Posted: November 27, 2013
At launch, Pinball FX 2 was already a fantastic game. Originally released on the Xbox 360, it featured backwards compatibility with the original Pinball FX, and this allowed an already burgeoning title to be filled with even more Pinball goodness. As it stands, there are over 30 tables in the game as of this writing, and each and every one is free to try, with the standout Sorcerer's Lair being completely free.
It's a little sad knowing that the arcade is no longer truly viable, and I'll never again experience the giddy joy of pumping coins into a table, longing for the extra ball and multiball modes we all love, or watching to see if the numbers matched and I won a free game. But while the arcade as a destination may be on it's final legs, the pinball experience presented in FX 2 is pure unadulterated joy.
Those fond memories are brought to the forefront with this version, the ultimate version of Pinball FX 2. As a free download, this game should find a place in just about every gamer's library, and with tables based on many themes, there are sure to be some you'll love. Each table has their own achievements, backstory, missions, combos, and design.
For most of the tables, the cost is approximate to what would cost a single game of pinball at the arcade, so value wise the game is excellent value. The hours upon hours of gameplay possibility and replayability is enormous, and there really is something for everyone here - from Ancient Rome to Boba Fett.
In addition, the table design is above and beyond what can be done with conventional pinball, with full video mini games and hidden extras. Nothing is truly over the top, though there aren't any dead spots either. With seven angles to play from, and a free view angle to fly around the table close up, you'll find plenty to play for. Ramps, drop balls, lit targets, missions, and more are available on each table.
Finely integrated leaderboards will see you play against friends and the community on each and every table, with an overall score representing your prowess across all tables. Local leaderboards and multiplayer should see FX 2 become a staple quick fire up and play at home as well.
The sound and graphics are really well done - with the narrator both chastising and egging you on to play better, and with rewarding sound bites when you do well. The sound effects are particularly fantastic on Secrets of the Deep, an underwater themed table, and there are classic themes and sound effects on the Star Wars and Marvel themed tables, respectively.
The game is a joy to watch in action. The design and execution of the tables really cannot be overstated. There are multiple views and options to tune the game to your liking, and the low requirements make this an ideal game for every steam user. Pinball FX 2 is a beautiful game, not just a beautiful pinball game.
Overall this is a game too easy not to enjoy. The low cost and low barrier to entry make this an easy recommend, and the many hours of replayability, the freedom to pick up and play, and just the genuine fun available make this the best virtual pinball title ever made available. It's well worth your time.