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ZEN Pinball - PS3 - Review


Posted by: jkdmedia

Review Rating 7.7 Good

Pinball machines have always been popular among the arcade- and video-game scene, and pinball software games have always been around. Now, the newest title has hit. Its name is Zen Pinball and its been released on the PlayStation Network (PSN).

Zen Pinball is a nice reminder of the days of arcade hopping and pinball tournaments with friends. The title offers four pinball machines or “tables.” The four machines have different themes, and those are V12, Tesla, El Dorado and Shaman. Each pinball machine’s looks are themed after its name. The four machines are quite creative, and look amazing. Each comes with a level of difficulty as well. There are different camera views you will have to use to “master the table.” Everything you know about pinball machines is used in this software title. You have your tilts, you have your overall high scores, best score speeds, best one minute scores and you have some all around fun. Did I mention you also have to find all the secrets to the tables to get that ultimate high score you want?

ZEN Pinball Screenshot

The game features single player as well as a multiplayer mode. In single player, you obviously are playing by yourself and are able to choose whichever course you want to play. There are some trophies you can get with this title, but the main point is to be on the highly exclusive scoreboards. But once you get over playing by yourself, natural curiosity will lead you to the multiplayer mode. Somehow pinball high scores work perfectly with playing multiplayer online, and Zen Pinball definitely did this mode right. You can play with your friends on locally or you can take the action online where you can face off against three other players. The goal is to reach a set high score first. It can get pretty intense at times, and is a ton of fun. Other options include: join a custom game, join a quick game and to create your own. So, gamers, you will not be disappointed with the multiplayer in this game.

The graphics are beautiful in this pinball title. The pinball machines are very sharp and crisp, and are the absolute closest you can get to playing pinball without actually being at a pinball machine. The original soundtrack for the game is average, but the developers added the option of playing your own playlists, which is a great addition to this game.

Just like most games though, this one did have some things that won’t sit well with players. First of all, there are only four pinball machines you can play. For the $9.99, I thought the title should have at least a few more pinball machines available to play. Four doesn’t seem to be enough for me, and this will disappoint some players, once they download the game.

Otherwise, Zen Pinball did a lot of things right. Adding trophy support, being able to listen to your own playlists and multiplayer pinball kept this game afloat with its lack of playable pinball machines.

Gameplay: 7.0
Not much has changed from past pinball titles and this one. The same classic gameplay, the same classic fun.

Graphics: 8.0
This is without a doubt, the best looking pinball game to date. Very crisp and clear visuals will give you the illusion that you are actually playing a pinball machine in an arcade somewhere.

Sound: 8.0
The sounds and audio for Zen Pinball are average, but the option of playing your own playlists keeps Zen Pinball at the top. 

Difficulty: Easy
Pinball is easy to play, but it’s always hard to compete with those top pinballers out there.

Concept: 7.0
No one has really released something new to the pinball genre. It has always been a classic nostalgia-type title, and although this one does some nice themes, it isn’t much different than pinball titles of the past.

Multiplayer: 8.0
Trying to get a higher score than online players will make you go crazy, but that is what it's all about. The multiplayer could have only been better with the option of playing more than three people.

Overall: 7.7
Zen Pinball did show up with crystal clear graphics, fun classic gameplay and an option to play your own music, but only having four pinball machines really hurt this title. Thankfully, an intense multiplayer mode saved this game and will have pinballers everywhere trying to find that score of 1 billion.


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