Pinball FX2 – Star Wars™ Pinball: Heroes Within Pack
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 8

These are not the first Star Wars themed tables by Zen Studios, but they are certainly some of the best. This time you get four tables instead of the usual three and each one of these offers hours of gameplay. With so much variety and great table themes in the set, it is hard to pick a favorite and I found myself bouncing back and forth between tables all the time. If you are a fan of pinball and love Star Wars then this is an essential purchase.

Gameplay: Four Star Wars themed tables with great layouts.

Graphics: Another excellent use of the license.

Sound: Some of the speech snippets sound a bit “off,” but overall it is a great effort

Summary 8.7 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Pinball FX2 – Star Wars™ Pinball: Heroes Within Pack

Developer: Zen Studios | Publisher: Microsoft Studios | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Pinball / DLC / Casual / Simulation | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

With countless tables under their belt, six of which are Star Wars themed, Zen Studios know a thing or two about digital pinball. Their latest offering, Heroes Within, adds four more Star Wars tables to their roster and after spending some time playing, I would have to say that these tables are amongst their best so far. From everyone’s favorite smuggler Han Solo, and the two hapless droids, to the events of episode IV and the masters of the force, there is something here for everyone.

Han Solo

Han Solo finally receives a table devoted solely to his exploits and features the man himself barking orders from his command chair on the right corner of the screen. His trusty Wookie sidekick, Chewbacca also makes an appearance, but spends most of his time repairing a ball ramp on the left corner of the table. C3-P0 finds himself tangled in a mess of wires just below the flippers from where he frequently annoys Han by calculating odds. The frozen Carbonite statue of Han is visible on the left of the table, but the standout “toy” is the large model of the Millennium Falcon towards the top of the screen. Just behind the Falcon is a shooting gallery of villains from the Mos Eisley Cantina for Han to take pot shots at while to the right you’ll find a small Death Star that can capture your ball with a tractor beam magnet.

The visual elements of this table are really great and perfectly capture the personality of Mr. Solo. The table artwork is also nice and features a montage with Han in the front and Luke, Leia, and Chewie behind him. Gameplay wise, this is quite a tricky table so don’t expect to be pulling off high-scores right away. The table has no less than five flippers to master and that is not even counting the two inside the Millennium Falcon! If you want to get two achievements for this table you will have to hit the secret compartment in the Falcon three times in a row and win the Battle of Yavin after the princess is freed.

The music for this table is provided by the Mos Eisley Cantina band and is as catchy as usual. There are also plenty of speech snippets by Han, C3-P0 and Princess Leia with some sounding better than others. The Han Solo table not only looks great, but plays great as well and the multitude of flippers makes for a fast paced game.

Droids

The Droids table gives C3-P0 and R2-D2 their chance to shine. Set inside a giant Jawa Sandcrawler that is slowly making its way across the Tatooine landscape, this table offers plenty of opportunities to set high-scores. The table has plenty of ramps and rails and you have four flippers to work with. An ore processor and magnet crane will help you to activate the multi-ball features while most of your missions involve helping the other droids and outwitting the Jawa Chief Nesbit.

The table artwork is a nice montage of the two droids along with their Jawa capturers and there are 3D models of C3-P0 and R2-D2 as well as Nesbit. Scoring is quite easy on this table, but the two achievements which involves maxing out WED-15’s wizard mode time perk and collecting all seven super droid jackpots during one wizard mode is much trickier. Some familiar tunes by John Williams and plenty of quips by C3-P0 take care of the audio side of things.

The Droids table is not very complex, but the whole Sandcrawler theme lends itself very nicely to a pinball table and is a lot of fun to play. This is definitely one of the tables in the set that I found myself returning to the most.

Episode IV: A New Hope

The Episode IV follows the events of the movie closely and features some incredible artwork. Apart from the 3D models of Obi-Wan, Luke, Leia as well as a Storm Trooper that pop-up there is also a big Death Star toy. The artwork consists of a montage of Darth Vader, Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan and some Tusken Raiders. The table is also designed to look like it is standing inside a hanger with some X-Wings.

A New Hope is another straightforward table, although it does have a smaller playing field with two inverted flippers below the main playing field. All the sounds, animations and voice clips have been taken directly from the movie for extra authenticity. While playing you will encounter mini-playfields for a Sandcrawler, trash compactor and even take part in the famous trench run. To bag the two achievements on this table you will have to initiate the Yavin multiball and find Luke’s X-Wing in the Alliance video mode. Neither of these are too tricky, which makes this the easiest table in the set to get the achievements.

Everything from the visuals to the audio is top notch on this table and apart from the 3D models this is the table that resembles a real-life table the closest.

Masters of the Force

The final table in the set is Masters of the Force, which pays tribute to the Jedi Masters and Sith Lords of the Star Wars Universe. The left side of this table is dominated by the dark side of the force while the right is devoted to the light side. Glaring back at you from the left side of the table is Darth Maul, Count Dooku and Emperor Palpatine while on the right, you will see portraits of Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda.

The layout of this table can be quite daunting at first with plenty of loops and ramps all over the place, but with some practice you will soon figure it out. The table features a series of fights, but instead of 3D models, these are fought with little 2D figures like you would see on a real pinball table which is pretty unique. The table has four flippers and a light, as well as dark holocron.

Watching from the top of the table is a 3D model of the emperor lurking in his chair while opposite him is Yoda in his swamp on Dagobah. For the two achievements on this table you have to reach a master combo with combo shots and collect two types of holocrons.

Masters of the Force is a table that kept me on my toes with its tricky layout, but it is also a lot of fun to play. The little video screen that shows clips of the battles is a nice touch and the John Williams score brings the table to life.

Conclusion

Zen Studios know how to make good pinball tables and this set contains some of their best. It doesn’t matter if you are a Star Wars fan; if you enjoy a good game of digital pinball you will love these tables. The Star Wars theme definitively adds to the charm of these tables though and Zen Studios did a great job with integrating the various aspects of the license in a way that makes sense instead of feels tacked on. With quality content like this I hope that we will be seeing more tables from Zen Studios for years to come.

*Review originally published May 2014.

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:1200 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:1500 MB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX compatible sound card
  • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection

Related posts

Gravity Ghost

Gravity Ghost

Gravity Ghost might appear to be a very simple and straightforward game at first, but the more you play it the deeper it draws you in. Soaring around the levels using the gravitational pull of the planets to your advantage is a great feeling and I often found myself lingering longer on levels than necessary just to soak in the atmosphere. It is a very tranquil and relaxing game, but with a great story tucked away beneath the surface. If you want to experience a unique title that is not about killing enemies or dying and failing until you succeed check out Gravity Ghost. Gameplay: Relaxing and entertaining without ever becoming frustrating. Graphics: The beautiful hand painted visuals and unique art style sets the game apart. Sound: The soundtrack and voice acting is a perfect match for the tranquil atmosphere of the game.

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build is a thoroughly entertaining and very charming puzzle title that is suitable for players of all ages. The beautiful 2D visuals and excellent audio complements the addictive puzzle solving gameplay, which makes for a memorable experience. I would have liked to see a few more puzzles to solve, because the ones on offer are so enjoyable. This is the perfect game for when you feel like something relaxing and non-violent. Gameplay: The game is challenging and addictive without being frustrating or unfair. Graphics: Charming visuals with plenty of great touches. Sound: The soundtrack is great as are the ambient sound effects.

Kana Okaeri

Kana Okaeri

Kana Okaeri improves on the original title with updated visuals as well as full Japanese voice acting. Thankfully the original story remains untouched apart from some translation fixes. It is a pity that the resolution has only been increased slightly over the original version, but anyone who have not yet experienced this game should definitely check it out. The new art and visuals also make it an enticing offer for players that want to relive the emotional roller-coaster of a story. Gameplay: The storyline is incredibly moving and you can actually make choices that affect the outcome of the game. Graphics: The updated visuals look great, but the resolution is fixed at 800x600. Sound: The soundtrack is still great and the new voice acting is done professionally.

Vertical Drop Heroes HD

Vertical Drop Heroes HD

Vertical Drop Heroes HD is simple enough that you can instantly jump in and have fun for a few minutes, but addictive enough to keep you hooked for hours. All the procedural elements keep things interesting and there are tons of skills as well as traits to unlock. The game offers a lot of value for money and will keep you coming back again and again for "just one more go." Gameplay: Simple, but very addictive. Graphics: Cartoonish visuals with some nice 2-D artwork. Sound: Catchy tunes.

Isbarah

Isbarah

Isbarah is not a game to approach if you are looking for an easy challenge or rewards that you don’t have to work hard to earn. The game requires quick reflexes, plenty of practice and a lot of dedication to master. It is definitely rewarding though, and taking down bosses many times your own size while they are covering the screen in projectiles is quite a rush. It is not for the faint of heart, but if you are up for the challenge you simply must try out the game. Gameplay: The blend of platforming and bullet hell works brilliantly. Graphics: Beautiful 2D art with excellent character designs. Audio: Adrenaline pumping tunes.

Beat Blades Haruka

Beat Blades Haruka

Nukige titles are not really known for their story or gameplay, but Beat Blades Haruka definitely bucks this trend. As implausible as it is the story is actually quite neat and training the girls to fight in battle is very addictive. Of course, seeing as it is a nukige title there is an enormous amount of H-content as well and fans will be happy to hear that it is all completely uncensored. It is not a game for the easily offended or sensitive, but fans of the genre should definitely add it to their collection. Gameplay: The stat raising and battles make it a lot more engrossing than a typical nukige title. Graphics: Excellent character designs and a ton of CGs. Sound: Good voice acting and lots of music.

Leave a comment

3 × four =