Puns, puns, puns. This show is full of all kinds of quality jokes. Not only that, but we talk about video games too. With Micah out to some sort of real-life activity, we call in Mr. Steve Conger from thegamesmen.com to help us out. After this show is over you can expect to be smarter about Xenoblade Chronicles, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Zen Pinball 3D. And as always, you will get the latest in our obsession with the Uprising AR cards.
Starring – Tony, Shannon, Steve, Shelby
Run time – 1:43:52
If you want to get in touch with us, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and talk on our forums. Hi, Shannon.
Word came out this week that Zen Studios has a big announcement coming up sometime this week. I was curious to find out what it is so I talked with Mel Kirk this week about what it might be. He wouldn’t comment any further than to say that they have something exciting coming for the future of the Marvel Pinball series. Could it be new character themed tables? A release date for the 3DS eShop version of the game? Or something else entirely? We’ll find out on Friday.
I also asked about their reaction to sales of Zen Pinball 3D for the eShop. Of course he wouldn’t go into specific numbers, but said the company was very happy. He also had something interesting to say about their future with Nintendo platforms.
“We are VERY, VERY happy with how Zen Pinball has done on the eShop. We are happy to continue to support Nintendo with future product for both 3DS and the WiiU.”
What could they be working on for Wii U? We know they have a new game coming out that doesn’t deal with pinball. Could that rhythm game be making its way to Wii U? I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see the Pinball FX or Zen Pinball franchise make the leap to Wii U. Wel also know that there will be more tables for Zen Pinball 3D coming soon. It’s nice to see these talented folks wanting to satisfy more Nintendo customers in the future.
There’s just something about a good pinball game that brings out the kid in me. I spent many an hour and countless numbers of my parents quarters playing pinball games in my youth. Some of the tables were memorable like the Back to the Future table, or the Addams Family table. I remember one that would blow cold air on your face like you were in the Arctic. There have been many others that I couldn’t name unless I saw them.
Maybe it’s just the simplicity of the game itself. Launch a ball onto a playfield, watch it bounce around as gravity brings it to the bottom of the table, hit it with the flippers and start the process all over again. Maybe it’s the fact that many designers created some wonderful gaming experiences with two flippers, a steel ball and a lot of rubber. Whatever it is, I really like pinball games. It’s hard to recreate the magic of those times in a digital form, but Zen Studios is working at creating some new pinball memories in the digital age.
What You Need to Know
Zen Pinball 3D is a port of sorts of the console version of their pinball platform, Pinball FX 2. There are four tables in the initial release of the game, two of which, Shaman and El Dorado, were exclusive to the Playstation up until this point. The other two, Earth Defense and Excalibur, were available in all versions of the game. They’ve brought the tables to a handheld platform in full stereoscopic 3D with many of the same features as the console versions, like online leaderboards and achievements, in tact.
During the interview we held with Mel Kirk and Neil Sorens from Zen Studios a couple of weeks ago, they let it slip that the game will be heading to the 3DS eShop next week on January 12th. Today, they made that official with a press release and some new screenshots for the game showing off the four tables that will be available. Those four tables, which are available in Pinball FX 2 for the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 will be Earth Defense, Shaman, Excalibur and El Dorado. The game will be available for $6.99.
Tony and I got a chance to talk with Mel Kirk and Neal Sorens from Zen Studios. This is a quick 30 minute interview where we talk about Pinball FX2 as well as the upcoming Zen Pinball 3D. Both Mel and Neal give us some behind the scenes info on what goes into making tables and working with Marvel. They also announce the North America release date for Zen Pinball 3D. As an added bonus, we somehow get to talking about Mario Kart in the end.
Zen Studios Interview
Run time – 36:37
Thanks again to Mel and Neal as well as everybody at Zen Studios. If you want to keep tabs on them, they have a Twitter account, a Facebook page and their forum. As always, you can listen to the normal Okie Cast on Mondays… except we probably won’t do one this week because of Christmas… so almost as always. And you can still get in on your chance to win a free game on our trivia podcast. If you liked those Zen Studio links then you might like our Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and forum links as well.
Zen Studios is the development company responsible for the already successful, downloadable pinball game Pinball FX 2. The game is currently available for Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network. Later this year they’re going to be bringing that game to the Nintendo 3DS in the form of Zen Pinball 3D, which will bring a smaller selection of the pinball tables available for the console release, to the handheld. Mel Kirk, the VP of Marketing for Zen Studios took some time to talk to us about that upcoming release.
The 3DS eShop is lacking in original 3D content available to download. There are currently only three NES games that have been redone in 3D and one original game made that take advantage of the 3DS’ glasses free technology. Zen Studios, the makers of Pinball FX 2 on the PS3 and Xbox 360 are about to change that with the announcement of Zen Pinball 3D for the Nintendo 3DS.
The game will be available to download this fall and will contain four tables from their popular pinball franchise. These four tables will be redesigned to give you a greater sense of depth that’s available with 3D technology. The four that will be available to download are:
Earth Defense - Pits the player against hordes of aliens as they try to take the planet by storm! As the captain of the Earth Defense Special Forces, it is your mission to rally the defenses and protect planet Earth.
Shamen - Players will experience life as a novice sorcerer who must master the trade of summoning spectacular natural phenomena.
Excalibur - Travel back to the middles ages to the Kingdom of Camelot and become a Knight of the Round Table.
Eldorado - Experience unexplored jungles as you hunt for hidden treasures and uncover the mysteries of ancient civilization.
All four of these tables will feature local hot seat multiplayer, online leaderboards, rankings, multiple viewpoints and rewards for performing specific tasks. Like the console versions of the game you’ll have one overall Pro Score which keeps track of the sum of your high scores across all of the tables and compares it to people from around the world.
I’ve played a number of the tables that are available in Pinball FX 2 and I can tell you that the game is a lot of fun. I’ve also become a fan of 3D with the release of the Nintendo 3DS and I think this is going to be a solid addition to the library of games available for the handheld throughout the remainder of 2011. If you haven’t had the opportunity to play the game on consoles yet check out this trailer for Zen Pinball 3D to get an idea of what to expect and head past the break for more screenshots. I think you’ll like it. I know I do.