With very few exceptions, I’ve loved pretty much every table released by Zen Studios for their pinball games for the PS Vita. Whether it’s one of their Star Wars tables for Star Wars Pinball, a Marvel-themed table with one or more of my favourite superheroes taking the lead role, one of their other licensed tables or even one of their original creations, the quality has been consistently high. There have only been a few times when I have been a little wary about playing a table for the first time, although this has more been a case of the original licensed property than the table itself and in almost every case I’ve been more than pleasantly surprised by the result. Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One was something altogether different though…
Based on the latest movie in the legendary film saga, I was extremely reluctant to play this table. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and undeniably the biggest pinball enthusiast here at Vita Player, so why was I dreading this table so much? Quite simply, at the time of writing this, to my shame, I still haven’t seen Rogue One in the cinema. Despite having all the best intentions of going to see it, and making one plan after another to do so (including celebrating our wedding anniversary seeing it as we did with The Force Awakens the year before) one thing after another has stopped us from being able to get to the cinema and astonishingly I’ve managed to avoid all spoilers and plot reveals about the film so far. That being the case, my main trepidation about the game wasn’t whether it was going to be any good or not, but whether it was going to feature any spoilers for the movie!
Fortunately the table stands up well on its own merits and is a fun and relatively engaging table although it is a little repetitive at times. To trigger each of the game modes, five targets need to be hit that are at the top of the screen which initially activates the first mode and subsequently unlocks more for play. This area also holds the main bumpers that trigger bonus multipliers, score bonuses and other in-game effects but it’s a part of the table where you’ll be spending a LOT of time.
Not having seen the movie yet I can’t comment on how well it captured the feel or atmosphere although the visuals and sound certainly maintained that Star Wars feeling throughout play. The fact that there didn’t really seem to be any major spoilers as I played through it did leave me with a sense of disappointment to a degree. As a movie tie-in, I would have expected to see more of the movie in the game and I just found it really hard to connect to the characters. Saying that I felt the same way about Fallout Pinball as well, being someone with little interest in the game franchise.
The one thing I found frustrating about this table more than anything is that each and every one of the game modes were timed and some of these felt incredibly harsh. Two or three mis-timed shots and it was mission over and you had to earn the chance to play it again. Granted it was better than the modes continuing until the ball went out of play but perhaps there could have been a better compromise?
I don’t really need to mention the graphics and sound. It’s a Star Wars pinball table so it goes without saying that the sound is going to be exemplorary, especially the familar John Williams score. Graphics again are up to the usual standards set by Zen Studios although in some of the game modes where you need to direct the ball at specific targets you have to aim at moving targets that have been designed to look like card cut-outs rather than solid 3D characters. Then at other times fully animated 3D characters are used in the game and I did get the feeling that Zen Studios weren’t too sure whether to go for a fully animated 3D table or to recreate a “physical” table feel with this one.
Reading all of this you’d think that I didn’t like the table and that certainly isn’t the case. I’ve been playing this solidly for the last few days ignoring every other game on my Vita and looking at the table overall, it is another worthy purchase from Zen Studios. I’m glad that initial my reservations about this table were unfounded but it didn’t seem to have the same charm or appeal as any of the other Star Wars tables that I have played so far. That doesn’t make this a bad table, nor do my gripes about it – quite the opposite – but those small flaws do mean that it’s probably the weakest of the Star Wars tables so far. Still a good pinball table, but sadly not their best.
At A Glance
- Title: Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One
- Publisher: Zen Studios
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: Yes (PS3 / PS4 – must buy PS Vita or PS3 version to obtain PS4 version)
- Cross Play: No
- Cross Save: Yes (high scores only)
- Local Multiplayer: Yes (round table format)
- Online Multiplayer: Yes
- PlayStation TV Compatible: Yes