Developer: Zen Studios
Publisher: Zen Studios
Platform: Wii U
Zen Studios have hooked up with Lucas Arts to bring the world of Star Wars to their outstanding repertoire of pinball games (Zen Pinball, Marvel Pinball and Pinball FX). Initially packed with three tables, and the promise of more on the way, this collection dazzles with everything that’s fantastic about George Lucas’ sci-fi phenomenon.
Zen has produced a magnificent pinball engine that has been perfected in its latest carnation, Zen Pinball 2. Originally expansion tables to Zen Pinball 2, Star Wars Pinball has finally been given its own separate game and released on the much starved Wii U. These three tables are spectacular and will have you whizzing all over the place as you try and stop villains, collect bounty’s and shoot down spacecraft while ricocheting off of bumpers, flippers and ramps.
Before you hit the tables you’re given the choice of which side you would like to represent, Light or Dark, Jedi or Sith, and as you rank up by scoring big, which makes for interesting leader boards as both sides battle for the top spots. A way of truly sing if you can keep the balance!
The first of these tables is a blast from the past, set to give Star Wars fans a huge slice of nostalgia pie, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back is very sharp looking machine. Everything from Hamill’s portrait in the centre to the AT-AT walker in the background is rendered beautifully. It has a great 1980’s feel and sound effects that are ripped straight out of the film. The main missions are accessed by thumping the Star Wars logos above Vader’s head and this unlocks a trap door for you to plummet down, giving you a choice of five scenes from the movie to try and complete and rake those big scores in. Everything from protecting the Falcon to tripping the walker is included in the fun and varied missions. It’s probably the easiest of the three tables and the most recognisable until we see some more released.
This second table is the most colourful, yet it’s also the table I was the least familiar with (probably as I never watched the TV show). Based on the successful animated series The Clone Wars this multi-coloured extravaganza has light sabres in abundance as you plant bombs around the table or hide away from the superbly evil Asajj Ventress. With tight loops and cool scenarios this is a more adventurous table; it can however be a bit confusing.
The last of the three tables is the Boba Fett machine. Like the great bounty hunter himself you spend the majority of your time doing just that, hunting bounties. You work for the Empire or the Hutts and by hitting skill shots you can take these jobs on. The more difficult your mission, the bigger points you’ll rack up. This is by far the most difficult of the three, but it gives a greater sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as you upload your high score for the world to see.
In conclusion this is one of the tightest and drop dead gorgeous set of tables to come out of Zen Studios. On the fly switching between the Wii U game pad and TV is pretty cool and two player score races are possible with one player using the TV and the other on the game pad. It plays fantastic as you would expect from Zen and on a system starved of great games the Wii U version is a greatly welcome addition to the small library Nintendo’s latest console has. Can’t wait for the new tables to drop.
Review copy provided by developer.