by Matt Porter
reviewed on PC
Extra Pinball Tables
Star Wars Pinball: Heroes Within is a DLC pack for Pinball FX2, which I wrote a full review for last year. You can read that for how the game plays as a whole. This article will be a summary of the four tables included in the new downloadable content.
Pinball has finally put an end to the debate. Sorry Mr Lucas, Han shot first. Shooting the spinner clears the Mos Eisley cantina and introduces the bounty hunter Greedo for a hurry up mode. The cantina music is sadly missing though, and overall the sound on the table is disappointing. We have some of Han Solo’s most famous catchphrases such as “Never tell me the odds!”, but his repeated screams of terror after shooting a very easy ramp begin to grate after just a couple of minutes of playing.
Visually the table isn’t very exciting either, with a boring mixture of grey and brown, though there are plenty of elements. The Millenium Falcon and Death Star are visible, and there’s even a secret playing field within the Falcon itself. An imitation of the Kessel run is easily activated, along with a multiple acting as a reenactment of Han’s carbon freezing. There’s plenty of fanservice, but the table is one of the weaker ones in the pack for pure pinball.
Droids became an unlikely favourite of mine. I’m not a huge fan of the C3PO / R2D2 dynamic, but the duo make for a good pinball table. Missions are fairly easy to unlock, and the first one sends 3PO’s parts scattering all over the place, leaving you to shoot ramps to collect them and send them back to R2 for reassembly. A common complaint of Pinball FX2 is that since the tables aren’t modelled on real life ones, they should be more wacky than normal. Droids goes a good way towards remedying this problem.
It features a similar colour scheme to the Han Solo table, which is disappointing, but the action does take place on the Sandcrawler, as you see the Tatooine landscape moving by beneath the playing area, which is a nice touch. The table might be a little on the easy side, getting extra balls is especially simple given a bit of luck. But at least that means it’s accessible to the less skilled players (like me). The difficulty is proven by my appearance in the top 10 on the overall Steam leaderboard, though I’m sure that will soon change now the game has actually released.
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
What should be the flagship of the entire pack turned out to be the most underwhelming. The ability to choose your skillshot with the triggers is nice, and the forcefield in the middle of the table adds a bit of variety. However the missions are often too difficult to unlock, and don’t change the overall feel of the table enough. The centrepiece changes, sometimes a stormtrooper rises out of the table, or the Death Star revolves into view, but it would’ve been nice for the playing area to alter more during missions.
There are plenty of multiball options, a good feature on any table, but once again it takes too long for them to unlock. The ball goes down the outlanes too often, with few opportunities to enable the kickback, though this may have been simple bad luck on my part. There are plenty of references to the movie, as with the other tables, with six scenes on offer, so at least fans will be happy.
Masters of the Force
The table least themed on the actual movies is the most visually striking. One half of the table is bathed in Sith red, while the other half is awash with Jedi blue, and it looks great. It’s a battle between the two sides of the force, and it’s up to you who wins. The spinner generates Force meter, and when it’s charged you can decide between the light and dark side using the flippers. Sadly the fights that break out on the table are between cardboard cutouts, which look a little goofy compared to the rest of the table, but at least the playing surface changes.
It’s got a couple of secret playing fields, and the one accessed by shooting the Jedi/Sith Holocrons in particular is both fun to play and takes a good degree of skill. There aren’t as many references to the movies as with the other tables beyond the likenesses of the Force users, but as a pinball table, it is probably the best of the bunch.
Plenty of references for Star Wars fanatics. A decent amount of in-game table alterations
A couple of the tables are fairly unappealing visually, and aren’t that fun to play