Sunday 3 March 2013

Pinball FX 2: Tesla

Now where were we - oh yes, Pinball FX 2's Zen Classics collection, because I hate to leave a job half done regardless of how much I regret the undertaking. And here's a table based on the life and times of Nikola Tesla, because... erm... Heinrich Hertz sucks or something.

When compared to its prior PlayStation 3 outing, Tesla is likely the most improved table of this set, or at least, that with the most obvious improvements. Whereas once it was a cluttered mess of brown and grey... now it's a slightly less cluttered mess of brown and grey - progress!

Tesla is another pleasant table from Zen Studios, although compared to any of the supposedly equal Marvel-related offerings, is curiously about ten times less rewarding in terms of score. The game rules aren't quite as straightforward as later outings from Zen either, and although the poor accessibility may be appropriate given the 1890s science theme, this sort of game design rarely produces a favourable outcome with people like me.

But even though it's often difficult to see things, Tesla manages to hold its ground very well for a table this old. The changes in the upgrade (such as the addition of the the glass section in the centre of the playfield) are welcome, and even though we're still dealing with music shortages, it's a less pressing concern than in other Zen Classics tables. Really I'd place the bulk of the faults on trivial elements of game design - starting a mode is a pointless chore, and only the skillful can hope to make tangible progress.

And yet the silliness of Zen Studios' pinball rules is more prominent here than ever. Given the setting, this was the perfect time not to opt for the "modes and multiballs" formulae widely seen across Zen's pinball history - we could have re-introduced multipliers, bonuses, drop targets and saucers - the basic elements of "classic" pinball which are at present mostly missing in Pinball FX 2. Their inclusion could have added a totally different dimension of play from timed shots and special effects, but Tesla's conservative and predictable choices leave a relatively pointless table instead. Everything Telsa does has been emulated elsewhere, with only the aesthetics having a chance to stand out amongst the crowd.

Still, you could do worse, and although Tesla is unlikely thrill the masses, it's a respectable addition to the Pinball FX 2 family.

1 comment:

  1. This is a good addition to the pinball game. It would ad dto its appeal and may give it better ratings. Thanks for sharing details!