When you play pinball, what is your favorite thing about it? The table design, the number of flippers that are used, what about the sounds of your favorite table? I have said it before and I will say it again, there is just something about the game of pinball that will always be that getaway from playing it. The way you could get lost the memorizing action that is happening right there on your favorite pinball table as you rack up the points and trying to get the highest score possible. But playing pinball in the normal sense is fine and sometimes there may be nothing like it depending on the table of choice. But does developer Zen Studios continue to show why they are masters of VR pinball? Let’s find out with Star Wars Pinball VR for the PlayStation VR.
Star Wars Pinball VR allows for the first time two of the best combinations, Star Wars, and Pinball, but brings us into its world in Virtual Reality with 8 different tables all in your very own Fan Cave of sorts that includes the chess scene from Episode IV, a bookshelf, helmet case, an AT-ST Walker that would be on the patio, an AT-AT Walker just placed in the corner, and few other surprises that you will want to explore around. And you might be wondering with all these different places, wouldn’t it be nice if you can add some decor to your Star Wars Fan Cave? There are no worries here because there is plenty to unlock here from models to posters to even helmets that you can display in your case. I know I probably went kind of out of order of what to talk about, but the amount of work that went into space alone is worth talking about first.
So now it’s time to get into the heart of the matter, pinball. When you first start the game, you will have to make a choice of what side you would like to join and help out more, the Dark Side or the Light Side. Once you have decided on the life choice you have made (which you can change if you would like) you have another choice to make, do you want to do the campaign and have some fun or just play on the different tables and have some fun? The campaign will have different levels with each level having different objectives to try and complete. These objectives can be things like a 2 Ball(s) Challenge where you only have two chances to reach a certain score and if both of the balls go ball out, then it’s over. There is a timed challenge where you have a certain amount of time to reach a certain score, there is even a Survival Challenge where you have to keep playing until the time runs out, and also a Flipper Challenge where you have only so many uses of the flippers to try and reach the score as well. So hopefully you can use the Force and concentrate to achieve the challenges at hand so that you can earn different collectibles for your Star Wars Fan Cave.
But when you may just want that escape and not worry about a campaign or challenges and just have some pinball fun, you have that here as well. Each of the eight different tables is themed accordingly. We have The Mandalorian, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars Rebels, Masters of the Force, Classic Collectibles, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi tables. Each table and its surroundings come alive. Playing The Mandalorian is a blast and seeing The Child is just awesome. Playing Empires Strikes Back and seeing Luke train right there on the table claiming he is ready just brings back memories.
But it’s what Zen Studios has done here, the extra fun that they added and it would not have the same presence if it did not happen in VR. What extra fun am I referring to? Well, we covered the decor of collectibles, the campaign, the tables, the challenges, the jukebox…wait, I forgot to mention the jukebox. Yes, you can unlock different songs to be played on the jukebox while you are in your Star Wars Fan Cave to listen to and totally geek out with. So now we have covered the jukebox, but I am talking about being able to be inside the table and seeing things from that view to even having a one on one lightsaber battle with Darth Vader himself which is it’s something that we didn’t ask, but for any Star Wars fan, it is something we needed. So thank you Zen Studios…thank you.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. Looking at the graphics, there are just a few minor things that were not as clear. The background and seeing Luke or Darth Vader next to the table and moving is awesome and clear. Some parts on some of the tables seemed to me, was not clear all the time like some of the buildings. I get it, Zen Studios through in so much detail that you are supposed to be concentrating on the ball, but with everything from lasers and ships that are flying around, your eyes will not help but try and see as much as possible. But other than that, everything was pretty clear and is awesome in VR. Sound-wise, you have the class Star Wars sounds from lightsabers to the lasers and hearing the pinball bounce around to bring that pinball action in the only way that Zen Studios could, which is authentic.
There are a few minor things I would love to see addressed. For one, there were about two to three times where the game would crash. It didn’t happen every single time I played, but it did happen. Second, leaderboards could not be shown giving me an error making it like it might be an internet issue. So these things should be addressed with a patch. And lastly, more tables. We have eight awesome tables, but I would love to see Episodes 1-3, Solo: A Star Wars Movie, and just for the fun of it, Star Wars Holiday Special, because why not.
Star Wars Pinball VR is something every fan of Star Wars and Pinball should play. It allows us to bring out what may have been hidden on the inside of us all and gives us a chance to relive the movies and let out our Jedi childhood in a new form thanks to the magic of VR. And regardless of how old one may feel, isn’t it nice to have our Fan Cave to relive those memories in so we can hear that voice inside of us telling us to use the Force?
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have more challenges and more things to try and collect.