That’s almost mean to write. Valve an Zen Studios have announced that they’re working together to create a new Portal game. No, as much as anyone would like it’s not Portal 3. It’s Portal Pinball and it’s coming to Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX on May 25th.
You’ll have to guide Chell and Wheatley through test chamers. There will be familiar Portal elements like aerial faith plates turrets, portals and of course GLaDOS. Atlas and P-Body will be there for Cooperative Testing Initiative Multiball and even Ratman will be around in some form.
This should be one of the most interesting pinball tables we’ve seen yet as the ability to jump around the playfield should make for some very unique opportunities we’ve never really seen before with Zen Studios’ previous table.
Portal Pinball will be available on most consoles where Pinball FX and Zen Pinball are available, PC and Mac beginning on May 25th and will cost you $2.99
My favorite Star Wars Pinball table is based on the Clone Wars animated series. Zen Studios is going back to a galaxy far, far away with their newest table. This one is based off the newest animated series, Star Wars Rebels.
According to a press release “Star Wars Pinball: Star Wars Rebels will take players on a journey to a galaxy far, far away, teaming them up with the crew of the starship Ghost, including Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, Zeb Orrelios, Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla and the grumpy astromech Droid™ Chopper as they join forces to take on the evil Empire. The table will feature fully-animated starships including the Ghost and TIE fighters, a flaming engine thruster spindisk, Chopper’s own mini playfield, and seven exciting missions inspired by the show.”
I have not had a chance to see this show yet. I’ve heard good things, but I do like Zen Pinball and will definitely be taking a look at this when it comes out. Look for Star Wars Pinball: Star Wars Rebels on April 27 on all platforms, with the exception of Wii U and 3DS. I reached out to the developers who said the table is coming to Wii U at a later date. It is not expected to be available on 3DS.
I like rhythm games y’all. Games like Rhythm Heaven and Elite Beat Agents are regular entries into my systems. There’s just something about getting into a rhythm (no pun intended) and sort of zoning out on the music. I remember when Kickbeat was first announced and how interested in playing a rhythm game from Zen Studios I was and then disappointed when I found out it was going to be a Playstation exclusive (due to not having a Playstation system at the time). I’ve been a big fan of all the stuff I’ve played from Zen Studios whether it was their numerous pinball tables or their sidescrolling RTS Castlestorm. Now Kickbeat is out on Wii U so I finally get to play the game I was so excited about to begin with. Was it worth the wait?
What You Need to Know
Kickbeat is a rhythm based fighting game. Well, actually it’s mostly rhythm game disguised as a fighting game. Actually, it’s pretty much just a rhythm game that happens to have some fighting in it. Your character stands in the middle of a circle and is surrounded on all sides by enemies. They attack you and you have to fend off their attacks in time to the music by hitting the corresponding face button. The four buttons match up with the position of the face buttons on the controller so it’s easy to keep track of where you’re supposed to be hitting at all times. You play along with the game’s 18 song soundtrack as you try to restore music to its rightful place in the world. There are other modes outside of the main story mode like an endless survival mode where you are not given any of the normal visual cues and you have to survive as long as you can or an equalizer mode that basically plays the game for you so that you can listen to the music and watch the events of the song unfold on screen. (Something more rhythm games should do.
With the recent rash of publishers announcing their intentions (or lack thereof) for Wii U it’s refreshing to see one bringing more content to the system. Zen Studios, famous for their Zen Pinball / Pinball FX series, and Castlestorm, has announced a new update coming for the Wii U version of Zen Pinball 2.
A new update is set for the title on August 28th that will bring the latest round of Marvel themed pinball tables to the game. These include tables based on Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadpool and Doctor Strange. In addition to that, the recently released Walking Dead themed table will be made available for purchase. Each of these tables will be available for $2.99 each.
“We’re huge supporters of the Wii U, and have worked to ensure a great pinball experience across the board for our fans on the system,” said Mel Kirk, VP of Publishing at Zen Studios. “This table update is only a small piece of our ongoing future commitment to the platform, so be ready for more announcements coming soon.”
Zen Pinball is available to download for free from the Wii U eShop and you can try out tables before deciding to purchase them.
I’ve played a lot of pinball in my time, both virtually and in arcades. My electronic experiences range from Pinball on the Atari 2600 to the Space Cadet table included in Windows operating systems to the now ever growing library of tables from Zen Studios. Their most recent tables are probably the most unique experiences they’ve ever created. Super League Football combines the seemingly un-combinable worlds of pinball and soccer and it’s a great experience all around.
What You Need To Know
Super League Football features eight different teams, seven popular European teams such as Real Madrid, A.C. Milan and Juventus. For those who might not like any of those teams there is a Zen Studios themed Football Club you can “support”. Each of these teams features a table that while laid out identically to the others is decked out in the colors of the corresponding team’s colors. You choose one team that you will support and play in “soccer matches” on a pinball table where the results go up on a global leaderboard. You have the traditional three chances of a pinball game while at the same time playing a sped up version of a full length soccer match. Goals can be scored and you must defend against opposing teams scoring as well.
A couple of weeks ago Zen Studios released the first batch of DLC for Castlestorm, called From Outcast to Savior, that added 20 new missions, new troops and a new Hero for the Royal Guard. They promised that the second batch of DLC would make its way to the console in the future and that time has arrived. Thursday, March 13th Castlestorms get a little bigger with the addition of The Warrior Queen. This additional content adds a further 20 missions and takes a look at the fate of Viking warrior Freia. New weapons like Meteor Showers, Exploding Barrels, Stormbringers, Golem Hostages, and the Frozen Swordfish add to the Vikings arsenal of weaponry as they take the fight to the armored Royals.
The Warrior Queen will be available for download from the Wii U eShop for $3.99.
Castlestorm is the sidescrolling RTS from Zen Studios that sees you attempting to defend your castle while attacking and destroying an opposing army’s fortress. The game currently features two factions and a number of missions to complete. Zen Studios announced today that the game is getting a little bit bigger on Wednesday February 26th.
The game’s first expansion, From Outcast to Savior, will be available for $2.99. It includes one new faction, the Royal Guard who appear to be based on medieval Europe and Knights. It will also include a new, unlikely hero, new weapons, and trophies as well as Skirmish and Survival levels. Some of the new environments include Stonecrest, The Royal Airport, The Skyship Harbor and the Bladgard Icefields in your quest to capture the mighty Viking warrior, Chief Ramhorn.
All of this content will be available for the Wii U in North America and Europe. Zen Studios also announced the second planned DLC pack called The Warrior Queen, but did not set a release date for that content as of yet.