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Pinball FX2: Epic Quest impressions

Name : Pinball FX2
Developer : Zen Studios
Publisher : Zen Studios
Platform(s) : XBLA, PSN
Genre : Pinball
Release Date : October 27, 2010
Price : Free (Interface Only)
Homepage : www.pinballfx.com/
Read more about Pinball FX2
Boxart

ZEN Studios have raised the pinball stakes mixing RPG elements in to their latest table Epic Quest. Read our impressions to find out just how epic this quest is.

Every RPG needs a hero and Epic Quest is no exception, you play as Max, a knight who loves to fight and find rare and valuable loot. Your quest takes you on a journey battling monsters, rescuing a princess and leveling up, everything you would expect to find in a RPG.

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After spending some time on the table it seems ZEN Studios have managed to balance the RPG and Pinball ratio quite well. The game still plays like a pinball game but the RPG elements bring another dimension which is refreshing to play. Defeating bosses, of which there twelve including skeletons, vampires and wolves, involves a simple but fun turn like based combat system. Both fighters have a HP bar and successful attacks will reduce them until one is defeated.  You have a timer in which you must make your move before it expires (else your opponent will hit you), you can attack, defend, dodge, cast spells, use potions or critical strike by hitting specific targets or ramps. Attack combinations can be performed with continuous target or ramp sequences.

Defeating an enemy will gain you XP, earning enough will increase your level to a maximum of 100. The higher the level of your character the better loot you will earn after defeating an enemy, this also extends to higher score bonuses for example. Loot comes in a few varieties such as weapons and armour, available in three classes from common to epic. You get to keep any XP and loot for future visits to the table which is handy and keeps you returning.

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The table itself is very accessible, keeping with the fun theme of the game. The table is not about have a set strategy to hit certain targets in order to progress. You will still need a strategy of course, but it is less restrictive than other tables and within a few moments you could be fighting enemies or tapping away to keep your multiball in play. It is worth noting that I did not come across any LCD style games or separate mini games, I enjoyed those in previous games so if there are not any then it is a little disappointing. There is also one strange issue regarding the skill shot, the target is always the second of the three and it is very easy to get every time with minimal practice.

Graphically the table looks colourful with well drawn artwork in a cartoon style. Nice touches include when starting a battle from the Orcanium – the action briefly pauses for you to watch a cardboard cutout style theater show which are fun to watch. Max’s equipment changes visually to reflect what is equipped and includes flaming swords and icy shields. The voice acting is good with a typical sounding comedy hero voice which reminds me a little of DeathSpank. The music is your standard orchestral themes which suit the game, there are also some more lively jingles to go with events such as multiballs.

I don’t know how ZEN Studios manage to keep the tables at a high quality every time but they continue to do so and every time they raise the bar in one way or another. Epic Quest is a great mix of RPG and pinball and it should be part of your collection!

Epic Quest launches on February 15th on XBLA for 240 :MSPoints:, PSN for $2.49 and iOS and Android for 99 cents.

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