But the last time I really played a pinball game on a console or PC, it was way back in the days of the Atari 2600 with a game called Midnight Magic, released in 1986-7. I missed out on Space Cadet on Windows too, since it was a separate installation on Windows 98.
So now seemed like as good a time as any to try my hand at the ever-popular Pinball FX 2 for the PC (which is also available on XBLA, and on PSN/WiiU under the name Zen Pinball 2)
I played the game with a Logitech F310 controller, which is arranged like a PS2/3 controller, but which has Xbox color coding and inputs, so this review should be relevant to console players as well.
I've also played 36 of the tables, so at this point, I feel like I have a good understanding of both the mechanics of this particular game and the design principles that Zen Studios uses in making their tables.
At its heart, Pinball FX 2 is designed to be fun and challenging rather than being a 100% accurate pinball simulation, and I'm okay with that. That philosophy allows events to happen that could only happen in a game, like having two realistic 3D characters battle and move around the playing field while you play through a table event. It also means that when you encounter events that require magnets to hold balls and such, they work perfectly every time, which to me is a plus, but other people might not like that. These are not real tables, and I think the whole experience benefits from that.
|The Avengers Table|
Every table I've played so far has been fun and visually pleasing to me while maintaining the illusion of reality and verisimilitude in most cases. I've been especially drawn to the Marvel licensed tables, especially the ones from Avengers Chronicles pack, which is four tables which cover The Avengers movie, and the Fear Itself, World War Hulk and Infinity Gauntlet story lines. I'm also a fan of the Star Wars tables. Given the fact that most of the licensed tables are from now Disney owned properties, I wouldn't be surprised to see either tables linked to their animated movies or perhaps the Muppets in the future.
|Iron Man Table|
|The Empire Strikes Back Table|