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This Month's Issue

Star Wars Pinball
Sunday, March 24, 2013

Developer: Zen Studios

Distributor: Zen Studios

Reviewed by: Michael Cohen

This game is everything that’s awesome about Star Wars crossed with everything that’s awesome about pinball, in the perfect combination of challenge and fun. Maybe I should be more clear, Star Wars Pinball is actually a series of tables, rather than just an all-in-one. The three flavors are The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Boba Fett, and each one of them deserves its own review.

First off, The Empire Strikes Back. Based on the undisputed greatest film in the saga, this table has special features that let you relive the best parts of the best Star Wars movie ever! That said, it takes a little while to get into this table, as it is very complex. But once you get the nuances of this one, it really opens up and leads to a wide variety of challenges and skill testing objectives. The design of the table is great; full, but not too cluttered. The sound and effects are top notch here, with some excellent voice doubles recreating famous dialogue from the movie. Overall, this is probably the table I spent the most time with. I highly recommend you sink some time into it too.

Second, we have Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This table has its pros and cons. The voice work and sound effects are really great, especially considering they got the actual voice cast from the TV series to reprise their roles, recording completely new dialogue. Unfortunately, this table is jam packed, and can be really tricky to keep straight at times. And I wish it didn’t take so much effort to initiate the Jedi Council missions, as it’s really easy to use up all three balls before getting to one. At the end of the day, it’s a solid table, if not a bit challenging. Maybe it’s best left to the pinball wizards.

Last, but certainly not least, is a table dedicated to galaxy’s most feared bounty hunter, Boba Fett. This table is just downright confusing, and even after reading through the table guide (in the pause menu), I still couldn’t figure out how to capture a bounty. That said, the sounds and visuals with this table may be some of the best. I just wish the objectives were a bit more clear, so that I could get a bit more enjoyment out this table. I probably played this table the least, so maybe it just needs a bit more dedication.

When all is said and done, Star Wars Pinball is a worthwhile purchase, especially on the PS Vita, as its bite-size content is great for on-the-go gaming. Of course, that’s not to say that it’s console counterpart on the PS3 isn’t a fun play, but I think most Zen Pinball 2 tables are best devoured on the Vita.

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