Game Review: Zen Pinball 2 – Super Street Fighter II Tribute (PS Vita)

Based on the classic Capcom arcade game and home console smash hit, Super Street Fighter II Tribute was the first table released by Zen Studios for any of their pinball games that was based on any licenced property. Not only did they have to continue with the high standards already set with the games they had already released, but by associating themselves with such an iconic gaming brand, the table had to be done right…

Street Fighter is one of those games that you either love or hate. For some, it’s considered to be one of the best fighting games ever released. To others it’s little more than an exercise is repetitive button-bashing. However, the franchise is still going strong so Capcom must be doing something right or at least have a large enough loyal fan base to be able to support all the continual re-releases, updates and reimaginations of the game that have been seen since the first one was unleashed on the public back in 1987.

Onto this table for Zen Pinball 2 and rather than being a home conversion of the Gottlieb Street Fighter II pinball table released in the arcades in 1993, this is a brand new original table designed to be a tribute to the entire Street Fighter franchise. Features sampled speech from the games, a new arrangement of the main theme music, side missions centred around fights between the main characters from the Street Fighter series, scoreboard animations featuring fight sequences, and lavish table graphics illustrated with many of the series major characters, it certainly looks and sounds the part.

For hardcore Street Fighter fans, there’s certainly more than enough on the table to justify the use of the license but I felt that there were some wasted opportunities. None of the table-top characters were animated or interact with the player or each other in any way in contrast with virtually every other Zen Pinball 2 table making things look bland at best in comparison with all the other available tables. The choice of characters was strange as well. While they may appear on the table itself, you would have expected Ryu or Ken to have been physically present as one of the characters standing on the machine for you to interact with.

I didn’t mind playing this but it certainly didn’t strike me as being the strongest of Zen’s pinball tables that they have released. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled too much by their other releases, but this table just seemed dull in comparison. Everything that really has that “wow” factor with a normal table for Zen Pinball just seems to be lacking here and the table just feels… dare I say, dated. Whether Zen intended the table to have a retro feel to keep in line with the old arcade game or not I don’t know, but if that’s the case it didn’t work and it hurt what could have been a fantastic game. Sadly, unless you’re a Street Fighter afficionado or want to ensure that you have a complete collection of all of the Zen Pinball 2 tables, then this one may be worth avoiding.

Simon Plumbe

At A Glance

  • Title: Zen Pinball 2 – Super Street Fighter II Tribute
  • Publisher: Zen Studios
  • System: PS Vita
  • Format: PSN Download
  • Cross Buy: Yes
  • Online Multiplayer: Yes
  • Local Multiplayer: Yes
  • Memory Card Space Needed: 23Mb (this does not count the space needed for Zen Pinball 2 itself)

Vita Player Rating - 05

Please note that although these screenshots may be from different versions of the game they are accurate representations of how the game looks on the PS Vita and are official images supplied by Zen Studios.

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