Published on January 20th, 2016 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Star Wars Pinball: The Force Awakens Pack PlayStation Review
Zen Pinball 2 continues to bring something new to an old arcade classic. Pinball has been a difficult game to emulate into the digital form and Zen Pinball 2 has successfully brought the sensation and thrill of playing a machine into our homes. Check out our original review about basic gameplay, mechanics and physics.
To celebrate the return of Star Wars, Zen Studio has released two theme tables based on The Force Awakens.
The first table is called The Force Awakens and focuses on the movie’s central character, Rey, and her adventures throughout the film. Set on the planet of Jakku, the table is filled with details seen throughout the film. Rey’s mysterious home planet is represented perfectly. The bonuses are critical scenes from the film itself.
The second table is themed around The First Order. The First Order table is set on the dock of a new Star Destroyer commanded by Captain Phasma. Captain Phasma barks orders and from directives given to her from Kylo Ren. The Star Destroyer will visit different planets and showcase the different ranks within The First Order.
From the past released packs, one table often stood out from the others. The Force Awakens table is supposed to be the standout in the pack. However, I found The First Order table to have more variety in activating different bonuses. In particular, the ball lock objective is fun, challenging and addicting. The ball lock objective is basically a mini pinball table imbedded in the larger table. The mini table has a series of gates and the ball gets locked into the first gate on the far left. The objective is to hit the ball into the other gates until it reaches Kylo Ren on the right. Stack to balls to activate the bonus.
As much as I want to enjoy The Force Awakens table, I still find myself going to The First Order table. It is enjoyable to see Rey, BB-8, and other characters pop up and interact with my play. However, it does not take away from the fact that you are constantly shooting at the same ramps to activate different scenes in the movie. As a result, The Force Awakens table gets repetitive quickly.
Normally, soundtracks to the different tables become part of the entire experience that it often becomes background noise as you are emerged into playing. The soundtrack used in The Force Awakens comes form the original Star Wars Episode IV. The prominent track you will hear is the ending credits theme from the medal ceremony. I found this annoying and distracted me from enjoying the total experience of the table.
Despite these annoyances, this pinball pack is amazing and should not skipped. The price of $4.99 pays for The First Order table itself.
The PlayStation Experience
As suggested in the title, I left out a single console due to purchasing this pack on the PlayStation Network gives you a cross console buy for PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4. I played this pack on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita where both systems provided different playing experiences.
Playing the table on PlayStation 4 gave me the option to play the tables in 3D. The system automatically detected a 3D television and presented an option to switch to 3D mode. Playing the game in 3D further emerges you into the gameplay. I was left with the same feeling as if I was in an arcade playing an actual pinball machine. Zen Studios already perfected the feel of playing an actual machine and the 3D is a nice addition.
Playing on the PlayStation Vita provides the same experience on the go. You do not have the 3D compatibility is not available but you do have an option to use the Vita’s touchscreen. Turn the system horizontally, and you will have I perfect table view as if you are looking down on an actual table. Touch the left and right of the screen to activate the respective bumpers. Using the touch screen seem to hit the ball harder making it the game more frantic and fun.
Summary: Despite the main table being a repetitive and having a soundtrack that does not match the movie, The Force Awakens pack should not be missed. The cross console buy, the multiple ways to play, and variety of controls and number of features more than makes up for these flaws. If you are a pinball fan or a Star Wars fan, you will not be disappointed with these tables.