So the free-to-play 3D pinball game Zen Pinball 2 has released some new superhero DLC: Marvel Women of Power. Let’s get started.
Firstly, if you’ve never played Zen Pinball 2, it is a free-to-play pinball game that is one of very few PS4 games that supports 3D TVs, and one of even fewer to look good doing it. You can of course choose to play in 2D instead. The game itself offers lots of different tables, each with a free demo available to try.
The Marvel Women of Power DLC pack contains two different tables featuring female Marvel characters such as Ms. Marvel, Black Widow and Squirrel Girl. The tables are interactive, tying in elements from the two boards’ themes including having the main characters move around the board. The controls are functionally the same, with the pack being mostly aesthetic (the layout of the board is different from one board to the next, such as the placement of certain obstacles which may be located elsewhere on the table. There are also some mini-games throughout the course of the level. The great thing about this kind of DLC is that because the gameplay has a strong similarity from one table to the next, it allows for very in-depth and detailed packs to come out in order to separate one table from another and keep the game interesting.
The audio on the Marvel Women of Power pack sounds quite nice; it’s nothing amazing in terms of audio, I mean it’s not exactly a masterpiece, but it compliments the story and design of the table very nicely. There’s a strong electronic theme to the game’s base audio, whereas the Marvel tables have quite a super-heroic theme music type feel at times.
One problem I did notice with the visuals of the game was that it can be a lot harder to see the details of the map (such as obstacles and targets) when the game is being played in standard viewing, rather than 3D. This does give a clear advantage, but I prefer to make use of 3D compatibility wherever possible, so this really didn’t bother me. Aside from this issue the graphics are overall fairly good, appearing well presented and vibrant. The game does make good use of the 3D opportunity and it doesn’t feel gimmicky, which is a big risk when including 3D TV support, especially when that compatibility pops up every time you start the game, letting you choose Standard or 3D (if you have a capable TV).
The pack, as I mentioned earlier has two separate pinball tables: A-Force and Champions. A-Force follows a fight between Black Widow (on behalf of the Avengers) and Madame Masque (on behalf of hydra) which results in the destruction of a cosmic cube and the creation of a Soviet-controlled alternate reality. Alternate reality superhero storylines are my personal favourite (awfully precise but there are a lot) so maybe my love for the Flashpoint story arc in DC comics is the reason I like this table so much. Maybe it’s just because I like pinball, but anyway, back to the point. It’s a well laid out design, with, as mentioned above mini-games to carry out; on this table you can control the characters, as well as getting points multipliers throughout the game.
The other table available is called Champions; This table follows Ms Marvel finding herself stuck in the middle of a bank robbery organised by Bombshell. The two metahumans battle it out over Ms. Marvel’s takings working in a coffee shop that day. So the story behind this table is definitely unique, but the design is just a bit too chaotic for my liking; with a good pinball table you can have at least some idea where the ball is going to come from, but with this one you just guess and hope for the best really.
Now on to the price: £5.79. With DLC it’s always harder to decide if something is good value for money or not, you really need to take into account the base game and any other DLC too. The base game is a good pinball game, and it’s free, so it’s definitely worth it. For 5.79, it’s good, and if you like both pinball and are a fan of any of the female superheroes (or super villains) in this pack this is probably something for you.
My favourite of the two is definitely the A-Force table, and I am enjoying playing on that one. I’ve played the original Zen Pinball on PS3, and i already played this one before the Marvel Women of Power pack came out. My advice would be to download the base game, try the demo pack and if you enjoy that, you’ll really like the full version.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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