Sunday, 19 May 2013

Review: Star Wars Pinball (360)

After giving the iconic and classic comics universe a proper pinball treatment with its excellent collection of Marvel pinball tables, Pinball FX 2 applies the same reverence to another iconic classic, the Star Wars universe, with Star Wars Pinball on Xbox Live.

For a movie franchise that loves its trilogies, Star Wars Pinball has three tables included: Clone Wars, one devoted to the badass bounty hunter Boba Fett, and the best of the three, Star Wars Episode IV: The Empire Strikes Back. All three have the expected level of quality that all FX 2 tables have come to be known for in respect to the ball physics and pinball sounds. FX 2 pinball gives gamers such an unbelievably realistic pinball experience, it's hard sometimes to realize you're not actually standing at a table in the arcade or local pizza shop with a few quarters or tokens lined up on the table glass waiting for the next game.

Taking full advantage of the licensing, FX 2 has paid a tremendous amount of loving respect to the Star Wars universe, bringing so many franchise elements into each table that fans will be in Star Wars pinball paradise. That includes great Star Wars-themed graphics and artwork, and mini-games that can include 3D interactions – gunships, Darth Vader and Boba Fett, most notably.

However, there are times when the included Star Wars-based sound clips can resonate somewhat tinny and it can be hard to clearly understand what is being said. Also, the music fails to impress on the bombastic scale of the movies – this is classic John Williams symphonic music after all (although that may be a unfair comparison on my part, paralleling movie theater sound quality versus television speakers sound quality).

You don't have to go to a galaxy far away to get Star Wars pinball wizardry with an excellent array of tables in one collection. Three tables, all with different aspects of gameplay and a variety of characters from the Star Wars universe, will delight the army of Star Wars fans. But as always, regardless of the subject matter, the real supernova star of any FX 2 pinball game is the stellar ball physics and authentic pinball sounds.

- Lee Cieniawa

The Good:
- Three tables triples the Star Wars saga pinballing fun
- Usual stellar Pinball FX 2 sound effects and physics give the game a real pinball table feel

The Bad:
- Star Wars sound clips sound tinny and are hard to understand at times
- The classic John Williams symphonic music doesn't sound as bombastically impressive as it does in the movies

Score: 8.5 / 10