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Star Wars Pinball

 

 

SCORE: 92

Star Wars Pinball 

 

When I was given the opportunity to review Star Wars Pinball by ZEN Studios, my inner geek was hyperventilating like Lord Vader after climbing four flights of stairs. For one thing, I enjoy the quality of the ZEN pinball games. For another thing, it’s STAR WARS! The game, which is technically DLC for ZEN Pinball 2, includes three tables. They are: The Empire Strikes Back, The Clone Wars, and an entire table devoted to everyone’s favorite galactic bounty hunter Boba Fett.

It comes as no surprise that the graphical quality of Star Wars Pinball is excellent. ZEN continues their tradition of producing highly detailed, meticulously crafted pieces of art that also happen to be pinball tables. The designers have made excellent use of the Star Wars license and have included all sorts of fan favorites in the table layouts. Some of the animated 3D models included in the game’s three tables are Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, some Storm Troopers, and the always lovely Jabba the Hutt. Another unique feature of the game is that players can select mini scenes from The Empire Strikes Back on the dot matrix display during missions. You won’t really have time to watch the scenes however, as you’ll be too busy trying to keep your ball from escaping over to the dark side.

The audio in the game fits perfectly with each table using much content from the source material. In fact, ZEN has seemingly made full use of all the sound clips they could get their hands on. My observations during the time I spent on The Empire Strikes Back table left me feeling somewhat schizophrenic as I was constantly bombarded with voice clips from everyone from Han to Yoda. While at first it was fun hearing the various characters, after a while they became repetitive. I found myself wishing that Yoda, instead of constantly insisting that I “use the Force”, would just do me a favor and use the mute. And while we’re on the subject of auditory annoyances, the voice over guy on the Clone Wars table rubs me the wrong way just as he does in the animated movies and the TV series. Sure, he tells me I’m amazing, but somehow I just don’t feel like he means it. Boba Fett on the other hand is his cool collected self, offering both advice and subtle threats in that same soothing bounty hunter voice of his. The sound effects are great and despite all of my little complaints, the overall audio stacks up nicely.

As with just about every other ZEN Pinball table, the replay value of this package is off the charts. You can come back to this set of tables again and again and still find it fun. There are plenty of missions to complete and high scores to break. On-Line multiplayer or local hotseat play allows aspiring Padawans to compete to their heart’s content.

The gameplay of Star Wars Pinball takes the theme of each of the three tables and incorporates fun aspects of each into the missions. The Empire Strikes Back table will have you searching for the elusive Yoda and making a daring escape from the evil Empire in the Millennium Falcon through a deadly asteroid field (and yes, 3PO will surely tell you how low the odds of survival are). The Clone Wars table will have you doing target practice and taking orders from the Jedi Council. On Boba’s table you can take contracts from the Empire or the Hutt’s and, of course, join the hunt for Han Solo. On each table the controls perform smoothly and flawlessly making the game a pleasure to play.

Star Wars Pinball is appropriately rated at E10+. The game is safe for family members over 10 and I did not detect any foul language or excessively violent imagery in any of the three tables. If you’re comfortable with your children watching the Star Wars movies, you would certainly find no fault in this game from ZEN Studios. I’m looking forward to the 7 additional tables planned for release in this Star Wars Pinball series.
- Roger

 

Graphics: 91%
Sound: 88%
Replay/Extras: 99%
Gameplay: 93%
Family Friendly Factor: 88%

System: PS Vita/PC/Xbox 360/PS3(tested)
Publisher: Zen Studios
R
ating: Rating: ‘E10+’ - Everyone 10+
{Mild Language, Fantasy Violence}
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