Pinball FX3 – Williams™ Pinball: Volume 6
The wait for Pinball FX3 – Williams™ Pinball: Volume 6 was a little longer than usual, but in the end, Zen Studios has delivered three more classic tables from the Williams stable. What makes this volume unique is that these are older tables from Williams and Bally that date back to a time before they used dot matrix displays. Included in this volume is the 1987 table, Space Station, along with two tables from 1990, Funhouse and Dr. Dude and His Excellent Ray. Both Funhouse and Dr. Dude have been available before in digital format, but Space Station is making its first official digital appearance with this volume.
As with the rest of the entries in the Williams series, Zen Studios have gone the extra mile and created two versions of each table. The classic version recreates the original pinball table as faithfully as possible while the remastered versions come with all the updated visuals and animated bells and whistles that have made the Pinball FX series so great. We have already covered all the standard features of the Pinball FX 3 platform before, so let’s take a closer look at the specific tables in this volume.
Funhouse is a 1990 table designed by Pat Lawlor and probably one of the most famous tables in this volume. It is themed around a funhouse that is run by a ventriloquist dummy named Rudy. Williams upped the creepiness factor of this table by including a head for Rudy on the playing field, completing with eyelids and eyes that appear to follow the ball around. Rudy also has a mouth that can open and close, which he mostly uses to taunt players. The purpose of the table is to advance a clock to midnight, which is the closing hours for the funhouse. It is also the time when Rudy finally falls asleep and players can then shoot the ball into his open mouth to activate the multiball. Another standout feature of Funhouse is the fact that it has dual plungers, which is something that is not often seen.
Funhouse is a great looking table and the remastered version features a little animated version of Rudy cavorting around on the right side of the screen. There’s a decent amount of stuff to do on the table, but it can be challenging, and putting up a high score takes some practice.
Dr. Dude and His Excellent Ray
Dr. Dude and His Excellent Ray is another table from 1990 and was designed by Dennis Nordman. The goal of this table is to collect all kinds of components, which are then combined in the “mixmaster” to advance the “Dude-O-Meter” and make your character cooler. In the remastered version, the dude appears as an animated character who becomes visibly “cooler” as he is zapped by the excellent ray.
The Dr. Dude table has a very nineties feel to it and features a couple of sound effects that can become annoying very quickly. There’s also a “Big Shot” bully character on the table that hurls insults at you, but he can be hit with a boxing glove if you time your shots right. Overall, this table felt like it was the hardest out of the collection and it took us a while before we started posting higher scores.
Space Station is the final table in this collection and also the oldest as it was released in 1987. This table was designed by Barry Oursler and features a space theme. To score big on Space Station players must dock two space shuttles, which activates the multi-ball. Players who manage to re-dock the shuttles during the multi-ball will get the “Rescue Jackpot” for even more points.
The lower half of Space Station is wide open, which gives the table a different feel compared to the other two in this collection. It is also unique because there are no return lanes between the slingshots. This means that the slingshots are further apart and quick reflexes are required to keep the ball in play. Although we love the rotating space station, flying shuttles, and an astronaut that floats around on the remastered version of the table, the latter did obscure our view of the flippers a few times, which is annoying. The astronaut can be disabled, but it would have been better if it had a less intrusive flightpath.
Pinball FX3 – Williams™ Pinball: Volume 6 shows that Zen Studios still have access to plenty of great tables to keep fans coming back for more. This volume is probably going to be a bit more divisive than previous ones as all three tables are quite low scoring until mastered. We also noticed that for some reason the ROM sounds of the tables are quite a bit lower than the other tables in Pinball FX3, but Zen is aware of this issue and working on it. While Pinball FX3 – Williams™ Pinball: Volume 6 is not quite as over the top and addictive as some of the other Pinball FX3 tables there is still plenty of fun to be had. Players who are familiar with the tables and have fond memories of playing them in real life will probably get the most out of this volume, but with a bit of practice, newcomers will be won over too.
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: Intel i5-4590 or AMD equivalent
- Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290X
- DirectX: Version 11
- Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card / integrated