Pinball FX Reviews
Zen Studios clearly know what they are doing when it comes to Pinball, and this collection available to purchase via the new free to download Pinball FX hub is evidence enough. The tables now look and play faultlessly and have been rebuilt from the ground up for the current generation of consoles. The downside is that any previously purchased tables must be paid for again and amongst the vast array of superb tables available, there are some unremarkable and dull ones. However, as demonstrated by the one free table created by the developers shows, the original creations deserve to be played and the addiction factor is such that many an enjoyable hour can be whiled away in the company of Pinball FX.
The slight input lag and dark visuals are disappointing, but Pinball FX has so much content that pinball fans will struggle not to find the fun here. The biggest problem with this package is its messy monetisation: the developer can't decide whether to lean on its subscription-style Pinball Pass or traditional DLC, and its hybrid approach is neither here nor there really. When you consider that no previously purchased content carries across, it's hard to recommend reinvesting so heavily here – especially when, even with all the bells and whistles, the core nuts-and-bolts of playing many of these tables remains the same as in past games.
There is no getting around the fact that Zen is the best in the business when it comes to creating (and recreating) pinball tables in the digital space. The new Pinball FX is a solid package with several new ways to play your tables. That said, this is a platform, not a game, and your experience will vary depending on your level of investment in tables. New modes and interfaces are nice, but the game still aches a bit from what could have been.
Pinball FX is a top-tier pinball game with some growing pains inherent in switching development platforms. Having to re-buy your favorite tables is a pain, but considering these represent the best versions of dozens of tables, it is a good value overall. The Pinball Pass is Zen Studios’ first attempt at something approaching a season pass, but thankfully it is not required and you can simply purchase the tables that you prefer using regular money. The core game remains solid, and hopefully Pinball FX is supported by Zen Studios into the next generation of consoles.
The ball is still in play in Pinball FX, and we hope it doesn't wind up in the drain early. While fun, it's a clear step back from FX3 visually on the Switch, and in terms of content. New players should still have a blast, but for existing fans, Zen Studios has let us down.
In its current state, the Xbox version of Pinball FX still feels like a work in progress and isn't an improvement from the prior version of the game. For a product that targets a niche market, that's a hard pill to swallow. I really wanted to like Pinball FX, but every time I fired it up, I found myself switching back to Pinball FX3. It's best to wait for improvements before investing a lot of money on upgrading and rebuying tables you already own.
Pinball FX offers excellent pinball fun but I can only recommend it to those who are new to the series because fans will certainly be disappointed with its lackluster features. Plus, the fact that they'll have to buy everything again is frankly inexcusable.
Still, I struggle to see how any of this is meant to be an “Engine improvement” over the spectacular FX3, which is incredibly hard to top even now, and it seems this is a rocky regress more than a natural evolution, with the two returning FX3 tables here not feeling different enough to warrant a rebuy if they weren’t free, at least in my view.
Overall, I've really enjoyed my time with Pinball FX and can definitely see myself continuing to play down the road. I'm excited to see what tables are coming next, and as a casual pinball player I'd say the physics here feel pretty great on current-gen consoles.
There’s no doubt that this version of the digital pinball series performs more smoothly than its predecessor, but it paid a clear visual price
With an abundance of tables available, each with their own mini-games and features there is a crazy amount of fun to be had. You could even co-op with the family and try to beat each other’s scores. As it is controller compatible it also makes this title extremely accessible.
Whether you play the classic style, overtaking your friends’ scores in the process, or you opt to set up or participate in a Tournament or Event showcase where you can earn a variety of customization items for your room in a season-style setup, you’ll be addicted to the flow of play, the sounds, the lights, and the effects.
Pinball FX is for the most part a sensational pinball game, and to be fair the closest competition is Zen Studios own fantastic pinball games themselves – who, for yet another installment, remain the kings of pinball in videogame form.