Playing Pinball in venues can soon become expensive, so my main experience of Pinball has been on game consoles or previous VR Pinball games. Now, Zen Studios has released Star Wars Pinball VR, I have hit up the tables in the game, what do I think?
You are going to get exactly what you expect from game, a realistic Pinball experience – which is even more enhanced with the use of Virtual Reality and feeling like you are stood at the tables.
Overall you get eight tables based around the movies, TV shows and also a table for the classic collectibles. Each table brings its own scoring mechanic, score multipliers and own little touch to suit what it based on. However, one issue I found with this is some of the tables seem cluttered with events and some are very sparse in design and events.
Each table will come with set score challenges in Classic mode, which will unlock collectibles for your apartment. This mode also comes with leader boards, so you can test yourself against others and try and beat your own scores. Within this mode as well, you will be building up scores at the Cantina Jukebox to unlock the best tunes from the galaxy to play while you take on the tables.
Along with your classic arcade modes of just playing the tables with your initial three balls and setting those high-scores, the game also brings with it a Career Mode. In the Career Mode you get to chose the path of a Jedi or Sith, as you play your way through fifty career ranks, with the challenges to do this increasing as you progress. This adds something extra the gameplay loop, and gives you a break from the classic mode, and also comes with it’s own set of collectibles for decorating your apartment.
The first thing you notice when entering the game, is the cool Star Wars themed apartment you are placed into. With props from the movies, a jukebox from the Cantina and also many ways to customise you apartment from posters, collectables and life size character models – with the customisable objects being unlocked by completing challenges and beating scores on each table.
When at the tables they all look great, and have great animated sections when activating some possible score multipliers – but be warned at first these can distract you from keeping an eye on the ball. Outside of the great looking tables, you are also getting characters from each movie and shows around the edge of the table in life size, these will react as you launch and lose balls, and are all well animated. Giving something a little extra to the tables and for the use of Virtual Reality.
You can also go into the table and stand in three positions around the flippers at the bottom of the table. Where this mode is fun, it also seems to add a new level to the difficulty of the game. It is a fun mode to check out though, but I much prefer the over the table view.
The sound is made up of the music from the Star Wars soundtracks, which can be selected the aforementioned Cantina jukebox, sound effects and lines from the Star Wars movies and shows. Mix these two things in with the sounds you would expect from the Pinball tables, and you are immersed in the apartment and also that this is Star Wars based.
Given this is a Pinball game, you can play the game seated or standing – however, for that full immersion there is nothing better than standing at the tables. When walking around the apartment, you have smooth locomotion and snap turning only, but given the size of it, this should not be enough to cause any motion sickness in players.
When it comes to the controls when at the table you will be using the A button to launch the ball, the triggers to use the flippers on the corresponding side, and the analogue to nudge the table when needed. Nice and simple controls, that keep the game very much pick and play for any user.
With fifty ranks in Career mode, the eight different tables, and the leader boards to challenge yourself or you friends, it has a pretty much endless gameplay time. Of course this is all going to depend on you enjoying Pinball.
Reviewed using Valve Index
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a review code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press code does not affect my judgement of the product.
Zen Studios have done a great job bringing another Pinball game to VR, giving the feeling of real Pinball through the use of Virtual Reality. Offering eight tables, each unique in its own way and based on different Star Wars movies, TV shows and a classic collectable table. However, this is where my main issue with it came, some of the tables seem very busy and others seem sparse. With the addition of Career Mode, leader boards and collectibles to decorate your Star Wars themed apartment, this is easy to look over. Add to this the addictive gameplay and that one more game feeling being ever present when playing, shows you are having fun at the tables – and if your a fan of Star Wars it’s an added bonus.