Pinball FX2 – Aliens vs. Pinball
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

If you are a fan of the Alien license and enjoy pinball then this pack is a no-brainer. It features three tables that not only look great, but are a lot of fun to play as well. Zen Studios also made sure that the tables stay true to their source material in regards to audio and visuals. Even amongst all the other excellent titles already released for Pinball FX2, this pack stands out.

Gameplay: The Aliens vs. Pinball table is the most fun, but the other two are great as well.

Graphics: Great use of the source material.

Sound: Once again the source material is used to good effect

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Pinball FX2 – Aliens vs. Pinball

Developer: Zen Studios | Publisher: Microsoft Studios | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Pinball / DLC | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

With a wealth of Star Wars tables under their belt the talented folk of Zen Studios are no strangers to space or big licenses. However, this latest pack of tables is set in a somewhat less family friendly universe than a galaxy far, far away. As is very obvious from the title, Aliens vs. Pinball is based around the “Alien” science-fiction horror franchise. Pinball fans get to take on three tables based around this popular license and each one of these tables live up to the quality that we have come to expect from Zen Studios.

First up is Aliens Pinball, which is based on the action-packed 1986 film by James Cameron. Contact is lost with the terraforming colony Hadley’s Hope on LV-426 and Ripley must join a Colonial Marine unit to investigate. Aliens Pinball is definitely the headliner for this pack and is also one of the few tables by Zen Studios that could actually work as a real pinball table. It features a huge, menacing Alien queen at the top of the table while a heavily armed Ripley is hunkered down between the ramps. The table is a great homage to the movie and packs plenty of elements that fans will love. From the M577 Armored Personnel Carrier that delivers the ball to the UA 571-C Automated Sentry Gun that pops up to mow down the Aliens, the adherence to the source material is commendable.

Before starting the table there is a choice between playing missions in the order that they appeared in the film and selecting them manually as on other tables. These missions include fighting aliens, repairing barricades and even steering the APC down a long tunnel while using the flippers to dodge obstacles. Visually the table looks great with an image or Ripley along with the Alien Queen adorning the background. Using one of the zoomed out views reveals that the table is set on the planet surface with various vehicles and buildings around it. When the “power is cut” during one of the modes the whole table has an eerie red glow, which looks brilliant. In addition to three flippers and numerous ramps the table also features an Alien hive mini playing field on the top right containing three eggs. Overall the Aliens Pinball table is one of our favorites in the set and truly a joy to play.

Next up is the Aliens vs. Predator table, which is based on the movie from 2004. While the film didn’t exactly have rave reviews it does make for a pretty good pinball table. The setting is the mysterious pyramid beneath the Antarctic, where you help a young Predator warrior take on the Aliens. It features an animated 3D model of the Predator as well as an Alien, with the two attacking each other during certain modes. Other cool touches on this table include the Alien that pops up out of a hole to grab the ball when you start missions and the ball launcher, which is actually an alien mouth.

This table has an image of a Predator locked in combat with an Alien as the background image, along with a big Alien Queen and unmasked Predator. The temple in which it is set is actually shown as a 3D model at the top of the table and used in a mini-game where you have to rotate it to match symbols. Missions include arming the Predator with its shuriken, spear and plasma cutter, as well as stalking an Alien stealthily. During one of the “Frenzy” modes you even get to see the table in Predator vision, which is a really neat touch. Then there is the circular trap you can activate, requiring you to rotate it in order to catch balls coming from random directions and the fact that the table can flip upside down while you attack Aliens that are on the roof. The Aliens vs. Predator table is the easiest table of the bunch, but definitely a lot of fun.

Last, but not least, is Alien: Isolation, which is based on the 2014 game of the same name. It uses the same emphasis on stealth and survival horror as in the action game, which is a pretty impressive feat for a pinball table! Players must help Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, as she tries to evade the Alien that is hunting her down. Both Amanda and the Alien are present as 3D character and are shown on the background graphic of the table. Visible through a window at the top of the table is a view of space and a planet, adding to the feeling of isolation. Interestingly enough, Amanda has three health bars and can lose health if you are not careful. While this won’t kill her, it does result in lower scores, so you’ll want to keep her healthy. Amanda can also acquire new guns, but in true survival horror fashion you have to keep a watch on her ammo. Just like the game, the pinball table also includes a very cool hacking mini-game.

The audio for all three tables are top notch and the Aliens vs. Pinball table uses voice clips straight from the movie, including the famous “That’s it, man. Game over, man. Game over!” by Hudson. Since Predators are not very talkative the Aliens vs. Predator table features voice clips from clueless humans witnessing the carnage. The audio played during the Aliens: Isolation table also appear to be from the game.

With three solid tables that are very entertaining to play this pinball pack is a must have for pinball fans and fans of the Alien franchise. Zen Studios did a great job incorporating all the best elements from the source materials in these tables and hopefully there will be more pinball based Alien action in the future.

System Requirements

  • OS:Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
  • Processor:Single Core CPU @ 1.6GHz
  • Memory:512 MB RAM
  • Graphics:GeForce 6600 / Radeon 9800
  • DirectX®:9.0
  • Hard Drive:2500 MB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX compatible sound card
  • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
  • OS:Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
  • Processor:Dual Core CPU @ 2.00GHz
  • Memory:1024 MB RAM
  • Graphics:GeForce 8800 / Radeon HD 3850
  • DirectX®:9.0c
  • Hard Drive:3500 MB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX compatible sound card
  • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection

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