Pinball FX

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The Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse saw two behemoths collide in 2021, with the release of Godzilla vs. Kong in cinemas. It went down pretty well with audiences and for some it truly delivered a thrilling clash of the Titans. Now though, Zen Studios have decided to develop a selection of Pinball FX tables inspired by the aforementioned blockbuster film. Will the Godzilla vs. Kong Pinball Pack be a massive success, or merely end up feeling like a cheap tie-in?

The Pinball FX – Godzilla vs. Kong Pinball Pack consists of three separate tables: Godzilla vs Kong Pinball, Godzilla Pinball, and Kong Pinball. All three borrow elements from the film, but one stands tall above the rest and immediately feels welcoming to casual pinball players, so let’s begin with that table.

It’s Godzilla vs Kong Pinball that is the star; a table that looks deceptively complex due to ramps and lanes full of tight passageways or being positioned at tricky angles. Fortunately, the addition of an extra flipper on the upper-right playfield, and the relatively large amount of control you’ll have over the ball in general, completely mitigates any concerns. The fact that the main modes are started by hitting the ball into an easily accessible sinkhole is great too.

These main modes focus on the highlights of the film, with actual video clips showing, taken straight from the action. The first mode is when Godzilla is attacking the Apex facility, requiring you to help the mighty kaiju by sending the ball towards various routes. The objectives are – more or less – just as straightforward for the other situations covered too; situations which include two feisty encounters between Godzilla and Kong, as well as the introduction of Mechagodzilla. 

Another cool aspect is that the giant monsters have been recreated in 3D model form and are quite animated while the main modes play out. Zen Studios have really pushed the boat out here, I mean they literally have Kong standing atop an aircraft carrier like the one transporting him to Antarctica. 

Moving on to Kong Pinball, and this is designed based on the Hollow Earth ecosystem the team travels to in Godzilla vs. Kong. Aside from a giant Kong in the upper corner, the earthy palette and abundance of rocks makes the concept appear bland. A couple of the ramps are rather steep, causing difficulty in activating the main modes especially as a fair amount of velocity is needed behind the shots.

Some of the ideas for the main modes are neat, featuring a huge Warbat and Godzilla’s heat ray. The most unique one however is, unfortunately, very disorienting as it turns the entire table upside down. As for the side missions, they’re easier to access, but less interesting and involve boring drop targets or bits of rock. The whole table is actually quite compact and leaves little room for error, so whether or not you’ll experience any of the modes to their fullest is dependent upon your skill level.

And lastly, there’s Godzilla Pinball. Not only is it the weakest offering of the Pinball FX – Godzilla vs. Kong Pinball pack, but as someone who has played almost every Pinball FX table, Godzilla Pinball is among my least favourite. The layout must bear the brunt of the criticism, for every single moment is edge of the seat stuff in the worst possible way. It constantly feels as if you’re about to lose the ball due to the return trajectories of the majority of hits. Successful retention is essentially luck, unless you’re a pinball wizard of course. 

Should you manage to make progress, the modes are lacklustre; bereft of innovation for the most part. The only exception is a separate mini-game where you must guide Godzilla into aircraft carriers and hostile threats. Disappointingly, the visuals in that mode make it look cheap and low-budget. In terms of the design in general, it’s fine. The concept involves the epic battle between Mechagodzilla and Godzilla in Hong Kong, with 3D models that are pretty good. Considering how fantastic the neon city came across in the film however, Zen Studios haven’t captured the magic at all for Godzilla Pinball.

Overall, the titular table of the Pinball FX – Godzilla vs. Kong Pinball Pack is by far the best of the trio, with the Titans getting together to form a formidable partnership. That said, the standards do drop a little in Kong Pinball, while Godzilla Pinball just isn’t up to scratch; mainly – but not exclusively – because of the layout design. So then you have to ponder whether having one great table makes it worth grabbing the entire pack.

Ultimately, the triumph of a sole table isn’t totally convincing in regards to purchasing the Godzilla vs. Kong Pinball Pack for Pinball FX. In a sale however, picking it up would be a far more palatable option.

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