It’s the summer of 2011. Not many things could be further from the
cultural zeitgeist than Austin Powers, pinball, and the original
|I paid a dollar for this|
but that didn’t stop Gotham Games from sharting this game
out on an unsuspecting gaming populace that had more than
likely already sold their PSone for cocaine money or tickets
to the Creed farewell tour.
I fatefully stumbled onto this gem at a yard sale, where I
purchased it for a dollar, along with NFL Blitz 99 and a
Spider-Man branded controller that’s less responsive than
Christopher Reeves’ dick. It has sat untouched since I brought it home, forever banished to a storage tote in my bathroom. I carried on about my life and tried to forget it was always within 5 feet of me while masturbating in the shower.
Upon booting up, Austin Powers Pinball (henceforth referred to as APP) drops you into the laziest menu I have ever seen. A black screen, lo-res thumbnails of the tables, the title logo, and animated gifs of flowers that I’m fairly certain Geocities holds the copyright to. Now you might be thinking to yourself “ Gee, I wonder how many boards they could squeeze out of the Austin Powers franchise? Well, there were 3 movies, so there’s probably three boards, right? RIGHT?! “
FUCK YOU! You get two boards and you’ll like it, asshole!
Thats right; APP, much like society as a whole, has willfully ignored all knowledge of Goldmember, even though that movie released four months before this game did. That means you can choose between “The Spy Who Shagged Me” and “International Man of Mystery.” I’m actually pretty sure I reversed those two, but I can’t be bothered to do anymore research on this. There’s a few different options for each table, most of which effect the number of bonus balls you get and other sorts of pinball things that someone other than me probably cares about.
The controls on a pinball video game are pretty hard to fuck up, but Wildfire Studios tried their damndest. The flippers are set to the L1 and R1 buttons, as you would expect, and you can tilt with the D-Pad. Notice I said “tilt” and not “nudge” since the game seems to think you’ve donkey punched it every time you try to nudge the ball around and goes straight into TILT mode, which is the most frustrating part of any pinball experience ever. So after ruling out nudging, the pinball itself seems to randomly adopt the properties of Flubber, bouncing off every ramp, bumper, or rail, then collapsing itself like a dying star and falling lifelessly into to dead area between the flippers.
Alright, so the pinball action might be lacking but at least there’s all this GROOOVY Austin Powers window dressing, yeah? Not so much. The tables are brightly decorated with Powers art, but there’s little in the way of sound clips and the only video you get on the score board is so pixelated it resembles abstract art more then Mike Myers. The music during gameplay might actually be from the movies, but it sounds for all the world like it was recorded on a cassette at a recital of the local Down Syndrome Awareness orchestra.
Everything about Austin Powers Pinball simply jumps out as being lifeless and haphazard, which is why it didn’t surprise me when I found out it was launched at $10. Which still puts it at about $5 too much. I actually got so bored while playing this game I paused it to vacuum my floors. My first playthrough, I got a total score of 14,000,000, which seems like a lot. So try to beat that. Or don’t. Like I give a shit.
Christopher Linendoll has been alive since he was born. He will continue to be until he dies. Which will probably be soon. When that happens, he'll wish he had done something more productive. Or not. His epitaph will be whiny and narcissistic.