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The other best game ever
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Necronomicon Pinball
This is partly taken from an old review I wrote on my game site.


This is Digital Pinball, from Kaze.  While Kaze is still around, they've been relegated to has-been status.  Most of their new releases are crappy pinball games for Japanese cellphones.  I downloaded most of them, hoping to find they retained a spark of brilliance, but...  Nothing.

They started with SNES games, then Last Gladiators for Sega's Saturn, and then Necronomicon, also for Saturn.  Everything before and after Necronomicon has been total crap, compromised in one way or another.  Akira Psychoball, released on PS2, would have been great, with incredibly innovative table design, but it was crippled by horrible bonus stages and unskippable video segments ripped from the Akira movie.  Their PS1 Power Rangers game was too easy, and relied on too many gimmick tables.

Necronomicon...  Pure brilliance.  Based loosely on the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, each table features a kind of gothic horror theme.  Kaze were obviously passionate about pinball: the manual is full of translated-from-English pinball terms, the physics are nearly perfect, and for simple-looking tables there's no shortage of play variety.

The game features an in-game help system detailing every aspect of the tables.  Kaze also released a Japanese-only guide to both Necronomicon and Last Gladiators.  I've put together a pretty comprehensive guide as well.

Necronomicon offers 3 tables: Arkham Asylum, Cult of the Bloody Tongue, and Dreamlands.  Each offers a variety of rounds, a different soundtrack and table-specific sounds. 

The sound in this game is second to none.  It is one of the few games that really shows off the Saturn's sound chip, with high bit-rate samples throughout.  Every target makes a different noise, and when you light up a multiball round you're treated to audio bliss as targets ring out continuously.

I'm not a pinball fan.  Or at least, I wasn't until I played this game.  No other video pinball game matches the sheer thrill of Necronomicon, and despite seeking and trying out some 40 other titles I always come back to this one. 

Some videos:
Arkham Asylum
Cult of the Bloody Tongue



This post was edited on 2007-10-31, 10:41 by NFG.
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Member since Oct 2007 · 11 posts · Location: Antwerp
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Love this game.. one of my favorites in a small list of great pinball games that I have.
(Crystal Caliburn, Pinball Illusions/Dreams are the others)

Its the first game that I really played with my girlfriend, a year or so ago.
It was the game first game I picked, and really the only game I could imagine a (THEN) 'non-gamer' to like. We spent hours on it, and it was immense fun..

I don't like Last Gladiators as much, that came out earlier, right? Its table design just isn't as great.

I have briefly tried Akira Psychoball on PS2 but didn't like that at all, perhaps I need to give it some more time.. except I have the PAL version and no PAL ps2.

You should try the Pinball Fantasies/Dreams games on a Amiga emulator, NFG. You would love them. They were released on SNES, PC, and even the GBA, but the Amiga version is still the best graphics/sound wise.

Here's a Youtube video to give you an idea:
Its not the best of the offered tables in Dreams, but its the only decent video I could find.

Put aside your Youtube hate! :)
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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I've tried to play those old Amiga pins (several were released on the Jaguar, and I have one for PC I bought in Japan) but the scrolling tables really annoy me.  I'm sure I'd get used to it in time, but I have trouble figuring out where I should launch the ball when I cannot see the ramps or targets I'm aiming for.

You're right about Last Gladiators.  Every target is harder to hit and the sounds are really anemic.  Still, I know people who prefer it (hi Wehr!) over Necronomicon.

As for Akira Pychoball...  If they'd concentrated on the core gameplay it would have been incredible.  The idea of shifting top and bottom table halves is genius.  The unskippable videos, bonus stages and terrible 2-player table (why do I have to play this first in every game!?) really pisses me off.  Also, the sound isn't as good as Necronomicon - the announcer's voice seems positively subdued.
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