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Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force offers three very different stages that take players to all corners of the original trilogy. And not only are these tables worth playing, but they also shine on the PS Vita. I had no idea how liberating playing pinball can be on a handheld system. Whether you're a Star Wars nut or not, Balance of the Force is a great starting point for anybody looking to get into Zen Studios' brand of pinball! Rating: 85%
Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force
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In the past thirty years, Star Wars has been featured in nearly every genre imaginable. You can see the license pop up in kart racers, real-time strategy, first-person shooters, fighters, shoot-em-ups, dancing games and any other genre that had even a modicum of success. Sadly, very few were must-own titles, often settling on mediocre at best. Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force successfully bucks this trend, offering an engaging (and sometimes surprising) pinball experience.

This is not my first time playing one of Zen's pinball games. Three years ago I discovered the series through Marvel Pinball , which included a trio of pinball tables that were over-the-top, yet still somehow believable. Not long after reviewing the Marvel tables, I found myself enjoying MARS, Epic Quest and Fantastic Four. While not every download spoke to me, I was still impressed by the wide variety of tables offered by Zen Studios.

Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force (PS Vita)

Despite logging dozens of hours into Pinball FX 2 on the Xbox 360, Star Wars Pinball is my first experience with the franchise on my PS Vita. I expected to pick right up from where I left off, barely noticing the change in platform. But that's not what happened. Much to my surprise and delight, I ended up having a strong reaction to this portable Star Wars game. Now I can't imagine playing Zen's pinball titles on any other system.

More than most games, Star Wars Pinball benefits from the portability of the PS Vita. From the smart leaderboard integration to the gorgeous graphics to the easy interface, the game is exactly the same as what you've come to expect on the home consoles. Only this time around it comes in an incredibly convenient package.

Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force (PS Vita)

For better or worse, Star Wars Pinball game is, well, a pinball game. In that sense there really isn't much to say. You start with three balls and a dream to beat the high score. Along the way you'll trigger mini-games that offer both big point bonuses and short bits of Star Wars-related animation. Although there are a few fanciful flourishes, the three tables found in Balance of the Force are largely grounded in reality.

The good news is that all three tables are worth playing, even if, like me, you're not a huge Star Wars fan. Not only are the three tables surprisingly diverse, but they include some of Zen's most ambitious mini-games yet. Let's take a look at them one at a time.

Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force (PS Vita)

Darth Vader: With its burgundy coloring and giant mask looming in the distance, there's no question that this table belongs to one of the greatest villains in movie history. Here we are on the Death Star, where Darth Vader has kidnapped our hero, Luke Skywalker. Docked are some of Star Wars' most recognizable ships and the artwork makes clear that we are in the Stormtrooper's home court.

Fans of high scoring rounds will love this table. The stage only has a few lanes, but there are a number of hidden passageways to discover. You'll bounce around and spell out words like "SITH" and "REBEL" for multipliers. What seems like a low scoring game at first will quickly spiral out of control with multi-million point bonuses for easy tasks.
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