Update: Pinball FX Gets a New Table, Functionality

One thing I learned as a kid was that it’s always wise to go to the richest possible neighborhood to do your trick or treating. Stick around your own poverty-stricken project and you’ll be lucky to get candy from three years ago, but take a trip across the train tracks and you’ll see those rich fools giving out entire king size candy bars.

Well, this Halloween, I trick or treated in the richest neighborhood within walking distance; Xbox Live Arcade. And boy did I make out. Microsoft was handing out the long-awaited downloadable content for Pinball FX.

The bad news is that it’s just a single table. The good news is that it’s free and the table rocks.

Buccaneer is the name of the table, and it’s the most realistic table yet for Pinball FX. As you can probably guess, it has a pirate theme, and Zen studios makes good use of it with an aesthetically pleasing design. Even though the table has the same proportions as the other Pinball FX tables (squat), this one feels more like a full table do to the extensive use of ramps and an more intricate layout overall.

All of these factors combine to make a table that plays great. The addition of an extra flipper (making four total) really increases the intensity of the table too. My hands were quite sore after playing, due to the death-grip that this table induces. I also found that multiball sessions were relatively easy to initiate.

The download also comes with some added functionality that extends throughout the whole game. Sadly the game is still missing is a proper hi score screen (you still have to go to the online leaderboards). But thankfully the update remedies this somewhat by telling you your hiscore (for the table you’re on) after each game, along with your weekly high score. So now you get to see your pathetic current score contrasted cruelly against your all time high; an enormous improvement.

You can also now adjust the HUD by placing it on the right or left side of the screen, and choosing one of three sizes (including one ridiculously small option, for those who have super hi definition TVs). You can also get rid of the HUD altogether if you just want to hit the ball around drunkenly. A modest new feature, but it’s there.

And of course, a new table needs a new Achievement. The table does indeed come with one, and I have unlocked it, but I honestly haven’t the foggiest idea what I did to get it. The description cryptically states “Only few would manage this. An experienced pirate you are.” Sure, I’ll drink to that.
All in all, this is one heck of a treat. I can only hope that we’ll be seeing more new tables in the near future, and that they’ll be as good (and as free) as this one.

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~ by Krooze L-Roy on October 31, 2007.

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