Saturday, March 30, 2013

Zen Pinball's X-Men

Hey folks, happy Saturday morning. Writing up this post early because I'm about to head out with some of my friends from the Long Island Arcade Club this morning to attend the Asbury Park Comic Con as well as the Silverball Museum that's a few doors away. So if the convention isn't any good, 20 bucks and you can play pinball all day! So be on the lookout for some new videos from both places. Hopefully I'll get some folks to play some games with me while I record.

This week's app review is of Zen Pinball's X-Men table. I thought after I did the video of the Stern machine it'd be fitting to check out the Zen version to compare both. Just like with the Stern game, Zen's version includes all of the popular X-Men and villains. Both tables share the center shot with Magneto complete with magnets that throw the ball around. In the game you've got a couple of missions to complete that pretty much boil down to hit a ramp, then shoot the center bank of targets till they drop and you can sink the shot to end the mode and collect the bonus. I like how they also have the right ramp for Ice Man that has a cool twist on it and in certain modes the ramp will shift to form a different shot.

One thing to note is the Zen table came out first, so it's interesting to see what both tables share. Like both having center shots for Magneto, Ice Man having a ramp and the collecting of X-Men in order to light modes. They seem to share the same "Marvel Approved" voice actors but their nowhere near the quality of the voices from the various animated series. I would have loved to have heard a rendition of the 90's cartoon theme, kinda like how the end of game music in Spider-Man is the song from the 60's TV series.

The one thing I'm glad that Stern did with their version of the game is they went with the comic book versions of the characters. I used to love every time a new table would come out it would have different unique artwork that you could tell somebody took the time to draw and paint everything. Now all they do is get the production artwork from the movie studios and photoshop everything into place. If you look at the new Avengers table you'll find the same pictures of the characters on the table that you can find at any store that sells those peel and stick decals that you can put on your kid's wall. Even when you watch the "Behind the Scenes" of X-Men video that Stern put out themselves they even say the character shots that the movie studio provided "there weren't a lot of action shots" so they "decided to go the comic route". It's just lazy and it shows. I really hope the next time they get a comic book turned movie game they decide to use the real comic book artwork then lazy Photoshop. It gives the games a more timeless look rather then having it dated from a movie that came out year's ago.

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