Ball of Glory adds four new tables to Zen Pinball FX 2, each based on a different Fox animated comedy, and whilst the tables feature nothing particular new with their mechanics, excellent aesthetic authenticity truly brings each to life, resulting in terrific fan service.
Moreover, each table is also highly accessible. The majority of the challenges and missions are completed by shooting the ball up ramps, and the bottom half of the table is mostly empty, bar some superbly produced art work from the relevant show. They also all run at the same pace, with a fairly quick drop towards the flippers after careening around the bend of a ramp collecting points, making them fun and fast tables to play that are ideal for highscore competitions.
Figuring out each table’s set of missions is also fairly intuitive, thanks to the elegant design, however, a few hidden features are worth looking up in each table’s online manual.
Wonderfully, each table achieves a level of authenticity that many of Zen’s tables don’t reach, with characters from each show – Bob’s Burgers, Archer, American Dad and Family Guy – voiced by their respective talent. However, these audio assets along with the music are pulled directly from each show rather than original dialogue being produced, but it’s been cleverly woven into the narrative of each table to match how it’s being played. The source material is also well represented and accurate, even covering jokes that ran over multiple seasons, making them ideal companions to their respective shows and a great nod to classic moments for the fans.
Family Guy, American Dad and Bob’s Burgers switch up the usual, realistic art style of Zen’s typical tables by matching the cell shaded style of each animated show. As such they look very different from the usual tables and lose some of the charm along the way. As bombastic and feature rich as the tables usually are they looked as if they could exist in an arcade, however, these new ones reject realism entirely. That’s is except the Archer table, which more closely resembles the previous Zen style.
There’s still the unfortunately side effect of frequently repeated dialogue plaguing each table, a common occurrence with licensed tables but a largely unavoidable one, however, fans are unlikely to mind. Each one does such a terrific job of telling short stories through their missions while providing fast and fun pinball action that even the slightest interest in the shows will endear you to the tables. It’s another fantastic set of tables from the king of digital pinball.
Thanks to Xbox and Zen Studios for their support
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