Pinball FX2: MarsESRB:
Platform: Xbox 360
Offline players 1 – 4
Online multiplayer 1 – 4
Growing up, I dabbled with the Pinball machines, a staple at any classic arcade. Finding I had a novice skill at the game I unfortunately had to move on to easier more enjoyable games with my quarters. Now over 15 years later I have picked up playing pinball and find myself enjoying it a lot more when I am not losing my allowance after several attempts. With a variety of tables to choose from I got to try the latest table for, Mars.
Looking out into outer space as an asteroid belt floats by, you'll find yourself playing on a table that appears to be located on a space somewhere in the middle of nowhere. As the name indicates the theme of the table is the planet Mars, where the red planet embodies the bottom third of the table and the top end of the table is populated by stars, space ships and asteroids. The table is filled with some great visual features from holograms of targets, glowing portals and an array of lighting effects. There is also some amazing attention to detail as you can see the reflections of floating objects such as the satellite or even the movement of the ball down a ramp on the surface of the glossy table.
Rounding out these graphics is the addition of some great animated objects such as the space ship that launches and lands right on top of the table to my personal favourite and dubbed “Robot Spider” that saves and launches your stray balls and uses its legs to animate a head, which it shakes at you when you lose a ball. All in all, another great looking table in the Pinball FX2 library.
The background music is a suiting melody that evokes the image of outer space combined with the alien world of Mars. When combined with the robotic sound effects, the burning flame that bursts from the space shuttle and the telltale whistles, dings and the metallic traveling noise as the ball travels around the Mars table, offers a fantastic sound experience.
Pinball FX2, for those who don’t know, is a highly rated (8.8 from Game Boyz) pinball simulator that has nailed down all the mechanics, physics and charm of pinball into this virtual version. The ability to tilt the table, aim accurately with the pinball flippers and the overall themed gameplay is expertly done. All these features with the addition of an array of space themed objectives make this Pinball experience a lot of fun and challenging at the same time.
Being a fan of fast paced Pinball tables I did find the table to be a bit slower paced than what I’ve become accustomed to, but after awhile the slowness makes a lot more sense with the outer space/alien planet theme. There is even a special mode activated where there are multi-balls and they will stop in mid-motion and begin to float as if they are in the zero gravity depths of space; It is truly an amazing effect.
Like all of the other tables in Pinball FX2 there is a great multiplayer portion of the game where you can take turns with three other players or play against a friend in split screen mode. There is also the ability to take the game to Xbox Live where you can play against up to three other players or you can even participate in Tournaments.
Once again, Zen Studios proves they are the King of Virtual Pinball and have provided fans with another great table to keep your pinball flippers flapping away. With such an amazingly built game who can really say no to another table to extend the life of the game and bring more hours of pinball fun.