Marvel Civil War for Pinball FX2, Zen Pinball 2 review for XBLA, PSN

Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Also On: PSN, PS Vita, PC, Mac, iOS, Android
Publisher: Zen Studios
Developer: Zen STudios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: Leaderboards

It?s not often that a Marvel Comics event comes around that changes the way we look at our comic book heroes. When Marvel Civil War was released in comic book form this was one such event, taking all your favorite heroes and forcing them to choose to sides, with each having valid points on why it was right to keep things the way they are or unmask and be judged by the human race. Well the folks at Zen Studios are no dummies and know how to take a good story and deliver a smashing good pinball table out of it as well.

The goal of Marvel Civil War is to convert all the neutral heroes (Spider-man, Sentry, Human Torch, Spider-woman, Ms. Marvel, Tigra, Luke Cage, and Vision) to your side. You choose either Captain America or Iron Man to lead your cause just like in the comic series. If you choose Capt, you are part of the anti-Registration side, while Iron Man is leads the pro-Registration side. You gain your allies by winning certain game modes, but also make enemies by losing game modes, so it has never been more critical to have those flipper fingers time everything so precisely.

The table actually beings with your typical skill shot set in a prologue scenario to locate survivors of a gigantic explosion in Stamford, which inevitably turns into a multiball round. Here you must shoot the flashing ramps on the far left and right of the table, after which the game stores the all time high score you achieved during the multiball event and you get this score every time you start a new game. You can also choose to skip the prologue and begin with your previous high score. Furthermore you can recruit an ally to your chosen character side for 10 rescued hostages. Lastly it?s time to choose your side and gain the allies you need to become victorious.

There are a wealth of ways to score big points in Marvel Civil War including Super Combos, Registration Orbits and getting your leader to a Safe House. There is also Ambushing your Iron Man (which is a cool multiball mode), Ambush Captain America (Iron Man ?chases? the ball that represents the Captain America trying to get to a safe house before losing an ally), multiple challenges in The Raft?s whirlpools, spelling FREEDOM or FUTURE, and REBEL or WAR, and much more.

The game can seem a bit overwhelming at first and your objectives don?t really become clear until you have played the game numerous times, but there lies the charm of the game as this is certainly one table you will not become a wizard at in short order. The visuals are outstanding with on screen displays acting as a newscast telling the happenings of the civil war and on screen characters coming to life and battling on screen. There is also a riveting sound track that fits the game quite nicely and creates the proper mood, voice over work that allows you to hear your heroes thoughts, and of course enough diversity and variety to keep the table from becoming stale in a short amount of time.

Overall this is one sick Marvel Pinball table that once again shows the creativity and thinking outside the box that makes Zen Studios stand on their own when it comes to creating virtual pinball tables. This of course leads to my no brainer conclusion – if you have Pinball FX2, Marvel Pinball or Zen Pinball 2, BUY IT!

Grade: A