Now that Zen Studio’s Pinball FX3 is out and people are racking up high scores on every table, it’s a good time to take a look at how real pinball machines are made. The A.V. Club journeyed to Chicago to check out Stern Pinball’s wizards constructing these magnificent arcade games. Laying out the tables, choosing parts, putting it all together. There’s something satisfying about seeing all the bumpers, rails, and doodads being assembled to make something you’ll soon be cursing and tilting while drinking a beer.
Since a physical pinball tournament is hard to coordinate across the globe, join us in the forums for the Quarter to Three Pinball FX3 score chase. Hurry, before the scores get too high!
“Squee!” That’s a thing the kids say when they’re excited, right? If it is, then I’m squeeing for Pinball FX3, coming later this year for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Steam, and Windows 10 PC. Zen Studios says it will be a “true community experience” with competitive pinball features like multiplayer-matches, user-generated tournaments and league play. For novice players, Zen Studios is adding single-player challenges that act as tutorials for techniques that will help bridge the gap from casual flippers to pinball wizards.
The majority of Pinball FX2 tables will work with Pinball FX3, and owners will be able to import them into the new game for free.
If life hands you lemons, make pinball. That’s the conclusion many have made and Zen Studios agrees. Portal Pinball brings Valve’s physics-defying property to life in Zen’s Pinball FX2 on Steam and Zen Pinball 2 on the PlayStation Network. All your favorite test subjects like Chell, GLaDOS, and a certain cube will make their appearance.
Team up with ATLAS and P-Body for their Cooperative Testing Initiative Multiball and wreak havok on the Turret Factory by discovering Ratman’s hidden mini playfield.
When Zen Studios announced that all your tables on the Xbox 360 were going to languish in last-gen obscurity and you’d have to rebuy them for your Xbox One, it was like that moment when you see the ball teetering into the far lane leading to the drain. Play the sad trombone effect. And if you’re like me, you converted all your Zen Pinball habits to the Sony ecosystem while flipping Microsoft the bird. Maybe you even sulked about it online.
And guess what happened:
Microsoft and Zen Studios have taken your feedback to heart, and seeing that many of you were very upset with the news that table transfers between Xbox 360 and Xbox One would not be happening, we have some good news for you! We will be able to implement table transfers on Xbox One starting from Pinball FX2’s launch. Any available table on Xbox One that was previously purchased for Xbox 360 can be imported to the new version free of charge.
Well, there is one small price to pay. The launch of Pinball FX2 on the Xbox One will be delayed until next month.
It turns out that Tom’s advice for pinball fans going into the next generation was ahead of the curve. Although Zen Studios’ Pinball FX 2 is coming to the Xbox One on July 31st, it will not support cross-platform table purchases. If you purchased a table for the Xbox 360 version, you’ll need to buy it again on the Xbox One. According to the statement in the official forum, Zen said they were unable to offer the feature.
We know this is very important to fans of the Xbox 360 version, but we are very sorry to say that this was not an option made available to us on Xbox One. We always do our best to take advantage of any platform’s features whenever possible, and if a feature like cross-platform entitlement is an option for us, we will make it an option for our players. Unfortunately in this case, it was not.
Zen’s Pinball games on PlayStation do support table cross-platform licensing. Zen’s Mel Kirk promises that if Microsoft gives them the ability to offer cross-platform licensing for Xbox, they will enable it.
I’m not much of a sports guy, but I bet folks looking forward to this Sunday’s Superbowl will be psyched about the next pinball table from Zen Studios. Super League Football is certainly different from Zen’s other tables. It has a unique gimmick that will appeal to gridiron pigskinner sportists.
Players will side with their favorite clubs including Arsenal, Liverpool FC, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid C.F., A.C. Milan, Juventus Football Club, and A.S. Roma as they square off to dominate league play in a new social pinball experience. When players download Super League Football, they will select the club they wish to support. Their table will be themed in brilliant style, including images of the clubs biggest stars, team mascots, chants and theme songs. As games are completed, scores will tally to each club’s global leaderboard, providing an overall rank for each club in the league on a global scale on each platform. As you lead your team through league play, you will earn trophies and accolades which will be placed in their own trophy room.
So are you ready for some football? Well, stand by, since there’s no release date yet. Until then, sportists will have to make do with that skateboarding table.
It’s pretty easy to be dismissive of Zen Studio’s latest pinball tables. Check it out:
Zen Pinball continues their tradition of milking franchises with three more Star Wars tables. These include a Darth Vader table with traditional ramp-based gameplay. It opens with the infamous “noooooo” scene and continues with the Sith Lord commending your performance with basso profundo observations such as “fantastic”, “awesome”, and “absolutely marvelous”. Okay, maybe not that last one, but that’s probably because I haven’t gotten enough points yet. It’s a very open table, a very red table, and a very “Uh, really? Why?” table. You also get a Return of the Jedi table that iterates on the excellent Empire Strikes Back table in the last Star Wars pack. But just as Return of the Jedi is a pale shadow of Empire Strikes Back, the Return of the Jedi table is a pale shadow of the Empire Strike Back table, featuring Ewok collection, a terrible Princess Leia impersonator, and a mission in which R2-D2 and C-3PO have to walk to the door of Jabba’s palace. George Lucas and maybe even Richard Marquand would be proud. 2 stars.