Pinball FX 2: Marvel Pinball Review (XBLA)

Posted by Jim Cook, Dec 07, 2010 09:45

DLC Review: The product in this review is a set of DLC that functions as an add-on for Pinball FX 2; you must have that game installed to use these tables. The Playstation Network version will be a stand alone.

Pinball games based on popular licenses are nothing new, though their quality has varied wildly. The virtual tables in this pack feature a variety of characters from Marvel Comics and do quite well for themselves; three of them are genuinely good, and the worst of the set is still a decent table worth playing on a few times. That bodes well, and the price is right: $10 USD/800 Microsoft Points will get you all four tables.

The four tables are based on Wolverine, Spider-Man, Blade, and Iron Man. Each one features conventional pinball play such as launching the ball up ramps, engaging multi-ball mode, and so on, though many of them have some more unusual features as well. The most prominent of these are the use of iconic villains, some of which will actually move around the table and must be ’fought’ in various ways; the Spider-Man table for example will have the Green Goblin flying around and players can defeat him by launching his signature Pumpkin Bombs back where they came from. That may not be wholly realistic pinball play, but it is fun and takes advantage of the fact this is a video game.

Other tables have their own gimmicks and flow as well. The Blade table stands out; while most of the others have a very open mid-field and expect you to get your ball to the top of the table in order to accomplish much, Blade takes a different approach by having targets all over the table and even offering a variety of bonuses you can ’buy’ using in-game points if you reach certain locations. The Blade table isn’t just good by licensed pinball table standards; it’s honestly good by any measure, and easily the best of the set.

The Marvel licenses are put to good use, with the tables having plenty of recognizable characters and even voice acting for many events, plus colorful artwork laid about that make references to characters that are important to the main character’s story. While none of them seem to follow specific comic story lines, it’s obvious the tables pay tribute to the details that surround these characters; Wolverine’s table features villains like Sabertooth and the Silver Samurai, plus non-functional table art of X-23. While I don’t get all the references, I understand enough of them to think that more devoted Marvel fans will enjoy what’s shown here.

Gamers Daily News Silver Award

While the use of iconic comic book characters and themes is an obvious attempt to bring in Marvel fans, most of these tables stand up just fine on their own merits. If you’ve enjoyed the other tables in Pinball FX 2, give the Marvel Pinball pack a try; it’s reasonably priced for what you get and its good aspects definitely outweigh the somewhat barren mid-field play on most of these tables. 

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for Pinball FX 2: Marvel Pinball Review (XBLA)
8.5 Overall
Four tables for 800 MSP/$10 USD means each one costs about $2.50, which is a fair price for a set of tables that make excellent use of the Marvel licenses and are fun to play.

Rating: 5.0, votes: 1

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