THE OC - C
Story dated August 10, 2005
After we first reported on Incredible Technologies' Video Pinball System game back in August last year, it looked as though the game was not going to be developed any further.
But twelve months later the new Orange County Choppers has shown up in the Chicago suburbs.
Some immediate changes are clear - the cabinet has been completely redesigned although the control panel is largely unchanged. The lack of an extra ball has been rectified as has the limit of two-ball multiball with a new three ball havoc mode. Unusually for a pinball, you enter your initials at the start of the game and they are shown against your score at the top of the display.
Priced at $1 per play the game is all about building up to eight custom bikes, photographing them and then riding to Las Vegas to show them off. You start out in The Shop and pick a bike to build.
The first bike needs three parts to complete which you collect by shooting various shots around the playfield. Once you've done this, you go into photo shoot mode (which is the top playfield) for 20 seconds. You have to knock down all the targets to complete the photo shoot and go back to The Shop.
You can continue to build more bikes (up to the maximum of eight) or you can take what you've build and head off to Vegas.
Vegas is a completely separate playfield and it's here that one of the problems of the old game resurfaces. It takes something like fifteen seconds to load the Vegas playfield or switch between playfields later in the game.
The main feature of the Vegas playfield is the S-H-O-W bank of standup targets in the middle of the table. Knock these down and you can shoot the scoop behind to get to The Show.
This is another new playfield and the place where you earn your rewards for building and photographing the bikes. Each bike you've built and completed the Photo Shoot for is worth a little over five million points and you have about 30 seconds to collect them and score victory laps. Bikes which are either unbuilt or haven't completed the Photo Shoot aren't worth anything.
The first thing you notice about the game is the step pitch of the tables, equating to something like 10° - 12° compared to a real table's 6° - 7° making this one fast game, probably too fast. But the ball movement and general game physics feel spot on, perhaps even better than the Pro Pinball games so this is clearly an area on which IT have spent some time and effort.
The biggest area of criticism though is the tilt control and how the way in which works completely wrong. This is because when you hit one of the tilt buttons, it feels as though that side of the game has physically sunk into the floor. It produces a kind of twisting motion that is not what you're expecting at all.
Overall though, this is a fun game for fans of the real deal. It's never going to be as good as a genuine game but it's an entertaining alternative and a sign that IT is still serious about video pinball.
© Pinball News 2005