There’s plenty of Star Wars sights and sounds in each table.
It seems like everything these days has a Star Wars license. Next up is Zen Studios’ Pinball FX 2, where different Star Wars themes will eventually grace 10 different virtual pinball tables. To start, Zen has gone with pretty much a can’t-miss group of themes: The Empire Strikes Back (the best film in the series), Boba Fett (one of the Star Wars universe’s favourite characters), and The Clone Wars (the popular animated series). You’re pretty much hitting every demographic of Star Wars fan with that bunch… but is the Force with these pinball tables?
Boba Fett is pretty much the coolest dude in the galaxy, so it makes sense that his table feels like it’s got the biggest variety of scenery and action. With art from all of the places you’d expect Fett (Jabba’s palace, a Star Destroyer) and a ball launcher using his trademark backpack, it’s hard not to immediately have a good time with this table. Add in Fett himself flying around the board, along with several mini games helping to defeat the infamous bounty hunter’s enemies and you’ve got one highly entertaining table. Just remember — no disintegrations.
The Empire Strikes Back
This table seems less colourful and busy than the others in the set — just take a look at the setting of a Star Destroyer docking bay. However, the Empire table is perhaps the most active in terms of video game goodies. Lightsabers flash across the table, AT-ATs storm through the landscape, and Luke Skywalker tries to commit patricide — large events like this take place on a virtual stage nested between ramps and loops. Zen has added in a number of mini games, including one taken from A New Hope (or just plain Star Wars, for you purists out there). It’s got perhaps the most variety in the table set, and even when things get tough, you’re likely to constantly be entertained.
The Clone Wars
I’ve never figured out just why some pinball tables feel easier than others — perhaps the angles make it easier to avoid the dreaded pit at the bottom, or maybe it’s just dumb luck, even when it comes to virtual physics. Regardless, The Clone Wars feels like you can keep things going on and on, and perhaps that’s due to the animated series’ younger appeal (though if you haven’t seen it, many of its story arcs skew very mature). Between extra flippers and seemingly endless ramps, there just seems to be a ton to do — never mind the extra colourful montage of Jedi and Sith painted across the table.
Zen Studios has included a little bit of everything in terms of features, difficulty, and fan demographic. If you even remotely like pinball and/or Star Wars, you owe yourself the price of DLC to check this out.