Zen Pinball Review - User Review
Zen Studio’s Zen Pinball on the PlayStation network is the best virtual pinball simulation ever made and far outpaces any pinball iteration you have seen on any other platform. Whether or not you even like pinball you now have cause to rejoice; Zen Studio’s latest is a seriously fun game for fans of the medium and newcomers alike.
Zen pinball offers what some might call a meager four tables—with others promised as DLC arriving sometime in the near future—but the slim pickings are hardly noticeable once you realize each table is a work of pinball genius. Not only does each have its own unique theme, music, and commentary, but numerous entertaining challenges that separate each table from the others offered and make them standout. They all look great, perform well, and are a blast to play. Best of all, it is obvious that hundreds of hours of thought went into the layout and architecture of each table to make your experience as entertaining as possible. The longer I played each table, the more secrets and challenges I found to keep me coming back.
As always, the challenge is to gain the highest score possible in the shortest amount of time using flippers to keep the pinball moving. Although this may seem like a limited scope of game play, Zen Pinball has taken great steps, such as dynamic camera angles, the addition of numerous flippers in most tables, the ability to shake the table as needed, and a killer multiplayer aspect to effectively counteract what could have been a naturally limited appeal. Plus, the tables are so darn clever and fun you don’t have time to get bored. Be ready for a new addiction.
As great as the tables may be, Zen’s real appeal is the well implemented local and online multiplayer mentioned above. In local multiplayer mode, players take turns shooting the ball one at a time in a challenge for the highest score. The appeal here is that said game style is how multi-player pinball is handled in classic real-world arcades. Others keep careful watch while one plays and plan how they are going to beat the current players score. In online mode you can compete with up to three other players simultaneously in a battle for the highest score in a limited amount of time. A bar at the top of the screen gives you instant updates on your status as compared to those you are trying to beat. When the race is tight you will feel the pressure to keep the ball rolling and rack up huge points. Who would have ever thought that online pinball could be as exhilarating as the best first-person-shooter multiplayer currently available?
Another awesome element of the games online offerings is the constant leader board updates that flash across the menu screen. Not only does this feature offer bragging rights, but actually provides great incentive to do well. It’s one thing to see your name high on a list; it’s a much better thing to see your name on a banner moving attractively across the menu for the world to see. Get a high score in a short amount of time in an online competition and the whole world is going to hear about whether or not they ever look at a leader board.
In closing, Zen Pinball isn’t just a fun pinball simulation with a great multiplayer aspect, its one of the best releases on the PSN so far this year. For $10.00 USD, particularly with additional tables soon to arrive, this game is a steal.