Two new tables are set to hit Zen Studios Pinball FX2 on January 12th, but Zen hooked Marooners’ Rock up with an early access Steam code, allowing us to bring you a review before the tables become available. For the purpose of having the same gameplay experience as most readers I will not be using my pinball cabinet setup for the majority of this review, though I will have a minor aside at the end of the article for those playing pinball on monitors set to portrait mode.
Be warned, there will be some minor TFA spoilers in this review.
The first table listed in the new Star Wars Pinball: The Force Awakens pack is the Star Wars: The Force Awakens table, so it will be the first one that we dive into.
The Force Awakens table may seem a little sparse when you first load it up, though it is anything but. Multiple playfield sections, 6 flippers and a slew of ramps may not be enough to convince you, but when you notice the magnetic play element in the middle of the field, or get the Millennium Falcon multi-ball or the BB-8 mini-game, you’ll see just how robust this table really is. Junk collection, docking ships, shootouts and more await you.
The Force Awakens table plays fast. Really fast. The skill shot is the most fair I have seen in a while, and my only complaint about the way that this table plays would have to be the right side drain. While some of the targets and ramps seem a little hard to hit, this is a pinball table, so learning how to hit them consistently is part of the game.
Graphics are what you would expect, most of the table itself looks like real world pinball, with that added flair that Zen has thrown in since Pinball FX began. Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, BB-8, the Millennium Falcon and all the TIE fighters look amazing interacting with the playfield and each other, so there are absolutely no complaints.
Sounds are on point as well, sometimes you can tell that the voice actors aren’t the same between the movie and the table, but they do a remarkable job. Just hearing BB-8 while you try to avoid capture by rope net is a joy.
The Star Wars Pinball: The Force Awakens Pack is a 2 table package, so let’s go ahead and talk about the second of this two table pack, the Might Of The First Order table.
In essence, you are a Stormtrooper. Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma give you missions, and you do your best to complete them for high score payouts. There are sinkholes, spinners, ramps, and other targets to hit, though some of these ramps are difficult to get the ball to travel due to how fast the game plays. The skillshots are very difficult to see in most of the standard views available, so hitting them correctly will take a great deal of skill, as well as a little luck.
One multi-ball portion of this table–there are two that I have seen–takes place in a recessed playfield. This is a fun way to get more play options, but it is also a bit confusing for the first few plays as it can be difficult to know what level of the field you are playing on. The multi-ball jackpot for this version of multi-ball is both insanely difficult, as well as rewarding because you need to keep balls in play on both playfields, with 2 buttons controlling all 5 of the playfield’s flippers.
There are dog fights, hyperspace, shootouts between who I assume is Nines (TR-8R) and Finn. Flametroopers setting your pinball on fire, and much more packed into this table.
Graphically, it’s a beautiful table, though the fire effects from the Flametrooper aren’t ultra-realistic, and everyone will know exactly what you are playing because the iconic The Force Awakens characters are done perfectly.
Some small issues with sound are a little more noticeable in this table than in The Force Awakens–I actually thought I heard Ewan McGregor’s Obi Wan, when it was supposed to be Captain Phasma–but that is simply because the other table has such small issues that this one minor point stands out.
For cabinet players: these tables are fast and challenging. I recommend turning off all of the playfield scoring pop-ups, ball trails, and–if you have a one monitor setup–dropping the DMD to the lower left corner in small view. This table is action packed, and you’ll already be missing some of the action that gets cut off at the top of the screen, so there’s no reason to block more with the DMD.
Alright, let’s recap:
For $4.99 you get two tables, or $2.99 if you only want one, that draw inspiration from the box-office smashing, world record destroying, pop culture phenomenon that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens for your Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC and/or mobile devices. Not only that, but they are two very well executed tables and a strong addition to your Pinball FX2 collection.
We’ll have the Pros, Cons, and score below, but my advice… If you’re a pinball fan, you should get these tables. If you are a Star Wars fan, you should get these tables. If you are both, you’re getting a deal with both tables for less than five dollars.