Let’s start this out with a little background. I’m in the process of building a digital pinball table that will most likely use Zen’s Pinball FX2 as the game software. I’ve enjoyed many a mechanical pinball table through the years and have also been toying with the idea of leveraging a kidney towards financing a Stern pinball machine. When Andrew asked me if I would be willing to review this table, I had no hesitation.
I really enjoy pinball and I have 22 tables for Pinball FX2.
Let’s get the fact that I am a big fan of the concepts behind Pinball FX2 tables out of the way as well. You get the familiarity of mechanical cabinets with all of the ramps, bumpers and spinners from “real” tables, as well as the added bonuses of gameplay mechanics that do not work in mechanical tables. Depending on your monitor or television’s latency, you’ll have a good reproduction of the gameplay mechanics from “real” tables.
Star Wars Rebels is one of the latest offerings from Zen Studios, and I’ve spent a few days now hitting the table pretty hard in multiple hour-long sessions. Based on the television series of the same name, Star Wars Rebels pinball centers on the exploits of Kanan, Zeb, Sabine, Hera, Ezra and Chopper as they do battle against the Galactic Empire. I have not watched the television series, but the table does well enough at making me understand who these characters are. If story is important to you in a pinball table, then you can do far worse than Rebels.
All of the pinball staples are here. Plenty of ramps, drop targets, kickouts and spinners make the table feel full without being overcrowded. Skill shots feel rewarding when you hit them. Multi-ball is right on the edge of risk versus reward that makes success satisfying, if you miss the ball on the rebound it is going to drop straight down the drain. The flipside is that you can lock more than the two balls required to start multi-ball mode, the most I could bring myself to hold were 4, and releasing all of them onto the playfield plunges you into a different, and more frantic, experience than traditional 3 ball mode.
Missions are varied, and this is where the benefits of being a digital table really shine. Repelling waves of TIE Fighters by firing anti-air volleys controlled by the flippers is one of the most memorable and enjoyable missions from the table, but there is also an upper playfield that has you controlling an astromech droid named Chopper as a sliding bumper to repair your ship. The other missions are mostly standard pinball fare, such as hitting popup targets or lanes in the correct order.
The voice samples are well done, but, as with most pinball tables, you need to understand that you will be hearing them dozens of times during a single game.
If you are a pinball fan, or even a Star Wars fans who marginally likes pinball, then this is an excellent table to add to your collection. Star Wars Rebels is available for $2.99, and Pinball FX2 is available for free in most digital marketplaces and includes a more generic table.
* Guest Review *