Pinball-FX-2:-MarsTable-Xbox-360-Review Pinball FX 2: MarsTable Xbox 360 Review

   18/04/2011 at 17:57       Chris OToole       12 COMMENTS. - Score 5/5
 - Pinball FX 2, Mars Table, Xbox Live Arcade, Pinball, Flippers

Pinball FX2 is my favourite game on the Xbox 360.

There. I said it. Not just my favourite game on Xbox Live Arcade, but my favourite game on the console full-stop. Nothing can beat that sweaty, heart-pounding rush you get when you see a friend's score pop up on the top right of the screen, telling you that you only need 50,000 points to beat it. But of course now that you know this, your hands become sweatier, you start missing ramps you'd ordinarily hit with military precision and you watch as your final ball impotently rolls away, with nary a point to its name. After cursing several gods and beating the nearest small child, you hit the play button once more, and this time, this time you'll do it, you'll beat his shitty score. Oh yes.

I've been waiting for new Pinball FX 2 tables for quite a while now, with the last released being the mostly wonderful Marvel Pinball set, but now it's finally here how does the Mars table stack up to the others?

The answer as it happens is very, very well. In fact, this could be one of my favourite pinball tables yet. Mars takes place in the year 2100, and we've finally managed to settle on the Red Planet, and through the joys of bumper-bouncing and the nailing of ramps, you'll discover the secrets this mysterious world holds. Well, if you are good enough that is.

Mars is a joy to play, with the harsh bad-luck of some of the other tables carefully smoothed out. It's pretty easy to light your kickbacks so your balls don't drain down the sides of the table and you never feel like the games is being unfair, and that's always been the barometer of having a good time.

Strangely enoughly, considering how long it's been since Pinball FX 2 was initially released, Mars is a fantastic beginner's table with game modes denoted by flashing arrows set into the table. There're even projected holograms showing exactly where you should be aiming your ball for bonus play features. Which brings me on to another point, the table looks gorgeous. Set against the back-drop of a star-field it radiates quality. And there's a great added exrta by way of a little spider robot that runs about your flippers activating kickbacks, as well as the space shuttle swooping in from out of the screen only to park on one of your ramps, proving an integral part of the play field. You've not lived until you've used your flippers to control your space ship in the middle of an asteroid storm.

At 240 Microsoft points MARS is now the most expensive table on the roster, but believe me when I tell you it's worth every penny. Newcomers should try this table first, it's very simple to play, but it's going to be very difficult to master. And for the old Pinball FX2 pros, it's every bit as good as you'd hoped it would be. The gauntlet has once again been dropped. New leader-boards await. I'll see you there.

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