Pinball FX3 – Universal Classics Pinball Review – PlayStation 4

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So, you just downloaded Pinball FX3 and want to see what this new engine can do. While all of the imported tables look and play fabulously there is nothing like new tables designed with this new engine in mind and launching day and date with the core game is Universal Classics Pinball, a collection of three Steven Spielberg blockbusters that may change the way you look at pinball forever.

One thing is for certain…we’re going to need a bigger ball if you want to take on the great white shark from Jaws.   The Jaws Pinball table is easily my favorite of the three tables in this bundle for several reasons. The table design is as brilliant as it is gorgeous, with a sunset backdrop, 3D model of the Orca with Quint perched on the bow, a shark tank, buoy bumpers, chutes and rails designed to look like the pier, a lighthouse, beach, and a giant fishing rod to launch the ball. The 2D shark art is impressive but can’t compare to when the 3D shark rises from the ocean and you must beat it back with your silver ball. Things get super-creepy at night when the table goes dark and you have only the glow of Quint’s spotlight to find your targets.   But the real showstopper is when the entire table starts to rock and tip in Raging Sea mode, madly throwing off all traditional flipper angles as realistic physics threaten to sink your ball. And in a really cool twist, there is even a mode where you get to play as the shark and terrorize the tourists.

Back to the Future is a fantastic idea for a table and Zen Studios implemented it perfectly by having you pick the time you wish to travel to and subtly alter the table, effectively giving you multiple ways to play in past, present, and future. Not only will this change the various sound bites, you also get specific challenges and objectives as you travel through time in a 3D DeLorean that zips around the table. The rail system is awesome as your ball travels through the flux capacitor building up to 1.21 gigawatts. And when that sucker hits 88mph you’re going to see some serious…multi-ball action with fire trails burning up the table.

Last up is E.T. where you get to help Elliott and his adopted alien make his way home. This table is super-adorable with a 3D model of E.T. front and center (actually a bit to the right) and his giant spaceship near the top of the table that will frequently lift off granting you access to various missions like collecting the parts to build E.T.’s communication device or eating some Reese’s Pieces. There is quite a bit to do on this table including recreating the moonlight silhouette bike ride.

This amazing 3-pack features stunning new physics, architectural details, and gorgeous textures and art that take the world of Zen Studio’s pinball to new heights. The framerate was as flawless as the ball movement and flipper action. In fact, the game was so smooth that when the table started rocking in Jaws I actually got a bit queasy.   The audio package was equally as good and there were plenty of audio samples so you didn’t hear a lot of repeated dialogue.

Each of the tables also has plenty of original mastery challenges as well as all the expected upgrades, social features, and leaderboard rankings. There are plenty of challenges and milestones to keep you playing these tables longer than you probably would have in Pinball FX2. There is a whole new level of addiction with this new design that constantly compels you to keep playing just one more time

Universal Classics Pinball is a fantastic way to kick off the new Pinball FX3 game. Not only does it leverage three impressive movie licenses, it takes everything we love about those movies and turns it into compelling gameplay, and when you mix that with all the wonderful art, style, and animation from the pinball wizards at Zen Studios, you’ve got a universal hit on your hands. This is a steal for only $10 and a great way to showcase the new Pinball FX3 engine. So grab your skateboard, eat some candy, and let’s go kill us a shark!