Pinball FX2 (Xbox 360) Reviews

523,865 (329,330)
TA Score for this game: 2,222
Posted on 27 October 10 at 18:39, Edited on 28 October 10 at 03:35
This review has 45 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The moderately enjoyable, if a little bland, Pinball FX has been given the makeover treatment and now returns as the flashier, more immersive and more enjoyable Pinball FX 2. Zen has done so many things right by addressing the shortcomings of the original Pinball FX while adding so many new features that it's hard to find a reason to not recommend this to fans of the original as well as players who may be new to the video pinball genre.

To start with is the much-advertised feature of being able to import your existing Pinball FX games into the PFX2 interface for free (with new achievements to unlock for all the original tables - all the more reason to play them again!). PFX2 gives you an easily accessible and at-a-glance view of all the tables (locked and unlocked) that you have across both versions and is a breeze to navigate through. This type of layout is what Game Room could have benefitted from instead of their off-putting and time-wasting "enter-your-arcade-and-stroll-by-your-games" menu.

Also, the effects have been ramped up - from visual indicators of the scores being racked up with every hit of a bumper or spin of a spinner to original tweaks like water splashing as your ball goes racing up one of the aquaduct ramps on the "Rome" table. Many multiplayer aspects have been added as well, from combining the scores of your friends with yours to give you an overall "Wizard Score" to split-screen multiplayer capability. The new tables (of which there are 4 in the core set) have also incorporated a number of mini games within the tables, which add a whole new level to the playing experience. For example, you can activate a minigame on the "Biolab" table that requires you to navigate your ball through a labyrinth-type maze, using your flipper/trigger controls to tilt the maze one way or the other.

Perhaps the feature I love the most though is the "Rule Sheet" - on each game's Pause menu you can actually pull up explanations of how to activate certain bonuses. This was always a part of the original Pinball FX that frustrated me - trying to read the quickly-flashing onscreen instructions while keeping one eye on my ball never worked out for me and I played a lot of games "blindly" that way - just hoping to activate some random bonus.

The only downside I'd have to say is that even though the tables are graphically better than PFX 1, they are visually darker. This is especially noticable on the imported tables like Rocky and Bullwinkle,where the areas of the table that only light up once you activate them are now shrouded in shadows instead of being just "off". It makes a great effect once the whole table lights up, but until they do, you can't help but feel like you're playing on a table with a couple of fuses blown.

But overall, Pinball FX2 is great upgrade and a worthy addition to the panthenon of video pinball games -- and if you have PFX1 then getting this is a no-brainer.
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