My previous reviews should highlight the fact that I love pinball, and in particular ZEN Studios pinball. This latest offering is the Sorcerer’s Lair table and it’s clear from the start this is a table from ZEN Studios. It’s slick, smooth and plays a treat. Usual bright colors are seen throughout the table as well as lots of ramps, rails and 4 flippers.
There is also a story behind this table, as our heroes Jake and Amanda must fight an evil sorcerer in his castle. Ok, so it’s not an amazing story, but still it’s something. The control system is the same as ever with L1 and R1 being your left and right flippers respectively, whilst X is the ball launch button. This table also features 4 flippers, two in the normal place in the bottom center, one in the middle right and one all the way in the top left. These extra flippers serve a purpose as if you can get the ball to them the resultant shots open up new missions.
As usual, Sorcerer’s Lair features numerous missions to undertake. These include killing spiders (top left) with Jake’s slingshot, or fighting the magical tree that is in the middle right of the table. You can also fight ghosts by sending the ball up the correct ramps. There are a serious number of missions to play on, and most of these are initiated by hitting the right targets and lighting up the correct panels. All these missions need to be completed before you can fight the sorcerer and conquer this table.
The design of this table is very clever, as you can get some huge scores, but only after a lot of practice, as the bonus points and multipliers are in hard to reach areas. This may frustrate some gamers, but, Take my word for it, the more you practice the more this table will give you. Stick in there as it will be worth it to get the trophies.
The table itself looks great as we have come to expect from Zen Studios. The flashing lights are vibrant and intense, the many ramps help this game a lot as it’s pretty cool to see the ball ping around them and the rails add a nice change as well as the ball rides along them. The ball is, as always, perfectly weighted and responds to the flippers well. The top down view is perfect and looks great, while the Sorcerer at the top of the table is a good motivation to get all the needed missions.
The music is very nice and appropriately mythical to keep with the atmosphere of the table. The flipper sounds and the ball rolling around are also accurate, while the ghoulish sounds from the various monsters are also believable. Even the characters’ speeches are well done by the voice actors. Yes its generic, and sometimes the speeches sound forced, but just keep playing as there’s lots to enjoy.
Overall, ZEN Studios have done it again. Sorcerer’s Lair is a great table where the story fits in with the gameplay very well. The table itself is challenging enough to make you want to keep playing and the new trophies will ensure you play more. As always, you can go online and take part in challenge modes and against other players. The graphics are typically ZEN and look lush, the lights, ramps, rails and flippers all look and play excellently. The music is as you would expect, and I can recommend this table to all fans of pinball. The good thing about this table in my view, is that it has a universal appeal as it’s not for a specific genre of gamer, it’s a general enough story that will allow kids and adults to play. Will you meet the Sorcerer’s challenge?
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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