I am not the Star Wars geek that many (most) of my friends are, but I do respect the characters and the franchise as a whole, plus I had the O.G. Star Wars bed sheets when I was a kid. My own kids use them now, so we are still a Star Wars family to a degree. When I first learned of the Star Wars Pinball tables, I got pretty excited. But now that the first pack of tables is here, is it worth your credits?
You have to love a developer that supports their games like Zen Studios does. Over 2 years after Pinball FX 2 was released, and after multiple Marvel tables and several original tables, Zen Studios announces ten (10!!!) Star Wars themed tables. I have said before that Zen Studios’ tables have only gotten better with each release, and Star Wars Pinball is a brilliant evidence of this.
Bang for your Buck
With all licensed pinball tables, you have a tendency to polarize players. Fans of the license will likely get more value simply because of their preexisting fondness of the colors, characters and sounds. There is the added bonus of knowing the inside jokes and nudging references that permeate these tables.
That said, Star Wars Pinball is packed solid with references that only the most die hard fan will understand fully. Those of us with an appreciation, but slightly less zeal, will still smile at the more obvious references and maybe learn some new fun facts along the way.
But what if you are not a fan of Star Wars? Unless you, for some reason, hate Star Wars, you will likely still enjoy Star Wars Pinball. Why? Because the tables are freaking amazing!
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back: This table features a longer “story” that will span multiple play sessions to complete, for most players. It features a checkpoint system so that you can just come back and pick up where you left off. This table has the light and dark sides of the force battling it out. A ramp that will appear in certain modes to launch the ball into floating asteroids, and even at Vader himself. It’s a fast table, so you are going to need your Jedi-like reflexes to score big, but it’s rewarding for players of all skill levels, due to it’s use of cut-scenes 3D characters hovering over the table. This one is sure to be at the top of many pinballers favorites lists.
Boba Fett: Can I just first say that Boba Fett is rad? Ok, Boba Fett is rad, and he deserves his own…everything, but his own pinball table is just killer. This table is another fantastic piece that will wow players with it’s breadth of gameplay features. As a bounty hunter, you take contracts from the Empire or Jabba the Hutt (that handsome devil). There is a Sarlacc pit, cameos from other characters in the Star Wars Universe, and homing missiles that you must unlock through various skill-based feats. After Boba gets his man, and he always delivers, you must shoot the ball into the Slave 1, to “store” your payment. Awesome. Boba Fett is a fast table and a little tricky, but it’s so deep and rewarding for those who stay long enough to learn it.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: This was my least favorite table, but I sort of missed the whole “Clone Wars” thing. Not really my type of Star Wars. But it’s still a great table, more traditional than the other two in this pack. Perhaps it’s because of it’s simplicity that it feels weaker, but only in comparison to the stunning tables it shares this pack with. A fairly easy, mid-paced table with standard fare pinball features, plus Yoda spouting wisdom.
Graphics and Sound
As usual, Zen Studios has brought a great blend of voice acting, samples and sound effects together to make Star Wars Pinball sound like Star Wars Pinball. Nicely detailed 3D models accent scenes and the color schemes are artful and perfectly complimentary. Kudos to the Art Director for the design choices. All three tables in the pack are handsome.
These ARE the pinball tables you are looking for.
Zen Studios deserves recognition for upping the ante with each outing. This pack will keep us going for a while until the next release. That’s why it gets: