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Zen Pinball 2: Civil War Table Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Formats: PS3, Xbox360
 
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Final Score
8.0
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Final Fiendish Findings?

Zen Pinball 2’s Civil War table is a really great addition to what is one of the most impressive pinball games out there. While the table itself is really impressive on its own, with a great patriotic look, tons of your favorite heroes, and a lot of opportunities to rack up higher scores than all your friends, it is the story that really made the table for me on this one. I love the clash between heroes, and I loved the idea of making the players choose sides rather than watching the fight from the sidelines. As always, Zen Studios has put out a quality table that is well worth your time.

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Posted December 2, 2012 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

“Families torn apart; old friends fighting one another…”

There are few things more terrible to imagine than the idea of a civil war. Families, countrymen, entire groups of people turning against one another in a battle for what they each feel is right, while their inability to come together leads to chaos and desperation. Of course, there have been many civil wars, large and small, throughout the years – but the Civil War in Zen Pinball’s new table will definitely have comic fans choosing sides.

There is a really compelling story behind the new Civil War table, and I love Zen Studios’ methods of turning pinball tables into so much more than just shooting the balls for ever higher scores (although that is definitely still a priority). In Stamford, Connecticut, a clash between heroes and villains leads to a catastrophic explosion that occurs heartbreakingly close to a school. The six hundred lives that were lost due to the heroes’ ultimately misguided attempts to prevail against evil result in repercussions that could tear the superhero world as we know it apart.

The government, being the bureaucratic machine that it is, decides that a registry of super heroes is the answer. Forcing all those with super powers to register with the government will allow oversight and regulation. Of course, it would also severely limit the anonymity and privacy of the super heroes, among other things. The unspeakable tragedy at Stamford results in support from a lot of super heroes who would otherwise never agreed to the Super Hero Registration Act, while others remain firm in their opposition to this invasion of their privacy. In short, the heroes are torn apart. Instead of fighting villains, they instead turn against each other, both sides equally convinced of their righteousness.

On the Civil War table, you will also be forced to take sides. As you begin the table, you must choose whether you want to play as Iron Man (a fervent supporter of the Super Hero Registration Act) or Captain America (who is fervently opposed to registration). Iron Man stands in a doorway on the left hand side of the table facing Captain America, who stands on a balcony above the right side of the table. As you play, both of them regularly call out points both for and against registration, while a sign on the back of the table ironically proclaims “Together we are strong.”

As you might expect, the world at large is breathlessly watching this clash of heroes. The cut scene that leads you into the table begins with a news report of the tragedy at Stamford, and this  theme continues on the table, complete with a television screen on the table itself. As you play (and Captain America and Iron Man passionately debate), news reports trickle in, reporting on all that is happening in the super hero world. The table itself even gets in on the divisive action, with popularity bonuses that can help you to influence other heroes to take your side in the fight.

Zen Pinball 2’s Civil War table is a really great addition to what is one of the most impressive pinball games out there. While the table itself is really impressive on its own, with a great patriotic look, tons of your favorite heroes, and a lot of opportunities to rack up higher scores than all your friends, it is the story that really made the table for me on this one. I love the clash between heroes, and I loved the idea of making the players choose sides rather than watching the fight from the sidelines. As always, Zen Studios has put out a quality table that is well worth your time.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)