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POSTED 7/4/10


EARTH DEFENSE! (ZEN PINBALL)

Zen Studios
PS3/PSN (also on Xbox 360/XBLA)

Real pinball’s awesome – however owning your own machine isn’t usually sensible, unless you’re rich in moolah and also space in which to put the thing. Purists will continue to blah on that they just can’t be emulated on consoles, but if it’s a choice between emulation or nothing, then we’ll go the latter.

For the uninitiated, Zen Pinball is a PSN title that houses four tables and costs about $12, so it offers pretty good value, especially as it’s a fairly decent simulator.

As promised, Zen Studios have been drip-feeding us new tables at less than the cost of a couple of goes on a real pinnie. The ‘50s B-movie themed Earth Defense! is the latest, and it continues the Zen tradition of being pretty good, but with a few niggles that kill the must-play-more factor. As anybody who’s played the game on a plasma will tell you, the reaction time of the flippers usually needs a twiddle. The ability to apply such tweaks is gone here, making it borderline unplayable at times unless you learn to pre-empt every move by a split second – not easy when the ball is thundering around, bouncing off stuff faster than a rogue rubber race-car.

It’s a shame, as the table has some damned cool features (big robot!) and is as challenging as we’ve come to expect from Zen. But when you want to hurl a controller through that aforementioned plasma when another flipper doesn’t flip when it should, even the piddly investment of $3.45 can seem kinda dumb…

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.