilation of pinball tables that each serve a purpose and are significant to pinball. From Ghostbusters, Last Action Hero, and The Phantom of the Opera, to Harley-Davidson and Mustang with High Roller Casino action in there, this is a worthy add-on pack to further bolster the table offerings in The Pinball Arcade. Some tables are harder than others due to having to really work for points, while other tables throw high scores out willingly, yet each table has their own "character" and story behind it, and there are always plenty of secrets to uncover in these tables. It's more than just pinball.

Developer

FarSight

Publisher

FarSight

Genre

Table Games

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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