Written by Ryan Johnson (RyanDJ) Tuesday, 19 June 2012 08:00
The Zen Studio crew assembles a mighty set of tables ready to bring you back to the virtual pinball arcade!
Releasing on the 19th for the PlayStation Network and the 20th for Xbox Live for $9.99/800 MSP, the Avengers Chronicles adds something new to the Pinball FX world: cohesive storylines. Zen Studios upped the ante this time, going beyond previous attempts to get a general genre/idea/character across. The Avengers Chronicles showcases the storyline of the new Avengers movie as well as three other major stories from the Marvel universe that utilize members of the Avengers. Click in for some video of the pinball action!
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The Avengers table has balls. Literally, there is a special ball with a special power for each and every Avenger featured in this summer's biggest blockbuster. Each individual team member must use their special powers to complete specific missions on the table in order to unlock the ultimate battle. This table impresses me because of this variation: each ball is colored and designed to look like an Avenger. Done right, the multi-ball activation can "assemble" multiple heroes on the table at once for some fearsome battling.
World War Hulk is based on a comic series where Hulk is sent into space and returns to Earth, angry and looking for revenge on basically every Marvel hero possible. I really feel Zen Studios did the best job of telling a story on this table: Hulk narrates many an event. Playing this table was the first time I found one of their micro-tables within, where I unlocked a ramp that allowed me to enter Hulk's Arena for higher combo scores.
Fear Itself revolves around an Asgardian God known as the Serpent unleashing his minions on Earth, with the Avengers being the only ones able to stand in his way. This story is the one I am least familiar with in the Marvel Universe out of all the stories told within the Avengers Chronicles add-on. It does show the love the studio has for Marvel, though, as I can get a feel for what the story is through playing the game. It makes me want to go out and find the comics to see what really happens. I also got a smile out of this table's mini-board, as I found myself playing Breakout with Thor's Hammer as the ball.
The Infinity Gauntlet is the oldest story in the set, taken from Thanos' attempt to destroy half the living beings in existance to please Death from the popular early 90s series that already spawned the Marvel Super Heroes game series, a precursor to the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Thanos controls the Infinity Gauntlet, and utilizes the individual gems to transform the gameplay table. The twists on time and space definitely do a number on what you truly expect from a pinball game.
Zen Studios knows pinball. I would love to set them loose on creating these tables in the real world, but right now that is impossible. They merge the ultra-real clicks, clatters, springs, bumpers, and gravity with the fantastic super animated characters, explosions, and other things that would never be able to be recreated in the real world. Storyline pinball tables are new to their repitoire, but these four tables tell the stories I already know well and make me want to read the ones I don't know even more. All three of the comic-based tables could prove worthy storylines for future Avengers movies, given the studio plans on making more (duh) and the licensing rights can get ironed out (not so easy). If you already know and love the world of Pinball FX, this purchase is a no-brainer. If reading this article is your first foray into gaming pinball, the basic Pinball FX2 game itself is free (you buy the tables to add in) and every table has a free demo option, so at least give it a shot. Assemble your points cards, citizens, and pick up this four-pack now!