Published on March 4th, 2013 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
Zen Pinball 2: Star Wars Pinball Review [PSN]
Developer: Zen Studios
Platform: PlayStation 3 via PSN [Reviewed], Xbox 360 via Xbox LIVE, iOS
Release Date: February 26th, 2013
Price: $9.99, 800 MSP
Review Notes: A game code was received for review purposes.
Zen Studios has stormed the pinball genre for video games and supplied some of the best pinball games to date. Clever and detailed level designs have rekindled the days of shoveling quarters into pinball machines, without the greasy launch knob to deal with.
Zen Pinball 2 has received many table upgrades consisting of a vast array of Marvel-and Capcom-themed boards. Naturally, progression would lead to what we have today: The Star Wars Pinball table pack. Will Star Wars fans relish in this glory, or does this game get shot down by a TIE fighter?
Stars Wars Pinball adds three new tables for pinball fans to enjoy. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is the most appealing board to the casual Star Wars fan, and it doesn’t disappoint. The map starts out with a large version of Darth Vader brooding on the map, which is a sign of the attention to detail. Full voice-acting is accompanies the tables, and for the most part (outside of Yoda), everyone sounds very authentic.
As you launch the ball your goal (besides to attain massive points) is to accomplish missions by hitting the center part of the map that says “Darth Vader”. To further detail the authenticity, Dot Matrix animations play out each scene as you complete a “mission”. These missions include such goals as defeating Stormtroopers or circle an AT-AT Walker to bring it down with the snowspeeder.
It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but quickly you will be battling the dark side with ease. There is even a 3D Jedi training mission that has you blocking attacks with your Lightsaber, which I thought was very cool.
The other two tables are the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Boba Fett. The Clone Wars table seemed to be larger than the other two, and was very fun. Anakin Skywalker is featured in this adventure along with his apprentice, Ahsoka Tano. The two battle the dark side forces accompanied by droids and Asajj Ventress. While I’m personally not familiar with the The Clone Wars, I can appreciate how Zen Studios managed to capture the style and feel of the popular animated series and translate that to a pinball table. The table is very bright and colorful with lots of action going on.
Finally, we have the Boba Fett table. Most notably, the table is very fast paced and features familiar favorites such as Jaba the Hutt, Han Solo in Carbonite, and of course–the sarlacc’s pit. Watching the Fett-man fly about the table while the ball whizzes around was a lot of fun.
The game looks, feels and plays with authenticity. Your flippers are controlled with the shoulder buttons, and precise. One of the main features of the game is the ability to customize your table. You can change the angle of certain launches, dictate how many balls you get, change the ball saver time and more. While utilizing these features disallows for your score to be posted on the online leaderboard, it does allow for you to get more acclimated with the tables and, if you suck at the game, see some of the cooler features such as the epic battles that happen on the screen.
Star Wars Pinball does have a few hiccups. However, they are nothing that hinders the game’s overall performance.
As previously mentioned, Yoda’s voice sounds a bit off, which I found to be a bit strange since all the other voices are spot on. While well done, The Clone Wars table sticks out a bit in the overall mix of tables. With so much material to use from Star Wars, I think The Clone Wars would have been better suited for a table pack featuring newer Star Wars episodes, and including another classic table in this bundle.
The main issue I have is the price: $9.99 seems a bit steep to me for three tables, especially with many top-tier downloadable games being around that price or cheaper that offer much more content.
Minor quirks aside, Star Wars Pinball is a delight for Star Wars fans and pinball fans. Zen Studios clearly has the niche market carved out, but when you do it so well, why bother venturing out? It may not convert you over to the dark side, but Star Wars Pinball is a great pinball game. May the Scores be with you.
+ Authentic Star Wars Experience
+ Excellent Table Designs
+ Solid Pinball Action
– Price is a little steep
– The Clone Wars feels out of place.