Pinball FX2 is the sequel to the popular pinball game released back in 2007 by ZEN Studios. You can download a trial version of each table which allows you to play for a few minutes; I think a little longer would have been ideal to really get a feel for the table without having to restart every time. Every table has a theme which gives the table a identity to set it apart from the other tables even though the core game remains essentially the same. Visually, Pinball FX2 looks great, it is as close as you can get to playing a real pinball table. You can download Pinball FX2 as well as the trial or full versions of the tables on the Xbox Marketplace. Yeah I agree, I am very far from even trying to get a decent place on the leaderboards so I ignore them.
The sequel offers a variety of improvements such as a new physics model for a more realistic experience, eight brand new tables and four from the original which you can import for free if you own them and a wealth of multiplayer related features.
I consider the method of charging per pack or table to be fair, there’s two sides to the coin.
There are two general styles of tables; the what I would consider to be the ‘bells and whistles’ tables and the more minimalistic tables.
Providing you have friends on your friends list that also own the game, it takes on another dimension. The modes allow you to create your own winning targets such as the first to reach a score or gain the most score within a time limit.
Each tables themes are designed well with plenty of areas to explore along with lights and special effects such as exploding ships and submarines to keep you interested. The annoyance of not always knowing what you are supposed to do without looking at the window does detract a little from the game. I think I saw in the game stats the number times you score over a billion, I have barely managed 15 million on some tables! Each table has a wealth of leaderboard style stats on offer including your friends best scores, your individual ranking, who is the Pinball King amongst your friends and a Pinball Wizard score which is a basically a culmination of all your tables scores multiplied by your friends ranking.
While you do not see your opponents tables in the online modes, you can see their progress through an easy to glance at gauge in the corner of the screen. Also worth noting is that though the Classic pack are imported tables, they do feature a big graphical overhaul and you can see the difference. My recommendation is download all the trial versions of the tables and purchase the those you enjoy as you will certainly get your monies worth. It is feature packed with with plenty of ramps and targets to hit and features simple mini-games which are fun to play such as a maze like puzzle in which you must rotate the screen to move the ball to the exit. There are plenty of opportunities to set or beat your friends scores or ranks and it all adds to the competitiveness. There are also visual representations of success via small windows in the corners which contains their avatar or a live stream from Xbox Live Vision Camera if they have it connected.
One small annoyance is that information on challenges are presented in the top corner of the screen which can be at times hard to read if you do not have control of your ball.
The Speed Machine and Extreme tables fall into the latter category and provide an alternative style of play with less immediate challenges requiring more skill to rack up the points. During the game, information screens appear when you are close to beating your personal best or your friends score which is great to experience and adds to the tension. I would have liked to have seen a more audible feedback to tell me what to do instead of being distracted by reading the displays. The range of themes and designs are good and there should be at least one table that will interest you. Nothing gets your heart pumping faster when you are down to your final ball with a few points separating you and a friends score! The games are lag free and are fun to play, I had no problems finding a game to play so it seems to be fairly popular and is a good way to make new friends to improve your Pinball Wizard score. Each table have their own music tracks, sounds and speech which are overall done very well.
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