New “Nightmare Mansion” Table for Pinball FX

Hot damn, I certainly didn’t expect to see this so soon. Hot on the heels of the Buccaneer table, released less than three months ago, Pinball FX returns with yet another fantastic new table. For a mere 200 Microsoft Points, the Xbox equivalent of a crumbled and expired food stamp, you can add this haunted house themed table to your collection (seriously, what else could 200 MSP buy you? One extra Guitar Hero track?).

This table clearly would have been a more appropriate Halloween release than Buccaneer, which leads me to believe that it was delayed in order to give it some extra pizazz. And it certainly shows. This is probably the most ambitious design yet, and while I feel that the overall intensity is slightly lower than Buck (as I’ll refer to it), the design, from an aethetic and thematic perspective, is out of sight (honestly, the screenshot doesn’t do it justice).

Like many classic pinball machines, Nightmare Mansion features a “cellar,” a miniature pinball table hidden below the main playing field, complete with it’s own objectives and a set of paddles. This, along with Zen Studio’s dead-on knack for getting the retro art-style that makes pinball so attractive, has produced an elegant and highly attractive table.

I did notice a slightly higher that usual tendency for the ball to make a B-line for the drain, but the developer seemed to recognise this, and quick-fixed the issue with a generous ball-saver feature. Certainly not the optimal solution, but an acceptable one considering the overall quality seen here.

With the new table comes a new feature (a short countdown when unpausing the game, to help the player recover his bearings), as well as a new Achievement (this one being much more logical and objective-based than Buck’s mystifyingly vague one). Those are the only new feature I’ve noticed so far, but I would be surprised if there were a few subtle tweaks here and there that I didn’t notice.

In retrospect, and particularly in light of the excellent downloadable content that has since become available, I feel that Pinball FX was placed too low on my top ten list. And if Zen Studios can continue to deliver content of this quality, that statement will only become more and more true.


~ by Krooze L-Roy on January 17, 2008.

One Response to “New “Nightmare Mansion” Table for Pinball FX”

  1. It’s awesome. I can’t believe people would whinge about having to fork out 200 points for it. What are you going to buy with that, another theme?

    Apparently they are going to bring out a few more very shortly. I can hardly wait

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