Zen Pinball FX2 VR Review
I’ve always been a fan of playing pinball machines. While I don’t consider myself an aficionado, I’ve always loved the sights, sounds and physics of pinball machines. I still remember playing the KISS and Guns N’ Roses pinball machines back in the day. If money wasn’t an issue and I had all the space in the world, I would totally invest in a pinball machine for my house, but sadly I live in reality. Pinball FX2 is a great option for those who dream like me.
Pinball FX2 is my first experience with the popular series. I first thought the idea of Pinball VR seemed more like a gimmick than anything else. I was sorely mistaken. It took a few rounds, but I almost felt like a kid again in the arcade. The only difference this time around is that I didn’t have to beg my parents for quarters.
“It took a few rounds, but I almost felt like a kid again in the arcade.”
When you first boot up Pinball FX2 you’ll enter a virtual room that most men would likely want as a bachelor pad. In the room are several pinball machines, trophies, and leaderboards. The room only allows you to have three pinball machines setup at any given time so the first place you’ll want to visit is the television so you can swap out the machines you want to play.
As you select your first table to play, the background changes and takes on the tone of the machine you’re playing. What’s cool about Zen Pinball FX2 is that the game does a great job of differentiating one machine from the next. Not only that, but your surroundings vary wildly from one table to the next.
For the Walking Dead Machine you’ll see Zombies banging on the glass window and zombies standing next to you trying to distract you, while the Mars machine will see you playing in an asteroid field with Martians. These elements add a lot of life to the experience as your actions on the table will trigger different events to your surroundings.
You play Pinball FX2 similar to how you play a real pinball machine with your head looking down at the table. Now this creates a bit of an issue for me. Looking down for extended periods of time is generally not good for you considering your head weights as much as a bowling ball. Add the weight of the VR headset and it’s even worse. I found that I could only handle Pinball FX2 in half an hour spurts without getting a sore neck. Aside from this, the game does a great job of letting you look at the table in different angles to position yourself however you like.
Now any pinball game is going to live and die by its physics engine. The physics in Pinball FX2 are excellent and generally on the more forgiving side. The tables themselves also feature a really great amount of detail. My only complaint is that sometimes the in-game text can be a bit blurry so you have to do some slight adjustments to your headset.
Now, it’s wrong to think of Pinball FX2 as a simple pinball game. Each table comes with a list of instructions that can be followed sequentially in order to trigger mini-games or events. What’s unfortunate is that sometimes these instructions can be difficult to follow and can only be accessed via the game’s start menu. If you’re not a skilled player you may have trouble following these instructions.
The core package includes three tables including Mars, Secrets of the Deep and Epic Quest. There’s two add ons you can purchase for the game including a Season 1 Pass that’ll get you 5 additional tables and a Walking Dead table. Pinball FX2 VR retails for $14.99 USD ($19.99 CDN) and you only get three tables. Cough up more money for the Season One pass which gets you five tables and you’ll be paying $24.99 USD ($33.49 CDN). Add to that the Walking Dead Table, which is $6.99 USD ($7.99 CDN) and you’re looking at a total of $61.00 CDN, which I felt is a little steep for a pinball title, especially considering if you bought any of these tables from previous games those purchases don’t transfer over.
If you’re a fan of pinball games or looking for something to distract you while the next great VR game launches, Pinball FX2 VR is a great game to check out. The nice variety of pinball machines and the possible promise of more pinball machines coming down the pipeline make Pinball VR one of the stronger PSVR titles to come out this fall.
***A PSVR code was provided by the publisher***
- Nice variety of tables
- Deeper than just a pinball game
- Solid ball physics
- Expect a sore neck
- Price maybe a bit steep for some
- Goals could be better explained