Excerpt: Zen Studios certainly knows their way around a digital pinball machine, and while you’ll have to wait until later this year to see the bulk of its announcements (namely around E3 time), we do know about one major new download that will be hitting the PlayStation Network next month – Zen Pinball 2 . The company recently sat down with us at PAX East 2012 to discuss what’s going into this upcoming project.
Excerpt: I've always had a soft spot for pinball, and even though in recent years finding a machine has become an increasingly rarer event I still carry a torch for the silver ball. However, when it comes to videogame adaptations of pinball more often than not I've been, well, less than enamored. Thus it was with some trepidation that I sat down to give Zen Pinball a spin, but to my pleasant surprise I found myself enjoying the game.
Conclusion: Casual-hardcore may seem like an oxymoron, but it's exactly what Zen Pinball is. You can pick it up, and explain the three-button gameplay to your dad, and listen to him reminisce about the '70s and being a former "pinball wizard" (we all know he wasn't, but let him have his time). You can also compete online in pickup matches or in tournaments, where knowing the tables, the rules, and the proper strategies quickly separates the scrubs from the table terrors.
Pros: Easy to pick up, shockingly deep game play, Excellent online multiplater with PS3 Eye camera support for extra fun, Zen Pinball has incredible physics and runs at 60 frames per second at 1080p, it is very pretty, Lots of customization options to both master the tables and change-up the gameplay, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, Street Fighter, Earth Defense and Excallibur are all excellent add-on tables, Easy to pick up, shockingly deep game play, Excellent online multiplater wi...
Cons: Long loading times, Would love to see the extra tables offered in some sort of bundle, Long loading times, Would love to see the extra tables offered in some sort of bundle
Excerpt: Zen Pinball is a very standard game. It has four tables based around different themes (a car engine, a jungle adventure, electrical experiments and a tribal shaman), there is a somewhat limited online mode and it even has rudimentary inclusion of the Sixaxis’ motion control. There’s nothing especially wrong with it, but by the same token, it doesn’t really stand out in any way, and when the free pinball game that comes with Microsoft Windows is just as much fun, you have...
Excerpt: There have been a lot of really good pinball video games over the years, which usually take one of two forms: either it's a complete departure from reality, or it's as close to an actual table as the developers can get it. Zen Pinball falls mostly into the latter camp. Download this, and you get four original pinball tables: V12, Tesla, Shaman, and El Dorado, each with a different theme.
Excerpt: The problem I encountered is that the "quick" matches are often too intimidating for inexperienced players. They amount to a score race, with every competitor playing simultaneously and trying to hit 5,000,000 (or some much higher number) before his worthy opponents. However, there are often penalties in place that take away as much as half of any score amassed.