As expected, the game is identical in terms of contents to the Wii U version that was reviewed three months ago, save perhaps for the empty slots of the Wii U version that indicated more tables would be soon made available in DLC, although nothing has yet to come out of this. Indeed, the 3DS version doesn't seem to be designed to welcome any form of DLC further down the line, as was the case with Marvel Pinball 3D last year. This means that the three tables available are still Empire Strikes Back, The Clone Wars, and Boba Fett.
The missions, objectives, bonuses, and so on, are absolutely identical... and so is the gameplay, which is, as always with Zen Studios, absolutely perfect. The L and R buttons activate the respective flippers while the A button or Circle Pad activates the plunger. That's as simple and effective as it gets!
What is otherwise immediately noticeable, of course, is the graphical fidelity, which took a noticeable hit in the transition to the 3DS. It's not immediately noticeable from looking at the tables themselves, but certain character models present on the tables - such as Darth Vader or Jabba the Hutt, which are zoomed in quite a lot in both versions - obviously don't look quite as good on the 3DS.
Such a complaint was not levelled at the Marvel Pinball 3D game simply because the character models on there were never really zoomed in enough to notice anything, and most importantly, it was reviewed independently, rather than just coming off the back of playing the home console version at the time, since the Marvel Pinball tables had yet to become available on a Nintendo system at that time.
However, that, of course, is nothing to deter players from the pinball experience. It just removes that extra bit of immersion into the universe of Star Wars that was allowed on Wii U and that simply isn't possible due to the graphical power of the 3DS. What does have an impact on the experience, though, is the screen size.
Choosing the right camera angle to get the best view on the playfield will be even more indispensible here, considering that some views are indeed so far away from the action that it's hard to figure what's going on. That being said, the game was tested on a regular 3DS, so that complaint may not be as big when playing on a 3DS XL. Playing on the screen of the GamePad on Wii U didn't pose any problems, so one can only guess that it all comes down to how good a player's eyes are.
It can indeed be hard to follow the tiny ball zooming about the small screen of the portable system, which can already be tough in a real life pinball machine. This could definitely be a matter of personal preference, though. What the 3DS version does provide, however, is the stereoscopic 3D effect, and just as it was in Marvel Pinball 3D, it works extremely well here as well! The virtual 3D pinball table inside the screen has some incredible presence and depth to it, and Zen Studios is yet again to be credited for an excellent use of the effect.
The audio side of things is totally identical to the Wii U version, down to the awkward level of compression of the audio tracks, which thankfully does not make the game any worse to play, as the cult themes from the movies are still perfectly recognisable, and so are the voices of the characters.
In all honesty, the additional play time spent on this version, on top of having played the Wii U version quite a lot, especially in hot-seat multiplayer, will make gamers grow more fond of the voice of the narrator from The Clone Wars, whose announcements are even more handy in this version, since the dot-matrix display was moved to the lower screen of the 3DS here and so keeping track of the bonuses unlocked and events going on throughout the table gets harder.
Subsequently, having the narrator announce what's going on makes the game that more playable in this case. Yoda's voice, on the other hand, would win the 'palm of annoyance,' since nothing he says seems to make any sense with what's going on in the Clone Wars table and he never shuts up! What, pray tell, does "Trust in your friends, and they will have reasons to trust in you" have to do with anything?
On a final note, it should be mentioned that whilst trying out the game for almost a month, the online leader boards did not work at all. What is aggravating is that, since the game automatically tries to recover the online rankings from the Internet, it makes the game crash the 3DS console entirely, which was a first sight for any game on the 3DS so far. However, basing final judgement on that won't happen since Zen Studios is aware of the problem and is reportedly working on a solution. Working online leader boards has been a weakness with Zen Studios so far, though, at least on Nintendo systems, and something that must be solved in the near future.