Pinball FX Classic – Xbox Live Arcade Review

If you’ve been looking at the collection of tables offered in Pinball FX 2, you’ll notice that there are a few tables, namely these classic ones, that are of a different calibre to the rest. These, as the name suggests, are the original tables offered with Pinball FX, having been ported to Pinball FX 2.

Compared to either the Core or the Marvel collections, this Classic set doesn’t really stack up too well. They’re clearly of an older vintage, and the real innovation in design isn’t really there. Sure, these tables are great, and before the arrival of Pinball FX 2 would have been the best tables in town, but up against their newer brothers and sisters, they’re a little bit staid. Speed Machines, for example, is a very average table. It has no really entertaining bonuses, and is very small. Similarly, Xtreme is a somewhat dull table up against the Marvel ones, and while it’s enjoyable in it’s own right, there’s just not enough to make it playable when you’ve got the newer tables around. Buccaneer is, despite being fairly plain, a very professionally crafted table, and it’s probably one of the most traditional in style. The last of the bunch, Agents, is an interesting, if a touch frustrating game, which involves some seriously tricky bonuses, even when you know what you’re looking for.

Like the others in the series, which Zen Studios will hopefully expand on in the future, these tables can be played in multiplayer as well as single player, although not in as impressive a manner as the other tables in the line up. Their presence in the line up is very much less essential than simply being a nice bonus if you particularly like the board. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. When you like a table, you play it to death, and any of these are greatly likable, and genuinely enjoyable if you like the character of the themes.

The customisability and multiplayer options, being slightly less comprehensive, are our main gripes, if you could call them gripes. Overall though, you’re unlikely to really care in the long run. Even if you only play these a fraction of the amount that you do the other tables in your collection, they’re still well worth a download.

In all, they’re great fun and well worth the money, but if you’re looking to improve on the range available for Pinball FX 2, these probably wont bring anything new to the table. That said, to anyone who finds the newer tables a little overwhelming, these offer a more muted affair, and are simply good quality attempts at bringing the real world into your living room. If that’s what the developers were after, they’ve managed it admirably, and while we’d have to recommend the newer tables over these reworked versions, they’re still an excellent play.

Bonus Stage Rating - Very Good 8/10

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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