I hope you have enough 50p coins, as you are going to need them? Just joking, Marvel Pinball is free to play; well apart from your electricity bill that is. Almost everyone has played on and enjoyed a game of pinball in a pub corner or a arcade at some pont in our lives. Unfortunately, those luxuries seem to have diminished here in the United Kingdom, and we are now forced to play pinball games on our humble games consoles.
ZEN Studios and Marvel Entertainment have bought us Marvel Pinball, an epic collaboration combining the greatest comic book characters of all time with the definitive videogame pinball experience on PlayStation Network and Playstation 3. Here you can use your pinball wizardry to help Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Blade save the world from the most notorious Super Villains on four beautifully crafted pinball tables.
My first impressions were good, the tables are all very detailed for each individual superhero. The graphics are lovely, bright and shiny and there are lots of flashing lights. There are also animated superheros that stand on the table and attack their arch nemeses in various ways. Obviously, this is never going to give you that feeling you get on a real pinball machine, that would be impossible to do, however, it does look awfully pretty.
The controls here are very simple. You use the left and right trigger buttons to control the flippers and the X button to shoot you ball. The sound effects are pretty standard with all of the tables busy in the audio department. There are also some mini-games thrown in if you manage to hit some targets or complete specific in a certain order. These are always fun to find in pinball games, and I spent some time on each table trying to find them out (I didn’t resort to a Google search, I promise). At first, you will struggle to get a high score, however, after a wee while, once you start to find these hidden bonus points etc, you will soon reap the benefits and see your score rocket. Whenyou finish a game, you are faced with a scoreboard that is linked to the PSN network, if you are online, that shows your friends’ high scores so you can try and beat them. Obviously, your friends need to own the game to be able to take advantage of this feature.
The whole feel of the game really surprised me, and like inpast Zen Studio pinball titles, the developers have managed to hit the nail on the head. I can’t work out how they manage it, its beyond me, but the balls actually have that heavy feeling you get when playing a real pinball machine. This adds to the feel and really helps add to the gameplay. The attention to detail on the tables are fantastic. I am not sure if the real life counterparts, if there are any at all, feel and look this way. The tables do look a wee bit odd as they try to mimic what you might see if you were viewing a real pinball game, but they do manage to fit the whole table on your screen so you can see the entire gaming area. I have played pinball games in the past that have the screen scroll up and down as you play, but I am not too keen on the latter and like the way Zen have made all the targets etc, visible at once. This enables you to be able to see where to aim your ball a lot easier.
The game does come with multiplayer options for up to 4 players. You can either play on the same table in turns, and when a player looses a ball, the next player starts his or her round, rr you can compete against others online. I tried a number of different matches, and each time I got absolutely annihilated. My scores where around the two million mark, while my opponents’ were twenty plus million. And the thing I found frustrating here, was that I couldn’t see the other competitors’ scores until the round ended. A round lasts a good few minutes, and as you are desperately trying to get a high score you have no idea what the guy at the other end is doing. I feel it would be good to have your competitors’ scores shown somewhere as you play. In one of the games I got into, the guy I was playing had a camera turned on. I won’t tell you what he was wearing, but lets just say I did not want to see it. Not something you really need to know about the game, but I had to warn you.
So lets round things off. Marvel Pin ball is a game is great. If you love Marvel superheroes, if you love pinball and can’t afford your own machine at home or don’t have access to one anywhere, this game is for you. It’s fun addictive and I can recommend it highly. There are also other tables you can buy as extra DLC if you wish.
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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