Sony Computer Entertainment,
|Distributor(s)||Microsoft Game Studios,
Sony Computer Entertainment,
|Release date(s)||Xbox Live Arcade
NA December 1, 2011
Nintendo 3DS eShop
NADecember 1, 2011
November 13, 2012
January 31, 2013
May 10, 2013
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Marvel Pinball is an arcade pinball video game developed by Zen Studios. It features Marvel Comics-themed pinball tables. It is available as a standalone game for the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network, and as downloadable content for Pinball FX 2 on the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade. Its content on the PlayStation 3 is also playable in Zen Pinball 2. It is the second pinball title for the PlayStation 3, succeeding Zen Pinball. It was released on December 8, 2010 on the Xbox 360 and December 14, 2010 on the PlayStation 3.
The game was positively received by critics. It holds an aggregate score of 87.73% on the Xbox 360 and 82.85% on the PlayStation 3 at GameRankings. Reviewers praised the visual presentation of each table, and commented specifically on the bright colors and animated characters. Most reviewers felt the table design was excellent, however some felt that certain sections of the table felt bare. Critics generally felt that it was an excellent value for the cost. Sales during the month of its release exceeded 47,000 copies on the Xbox 360 and 19,000 on the PlayStation 3.
Marvel Pinball utilizes the same basic rules as a physical pinball machine, albeit in a virtual environment. As with a traditional pinball machine, the player fires a steel ball onto the playfield using a plunger. Once the ball is in play the player controls the flippers and can nudge the machine to influence the path of the ball. Each of the game's tables become more complex as the game advances, opening new paths and opportunities.
The Xbox 360 version was released as downloadable content for another Zen pinball video game, Pinball FX 2. The PlayStation 3 version of Marvel Pinball has been made available as a stand-alone release, only. While the PlayStation 3 version does not feature split-screen multiplayer, it features the ability to nudge the table by tilting the controller. Both versions feature four pinball tables based on major Marvel Comics characters: Blade, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. Additional tables are available via downloadable content. The official site held a poll to determine which table would be released next based on fan response.
|Marvel Pinball tables||Standalone tables||Vengeance and Virtue tables||Avengers Chronicles tables|
Marvel Pinball was first leaked to the public via the Australian Classification Board website October 20, 2010. It was officially announced on November 15, 2010. It was released on December 8, 2010 on the Xbox 360 and December 14, 2010 on the PlayStation 3. It is available as a stand alone game for the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network, and as downloadable content for Pinball FX 2 on the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade. It is the second pinball title for the PlayStation 3, succeeding Zen Pinball. As Marvel Comics has granted Zen Studios full license to the Marvel universe, the studio has stated future tables will expand beyond characters to cover events such as the Marvel Civil War and the Dark Siege.
In an interview with Gamesworld Zen Studios hinted that a table centered around Captain America would be downloadable content. On April 29, 2011 Zen announced that the next table in the series would feature the Fantastic Four; this table was made available on May 17, 2011 on the PlayStation Network and May 18 on Xbox Live. On June 15, 2011 it was announced that a Captain America table will be released on June 28 on the PSN and on the 29th for Xbox Live.
In July 2011, Zen Studios and Marvel Comics announced Vengeance and Virtue, a four table expansion for Marvel Pinball. The first of the tables, themed around the character Ghost Rider, was revealed at the same time. Zen and Marvel further announced that Marvel Pinball would be coming to additional platforms. Ports for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Android OS and Microsoft Windows were announced. The second table of the Vengeance and Virtue expansion pack was revealed to be X-Men at the 2011 New York Comic Con. The third table, based on Moon Knight, was revealed in November 2011. The fourth and final table, Thor, was revealed in December 2011, as was the release dates for the expansion, December 13 for PlayStation Network and December 14 for Xbox Live Arcade. A Hulk themed table was confirmed to be in development by a Zen Studios representative in the Zen Studios forums.
In the April 2012 issue of Game Informer a new four-pack entitled Avengers Chronicles was revealed. The pack includes tables based on The Infinity Gauntlet, World War Hulk, Fear Itself, and The Avengers and was released on June 19, 2012. Additionally, tables centered on the Marvel Civil War and Doctor Strange were unveiled. On October 13, 2012 at New York Comic Con the Civil War table was officially unveiled. It was released on November 20, 2012. The Doctor Strange table was released on December 17, 2013.
Marvel Pinball was released to positive reception among critics. It currently holds an aggregate score of 87.73% at GameRankings on the Xbox 360 and 82.85% on the PlayStation 3. Fellow aggregate website Metacritic reports similar scores, with the Xbox 360 version holding an average of 86/100 and the PlayStation 3 version averaging 83/100. Sales during the month of its release exceeded 47,000 copies on the Xbox 360 and 19,000 on the PlayStation 3. 2011 sales for the initial pack exceeded 47,000 units on Xbox Live Arcade.
Richard Basset of TeamXbox gave Marvel Pinball a 9.5/10, stating of the Xbox Live version that the tables "are a top-notch addition to an awesome game". The reviewer for MS Xbox World also gave the Xbox Live version a 9.5/10, stating that "Marvel Pinball is by far the best pack of tables that Pinball FX2 has to offer and gives something both comic and pinball fans." GameZone's Robert Workman gave it an 8.5/10, stating it was "a simply must buy."
Jim Cook of Gamers Daily News score the Xbox Live version a slightly lower 8.5/10, saying that Marvel Pinball is "reasonably priced for what you get and its good aspects definitely outweigh the somewhat barren mid-field play on most of these tables." Mike Rose of Strategy Informer gave the Marvel Pinball an 8.5/10. He stated that while he felt all four tables were amazing, he needed "to take all gamers into consideration, and while this is a near-perfect experience for pinball fanatics, plenty of gamers won't find the action as exhilarating." Game Informer's Matt Miller scored it an 8.5/10, lauding its "excellent comic art and highly detailed visual effects make each table pop with energy and color." He did, however criticize the loss of realism with character interactions to the table. "I also don’t always like when onscreen events occur that wouldn’t be possible on a real table, [...] the game is at its best when the illusion of true pinball is maintained" he stated.
GamesRadar's Matthew Keast scored it a 7/10. He praised the overall look of each table, but cited visibility issues when Blade's table changes from day to night. Matt Swider of GamePro disagreed, stating that the "odd-man-out choice of Blade amongst the three other Marvel heavyweights proves to be a successful one with its great use of day and night themes." Swider further praised the animated fights between the heroes and villains during gameplay. He did warn users that due to the intricate detail it was "not an ideal game if you own a small TV."
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- "Marvel Pinball Review". MS Xbox World. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
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- Rose, Mike (2010-12-08). "Marvel Pinball Review". Strategy Informer. Retrieved 2010-12-08.