By Peter Nolan-Smith
Desperately you race against time, fighting every second to keep going.
Sadly, there is no defeating your enemy. The machine always conquers.
This is war, this is pinball.
FarSight Studios, committed to continuing preservation of classic pinball machines has digitized the once arcade staple, Terminator Two: Judgement Day.
After running a successful Kickstarter campaign the company overcome massive licensing hurdles. Raising just over $62,000 the company was able to purchase the rights not only from Williams, the machine’s original producer, but also the Terminator film on which it was based as well as from Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose likeness is featured all over the machine and voice is included in various audio tracks.
FarSight brings it’s unique process of digital recreation to this table once again. After restoring an original machine they purchased to perfect working order they proceed to take it apart piece by piece, and creating digital copies of every part.
This replica is so close to the original that the digital copy’s code had to be fixed in several cases to remove bugs from the programming that have existed since its release in 1991.
On top of being one of the most produced pinball machines ever the Terminator 2: Judgment Day machine was the first to have a dot matrix display as well as a ball firing cannon.
The game is certainly a flawless recreation. I had a particular love of the Terminator 2 game as a child because it was the hardest to lose. Every game of pinball has an end as unstoppable as a T-1000 but this game featured a small bumper directly in the centre hole of the paddles giving players extra hope at survival.
T-2 utilizes the perfect reaction time and physics that FarSight Studio’s has become known for. So real in fact the ball can become stuck in certain parts of the machine, requiring the player to call for an attendant in the option screen. Tragically the real-world solution of repeatedly hitting the machine until the ball dislodges is not yet an available feature.
It’s hard to argue that the gameplay is anything but perfect considering the incredible steps taken to recreate the experience, however when multiple balls come into play the camera refuses to follow them into the hire regions of the board.
The sound track is phenomenal and adds intensity when the inevitable struggle to keep the ball in play reaches more its more dire moments.
This unfortunately doesn’t prevent the game from falling short graphically. The Judgement Day machine was an intimidating piece of equipment, made of mostly of gleaming metals and a bright blue playing service. The giant terminator skeletal-head, doesn’t capture the menace found in the original and comes across cartoony while the board is several shades darker than the actual game.
It’s a solid experience for the most part and truly enjoy for fans of pinball, new or old. Even with less than impressive visuals Terminator 2: Judgement Day is a worthy successor to the original.