Developer / Publisher: Zen Studios
Platforms: XBox360, PC, MAC, iOS, Android, PS3, PS4, PSVita
Price: Varies depending on platform
The big selling point of Zen Pinball is the Cross-buy system on PlayStation platforms which meant I could play not only on my PS3 at home but also on the move with my PSVita too. The new Star Wars Pinball: Heroes Within tables are no exception.
What I didn’t realise was that as tables on Zen Pinball 2 (Pinball FX2 on XBox) have different trophies than when native within the separate Star Wars Pinball game. Bonus trophies is always good thing for me. These tables work across all three Sony platforms but only as tables within Zen Pinball 2 on PS4.
If you haven’t played any previous Zen Pinball not only are you missing out on how well they play but also how pretty they look. The animation and physics of the ball it beautiful and smooth, there’s such a high level of attention to detail from the monochrome Dotmatrix score board that shows clips from the films. The tables themselves are decorated with iconic models and characters from the Star Wars universe, and peppered liberally with appropriate sound effects and dialogue from the films to great effect.
As this pack contains 4 tables I’ll break down some of the main features of each:
Han Solo table
Set on the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo at the helm this table is incredible it’s very crowded with pretty much every hit causing the ball to travel up a shoot, for opening up additional objectives after completing a certain amount of runs. From Shooting First in the Canteena, which is time dependant, taking out a droid, or using the Ships gun turrets to take out an Empire ship.
The main part of the table is taken up by a beautifully rendered model of the Millennium Falcon which can be interacted with from storing balls in secret compartments, fixing the malfunctioning hyper drive and the beautifully rendered controlling of the ship through the asteroid field causing enemy ships to fly into rocky debris whilst trying not to destroy your own ship. With Canteena music playing in the background there’s so much to do on this table and the awesome addition of the Magna Save function can keep you playing for ages.
Added to the fact there appears to be at least four Multiball modes that are crazy fun to open up, including storing the ball behind a carbonited Han Solo. Great for newbies but better for pros, an allround superb table.
The table I was expecting to dislike the most but found it a pleasant and surprisingly funny table an exact opposite to the Han Solo table in style and play. Mainly due to how open the centre area is with all the loops higher up. There’s a sink hole which liberally provides random awards when entered. On one playthrough I managed to get eight Extra balls.
The main aims are to free droids by hitting a certain number of tubes or by completing episodic missions. The first Mission has you trying to collect the pieces of C3-P0 scattered around the table and return them to the sink hole so R2-D2 can reassemble him. The ball turns gold to indicate you’ve collected a piece.
There’s also a hacking Mini-game with R2-D2 which is a lot harder than it looks.
The look of this table is very simple but the additions of a Jawa at the top and the two main droids bumbling about is really good, as is the magnetic grabbed and smelting works. The sound effects are excellent with C3-P0’s dialogue and the blips and bloops of other droids.
Due to the liberal award of extra balls, ability to quickly boost multipliers and ease of almost infinitely looping the chutes for major combo bonus. A great beginners table, with a lovely sense of humour.
Episode IV: A New Hope
Based on the film of the same name this took a bit of getting used to, as I easily guttered the ball until I started to get the knack. Including finding the hidden Skill Shot, the ability to chose a lane for your skill shot is a unique edition. Like Droids there are Chapters to complete but these are specific scenes from the film.
Including assisting Princess Leia shooting storm troopers, Orbiting the Death Star, Shooting Down Empire ships in a table with in a table. The centre of the table rotates and acts like bumpers, which open up different objectives. This table is packed full of hidden little gems but is really prone to the ball guttering on the left hand side which is deeply frustrating.
Masters of The Force Table
Easily the hardest of the bunch, if not over the whole Zen Pinball collection. That said it is very pretty and has some incredibly unique features. The fact that this tables doesn’t have main obvious paths and chutes. Visually the table is split vertically down the center to illustrate the split between Sith (left) Jedi (right). There are missions and multipliers for both factions and for maintaining a balance between the two.
There are Holocroms for both sides that can be activated, which if utilised correctly give access to a mini-table game underneath Yoda / Darth Sidious. Unlocking these Holocroms is really hard to complete but is do able, just trying to get in to the Sith Holocrom is a challenge in itself.
The hues of blue and red look incredible as does the artwork showing key Sith / Jedi looks great. Another innovations comes from the fact these a full colour LCD display built into the lower section of the table. When completing a mission it shows footage from the films. The missions are difficult to open but are key battles from the films. My favorite is Obi Wan & Qui Gon Gin vs Darth Maul battle which causes a lightsaber to streak across the screen releasing cut out characters recreating that infamous battle. The LCD screen shows of moments from the battle as you complete through it. As I’d said this table is highly challenging but really rewarding, but it’s difficulty level can be off putting.
“Do or do not there is no try.”
Given the fact this pack contains 4 instead of 3 tables for the same price as the last Star Wars table pack Balance of the Force. If you’re a fan of Star Wars or Digital pinball these are essential due to how packed they are with samples, how beautiful they look and how tricky they can be to master. Add to the fact if you buy the tables on either PS3 or PSVita you get access to the tables on all Sony platforms, with the additional trophies for playing the tables.
I must give some caution though and that is the PS4 version has produced some interesting game breaking bugs but I’ve had no problems with the PSVita version.
“These are the tables you’re looking for.”