‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form

first_img Two years ago Pinball FX 3 brought all sorts of multiball goodness to Nintendo Switch. If anything, the digital cabinets felt even more accurate on the console/handheld hybrid since you can rotate the tablet to a vertical orientation. And Zen Studios offered all sorts of online leaderboard options in single-player and multiplayer to keep you chasing high scores. Part of the game’s charm was the variety of extra tables you could purchase based on properties like Portal or Family Guy for some reason.But one #brand is more than big enough to earn its own game. Star Wars Pinball takes the Pinball FX 3 formula and just stuffs it full of nearly 20 Star Wars pinball tables. You’ll play intergalactic tables representing basically every movie and TV show in the Skywalker Saga outside of the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker or The Mandalorian. We did notice there’s not a whole lot of prequel content though.A new global online multiplayer function has players earning points for either the Light Side or Dark Side of the Force. And while the gameplay will feel familiar to any Pinball FX 3 veteran, just seeing it slathered in Star Wars visuals and music and bad sound-alike voice actors can’t help but make you emotional. There are Porgs in this!So if that sounds cool to you, check out Star Wars Pinball now available on Nintendo Switch. As far as gambling-adjacent Star Wars video games go, it’s definitely the most legal.As far as game criticism goes, pinball is something of a white whale to me (along with bingo). I just can’t seem to wrap my head around what makes a particular pinball table good or bad. I understand that one can be skilled at pinball. The hypothetical skill needed is a crucial legal separation between pinball and its straight-up Chicago gangster gambling roots. But I can’t articulate what being good at pinball means. Pinball theory, as it were, is lost on me.But that just makes pinball all the more fascinating to me. It makes me determined to figure it out. Working pristine physical pinball tables are tougher to find these days. Maintaining them is an art that’s dying faster than arcades. Fortunately, video games are doing their best to pick up the slack. Pinball FX 3 is the latest pinball simulator collection from Zen Studios, and it has all of your favorite brands in ball form, now on Nintendo Switch.Pinball FX 3 is more a pinball service than pinball game. The initial download is actually free. This way, you can see for yourself how solid the virtual pinball mechanics are after years of refinement. Flippers feel responsive. Shots always went basically where I attempted to aim them. Trying to use as much as tilt as you can get away with is a tricky but satisfying balancing act. And this is one of the most tactile uses of HD Rumble we’ve felt yet on Switch, which makes sense since 1-2 Switch proved how good the tech is at replicating the feeling of rolling balls.But you’ll only get so much mileage out of the complementary generic table Sorcerer’s Lair. Where Pinball FX 3 makes its money is by selling you new tables based on all your favorite #brands. And that’s totally in line with the pinball tradition. Some of the best pinball tables are based on properties as random as The Twilight Zone, Playboy, and The Addams Family.On other platforms, Pinball FX 3 lets you import many tables you may have purchased for previous Zen Studios games Zen Pinball and older Pinball FX games. But even on Nintendo Switch players can purchase some intriguing new tables based on Greek myth, Alien vs. Predator, Archer, and more.The uses of these licenses don’t feel lazy, either. Tables are loving homages to the property both in visuals and design. The Bob’s Burgers table features a hairy Belcher arm slamming on a bottle of mustard to launch the ball into the cartoon playfield. Meanwhile, the Portal table (another almost new Valve game) is a sterile laboratory full of portals for the ball to hop between, something you can only do in fake video game pinball. A table about kids on a spooky adventure features a tiny side area where you try to bat away spiders. And however you feel about Family Guy, the Family Guy pinball table looks, sounds, and feels like Family Guy.When playing on a TV you can swap between several different views to see the action as best you can. The camera can stay fixed at the bottom of the table or follow the ball as it ricochets off walls and rolls up ramps. It’s playable but always feels a compromise. Pinball is just too vertical for widescreen TVs.However, at the last minute the developers also added an option for rotating the Switch tablet for a full vertical view like Namco Museum. And it’s great! You can easily see everything just like a real pinball cabinet. With touch controls, you can even comfortably hold the Switch with both hands to tap and play. But my preferred method was still setting the tablet down and playing with detached Joy-Con.Along with the variety of tables to purchase, Pinball FX 3 wants to keep you in its ecosystem with a progression system. As you keep playing various modes you can level up your presence on each table as well as across tables. Unlock power-ups to improve your combo scores and connect to your Nintendo account for sharing accomplishments online, even across non-PlayStation platforms. Chasing high scores has never been my thing, which perhaps contributes to my pinball ignorance, but just knowing one more quick round could reward me with something new was motivation enough to keep going.I still don’t think I get pinball. It still just feels like so many colorful casino lights and bumping sounds and rolling balls I’m barely in control of. But it is fun, especially with a charming enough #brand. And as both game and platform Pinball FX 3, especially on Nintendo Switch, faithfully translates that fun.Buy it now!Super Mario OdysseyThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesView as: One Page Slides1/51. Pinball FX 3 is a virtual pinball platform.2. After the free download, you can purchase a variety of new tables.3. The virtual pinball mechanics feel accurate and the table designs are inventive.4. Different brands like Archer, Jaws, and Portal are lovingly used.5. On Nintendo Switch, you can even position the tablet vertically for a better view of the whole cabinet. SNES Games Officially Come to Nintendo SwitchPlay These Nintendo Switch Games Before ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield&… Stay on targetlast_img

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