Pinball FX 2: Mars Review

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Descriptive Text Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Zen Studios

Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Nearly a century in the future, humanity has begun its colonization of the red planet, revealing not only a stark and dangerous landscape, but ancient alien ruins scientists have only begun to understand. How did we perform this feat of science, engineering and willpower? With pinball, of course!

Kyle Ackerman

At 240 points ($3), the Mars table is a few cents more than the other Pinball FX 2 tables, but it's still barely the price of two or three games on a physical pinball machine – and the quality is exceptional, making the purchase well worthwhile. The Mars table seems wide open, like the empty Martian landscape, but It's somehow still packed with ramps, colonization bumpers and activity. The field might seem empty, but scanners and cargo arms can turn the entire empty field into targets to hit, and there's no shortage of winding paths for the ball to follow.

Pinball FX 2 Mars TableThe theme is splendidly executed, combining a reddish wasteland with a starfield populated with shining metal ramps. Mysterious Martian hieroglyphs mark the playfield, metal ramps from the planet's surface have been subjected to brutal weathering, and I love the spider exploration robot that (when activated) lurks near the flippers, leaping to operate the kickbacks whenever the ball seems lost. All of this is punctuated by a retro-futuristic soundtrack with a driving beat that would be at home in any disco Buck Rogers entered.

The Mars table is a particularly splendid addition to the Pinball FX 2 collection because it is so easy to understand. Unlike some pinball tables, it's clear what any given event requires, making it easy to enjoy without having to read up on rule sheets or errata. I particularly liked the clear story (for a pinball table) that has a defensive pyramid emerging from the planet's surface while players cope with equipment constantly running out of fuel or charge and explore the planet's surface. The zero-gravity multiball even made me laugh out loud as the balls occasionally floated away, only to be later relaunched by the plunger.

The Mars table for Pinball FX 2 is simple, good fun.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on April 18, 2011 11:01 AM.

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