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Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force (Video Game Review)

Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force is the first expansion for Zen Studio's Star Wars Pinball game. The new DLC has just now released for Nintendo Wii U after previously being available for other platforms for a much longer time now. The content drop adds three new tables to the game that focuses on the struggles of light versus dark in the original trilogy of films. Fans of the films and game will find it a no-brainer to purchase the new tables, as they are some of the best ever seen in a Zen Studios Pinball game, though there are still some bugs present in the game that keep it from being exciting as the release could be.

Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force includes three different tables based on the original trilogy of the Star Wars universe and includes a table based on an entire film in the trilogy, one based on a primary character from the films and one based on a more randomized subject from the films. The first table in the set is the Episode VI: Return of the Jedi table that includes various missions, layouts, bumpers and more from the entire film. Players will first notice the sandy deserts where the team rescues Han Solo near the beginning of the film, while a larger portion of the table is full of forest battles against speeders with appearances by plenty of fuzzy little Ewoks. The table is probably the most difficult of the three, but it's a lot of fun and comes with plenty of good missions that will keep players interested through an entire session.

The character table featured in Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force is the Darth Vader table this time around. The table is easily the best of the character specific pinball machines, likely due to Vader being the most interesting villain in any fictional work. Players get a real sense of the struggle between the light and dark side of the character with plenty of famous scenes to play out on the table including the battle for the Death Star, light saber duels against Obi Wan and Luke and much more. The table also has some of the most unique missions from the entire DLC including a pinball recreation of the construction of Darth Vader including a special sound byte that plays once the character has been recreated on the table.

Starfighter Assault is the third and final table in the new downloadable content. Before loading into a game on this table, players must choose whether to fight for the Alliance or Empire with each half of the table representing one of the two factions. Performing well on the table and completing various missions will allow players to level up their ships to use in battles against enemy forces, and these are primarily used as point boosters towards the overall score for players. The table is easily the busiest map included in Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force with TIE Fighters and X-Wings battling it out in the background while players attempt to do their best to pay attention to the actual action happening on the table.

Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force features both the good and bad qualities of the original game's presentation when it released last year for Nintendo Wii U and some other platforms. The game looks great, features plenty of characters and voices from the classic films and is an overall fun experience that remains authentic to the Star Wars universe. Still, players will find bugs in the game that include crashes when accessing leaderboards and uploading scores. Loading times in the game can still be a problem at times, and slow down and similar problems can affect gameplay under certain circumstances as well.

Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force is no doubt a great expansion for the original Star Wars Pinball, but it's just a shame that Zen Studios has yet to iron out the few problems the game had at launch. It doesn't mean players shouldn't pick up the new content for the game immediately, cause they should, but it's just worth noting that some aggravating moments are sure to arise even in the new tables. Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force is a great expansion with three good levels that shows what a good expansion should look like; first-person shooters and some other games should take notes from the new Zen Studios release. Check out Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force on Nintendo Wii U today!

Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force is now available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, PC, Mac, iOS Android and Kindle Fire HD. Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force is rated E by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence & Mild Language. For more information on the game, check out the official Star Wars Pinball website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Three Tables Based on Films
  • 3D Pinball Action
  • Featuring Iconic Characters and Ships from Star Wars Universe
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer & Publisher: Zen Studios
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U (reviewed), PC, Mac, iOS, Android & Kindle Fire HD
Release Date: May 13, 2014

Score: 7.5 out of 10
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