Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 07/13/05 | Genre: Simulation
Flipnic Ultimate Pinball for PS2 is one of the best pinball games ever created. With the decline of Pinball in arcades around the world, there is a certain nostalgic quality that you will find immediately with Flipnic, especially with its weird 70's vibe. The presentation of the game is amusing enough, with retro music, and even a smoky bar look. However the games original aspects end up hurting some of the level design, still Flipnic is fresh, original, but ultimately, it is pinball and that can only carry you so far.
Flipnic does not attempt to take itself seriously at any attempt. The first thing you will notice in Flipnic is that you have control not only over your left and right paddles, but over every bumper, side paddle, and you will also have the ability to make your ball perform basic maneuvers like jumping and flipping. The controls are responsive and the ball handles well and within a couple minutes you'll be racking in tens of thousands of points with ease.
The level design is clever at best and frustrating at worse. Some of the boards contain events, such as icing over an entire stage, dozens of side paths with interesting "missions" and incredibly fun mini-games. Some of the boards falter with hard bosses, peculiar lay outs, and come down to simply not being fun. What sets Flipnic apart besides the bizarre level design is that the game is divided into goals. Goals usually involve causing a trigger and completing whatever event occurs, sometimes that is defeating a tree, saving you from the UFO, or even saving flamingos. However some goals rely completely on luck, there is a complete randomness to the whole game; however that is the nature of Pinball. Some will argue there is a skill and there is no denying that the game has some very skillful measures, but many events are just odd and seem nearly impossible.
Graphically the game is clean. The ball of silver looks very nice, the areas around the ball starkly bombard you from viewing the ball or having annoying backdrops that make the ball seem invisible. The flippers, water, bumpers, mountains, classic-bits, and everything else look very good. During multi-ball and when the game gets chaotic with lasers and other things there are hints of slow down, but it is rare to seemingly non-existent. Also, the game sounds good and never gets particularly annoying. The sound effects do a nice job, everything sounds as it should, and even the cheesy voice over adds to the feel to the game.
There's a 2p mode, where there are some fun games, such as pinball foosball, pinball basketball, pinball pong etc, they're fun, albeit limited. Play them a couple times and that is really there is all to see out of that mode.
What it comes down to is Flipnic is good for those lazy Sundays. Though there are bits of frustration, the game is ultimately clever. You can't ignore the $19.99 price tag. If you're tired of thinking hard or just want something fun, Flipnic fills the bill nicely. But ultimately the nostalgic qualities can wear thin and after all, it really just is pinball with a nice twist.
This article appeared in the August 2005 Issue of CVGames. You can view this Issue by clicking here.