Video Game Review: Marvel Pinball [PS3, 2010]

Marvel Pinball [PS3, 2010]

Marvel Pinball
System: Playstation 3 (Xbox 360, iOS, Android, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PC)
Genre: Pinball
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Zen Studios
Release Date: December 14, 2010

Last month’s free game for Playstation Plus users was Marvel Pinball, an attempt to capture the Marvel comic book world into video game pinball form. The main package comes with four unique tables, and includes the option to purchase more if desired.

The tables are based on four of the most popular Marvel characters: Wolverine, Spiderman, Iron Man and Blade. Each character’s table has its own quirks and features, as well as its own theme to separate it from the rest. Every hero appears in their table, and enemies pop up to wreak havoc as well. Between the villains talking trash and changing the table’s dynamics to the pinball flying wildly to well-concealed areas of the board, there is a lot going on at any given time.

In fact, this can be too much of a burden on occasion. As the characters wander about and tweak the elements, it can sometimes be difficult to see where the ball is actually going. The tables look cool as hell, and I like the fact that they are so well-designed, but a greater emphasis should have been placed on making sure everything was clear.

Marvel Pinball [PS3, 2010]

That’s not to say that the game plays out poorly. The table physics are outstanding, and it feels like a real pinball game would. Hell, there is even an option where you can tilt the PS3 controller to shake the table in the game! The amount of detail that Zen Studios put into this game is remarkable.

Even though it can be hard to keep track of the ball from time to time, Marvel Pinball can get pretty addicting. I wasn’t expecting much from this title, but there were times where I found myself playing for hours just to see if I could beat the scores of my friends. The leaderboards are great in this regard, and there are options to play head-to-head and online if you would rather go that route.

Naturally, fans of the Marvel universe and/or pinball games will get the most out of this, but it won’t be hard for casual gamers to get hooked as well. Marvel Pinball is a solid little timewaster, and a good appetizer in between major games.

7.5/10

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7 thoughts on “Video Game Review: Marvel Pinball [PS3, 2010]

    • Eric says:

      Thanks Matt. The problem with video games is that my backlog is always out of control and there are so many to play and write about. But then again, I guess the same thing could be said for movies… it is impossible to see every movie I would like to, unfortunately.

      • Matt Stewart says:

        Yeah I get you. It is one of my favorite things about movies, yet one of my least favorite. To me it’s comforting to know there will always be another great movie out there to see, but also upsetting because I will never see all of them! Haha.

  1. jsicktheslick says:

    Nice review. I’ve played the Street Fighter II tables for Zen Pinball, and I had a similar problem of not being able to see where the ball was going. Maybe an option to turn on a tracking system, or make the ball glow like they use to do in older hockey games on TV would have helped.

    • Eric says:

      That’s actually a really great idea. If there were an option to have the pinball glow, even just when things got crazy on the board, that would help a lot. This is still a fun game, but it could be even better.

  2. Gary Smith says:

    I played this a ton last month when it was made. I’m not a fan of comics, and always skip the pinball machines at arcades, so I really wasn’t expecting much from it. But man is it addictive.

    I definitely agree with you that it can get hard to keep up with the ball, and I like that idea of a glowing ball.

    I’d probably give it an 8 if I still gave out scores. I bought the Captain America (great table) and Fantastic Four tables to go along with it.

    • Eric says:

      Yeah, I was using your scores as sort of a benchmark to go up against. I put in a good amount of time playing it but quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to catch up to you. It looks like you were tearing shit up. 😀

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