Pinball FX 2 and Add-On Content Review

Posted By | On 08th, Mar. 2011 Under Reviews


Now you can actually go ahead and download Pinball FX 2 the Xbox 360 Arcade title for free.  Of course it is really less of a free pinball game and more of a platform to download different kinds of pinball tables.  You could very well find specific tables that are to your liking or if you like pinball that much you could find yourself purchasing all of the many different tables selections.  They can all be previewed and they all are spread from a wide variety of type as well as price depending on the amount of tables including in each pack.   The higher the price of the DLC package the more tables that pack will come with.  They range in price from 200 Microsoft Points to 800 Points adding achievements and all different kinds of surprises waiting on the tables.

Secrets of the Deep

The following tables or table packages are available for purchase:

The Classic Collection
– The Core Collection – 800 MSP
– The Nightmare Mansion Table – 200 MSP
– The Rocky & Bullwinkle Table – 200 MSP
– The Excalibur Table – 200 MSP
– The Street Fighter II Tribute Table – 200 MSP
– The Earth Defense Table – 240 MSP
– Marvel Pinball – 800 MSP

All of these options as I mentioned before vary from how many tables to price.  For instance the Core Collection gives you a whole bunch of tables you can play on where as the Nightmare Mansion is simply one table but for much less cost, but still adding achievements.  If you were fortunate enough to purchase tables from the original Pinball FX, they do carry over to this game with out you having to purchase them again.

The game is heavily based on score and beating your friends score.  You will enjoy this game much more if you have friends playing the game, in fact the game becomes much less competitive and you lose a lot of what the game has to offer if you don’t have any friends that play the game.  So the more friends you have playing Pinball FX 2, the more fun you will have as seeing who can score the highest on certain tables and with so many to choose from you could easily have the high score on one table with your friends while other tables your friends hold the high score on the leaderboards.  There is of course a worldwide leaderboard as well as a table specific leaderboard but the friends leaderboard is the most fun as while your playing the game, messages may pop up saying ‘keep going to beat [this friends] high score’ on the table or ‘you have just beat [this friends] high score’.  There is even someone (a friend) that is crowned champion of the tables, which just entices you more to conquer the tables.

Your Collection of tables that you own.

The game also introduces “The Wizard Score”, which can act as a multiplier, based on things such as how many tables you’ve bought and how many of your friends own the game. This doesn’t effect your score to much and is much less a part of the competitive side of the game even though someone will be noticed for having the highest “Wizard Score”.  When it comes to multiplayer you can use your Xbox Live Vision camera and video chat with opponents while you compete with them in online multiplayer games which may not be for everyone, but adds an excellent aspect of craziness when it comes to competing. Up to four people can play multiplayer simultaneously, with the goal being either to score the most points within a specific time limit or to be the first player to reach a set score. I think it would be nice if more games integrated this into games that are competitive online.

Pinball FX 2 doesn’t just limit itself to online multiplayer as you can play locally as well with 2 player simultaneous split-screen for 4 player multiplayer where each person takes it turn by turn.  There are many different views you have your choice of using while playing each table, whether it is zoomed in or out, to other angles that are sure to suit your preference well.  You can also change the controls although there is not much to them as the bumper/triggers are you left/right flipper controls while the d-pad/left analog stick nudges the table for your default settings.  Speaking of nudging the table, you should be warned as nudging it too much will get you a penalty while sometimes you might need that extra nudge.  This definitely adds to the realism of the game.

Spiderman Table

Speaking on the subject of realism of the game, quite frankly looks like the developers have got the physics of real pinball down to a ‘T’ when it comes to the realism in the game.  Now this is great news for veteran pinball machine players or hardcore gamers that find that fine line between luck and skill.  However for the more casual players it leaves them only with the competition between their hopefully casually playing friends.  Now there are so many different things and surprises that pop up in the game upon doing certain things.  Being that this is a video game I feel like those surprises and bonuses that pop up should be easier for players to hit.  As cool as some of them are like hitting a certain point on the pinball machine so many time will bring up a mini game for a chance to score some extra points, I feel that this aspect should be seen more in the game and less of a rarity to the casual players.  These mini games vary across different tables and you are not well informed on how to get the most out of them.  I found myself clueless as to what button I should be pressing or what the hell I was suppose to be doing.  So there is an area of the game that I think deserves more attention as well as being able to be informed better on it, on each table.

In many peoples opinion including my own, the most recently released pack for the game is the Marvel Pack giving you a Wolverine, Spiderman, Blade and  Ironman table is one of the coolest tables up for sale.  I mean it is pretty damn cool when you net the same ball into Sabertooth’s nest 3 times on the Wolverine Table and then get to actually battle him.  As cool as it is, after working hard to get that same ball in there 3 times, I had no idea what to do in order to defeat him.  Maybe I missed some on screen, out of the blue tutorial but I failed having no idea what just happened.  This is something that you should be well informed of especially considering how damn cool that actually is for a pinball game.  Other than that the only other complaint I have about the game which might not necessarily be seen as a complaint through other peoples eyes is that table vary and you might have to get used to a table to do well in it, so switching from table to table might be hard rather than concentrating on one table to master it.

Wolverine and Sabertooth Battle on the Table.

To close my review of Pinball FX 2 and all its add-on content, this game is a no-brainer for any pinball fanatic to purchase, because your going to love it.  As for the people and gamers who are not pinball fanatics, you will be surprised as to how addicting and fun this game is, especially as you progress through the game getting better the more you play.  Let’s say the game is something like 90% skill 10% luck, that my friends could just be the rule of any good competitive game and Pinball FX 2 is no exception.  So casual gamers be warned, the game is highly addictive especially if you have friends playing it but fun too and hardcore pinball fans.. just get the game already.

This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.

THE GOOD

Very addictive, great friendly competition system. An abundance of pinball tables to choose from. Xbox Live Camera integration in online multiplayer games is fantastic and innovative.

THE BAD

Each table takes some getting used to. Not well informed when bonus surprises are attained as far as controls. No friends playing the game takes a huge aspect away from the game itself.

Final Verdict

An almighty pinball game if you will where friends can compete through online simultaneous games or just beat a friends high score while they are away. Offline multiplayer is also there with 2 player split-screen and 4 player turn based. Many tables to dominate, which one will you choose?

A copy of this game was provided by developer/publisher for review purposes. Click here to know more about our Reviews Policy.

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