I have been a fan of Marvel comics my whole life, in fact I have over 300 comics including some very rare ones indeed. I love pinball and always try to find a machine (hard in London sometimes) so Marvel Pinball is the perfect game for me. One of the cornerstones of the Marvel franchise has always been the Fantastic Four, so it makes perfect sense to release a new downloadable table dedicated entirely to them.
This is pinball so there is no story, however, you can say there is the story of good vs. evil in the Marvel universe. The Fantastic Four table is beautiful to look at and play. The controls are very simple, L1 and R1 are your flippers with the X button used for ball launching. The physics of the ball are perfect, feeling as heavy as a real ball does and bouncing around fluidly with perfect animations.
Since this is a Fantastic Four table, we have all the main protagonists for the comics. The cast includes: The Thing, Mr Fantastic, the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch, Dr Doom and Galactus. The level of detail in the table is staggering as every light, ramp and railing is designed with loving care. The flashing lights add to the feel of this table and I have to say, I love how it looks.
There are missions to take part in where you can fight against Dr Doom and Galactus and these are initiated when the ball goes up the right ramp or down the right hole. I’m thinking the designers must have been fans to put so much detial in, as the table itself gleams and looks very nice. I also like the fact that I can see the whole table and the screen does not move up when the ball goes up, which is a very annoying design choice on some non-ZEN tables. Here, even though there is so much going on you never loose sight of the ball and you always have a high level of control.
The music for this table is also unique and very super-hero-like. The Fantastic Four track is typically fast paced and cool. The ball pinging around the table sounds as it should and the noises of the flippers and ramps all add to the realism of this pinball sim. Even the voice acting of the characters is very good with believable tones used and nice dialogue inserted.
The fun does not stop at the level of single player either. There is an online mode where you challenge other players over the PlayStation Network to beat their high scores for each table. However, there are some seriously good players out there that will rack up scores of 20 million routinely. There is even the option of playing with your friends, and on this table, as the others, there are trophies to win and unlock. I really think everything that needed to be in this game is present.
Overall, Zen Studios have provided gamers with a brilliant pinball game with a Marvel twist. Everything is pleasing about this game and I cannot fault it at all. I may be slightly bias given my love of Marvel, but as a pinball sim this has no competition. The graphics are silky and bright, the gameplay is easy and satisfying (and very addictive), the sounds are as they should be and the online mode adds a lot. If you love the Fantastic Four then this DLC is available for download now from the PSN, so go get it. Pinball perfection is hard to achieve but Marvel pinball is it.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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