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
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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

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