» Rants: Marvel Pinball: Vengeance and Virtue

L.E. Green

|    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • Developer: ZEN Studios
  • Publisher: ZEN Studios/Microsoft Studios
  • Platform: Xbox 360 - Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation 3 - Playstation Network
  • Players: 1-4 In House or 1-2 Online
  • Rating: E
  • Genre: Pinball

As much as I enjoy virtual pinball, which, if you read our little site often enough, you’ve likely realized is quite a bit, I am finding it increasingly difficult to give an instant thumbs up to the ongoing expansion tables ZEN Studios is releasing for its Pinball FX/ZEN Pinball franchises. Yes, I still had to play the tables to form my opinions, but, initially, I was instantly enamoured. With the more recent releases though, and most often with the Marvel packs, my enjoyment has been brought down by the inclusion of tables that didn’t quite live up to the others in the pack. That’s not to say they were “bad” per se. They just didn’t reach the level of fun or interactivity of the other tables.

This first happened with the original Marvel Pinball release, with one half of the pack not quite living up to the other half. Now the same thing has happened, though not to the same extent with the Vengeance and Virtue pack. Three out of the four tables are quite enjoyable, but then the Ghost Rider table shuffles in there to ruin the party with its ugly simplicity. What’s the point?


Comments (2)


  1. schmechman schmechman says:

    Ahhhh, you need to have been born in earlier decades ie: should have been around in the 70’s when actual “pins” came to town and sucked up all our spare coins. Many a happy time was spent in arcades and pool halls and slammin’ those real steel-balled table tops.

    Video versions today just don’t cut it and if you ever get the chance to see a documentary about how pinball got its start, how it was banned/denied in the U.S. for about 3 decades and made its return in about ’76, check out Special When Lit (2009). It doesn’t delve that deeply into some things but those who grew up playing these marvels of entertainment devices will certainly want to re-live the olden days of real fun.

    One needs to be in front of one of these table units, slammin’ the ball up the table so hard it makes that cracking sound on the glass above it, the bumpers and lights going off and the smoker hanging his burning cig off the end of the unit while he concentrates on taming this beast! Many a cigarette was wasted to get those free plays.

    Kids today have no idea how much more entertaining these were and still are in some places, than upright video units or home console video game boxes will ever be.

    Check out Sterns in the U.S.A, the only makers of pinball machines today.

    • L.E. Green L.E. Green says:

      Thankfully, at my age, I have had many a chance to experience real pinball tables, and the crack of the steel ball hitting the glass top. I would love to own one or two, but they have always been out of the price range I could afford to make that a reality (now space is an issue too). One of my favourite tables, to this day, is the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace table, which beautifully blended classic pinball with a “holographic” screen, into which you could actually shoot the ball. It was only one of two of that type.

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