Hey pinball addicts! Zen Studios is at it again and just released a 4 table DLC pack called Vengeance and Virtue. The Marvel themed tables bring the total table library to 27 and counting. In this pack you’ll get the following hero tables: Thor, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight and X-Men. All of which are the quality of gameplay, visuals and sounds that we have come to expect from the guys at Zen Studios. These guys take pride in their pinball expertise and it shows each and every time they release a new table. I don’t even have to say anything other than you need to go grab this DLC pack today. If you are a fan of Pinball FX2 then you must have these tables in your collection.
So visually each and every table consist of Marvel style graphics straight out of the comic books. The 3-D representation of the heroes and villains is top notch and a treat to behold with your own eyes. Animations are a huge part of the Marvel themed tables and all 4 tables in this DLC pack definitely follow the visual trend set by their predecessors. The storylines are taken directly from comic book storylines so folks that may be familiar with a certain character will quickly recognize certain aspects.
First let’s talk about the Thor table. This table will require precise accuracy and a bit of pinball expertise to be successful. While there does not appear to be many ramps or targets to shoot at on the table, looks can be deceiving and the table can be quite busy. There is a bit of frustration that will boil up for the less skills pinball players and you can definitely expect much lower scores. Now that’s not to say that you can’t rack up some big scores because you can, but it will take some skills. I enjoy the visuals and the animations throughout. I am not a huge fan of Thor but I think the table represents the character, enemies and most common storylines known by fans. There is plenty of animation in this table and lots of fire and brimstone including a fire ball that looks pretty impressive.
Table Synopsis - Thor is all about the glory of victory, and this table has no shortage of electrifying battles against some of Thor’s biggest enemies. Trigger these boss fights by activating the Gate of Asgard and then hitting the ball across the Rainbow Bridge. You can then select which boss fight to engage: Loki, Destroyer, Ymir or Surtur. The God of Thunder will unleash strikes of brilliant lighting and the powerful hammer Mjolnir as he defends Asgard and the Nine Realms. The table comes replete with nice added touches, including a ramp that circles Asgard and exits the ball through the mouth of the Midgard Serpent.
The Moon Knight table caught me a bit off guard. I don’t think anyone really expected a table themed with Moon Knight and honestly there are probably a lot of folks that have never even heard of the super hero until now. I had heard of him, but never really followed any of his storylines or read any of his comic books. Well, with that being said I can say that the table is pretty impressive and you’ll learn a little about the hero by playing. The table is light colored and has a moonlight glow to it which I found very cool. I enjoyed the one mini game that arms you with a crossbow and you have to shoot your silver bar at pop up enemies.
Table Synopsis - Let’s be honest, you are all sitting here asking yourself, “why Moon Knight?” Let me tell you why! The integral aspects of Moon Knights story – villains, weapons and the powers of the Egyptian Moon god Khonshu– translate into an amazing pinball experience. As Moon Knight, Marc Spector wields the power of Khonshu and operates as the Egyptian god’s vengeful avatar on Earth, fighting crime on the streets of New York City. One of the coolest things this one brings to the, uh, table is the addition of actual boss fights, complete with health bars. Moon Knight faces off against some of his most classic villains, including Bushman, Midnight, the Black Spectre and Morpheus. He even pilots the Moon Copter, and Marvel allowed us to create a brand new weapon for his arsenal – the Moon Crossbow, used in a special minigame.
Ghost Rider is probably my favorite table out of the DLC pack. From the moment the table loaded up and I heard a guitar riff similar to Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People” I knew I was in for a treat. The table is a lot more accessible for the casual pinball players as described by Zen Studios and I have to agree. The table flows easily with fairly large ramps and plenty of objectives. One of the objectives is an old school video mode that will have you dodging in and out of traffic gathering point bonuses. It’s actually pretty tough, even on a larger television.
Table Synopsis- The Ghost Rider table captures the atmosphere and apocalyptic visuals from the comics of the past few years, inspired largely by his 2006 series as well as Jason Aaron’s 2009 “Heaven’s on Fire” storyline. The table is set up like a stunt show set from Hell, with Johnny Blaze front and center on his custom chopper and the Hellfire shotgun at his disposal. Lucifer is constantly taunting Ghost Rider, and he holds the key to several missions and modes within the table. Johnny Blaze must also fend off the Orb’s laser blasts, defeat swarms of crows sent by Scarecrow, defeat the fallen angel Zadkiel, and even make deals with the classic villain Mephisto. Needless to say, there is plenty of devilish action in this hellish carnival playfield!
The X-Men table is probably my second favorite table of the pack. It’s a much more wide open table but one thing I did notice is that I lost the ball a lot more straight down the middle between my flippers than any other table. You’ll really have to use trial and error to figure out how to beat the mini games in this one but as you figure them out the higher scores will result. Magneto is the primary villain on this table and he’ll definitely test your skill. All your favorite original X-Men make and appearance: Iceman, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm and even Wolverine despite having his own earlier released table. One of my favorite moments on the table is a multiball moment when you have an orange colored ball and a red colored ball representing both Jean Grey and Cyclops. Visually impressive to say the least.
Table Synopsis - The X-Men table embodies the classic conflict between Professor Charles Xavier’s band of Super Hero mutants against Magneto and his Brotherhood. Players must deploy the powers of Iceman, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Psylocke and Storm as they take on such classic villains as Mystique, Juggernaut and the Blob, as well as mutant-hunting Sentinels. The table features missions inspired by actual comic events, such as Magneto’s destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge (NEW X-MEN #147) and a pinball version of the Dark Phoenix Saga that uses actual dialogue from classic issues of THE UNCANNY X-MEN (#135 and #136). There is even a confrontation with the Juggernaut in which Cyclops, Iceman, Colossus and Psylocke exemplify good teamwork as they attempt to stop the unstoppable.
Overall, I enjoyed this second Marvel themed DLC pack from the guys at Zen. While I’ll probably say that I truly enjoy the X-Men and Ghost Rider table I don’t think this packs as much punch as the first Marvel release. I do hope to see another Marvel release along with other single table releases in the future. Hopefully they’ll bring characters such as The Hulk, Deadpool, Daredevil, The Avengers, etc. For me, Pinball FX 2 is a great way to pass the time and is a perfect representation of pinball on consoles. If you enjoy Zen’s style offerings in the past then you should definitely grab this DLC. Of course, playing these new tables also increases your Pinball Wizard score as well as your overall Superscore. With that said, this is a must have for anyone that has Pinball FX 2.