Marvel Pinball – Xbox Live Arcade Review

If you’re looking to bolster your Pinball FX 2 table collection, this new set of Marvel tables is only marginally less impressive than the core set. Indeed, the addition of some of the best loved characters in pop culture could just sway your decision over which tables to add to your collection. It’s always nice to see your favourite comic book heroes immortalised in a decent videogame. These tables certainly aren’t just a set of skins over run-of-the-mill tables, but a real effort to make the characters come to life in pinball.

All of the tables feature the superhero – whether that’s Blade, Spider-Man, Wolverine or Iron Man – facing off against his respective arch enemies. For example, playing the Wolverine table, by hitting orbitals, switches and ramps, you unlock small animations of the X-man fighting against the various enemies dotted around the table. While somewhat distracting, these give you much greater motivation to continue than most other tables.

The tables themselves are wonderfully clever as well. Spider-Man’s table is orbital-based, and sees you shooting the ball all over the place in overly extravagant style. This is in stark contrast to the equally interesting Iron-Man table, which is a high-tech affair. One of the best ones, though, is the Blade table. This has a very strange day/night cycle, and the balls even light up on special modes to make the whole thing genuinely unique and seriously professionally put together.

Of course, none of this would mean anything if they weren’t good tables. Fortunately, they’re excellent. They have almost no niggles that we’ve found, they’re flowing, and graciously unpunishing, as well as being, (as every decent table should be), interesting in the longer term. You’re unlikely to get to see the best of any of these tables until you’ve been through the rules sheet and had a good old practice. In fact, the practice is far and away the most important of the two, as the rules aren’t often as clear as you would like.

Overall, these are worth anyone’s money, especially given all the additional tweaks, options and multiplayer modes you’re given for your money. These, and indeed the other tables available on Pinball FX 2, invite you into a far more modern world of pinball than you’re probably used to. While there’s much that a real world pinball title wouldn’t allow that is available here – such as the cool animations of the cartoon characters – it does have a very different feel to any other pinball game we’ve ever played. The combination of excellent technical proficiency, excellent design and geuine innovation make these tables – Marvel licensed or not – a guaranteed winner.

Score: 9/10 – Excellent

REVIEW CODE: true staff A complimentary code was to Brash Games for this review. the publishers in any way whatsoever. For all review code enquiries, please use the contact form.

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