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Pinball FX2 released for Xboxlive

October 27, 2010

Zen Studios released FX2 today after a short delay (it was originally slated for Oct. 13).

“Yeah yeah yeah but that’s a video game” I can hear people say.  Maybe so, but I honestly believe that if the resources were put to it that video pinball’s physics could be refined “enough” to be acceptable to all but the most stringent of tastes, and meanwhile make up for the shortcomings by leveraging all the crazy, amazing things you can do in a virtual environment.

I’m talking:

  • full screen or double-screen animations (assuming the back box is also video)
  • giant boss battles
  • 3D versions of tables
  • warping play fields
  • shooting through water falls, steam or rain effects which obscure visibility
  • low gravity levels
  • bullet time
  • instant replays
  • awesome video modes
  • destroyable environments
  • deep storylines
  • tutorials
  • multiplayer (competitive and cooperative)
  • Challenge someone playing at home, or in another arcade
  • Online leader boards pushed down to location tables
  • loadable tables

There’s been several games that touch on the possibilities but no one has come close to delivering a “total package”. Either the physics are a joke or the gameplay is just…bland… or the designers didn’t include any sort of storyline or goals in the game other than to flip the flippers.

Flipnic for the PS2 is a good example of how the video/virtual medium might begin to be utilized.

And here’s Future Pinball, and open software project. Free to download and play.

Whether you love or hate video pinball here’s a few things to consider: video pinball games now garner 5 – 10 times as much press coverage as their mechanical counterparts.  The Pinball HD was one of the hottest iPad launch titles and the company claims their previous tables for the iPhone got three million purchases.


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  1. STERN Goes Virtual | SF Bay Area Pinball

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