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Pinball FX 2: Mars Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Zen Studios has another winning pinball table on their hands. Pinball FX 2: Mars may not have the star power of Marvel Pinball, but it certainly has enough variety to keep players engages for a long time to come! Rating: 71%
Pinball FX 2: Mars
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Pinball FX 2: Mars Pinball FX 2: Mars Pinball FX 2: Mars Pinball FX 2: Mars
  • Review Score:

  • B
How do you follow up the high-flying excitement of Pinball FX 2: Marvel Pinball? By buying a one-way ticket to Mars, of course. Instead of adding more tables with men in capes and form-fitting tights, Zen Studios has transported us to the fourth rock from the sun, a hostile planet with more than a few secrets to uncover. Could this be the mission where we conclusively prove there's life on other planets? Probably not, but it does make for a fun round of pinball.

Mars doesn't stray far from what you expect from Pinball FX 2, it's a semi-realistic pinball game using a specific theme. For three dollars you get a brand new board, which offers new challenges and achievements. If that's not what you're interested in, then you might as well stop reading this review right now. It's okay, I won't be offended. Feel free to check out the pilot episode of Mondo Cool TV.

Pinball FX 2: Mars (XBLA)

The board's bottom half is a close-up look at the planet's barren exterior. The emptiness is illustrated with a wide-open play area, allowing players a chance to focus on precision shots without worrying too much about clutter. Further up the board is a series of tubes and ramps, each leading to new adventures and missions. In the middle of the board is a landing bay, where your space ship (the Phoenix) docks and explores the Martian home world.

This may not sound very exciting on its face, but Mars (like so many of the Pinball FX 2 boards) offers a lot of diversity. The different missions see the players dodging space debris, floating in zero gravity and exploring the planet's many secrets. And when you're done with that you have to refuel and start a new mission. There's a surprising amount to do on this board. So much that even after several lengthy plays, I was still discovering new missions. The end result is a satisfying board with more personality than oxygen.

Pinball FX 2: Mars (XBLA)

The table isn't without a few problems. I found the top of the board far too congested for its own good, especially when trying to complete timed missions. It's also worth noting that there's a noticeable slow down every time your ship docks or takes off. I found that this can really wreak havoc when trying to land a very specific shot, usually resulting in an annoying (and totally unfair) loss of a ball.

Outside of those minor quibbles, I had a good time beating my friend's scores in Pinball FX 2: Mars. At three dollars (240 Microsoft Points) this installment is a bit pricier than past tables, but you shouldn't let that keep you from this otherwise stellar pinball table. Just remember to pack a lot of clothing; this is going to be a long voyage!
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