Marvel Pinball - Xbox 360

Marvel Pinball
Game Description: 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.
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Marvel Pinball Preview

Marvel Pinball Preview

By Christopher Monfette - Posted Nov 17, 2010


Pinball might not exactly be the first thing you think of when you consider the various Marvel franchises, but it turns out that the four character-specific tables included in the downloadable Marvel Pinball game make a strange kind of sense. We promise that we’re going to try to make it through this piece with as few sophomoric ball references as possible, but we can’t guarantee anything. Bear with us…

Even in our early demo of the title, one gets a sense that Marvel Pinball isn’t so much a game as a platform. What currently includes four individual tables is almost certain to expand throughout the life of the title, and given Marvel’s massive character archive, there’s no reason why developer Zen Stuidos can’t continue to deliver downloadable tables ad infinitum. Immediately available upon the title’s release will be tables themed to four Marvel heroes: Wolverine, Spider-Man, Iron Man and – in a somewhat inspired selection – Blade.

It’d be easy to simply slap some iconic imagery on a basic pinball table and call it a day, but Zen Studios has done an impressive job designing each table toward its specific hero, complete with boss fights, challenges and design features that do a surprising job at making each table feel and play differently.

For example, the Spider-Man table features three interactive boss battles against Dr. Ock, Mysterio and Green Goblin, each of whom possess different abilities that adversely affect the table. Mysterio’s hallucinogenic gas changes the color scheme of the table completely and reverses the bumper controls for some added difficulty. Bosses are defeated by jamming your balls up various ramps – okay, sorry, that one was legitimately unintentional – until the activated boss has finally been vanquished. Green Goblin, for instance, will turn your pinballs into his usual pumpkin bombs, forcing you to strike them back in his direction. Otherwise, the table features a series of web-inspired ramps that twist above a New York skyline.


The Wolverine table also features three main bosses – Sabretooth, the Silver Samurai, and a massive Sentinel – though you’re likely to encounter Sabretooth most frequently as he leaps onto the board for his annual battle with his arch-nemesis. This board features a unique mode where the balls become increasingly lubricated – okay, that one was totally intentional – and the board loses all friction, making for some super-fast ball action and demanding even more from your reflexes. On the Iron Man table, the Mandarin and Whiplash flank Tony Stark, who’ll transform into the iconic superhero if you hit the right series of bumpers. This is a much more linear table with less twisting ramps and more straightforward lines, but equally challenging for more precise players.
Lastly, Blade’s table immediately struck us as the most visually dynamic, playing between day and night, jumping between fluorescent and neon light. There’s a truly remarkable effect that occurred about half-way through the board where multiple balls dropped down onto the table, glowing with a vibrant phosphorescence as the table went completely dark. It’s the kind of flourish that really grabs your attention and totally works in keeping with the character and his gadgets.
Overall, the game’s looking fairly polished, but at only four tables, we’re hoping that Zen Studios will continue to support the title with new DLC. Plus, there’s also a slow-motion option to help train less talented pinball players, so even if you’re not an expert player, there’s still a lot of fun to be had. Check back for our final word when the game launches this December.



Comments are Closed

  • Spybreak

    Can't wait, there are already tons of tables yet I could always want more. haha Way cheaper than having the machines too.

    Posted: November 17, 2010 7:56 PM