Zen Pinball 2: Star Wars Pinball - Rogue One offers us a standalone table instead of a suite of different ones collected around a single theme. Despite only having one table to play, it is an incredibly well-made one that should appease Star Wars fans and pinball fans alike.
There have been several new tables added to the Zen Pinball family of late, and while all of them have been good - I think Rogue One is probably the best overall in some time. It just pulls in a near-perfect collection of presentation and table balance. If I have a complaint, it's that we only got one table. I'd love to have seen this attention to detail in a two or three pack of tables.
So let's take a look at what we have here. For starters, this table takes place on the jungle-like planet of Scarif. This is where the climactic battle from the movie took place, and it provides an interesting visual backdrop for everything. You have sandy beaches punctuated by buildings and machines that are either metal gray or a vibrant darker orange color and a layer of green trees along the backside of things. Meanwhile the table itself is a busy one, with a lot of appropriate flashing lights, artwork featuring the characters from the movie and character models moving around the edges when activated. This could have been distracting, but it is actually handled really well.
In terms of the audio, this is the best Zen Pinball table in a while, and that's saying something. DOOM and Skyrim had epic music on their tables within the Bethesda package, and Rogue One delivers on that front. Where this Star Wars themed table pulls ahead is in the voice work. It's less repetitive than those games and instead of the sometimes wooden deliver tables get, here the voice quality is excellent and downright enjoyable.
As for the table itself, Zen Studios has again taken a slightly different approach with things. I love that they've been experimenting with their progression structure in a lot of their tables of late, and this one is built around completing missions. You have specific targets that then unlock these missions that have a variety of objectives. Obviously some are more fun / more frustrating than others, but they tie in nicely with the overall attempt to 'tell a story' while you play the table. These missions range from 'sneaking' around to battling enemies and more.
The table itself is fairly spacious, with a rail on either side as the primary means of getting the ball into the top region. The play speed feels about average. There's enough room that you can plan shots and anticipate the ball's trajectory better than tables that have a more cramped style to them. There are some cool hidden bits within the table that drop in and out as needed - again blurring the line between classic pinball and video game flexibility that Zen Studios has really mastered over the years.
All in all, Zen Pinball 2: Star Wars Pinball - Rogue One is the best overall Zen Pinball table in some time. It has a great balance of gameplay, an excellent overall presentation and plenty of challenges to keep you coming back for more. Those who watched and enjoyed Rogue One will no doubt enjoy the fan service here, but even if you missed that movie, the core pinball is solid and enjoyable.
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Article by Nick