Video Games, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, nintendo, wii, ds, sony, microsoft, PSN, XBLA, Onlive, Playstation Vita, Wii U,
Posted by drew10 on May 12, 2011
Pinball FX2/Marvel Pinball

Pinball FX2/Marvel Pinball

There was a time when everyone I knew wanted a pinball table in their house. However the practicalities of such a machine meant that very few ever got their wish. As a child and young adult I was completely addicted to pinball and it is an addiction that has been reawakened by Zen Studios and the Pinball FX series.

Here I am going to review both the Pinball FX2 game and the latest rendition, Marvel Pinball. Both games are built using the Pinball FX2 engine and in fact Marvel Pinball is an add-on for Pinball FX2 on the Xbox but a stand alone title on PS3.

Let’s start with Pinball FX2. The standard game comes with all the tables from the first game in an updated state, as well as some new ones, BioLab and Secrets of The Deep. Not only do these tables look uniquely different but, surprisingly perhaps, they all play very differently from each other. The tactics needed to earn the big scores and multipliers for each of the tables are varied and require each table to be learned in its own right. What’s more if you already own Pinball FX then this sequel is a free update.

The way Pinball FX2 plays is about as true-to-life as you could get. The trigger buttons on your pad act as the flippers with the A button firing your ball and the left stick acting as the jog. The only thing I would have preferred would to have had the ball fire on the right stick so that you could control the speed of the ball entering the table. Apart from that everything works well. The ball physics are spot on and each ball has a true feeling of weight that a solid metal ball would bring.

You have various views to choose from offering different zoom levels for the tables but really only one serves purpose and that is the view that follows the ball up the table. This is the only view where you can see what is going on further up the table and this is a must should you want to get the best scores.

Graphically Pinball FX2 is a joy all of the tables are bright and colourful and it all moves at vomit-inducing speeds. The balls are beautifully rendered with shiny reflective surfaces and each table has its own unique art-style too.

Online score tables add to the overall appeal as beating your friends list scores borders on the obsessional. There are also a great many gamer points up for grabs which adds to the replay factor.

The latest addition to the Pinball FX family is Marvel Pinball which, as the name suggests is a table set based around some much-loved Marvel characters. Those of you who are regular readers will know we have a soft-spot for comic-book heroes and now they appear in Pinball form it is like I died and went to childhood heaven.

The tables feature, Spiderman, Iron man, X-men and my personal favourite, Blade. Each of these new tables brings new delights to the series including 3D characters from each franchise who stand upon the table performing moves or making wisecracks as the game dictates. Again each table is unique in the way it plays and each will require sometime to learn but the ease of play and the joy of the visuals means you will be coming back for more.

Graphically Marvel Pinball is a step-forward again from the tables in Pinball FX2 with the addition of the animated characters as well as superior lighting effects. Blades table will go dark and into a UV mode at certain points which is just excellent.

As mentioned already each table differs from the others and in Marvel Pinball the creators have gone all-out to try to harness the unique styles of the source characters. Spidey’s table has lots of high ball runners to simulate flying through the city on strands of webs, whilst Iron man’s table has a spinning magnetic strip in the centre which fires out multi-balls and simulates his magnetic heart filed generator. Great though has gone into these tables and this is a welcome add-on and one that if you are a fan of either comic heroes or pinball should be purchased.

Overall Pinball FX2 and Marvel Pinball are both excellent games and simulate their inspiration brilliantly. It is testament to the table designers that the original tables are as good to play as the Marvel inspired set but the Marvel add-on tables are just that little bit more special.

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