Like so many others, I don’t know a great deal about the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book, but I’ll tell you this much – I love the movie, I love the soundtrack and now I love the pinball table. Not only does playing Zen’s latest table make me want to go back and watch the movie again, but quite surprisingly, it kinda makes me want to pick up some of the comics too.
That’s largely down to the fact that, while the table is based primarily upon the recently released movie, with all the character design for Star-Lord, Groot and Rocket etc taken from the adaption, it also includes a great deal of content based specifically on its comic based inspiration.
Still, despite these nods, this really is a table based upon the movie, and arguably, it’s all the better for it. The animations are a bit manic at times and the inclusion of multi-ball bonuses certainly don’t help, but for the most part, this is a well-designed, carefully crafted and extremely enjoyable table.
With plenty of ramps and special events to unlock, Guardians of the Galaxy is certainly one of the visually busier tables released in recent times and provides plenty of immediacy for the more causal pinball players out there. Right from the off, you are given multiple balls to work with as the Guardian’s break free from prison. It’s certainly a spectacular start to proceedings and immediately gives the table a unique selling point, but while it only lasts as long as the escape, can become a little tiresome during repeat play.
Still, the multi-ball introduction combined with the launch bonus do give the table its unique flavour, and for those looking for immediate thrills and potentially massive scores, the Guardians of the Galaxy table should deliver in spades.
Beyond this rather explosive introduction, Zen’s, Guardians table delivers an array of eye catching special events that ensure that the sense of spectacle remains at the forefront of the experience. It could be argued that some of the actions get in the way of the actual gameplay, and I’m sure purists will be horrified by the sheer level of on-screen action, but again, the majority will likely lap this stuff up, and as a huge fan of the film, seeing these character specific events unfold never got boring.
These events, while visually spectacular and involving an array of battles including all of the major heroes and villains of the piece, are lent extra weight via the inclusion of special character specific balls and the hefty point bonuses associated with them. Some of the battles are considerably easier to activate, and it does become a tad annoying when you initiate the Star-Lord vs. Ronan The Accuser event for the umpteenth time, but these moments are animated in such an impressive way that it’s hard to begrudge them when they are invariably set in motion.
Zen’s, Guardians of the Galaxy table is both relatively easy to read and navigate and thanks to the array of visual pyrotechnics and swathes of fan service involved, will surely become a firm favourite with the more causal pinball players of the world. Purists might scoff at the inclusion of multiball and heavy emphasis on elaborate animations, but the majority should find plenty to like in this visually impressive and carefully crafted table.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.