DescriptionPinball FX2 is an update to Zen Studio's previous Pinball FX. Upon release of this title, Pinball FX was de-listed and its tables made available as downloadable content (DLC) for the sequel.
The game works as a hub, allowing players to purchase and play downloadable tables. Players who purchase the game as a Core pack (for 800 MSP) get four new tables: Biolab, Pasha, Rome, and Secrets of the Deep. Otherwise, players can download the free version, play every table in a limited time trial mode, and/or purchase and play DLC tables. The Pinball FX Classic pack ports over Speed Machine, Agents, Buccaneer, and Extreme from the original game. Each table has its own set of three achievements, usually tied to winning minigames/missions.
Major updates from Pinball FX include a revised physics engine and various graphical updates. Tables have six different view options, along with optional supplementary effects like floating points numbers, a ball trail, or a picture-in-picture skillshot camera showing the next target on the table. The table's active LED display is also shown within a window, and can be moved to one of the four corners of the screen. Separate windows appear when the player is close to specific milestones (such as a high score, beating a friend, or moving up in the leaderboard).
Players use the left and right triggers to control the respective flippers. Balls are shot into play either by using the A button (for a mechanical trigger) or by pulling back on the right thumbstick (for an analog plunger). Players can nudge the table with the left thumbstick. Players can also hold down the X button to freeze the game and enter a free look mode, where they navigate a zoomed camera around the table to get a better sense of the layout.
All tables include a rules sheet that explains each minigame's activation criteria and goals. An authentic operator's menu (driven through the LED display) allows to player to load difficulty presets, run light, and sound tests on the virtual circuitry, reset each table's local high scores, and calibrate aspects of each table (such as flipper strength and tilt sensitivity). While most of the tables are grounded in reality and based on physical pinball parts, the virtual nature is occasionally used to do things physical tables could not - figures on the table move and interact with the ball, some tables have secondary modes (like a day-to-night cycle, or temporary zero gravity), and objects are sometimes flown into or out of the table.
Multiplayer options include split-screen, simultaneous over Internet, or local hot seat. Ranked multiplayer uses fixed rules where the players have infinite balls and try to be the first to reach a target score or highest score in a time limit. Unranked multiplayer can be customized. Leaderboards are also driven by Superscores and Wizard Scores. A player's Superscore is the player's highest score on each table, rounded to the nearest million. A player's Wizard Score is their Superscore, plus the Superscore of anyone on their Friends list, times the number of tables they own. The system encourages interaction, competition, and of course, buying more tables.
None of the core tables from Pinball FX or Pinball FX2 are available for the PSN's Zen Pinball, though many of the DLC tables can be purchased for either.
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