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PlayStation Vita  header logo

Zen Pinball 2

For: PS Vita

Reaching a higher level

Product: Zen Pinball 2 | Publisher: Zen Studios | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Sports | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Zen Pinball 2 PS Vita, thumbnail 1
Tradition and the Pocket Gamer style guide dictate that there should be an introduction here, but I'm not going to bother with one because I'd prefer to spend my word limit extolling Zen Pinball 2's virtues.

If you've ever been curious about the art of smacking small silver balls at ramps to produce flashing lights then you need to download this sequel immediately.

Flipping heck it's good

Zen Pinball 2 plays a superb game of pinball. It emanates passion in each theme and licence it tackles, and each table shimmers with creativity. If you own the original, then all of the content you purchased transfers over too, completely free of charge. In fact, you can stop reading now. Just go and buy it.

For those not familiar with the franchise, Zen Pinball 2 isn't too concerned with trivial things like realism. Instead, it takes advantage of the one thing video pinball has over its real-life counterpart: it isn't bound by the mechanical limitations of actual tables. Bally may make the best tables in the world, but in the digital universe Zen reigns supreme.

This isn't to say that the physics aren't top notch - far from it. The laws of gravity determining the world's effect on the steel are cohesive and feel just right. The ball is solid and weighty, and with a little practice you can get it moving around the bumpers and against the kickers in just the ways that you want.

Instead of replicating the kinds of tables that you can play in a bar, it opts for a more fantastic approach. If you've ever played Flipnic (don't worry if you haven't, few did) then you'll be right at home.

Tables implement the kind of systems and gimmicks that metal and motors never could. There are zombies that stagger towards the gutter, and a Doctor Octopus that crawls the length of the table.

Cobain, Novoselic, Grohl

If this had been all there was to the game then it would come recommended, but there's so much more.

Multiple camera angle and control options let you get really comfortable and play the way you want to. The touchscreen inputs are responsive, and hitting buttons works well too/ Physically rotating your device gives a nice long view of the action, punctuated by action-sensitive camera movements.

Highscore-chasers will find a complement of ways to prove they're better than their mates online, there's social media integration to brag about your flipping skills, and when you're rocking it solo there are in-game challenges to aim for.

In a year that's seen a number of high quality releases in the genre, Zen Pinball 2 is one of the very best. It may not have official tables or a strict sense of realism, but if you have the good fortune not to care about such things then you'll get to enjoy one of the most comprehensive and enjoyable games of pinball ever made.
Zen Pinball 2
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 8 October 2012
Zen has outdone itself with the follow up to its original pinball release. This game has grand visions of what pinball can be, and executes on absolutely every single one of them
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