Pinball FX2: Marvel Pinball – Civil War Table (XBLA) Review

Based off of the comic book series of the same title, Pinball FX2 introduces their newest table Marvel Pinball – Civil War.  This table recounts the struggle and conflict between the super heroes that have been torn apart by their views of the Super Human Registration Act.  The story commences as we are thrust into the unrest after an explosion in Stamford, Connecticut was caused by a clash between Super Heroes and Super Villains.  This event is the catalyst that convinces Tony Stark (Ironman) to fight for the act and puts him head to head with Captain America who is strongly opposed to all things regarding the registration act.

The gameplay begins with a short news broadcast discussing the explosion in Stamford and provides the player a multiball experience to save survivors.  The high score you earn from this sudden death multiball game is your starting score for regular gameplay.  As regular gameplay commences you are given an opportunity to take sides (pro or anti-registration act) and then your mission to gain allies to your cause begins.  As one might suspect the objectives of the game are pretty straightforward and involve a series of challenges to hit ramps, targets on the table such as a safe house, and to perform combos.  Successful completion of challenges gains you allies for the side you chose to support, and they will also initiate a fight sequence or trigger a breaking news segment on the television screen.  Throughout the game the television screen at the back of the table gives you breaking news segments about different super heroes and these broadcasts will change depending on whose side you chose.  During fight sequences the number of allies vs. opponents will determine the difficulty of the fight.  More allies you manage to have results in you having more time to hit a particular ramp or objective on the table.

The standard design and gameplay elements of the Pinball FX2 tables lend themselves to be easily converted and manipulated to feature a variety of story themes, and the Marvel Civil War table joins the ranks of other iconic tables in the series.  Having reviewed many of the FX2 tables I find myself having a hard time finding new ways of describing how amazing the tables are, visually speaking.  The imagery is modeled closely to the Civil War comic book and Zen Studios always does a remarkable job of transferring a theme from any original media to the pinball table it crafts.  There are some cool moments visually in the game such as the combat scenes playing out in phases giving the feeling of a still by still fight you might find in a comic to the moment when you recruit an ally and the table becomes dark and your pinball illuminates while it is doing a mad dash along the ramps.

Portrayed throughout the game are the voices of Ironman, Captain America, The Thing, Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and the news anchor just to name a few.  The voice acting was decent but I do wish that the voices for Ironman and Captain America were a little more distinct.  If I was not paying close attention it was hard to discern between the two as they sounded awfully similar apart from the tinny sound of Ironman’s voice.   If you play the table a few times the script becomes kind of dull almost like listening to a boring political debate that does not seem to go anywhere and that is ultimately true for the table as a whole, it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere.

Marvel Pinball – Civil War may not be one of my personal favourites in regards to the pinball tables that have been released for Pinball FX2, as there just was not enough storyline or action to hook me, but that does not mean it was bad.  Zen Studios has once again provided pinball fans with a visually stunning pinball table that will interest not only those who love the genre (pinball), but fans of Marvel and the Civil war comic book series will enjoy it too.  It is easy to recommend this table if you are looking for yet another enjoyable one to add to your Pinball FX2 collection.

The Good


The Bad