A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away – or more accurately somewhere in the Zen Studios Universe – Pinball wasn’t just Pinball. No longer was it a game of smashing a steel ball into point zones to beat friends’ high scores. As we know, Zen Pinball 2 is more than just a pinball game, with each table you’ll experience a story and interact with characters from that theme.
In the case of the Star Wars tables, you’re given the option of playing Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (a fitting inclusion, due to it being the best movie), a Clone Wars themed table and, best of all, a table based on the saga’s best character: Boba Fett.
It’s clear to see from the start that Zen Studios has done its best to make faithful representations of each theme. The Episode V table is littered with quirky little references to the film itself. You might end up slamming your pinball into one of Bespin’s Cloud City buildings or pinballing your way through the snowy tundras of Hoth. If you do manage to hit the ball against the ‘Vader’ text near the top, you’ll be treated by a visit by the main man himself, and you’ll then have to use a ramp that lifts up to hit him.
The Clone Wars’ table is somewhat more confusing affair with bright lightsabers and colourful characters, which, obviously, mirrors the TV series. This can, however, get rather distracting when you’re hell bent on becoming the pinball Jedi you always dreamed you would be. It’s fun nonetheless though, bringing in the two main protagonists of the Clone Wars series: Anakin and Ahsoka Tano.
The Boba Fett table is a lot simpler – as you might expect from a machine based solely on one character. You’re treated to having the fearsome bounty hunter remain prominent throughout your journey on the rusted and very Tatooine-esque table. What’s also lovely about this table is that if you manage to smash the ball into certain holes enough times you’ll either get Jabba The Hutt or Darth Vader join Fett. You then choose how much you want the bounty to be and you must then fulfil the criteria of that bounty.
While the Boba Fett and Empire Strikes Back tables feel more polished and thought out than the Clone Wars tables, there’s no doubting the thought that has gone into each table’s design, ensuring that they’re as accurate as possible. The Boba Fett table reflects what Slave 1 would look inside: rusted, not well looked after and generally quite apt for someone so stoic. Vader’s platform stands out completely, draped in the greys and blues of his Star Destroyer, while Jabba slithers out onto something resembling his palace – even playing his trademark music when called out.
The attention to detail really is something to be admired. As soon as you select one, you’ll instantly feel like you’ve been transported into the world that these tables seem to lie in. Yes, I know it’s just pinball, but somehow Zen Studios have managed to make it seem far more than just your average game of flicking shiny steel balls. They’ve made three very fun tables to keep you entertained for a healthy chunk of time as you uncover and unlock their little secrets and hidden gems.
Unfortunately, there is one thing lets it down somewhat: the price. For what you get it just seems a tad too expensive. For those who don’t know, Zen Pinball 2 is free to download, but grabbing the tables will cost you. For £7.99 you can grab the Star Wars pack. Honestly, that seems quite steep for a few pinball machines when there are other games on the PlayStation Store, that’ll also last longer, for the same price.
In the end though, these tables are a great addition to Zen Pinball’s line-up – looking more than welcome amongst the swarm of comic book related tables that already populate the platform. If you’re a Star Wars fan, and you’re looking for that little time-wasting gem, then this may well be a title worth picking up.
Audio/Visual – 4/5: Bright lights and loud sounds are exactly what a pinball table needs, and these three deliver that in droves brilliantly.
Gameplay – 3/5: Pinball is pinball, and while the tables are fun, it is just pinball.
Innovation – 3/5: Again, it’s pinball. They’ve made a good effort on trying something new with the themes of the tables, but it’s still just pinball.
Value – 3/5: While, the tables are fun, £7.99 does seem quite high for 3 pinball tables.
Final Score: 3/5