Posted on November 24, 2012 AT 05:27am
Marvel Comics’ Civil War event was one of the biggest and best crossover events the company has ever produced, earning the title as one of the most beloved in the history of the comic book world. It was, most recently, made the latest addition to the plethora of themed tables for the hit virtual pinball game Pinball FX2, developed by Zen Studios. The game has had numerous Marvel tables in the past, such as Fear Itself and many hero themed tables, as well as other popular franchises such as Plants Vs. Zombies, among others. In the Civil War table, pick a side in the fight against Superhuman Registration; join Captain America’s Resistance or become one of the Pro-Registration forces with Iron Man.
Once the game begins, players can side with Cap or Iron Man, with each side playing basically the same. There are numerous ways to get ahead in the game, which is based on a fictional popularity meter for each side, such as hitting the ball into a slot to hack S.H.I.E.L.D. databases, capturing and disabling enemies, or starting fighting sequences between the two main heroes (who attack one another on the table, the success of which is based on a carefully placed skillshot within a time limit). While it’s a variation of the common pinball table theme, there is much to do to gain the advantage for your side.
Also included is the ally/enemy system, which is based on shots that hit certain lanes, spelling out “Freedom” for Cap or “Future” for Iron Man. When gained, it makes the fighting sequences much easier, and vice versa, when the odds are against you. The eight superheroes that are featured have varying influence on the actual event itself. Some more influential characters would have added another layer to the accuracy of the source material, but including some high-profile characters such as Spider-Man (who was one of the biggest characters in the event), Tigra, Vision, Human Torch, Sentry, Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage and Spider-Woman was a nice touch in terms of keeping the table in line with the comics. Many of the major events in the story were also covered, making this an incredibly fun and nostalgic game for those familiar with Civil War.
The skill level of the game is at a good level, with some parts of the table much easier to hit than others, and mode triggers coming often. There is one place on the table that the ball is lost no matter what, and quite a bit often. For some reason, it seems to be less difficult to play alongside Iron Man than it does Captain America. Each side has some different ways of hitting the same events (such as Iron Man gaining a favor from the Thunderbolts when hitting an event, whereas Captain America will get the Punisher by doing the same thing). This variation keeps things fresh and keeps the dynamic of two opposing factions in check instead of having one random hero triggered on either side.
The layout of the table looks great, but the animations of Cap and Iron Man are a bit slow and awkward at some points. The graphics on the characters, themselves, is well done, although, the animation style of the news reports is very similar to a basic comic aesthetic. A lot of work seems to have gone into the design of the table, with little tidbits of items (such as the broken picture of Steve and Tony sitting to one side) lying all around the playable surface. The voice work is a bit redundant. There are roughly six lines of dialog throughout the course of the table, not counting the announcements from the news anchor, but the characters sound similar to the way they have in animated features in the past.
Summary: Pinball FX2 has always done a great job of designing accurate and fun tables for their game, especially those with a certain theme. While they have done many Marvel tables before, the Civil War table is one of the best among the group. With two sides to pick from, numerous featured heroes, and plenty of different events to trigger in the course of a game, this table stands as a fun and exciting experience, and those who know the plot of the Civil War event will love this one even more.
The Good: Accurate Adaptation Of A Major Event, Great Gameplay
The Bad: Awkward Animations, Lack Of Diverse Dialog
The Ugly: N/A
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