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Necronomicon Pinball

First please allow me to apologize for the size of these images. The entire game is presented in high resolution mode, a very unusual feature for a Saturn title, and I felt it would behoove me to do the game justice by presenting the pictures in as much detail as I could.

That said, you must buy this game. It made a pinball player out of me, and I hate realistic pinball. Travel with me into the distant past...

Long before Necronomicon there was Video Pinball, and Pinball for the 2600, and nearly every console since, including the NES, Master System, SNES and Genesis, as well as every home computer out there: The Atari 8-bit series, the Apple 2 + Mac, the ST, Amiga, IBM... Even the arcades tried their hand, video pinball often sitting next to a real pinball table, somewhat laughably.

But they all sucked. There's something about a real pinball table that entrances, the mechanical feel of the heavy steel ball thumping into targets, flippers with some real grunt behind their movement, throwing the ball back up the playfield. I loved the sound and lights and feel of real pinball, but I sucked at it fiercely, so I always felt my money was wasted. Then I discovered Alien + Devil's Crush for the PC Engine / TurboGrafx 16. Unrealistic pinball done right, with crazed ghoulies on the board, bonus levels and lovely graphics. I reckoned pinball just wasn't meant to be fun unless it was fantasy-style pinball...

And then I met Necronomicon. I don't know why I picked it up initially, I don't remember what made me buy this game when I normally hate the genre, but I did, and I've never looked back. Kaze, responsible for a series of pinball games on a number of consoles, has never beaten the work they've done here.

High resolution graphics, high-quality sound samples, impressive music, incredible narration, and a Lovecraftian Cthulu mythos theme. What more can you ask for in any video game? The fact that it's the very best video pinball only serves to tie the whole game together in a perfect whole, and it makes your Saturn scream with pleasure to be the platform responsible.

The first time you get a seven-ball multiball on Arkham Asylum, with the "Psheeooh...PSheeooh..." sound of the launching ball you'll be screaming too. The music changes depending on your play. More energetic for the multi-ball action, tense and expectant when you're playing your last ball.

The physics are dead-on, the tables creative, varied and each of the three worthy of a game of its own. Combined into a package, with all three unlocked from the start and a "Realms Mode" for playing them all in order, and... It's magic, it really is. I let the screenshots speak for themselves.

Kaze's pinball lineage includes two forgettable SNES outings, a Saturn prequel called Last Gladiators, a Sony game called Power Rangers Pinball, and a Playstation 2 release, Akira Psychoball. Get this game.

Some gameplay videos for you. Divx 5.02 required.
Startup Menu (568k)
Arkham Asylum (7.3MB)
Cult of the Bloody Tongue (3.8MB)
Dreamlands (2.9MB)