It has been a long time since I powered on Pinball FX 2 and took a round on the tables, but when you bring the Force into the mix, it is hard for me to stay away. Zen Studios is on a roll lately, crafting some outstanding silverball based on fantastic licenses. When they announced they had acquired the rights to to Star Wars, I knew I would be brought back into the fold. This set of three tables brings George Lucas’ fabled series to the pinball world with authenticity and care, and it deserves to be played by anyone who enjoys either facet of the combo.
Star Wars Pinball focuses on three very distinct entries. Empire Strikes Back is your classic movie-based table, complete with chapters. Clone Wars focuses on the animated show, while Boba Fett is the only character-specific table in the bunch.
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is the most traditional. It has all of your multipliers, skill shots and bonus missions, but it also brings a unique chapter-based section that follows segments of the film. Whether you are fending off probe droids or taking down Vader as Luke, the nostalgic moments are never in short supply. This was far and away my favorite of the bunch. The authentic sights and sounds drew me into the universe, and the design made it much more fun than the other two.
The Clone Wars table provides the easiest route to high score and is inspired by the aesthetic found in the television series. There are more ramps and large point multipliers to help pad your score. This was my least favorite in the pack, simply because it lacked the Star Wars nostalgia I grew up with. The sights and sounds are still highly recognizable, and it’s fun to play, but it didn’t hold up quite as well as the other two for me.
Finally we have the Boba Fett table, which feels like the most complicated at first. There is quite a bit going on here, and racking up points is not a simple task. When I got into the zone though, I was able to let loose. Scores started piling up, and I had a blast performing jobs for the Hutts along the way. While not the most visually appealing of the bunch, I think I enjoyed this one almost as much as the Empire table.
What really brings these to life is the attention to detail. Zen worked closely with Lucasfilm to capture all the essence of the Star Wars universe. Whenever new dialogue was needed, the studio created it for Zen. This was a collaborative effort that heightens the experience. The layout of each table is recognizable, and the care packed in will bring a smile to Star Wars fans young and old. It is hard not to enjoy what Zen continues to create, and I am excited to see what license they manage to snag next. With 40+ tables already in the mix, Pinball FX 2 continues to be one of the best downloadable games this generation.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.