Zen Pinball 2 Review
Zen Pinball 2 Box Art
System: PS3
Dev: Zen Studios
Pub: Sony
Release: September 4, 2012
Players: 1 (2+ Online)
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Mild Language, Fantasy Violence

Zen Pinball 2 launched with a new table based on PopCap's mega-popular Plants vs. Zombies game. The game's look and sound are instantly recognizable when loading the table, and the table's goals will be familiar to PvZ fans. Collecting sunshine on the ramps, buying upgrades by hitting particular holes, and smacking zombies with the ball before they reach the Welcome Mat near the flippers—it's Plants Versus Zombies in pinball form. It's fairly easy to stay alive on the table, and multiball mode is similarly easy to unlock, making this a great table for newbies and casual pinball players.

Zen Pinball 2 Screenshot

I also had the opportunity to play with Zen's Marvel Avengers pack, which includes four quite diverse Marvel Comics-themed tables. Pinball magpies like myself will love the World War Hulk table, which is jam-packed with gizmos and flashy events. Those who prefer more straightforward tables will enjoy the main Avengers table, complete with the ability to pick a special pinball for each member of the Avengers team. Fear Itself is a complex table featuring difficult shot challenges, while The Infinity Gauntlet features the kind of silver ball insanity that's only possible in video pinball. Along with the tables I sampled for this review, there are twenty-one more tables available for purchase in the game, and Zen Studios generally adds new tables on a regular basis.

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For a quality video pinball experience that isn't shackled to the limitations of actual physical tables, you can't get much better than Zen Studios. With an excellent back-end, great graphics and sound, tons of options, a large and varied selection of tables, and plenty of multiplayer possibilities, Zen's current generation of games has plenty to offer all kinds of gamers. Thanks to its improved ball physics and reduced loading times, Zen Pinball 2 reigns as the best Zen Studios effort yet, and pinball fans shouldn't hesitate to pick it up. Casual pinball players will love the Plants vs. Zombies table, and pro players have access to a great selection of Zen's most popular tables.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: September 24, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.4
Graphics
The graphics are fantastic, marred only by an unfortunate attachment to a dot-matrix table text display.
4.5
Control
Controls are intuitive and customizable. Improved ball physics add to control.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music and sound are faithful to the pinball tradition, purposefully cheesy voice acting included.
4.3
Play Value
There's a table for just about everyone, and most are quite difficult to master.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Vibrant, three-dimensional tables provide hours of fun.
  • Engage in local and online multiplayer competition and worldwide tournaments.
  • Fantastic new tables available regularly through online marketplaces.
  • Save your game at any time and return to it later.
  • Slow down the game with the Slow Motion feature and shoot like a pro!
  • Use the Operators Menu to customize your virtual arcade table, just like a real arcade owner.
  • Select between the preset difficulty levels to fit the gameplay to your skills.


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