It shouldn’t really come as a surprise to Nintendo owners and the Zen Pinball series at this point, but when Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force releases in two weeks it won’t be coming to Nintendo platforms. The game, which adds three more tables to the Star Wars Pinball series, will be heading to Playstation Network on October 15th and Xbox Live Arcade, Steam, Windows 8, iOS, Google Play, Kindle on October 16th. It will be coming to Wii U as the press release confirms, but that platform, along with the Mac App Store have been delayed. No release date was given. The company promises information on those releases at a later time.
I wouldn’t get too worried about the game not coming as the press release does confirm the release and every recent entry into the digital pinball series has come to Nintendo’s platforms. Star Wars Pinball just released on 3DS and has been available for a long time now on Wii U. I’ll keep watching the news for release on 3DS and Wii U and will pass along that information as soon as I hear it.
I’ve played Star Wars Pinball now on three different platforms; the Xbox 360, Wii U and 3DS. Each of those versions brings something different to the table. (No pun intended) The 360 had the game before the other two platforms I mentioned. The Wii U gives you the ability to pull everything off the TV into your hands and a controller that I think feels more like a real pinball table. The 3DS gives you 3D visuals and the ability to take the game with you wherever you go. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses, but the tables themselves have been the same across all platforms. Today I’m looking at the 3DS version of the game. There are three different tables currently available, with more coming in the future.
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back takes you through the events of the movie featuring the same name. In game missions have you landing on Cloud City, visiting Yoda, navigating through an asteroid field and more. The center portion of the table is dominated by the face of Darth Vader and portraits of the heroes. Near the top of the table is a rounded area where at times Storm Troopers will take up defensive positions and you have to use the ball to damage them and get them to retreat. Other times Darth Vader will loom over the table using the force to manipulate, and even destroy your ball. Two ramps lead to Cloud City, which will spin and give you bonus points depending on how many times the ball goes around the ring of the building. The most interesting feature of the table is ramps that are made out of lightsabers. They remain hidden until the ball activates them at which time they ignite sending the ball down from the top portions of the screen towards the flippers.
I’m currently working on the 3DS version of Star Wars Pinball for review, which will be up later today or tomorrow. I noticed during my time with the game that loading up the leaderboards would cause the game to crash and force a restart of the 3DS. It would also occasionally lock up the game any time I tried to load up a table. A little frustrating for people that want to push their scores out and compare with other players. I reached out to Zen Studios over Twitter and asked about the issue.
when asked if they knew there were issues with the leaderboards causing people’s games to lock up they had the following to say:
For now the best work around that I’ve found for the issue is to turn off your Wi-Fi connection while playing. It won’t allow you to upload your scores to the leaderboards, but it will keep the game from freezing.
Zen Studios has released a number of tables over the last couple of years for their pinball platform Pinball FX (on the 360), Zen Pinball in other places. The tables have been a mix of original creations and also licensed themes such as Plants vs. Zombies, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Street Fighter as well as different super heroes. Regardless of the theme of the table they’ve always been of very high quality with tons of fun little secrets to find. Would Star Wars be filled with the same sense of wonder?
Pinball tables themed around the Star Wars franchise, by the same company that did the stellar Marvel themed tables a year ago? That sounds good to me. Let’s see what this is all about.
Zen Studios has announced that their newest digital pinball release will be coming to various platforms next week. These three new tables are Star Wars themed and will see you playing on areas themed with the likes of Boba Fett, Han Solo, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.
The three tables are Star Wars: Episode V, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Boba Fett. The schedule for release and pricing is as follows:
Pinball FX2™ on Xbox LIVE® Arcade – February 27th for 800 MSP
Zen Pinball 2™ on PlayStation®Network for PlayStation 3 & PlayStation Vita with Cross Buy entitlement! Purchase once and play on both systems – February 26th in North America for $9.99, February 27th in Europe for €9.99
Zen Pinball 2 on the Mac®App Store – February 27th for $2.99/table
Zen Pinball on the Apple®App Store – February 27th for $1.99/table
Zen Pinball HD Google Play™ – February 27th for $1.99/table
They also said that the new Star Wars tables would be coming to “other platforms” at a later date.
What do you get when representatives from Zen Studios and PopCap Games meet over lunch during GDC 2012? Well, you get a pitch for Plants vs. Zombies pinball, of course. The game was actually pitched by a member of PopCap Studios’ development team and was given the green light as long as no time was wasted developing a pinball engine. It just so happens that Zen Studios has such an engine and so the partnership was formed.
I can’t tell you just how excited I was that this table was announced. It was teased a few weeks ago with some of the most likely candidates for a PopCap themed table being PvZ, Peggle or Bejeweled. The latter two being the more obvious choices as those games have mechanics that might be more suited to a pinball table. I think it’s hard to argue with just how popular Plants vs. Zombies actually is and now we have a table based on the popular lawn defense game.
If you’re old enough to hold a deck of cards or manipulate a computer mouse, then there’s a really good chance you’ve played solitaire; probably even played a lot of it. I would wager to guess that it’s probably one of the most played games of all time. It’s simple to play. You don’t need anyone else to play it and its on pretty much every electronic device that’s been created since the 1970’s. It only seems fitting that the 3DS gets its own solitaire game. The only odd thing about 3D Solitaire, it’s being released by a studio most known for their pinball games, Zen Studios.
What You Need to Know
3D Solitaire is exactly what it sounds like; a solitaire game that uses 3D visuals on the 3DS. You can play the game on either the top screen in 3D, using the buttons to control all the movement, or the bottom screen using the stylus to move the cards.
I’m a big fan of pinball and if you’ve seen the site you’ve seen that we’ve kept up with all of the tables that have come from Zen Studios on all of their platforms. There’s just something about pinball that’s always drawn me in. I like playing it at arcades. I’ve played it on the Atari and just about every other platform I’ve ever owned video games on. I can remember playing the space themed pinball table that came bundled with Windows a few years back. Marvel Pinball 3D is the latest release of the popular pinball franchise from the developer. We’ve seen these tables on the Xbox 360, but how does the 3DS release hold up?
What You Need to Know
Marvel Pinball 3D features four tables new to the 3DS. Three of them were featured in the XBLA release Of Marvel Pinball. The fourth, The Fantastic Four, replaces Spider-man. This game comes with all of the community features of every release so far. You’ve got local multi-player, local leaderboards, online rankings and constant updates on your progress as well as the progress of your friends.
People can’t get enough Marvel pinball can they? That’s why Zen Studios is back with four more tables to quell your pinball appetite. Each of these tables is loaded with details from the story that inspired them – more than any of the past titles from what I saw. Zen has picked four of the biggest stories in recent Marvel history to build tables around, so more than likely they will hit a story you’re a fan of.
This table is modeled after the smash-hit, Joss Whedon film. The Avengers must team up to defeat Loki. You can expect a lot of the film to leak into this table. Each Avenger has their own ball which brings certain bonuses, the sound effects are filled with quotes from the movie and several scenes are recreated through the course of your play. You’ll see the Helicarrier almost crash, Hulk fight Thor and more. As you play, your specific, hero pinballs will lock and you will have to choose another hero to use. The layout is a set of ramps for each hero that lead to different areas. In the middle is Loki standing on the “Hulk case” from the film. Switching between different heroes makes the table feel really slow but it gives you the chance to play as all the Avengers. Even though the balls are supposed to have different buffs, the only thing I noticed in my play time was the Hulk ball made the table shake. The Avengers table does a good job of capturing the essence of the film and it really makes me want to see it again. If you don’t mind stopping often, this table can give you that Avengers vibe you’re looking for – in ball form that is.
Zen Studios second pinball outing for the 3DS, Marvel Pinball 3D, is hitting the eShop this Thursday, June 28th. That is according to a press release the developer sent out today. The new game will sell for $7.99 and will feature four tables.
- Live a day in the life of the Marvel Universe’s favorite genius billionaire playboy philanthropist on the Iron Man table! Tony Stark literally suits up in his Iron Man armor to combat infamous foes like the Mandarin, Whiplash and Ultimo.
- Join Blade and Hannibal King in New York to fight off the vampiric forces led by Deacon Frost. Special lighting effects switch between day and night, so be sure to regenerate during the day in order to prepare for the battles after dark.
- Rally the troops and prepare to help Captain America and the Howling Commandos defeat Baron Zemo and the Red Skull, as you fight to control the power of the Cosmic Cube.
- Take on Doctor Doom alongside the Fantastic Four. Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Thing and the Human Torch are extra fantastic in beautiful 3D!
If you’ve played the tables on the XBLA version of Pinball FX2 then you know what to expect. They’re pretty good tables. I am particularly fond on the Captain America table, but as with most of the tables done by the studio they’re all lots of fun. It sells as a stand alone title and not as an expansion to Zen Pinball 3D, but if you like virtual pinball you’ll probably want to check them out.
I’ll have a review of the game later this week. Head past the break for some screenshots and a trailer.