Zen Studios and Marvel have teamed up once again to give us a new downloadable table via the PlayStation Network: The Captain America table. As you may have gathered from reading the reviews of other Zen efforts on this site, the company has obtained virtual pinball perfection with the Marvel pinball franchise, and this table is no exception. This table is again unique (how do they do it?) when compared to the others and not only plays smoothly, but also comes with a typically patriotic feel.
After watching the film, I’m sure we all know the story of Captain America, but here’s a quick synopsis anyway. With the aid of a super-solider formula, Steve Rogers has been turned from skinny solider to masked ass-kicker for the good old U.S. of A. He fights the good fight against the Nazis and in particular the Red Skull.
In pinball form, Captain America stays true to both its roots and those of Zen’s pinball series. The controls are the same as for previous tables, with L1 and R1 being the flippers and X being the ball launch button. Depending on how long you hold the X button the ball is launched with more force.
The table is designed with moving and interacting figures of Captain America and his arch rival The Red Skull. They are constantly gesturing to each other and following the ball around. There are barrels and caves for the ball to hit and a couple of rails for the ball to travel down in. There is also a shooting range in the top left and a jeep in the bottom left. The colours match Captain America’s outfit of course and the whole theme is designed to perfection. Every crate, boulder and stick of dynamite looks authentic and to scale, and there are airplanes, tanks and, of course, a massive American flag in the centre.
The table itself is again very detailed and looks lush. The bright lights that flicker really make me think this is based on a real table (not sure if it is though). The missions you can undertake include dodging bullets and fighting the Red Skull as well as saving your team-mates. These are initiated by hitting targets and sending the ball up the correct ramps. A cool feature of this table is that when you lose a ball, a figure walks onto the table from the bottom and shakes their head at you for being such a bad player.
One aspect of the table I really liked when compared to the others, is the way its design makes it very hard to score high, when you do however it feels pretty good. There are many score multipliers but these are in tricky places, so you need to have constant ball control in order to succeed. I found that the best way to do this was to hold the flippers up and let the ball roll down the table to where the flippers are, then slowly lower your flipper, and when the ball is in the middle smack that sucker up. You need to be very accurate on this table but once you get used to the angles and various vectors you will be getting the high scores in no time.
The music is authentic as it’s very heroic. It’s a mix between old and new styles, and the various score multipliers, flipper sounds and the ball rolling around the table all sound accurate. As with the other tables, there’s also a vast online mode here which allows you to play against friends and people all over the world to compare scores.
Overall, this table personifies Captain America: power but with control. You have at your disposal 3 balls that you can just smack around the table, however, do this and you will lose pretty quickly. If you control the ball you will hit your targets and always get better and bigger scores. The level of detail in this table is as I expected from ZEN Studios and they did not let me down. The colours are bright and the lights, ramps, pitfalls and figurines standing atop the table all add to the authentic Marvel feel. The Captain America table is a more than welcome addition to the growing legion of Marvel pinball tables available on PSN, now go help Cap fight them Nazis.
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