Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Second Look At Zen Studio's "Avengers: Age of Ultron"

I had thought about doing the entire "Avengers: Age of Ultron" review over after revisiting the table today. I noticed a lot of things that I did not include as well as some things that were not exactly true to how I feel about the table currently. For whatever reason I had decided to do the review entirely from memory, and in my mind's eye the recollection of the table was poorly pictured. After revisiting the table this afternoon my thoughts were, "WTF was I thinking!?". I was literally baffled at how half-assed my former review was. There were some details I had initially wanted to mention that were left out due to my word artistry, and my approach to typing up the review. Unknown to most of you I approach reviews with a sort of artists' mentality. I manipulate the words like paint to make the review more understandable, and well spoken. It's not that I try to baffle you with BS, or dazzle you with brilliance. It's more so that I aim to make the reviews more sensible in a professional writers sort of way, and more digestible on a gamers'/readers' level. Instead of rehashing the table details, and the spoiler free intro paragraph of my first review I think it's best that I simply use this additional article to go over missed details, and give you a more accurate opinion based on my more recent findings. It is only fair to Zen Studios that I give it my all, and do so accurately.

First off let me talk about the significant features that I left off. Unlike I told you before the table is not as bland, or as poorly decorated as I painted it out to be. The art details I gave are accurate in a sense, but the whole art design is decent enough even though it is more derivative of the Hollywood movie adaptation. Several of the superheroes, and heroines make an appearance in the middle mural including the Hulk, Captain America, and Black Widow amongst others. Even the villainous Ultron gets his ugly mug plastered front, and center just above the main set of flippers. The art style is more painted in nature, and has a slight comic book appearance to it. Table details that I missed which are tied to scoring include several lanes that double as a sort of combo scoring opportunity. In fact before each lanes' entrance is the word "Combo". Other table features include destroyed metal bridge-like structures that double as ramps as well as a backboard villa with buildings that seem to be a housing for SHIELD's secret base of operations, or Tony Stark's HQ. Along with said mountainous villa comes an open aqueduct that doubles as a pinball exit. As far as the launcher goes it is the arm of the Iron Man Hulk Buster suit. It launches the ball in an adjusting open-handed manner making it a more living addition the mostly stationary offerings of the table's surface. I should also mention that a 3D animated Iron Man stands at the back left-hand portion of the playing field across from Ultron who stands at the right-hand side.

As far as the events go they vary from mutli-ball missions with decorated pinballs that incorporate the hero's/heroine's costumes to the usual strike targets that appear briefly for a short time, but are definitely not limited to just those two things. I know that spelling "WIDOW" with the appropriate ramp passes will result in dark standing figures/targets appearing in the middle of the playing area, and that they can be struck to rack up millions of points if done before they disappear from timed limitation. Iron Man, and Hulk get their own multi-ball event that is tied to the back bumpers. Spelling out "IRON MAN & HULK" with the appropriate amount of pinball strikes will result in a double pinball multi-ball in which each pinball is painted like Iron Man, and the Hulk in a chromed over fashion. In order to spell "THOR", and trigger his event you'll have to pass the pinball from the main flippers into that center loop-around mechanism that I spoke of in my first review. In the middle of the loop-around is an opening that is sometimes shut off with a panel. Once you open it, and send the pinball sailing in enough times to spell "THOR" his event will begin. Currently I've not experienced all of the the on-table events, but I can guarantee you that there are several, some of which will be tied to the animated 3D character models of the Black Widow, Iron Man, and Ultron. Possibly even more.

When it comes to my well thought out, and wholly accurate opinion of this table I've found through follow-up playthroughs that it's not all that bad. Scoring still remains difficult due to pinball speed, and momentum, but it's an overall nice table design with a futuristic, and apocalyptic appearance to it that goes along well with the story in the Marvel comic book series of the same name. I would definitely recommend getting this table for your Zen Pinball 2 collection. Keep in mind that the PS4 version is still my favorite, but that the PS Vita, and PS3 version play, and look alright as well. I want to apologize for my half-assed review, and hope that you can forgive my oversight as a gaming journalist. I will move on to the "Star Wars Rebels" review as planned, and hopefully have that out to you soon in an immediately accurate review.

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