Zen Pinball 2: Star Wars Rebels (PS Vita) Review

By Shane Jury 19.05.2015

Review for Zen Pinball 2: Star Wars Rebels on PS Vita

First released in 2008 on the PlayStation 3 and the iOS app store, the original Zen Pinball quickly made a name for itself as one of the de facto avenues for enthusiasts of the classic arcade machines. Highly lauded physics, sharp and detailed visuals, an accessible interface made possible by the platforms of choice and simple menu navigation, and an array of cheap and fun downloadable tables cemented Zen Studio's intent for a sequel across many more formats. Zen Pinball 2 acts as more of a hub world than its predecessor, giving access to a vast number of themed tables that range from Marvel properties like Spider-Man and the Avengers, to South Park, and even the ever popular Plants vs Zombies. New onto the scene is Star Wars Rebels, a table based on the show of the same name. Does this release 'stay on' or 'drop target' for the Vita?

Star Wars Rebels tells the adventures of Kanan, one of the last remaining Jedi in the galaxy after the events of the third film in the franchise, and Ezra, a young thief who becomes his apprentice, as they battle against the emerging Empire. The show details the Rebel Alliance in its infancy, and presents an intimidating new antagonist simply described as 'The Inquisitor.'

The Star Wars Rebels table isn't focused on the overall narrative of the series, rather highlighting certain characters and battles. After launching the ball into a certain lane, one of six events to happen on the board can be selected, ranging from a Stormtrooper battle to helping Chopper the droid fix up the ship by smashing up targets in an enclosed area of the map. Each event mostly involves simply flipping the ball at the right ramp or target, but each supporting character from the series being given time in the spotlight is a considerable plus for fans.

Screenshot for Zen Pinball 2: Star Wars Rebels on PS Vita

The table is laid out as a pinball setup should be, and the physics of the actual pinball are so close to real that it's almost scary, but given an otherworldly dosage of Star Wars flavour. 3D moving and detailed models of Kanan, Ezra and the Inquisitor stand at select points of the table and interact depending on the player's actions. The shuttle craft from the Ghost, the signature spaceship for the rebels, is the launcher for the ball, and Ezra's Energy Slingshot weapon acts as a preventer for an Out of Bounds situation at times. Chopper can even be controlled in his event. That's not to mention the numerous voice clips, sound effects, and music taken from the show; repetitive over time, but thankfully unobtrusive to the game at hand.

The Vita makes for an excellent platform for this type of game; not only for the portable nature of the device, but the large sharp screen and shoulder buttons, as well. Zen Studios has also implemented a vertical display function that the unit detects via the tilting controls, allowing the whole table to be seen at once. In both this mode and the regular horizontal positioning, a simple button press will shift the camera around to wherever it is needed.

Zen has also applied a 'Hotseat' local multiplayer mode that allows up to four players to take turns on the table, and a competitive online mode to survive the longest and obtain the highest score. Online leaderboards are in, as well, to let players compete with the scores of the best in the world, and also their friends. Even a tournament mode is present when live, making for a vast amount of possible hours to put in for preparation. Star Wars fans, pinball fans, or the lucky number that enjoy both, will find a lot to enjoy for their few quid.

Screenshot for Zen Pinball 2: Star Wars Rebels on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Zen Pinball 2's Star Wars Rebels table doesn't reinvent or improve dramatically on the established formula, but with the base game's solid pinball physics and online backing, it does satisfy both the arcade crowd and Lucas fans.

Developer

Zen Studios

Publisher

Zen Studios

Genre

Table Games

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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