My sons and I are nuts about Plants vs. Zombies as I'm pretty sure 90% of the gaming population is. So when I heard that there was going to be a Plants vs. Zombies table on Zen Pinball 2 (or FX Pinball 2 on the Xbox) I knew I would be downloading it on the first day it was made available on Xbox Live.
I stayed true to my word and last Wednesday, disappointingly one day after it was released on the Play Station Network, I spent 240 Xbox points and made it my own. Nearly a week after playing it daily, I review it here for you.
The Plus Side: This pinball table has all the recognizable elements of the original game. There are the sound effects, the music, the voices. Were it not for the sounds of the pinball (which is a pea, by the way) bouncing off bumpers and registering points, you wouldn't know if the person playing it in the other room is playing the pinball table or the actual Plants vs. Zombies game.
But what is a decent pinball table without themed challenges? The answer is, not much. Thank God this table has them galore. You will have to take out rows of zombies sprouting out of the table top and shambling toward your flippers. You can lock a few peas in your mailbox then open it for mulit-ball action. At some point you will have to aim your melonpult and take out a few targets and maneuver your pea around a fully equipped zombie and up the right ramps in the "Zombies Love Football" challenge. You will even get to take on Dr. Zomboss as he looms menacingly over your table.
The price is also right. At 240 Xbox points, that costs you about three dollars for a table that will last you forever.
The Down Side: The only problem I had with this game is a problem I have with video pinball in general and that is the difficulty in seeing the back of the table. I know the perspective is dead on to how a pinball table would look in real life, but as I get older I find it harder to see what is happening back there behind the major ramps. And when I start to play one of my kids split screen, my vision is all but useless. I need to stand three feet from the screen to see what I'm doing. I suppose I could use this as an excuse to get a bigger television.
The Wrap Up: If you like Plants vs. Zombies at all or video pinball at all, this table is worth the download. Kids and adults will enjoy it and enjoy competing at it against one another.
It combines all that is good about Plants s. Zombies with all that is fun about pinball. Zen and PopCap have worked together more successfully than any two companies I have seen since Lego and Star Wars.
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