New Pinball Fx table is… Rocky and Bullwinkle?!?!?

Wow, between finishing my increasingly long-in-the-tooth top ten list and writing a review of Crave’s phenomenal William’s Collection (here’s the gist; BUY IT), I’ve got a bit more pinball-related writing on my plate than I’m entirely comfortable with. So when I checked Xbox Live Arcade to see what was new (yay, Ikaruga finally got released), it was with considerable dread that I contemplated the reality of a new downloadable Pinball Fx table. Hungarian-based developer Zen Studios seems to be pumping out these tables at a steady rate now, but I nevertheless put aside my trepidation (and 200 Microsoft points) and got the ball rolling.

First of all, the issue must be addressed; why did Zen choose Rocky and Bullwinkle to be the subjects of their first licensed table? Now I’m old enough to have seen my fair share their cartoons (in rerun form), and I did enjoy them for what they were, but the fact remains that they haven’t been popular since the late Sixties. And their feature length film from a couple years back (holy shit, that was eight years ago?!) went a long ways toward proving that they aren’t a particularly bankable franchise anymore. Perhaps the mid-western mammals are still really popular in Hungary.

Really though, it’s not very important, since pinball tables can’t be judged on theme alone (the Addams Family wasn’t such a great idea either, but look at what a classic it is), and the table Zen has crafted is beautiful and makes good use of it’s odd license. You can spend a great many minutes watching the attract mode scroll around the playfield, admiring the detail work and creativity that the artist put into the table’s aesthetics.

The design of the table itself is a bit standard compared to the previous two expansion tables, which were far more ambitious efforts. R&B is something of a return to simplicity, with lots of ramps, bumpers and spinners, and multiball requiring quite a bit of effort to activate. There are three paddles, two primary ones and a somewhat unnecessary secondary one that’s a bit underused for my tastes. The left drain is a bit grabby at first, but with a bit of practice you’ll learn how to stay away from it. The ball save feature is rather generous and easy to activate, so you’ll find that maintaining it will be one of your primary goals. As such, you’ll find yourself getting much larger scores than you would on most of the other Pinball Fx tables.

Ultimately, while Rocky and Bullwinkle never reaches the lofty heights of High Speed or Buccaneer, it’s a pretty damn good table in it’s own right. And for any fan of video pinball, it’s well worth the pocket change that it’ll cost you (200 Microsoft points is what, like three bucks?). As Rocky famously (and in the game, annoyoingly) says – “Here’s something we hope you’ll really like.” Thanks, I do.

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~ by Krooze L-Roy on April 10, 2008.

2 Responses to “New Pinball Fx table is… Rocky and Bullwinkle?!?!?”

  1. Oddly enough they just put a Rocky & Bullwinkle game up on XBLA proper, which appears to be a minigame game a la Warioware Twisted, but for kids. Haven’t bought the new table yet but I hear it’s a blatant rip of Williams’ Sorcerer table from ’85-ish. Take a look for yourself, http://mirror1.ipdb.org/images/2242/image-2.jpg.

  2. Holy shit, that’s true. I thought it seemed a little too familiar for it’s own good, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It’s almost a carbon copy.

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