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BlahCade 249: GOOAAALLL! WCS '94

Jared Morgan Jared Morgan Follow Oct 31, 2022 · 5 mins read
BlahCade 249: GOOAAALLL! WCS '94
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We do a play-through of the indie game The Pinball Wizard by Frosty Pop and then do the same for Zen’s latest Bally recreation World Cup Soccer '94.

There is some bonus TV talk at the show’s end. If you’re looking for new entertainment, perhaps some of these could be right for you.

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Show notes

These segments are definitely more suited to being viewed on YouTube. Still, there was enough commentary to treat this episode as an audio episode.

05:40 - The Pinball Wizard by Frosty Pop

The developer Frosty Pop has released their RPG-like game The Pinball Wizard on pretty much any platform with a screen. So you can play this game if you have a phone, Nintendo Switch, or PC.

Game key art
Figure 1. Game key art

In this pinball dungeon crawler, your goal is to dash, hurl, and flip your way to the top of the tower castle. Level up skills, loot treasure, and fight monsters in this cozy single-player game. Explore and discover the key to each room, restore the power of The Eye, and bring peace to the lands.

Main character art
Figure 2. The Pinball Wizard "pinball"

We do a bit of a Let’s Play on the title and don’t hold much back. There seem to be some gameplay mechanics that hinder rather than help the experience.

Example level
Figure 3. Example level showing the tower-like playfield layout

Everything from how the flippers feel to how the wizard moves around each dungeon feels unsatisfying. The music is repetitive, which makes the levels feel repetitive, regardless of their design. But once you unlock the "second pinball" mechanic in the middle of the first set of dungeons, that’s all you do for the rest of the game.

And the end boss from the first level is one of the most frustrating experiences I think I’ve had in a video game to date. A cheap missed shot ends the level instantly after grinding the boss for 45 hits. Come on!

If you were to get the game, it feels more like a casual mobile title than a game you would sit down and play for extended periods.

Get Rollers of the Realm or Zombie Rollerz instead.

Jared

2 stars

Chris

Play it casually on Apple Arcade

29:00 - Zen releases World Cup Soccer '94

Zen releases the fully-licensed Fifa football Bally pinball World Cup Soccer '94 game at 100 tickets.

WCS key art
Figure 4. WCS key art

If you compare this to Farsight Studio’s attempt at recreating this, you’ll notice a marked improvement in textures and all the things you would expect if you walked up to the 1994 game in an arcade.

The visual extras added to the game seem pretty basic. I wonder if they were heavily restricted about what they could add to the game? The goalie is a missed opportunity here with a bit of visual flair.

The Magnasave is also too powerful and needs to be scaled back significantly. There also seems to be a delay with pressing the button and the Magnasave activating.

We also talk about extra cabinet buttons and being able to map primary and secondary cabinet buttons on your controller. We learned from a Reddit thread with the developers that if you hold the launch button, you can access the Extra Ball button, which does "things" during some multiball modes. So stab the launch button and don’t hold it if you want to activate Magna save.

The Pro mode makes the game fast and (arguably) more fun, so give it a go. The digital recreation feels like it plays on the location I was referring to.

1:03:00 - Should "Super League Football" make a return to Pinball FX

We discuss whether the Pinball FX2 Super League should make a return to the game. We incorrectly suggest that the game doesn’t feature real team names, but in the next episode, we do a play-through and confirm that you indeed play actual named football teams.

Join us for the next episode for that.

Thanks for listening

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Jared Morgan
Written by Jared Morgan Follow
Technical writer, product person, VR junkie.