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Pinball FX 2 VR review for PSVR

Platform: PlayStation VR
Also On: Oculus Rift
Publisher: Zen Studios
Developer: Zen Studios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Leaderboards
ESRB: E10+

The Pinball FX series has always been about a perfect pinball experience with a ton of flair. Their past games have had some fun and interesting pinball tables that try to match the look and feel of a real table, with great animations and high scoring events.

Now, with Pinball FX2 VR, players can experience playing these great tables in a virtual environment that feels like you've stepped into a different universe. First, you are placed in a sort of virtual room, kind of resembling an apartment, with a few pinball machines and a big TV. A room to your right is a stats and leader-board room, where you can check up on your scores. You can look at any table and begin playing, or cycle through any that you own at any of the places a machine is set up. The big TV in the center in the room only acts as your quick menu, so you can select tables and see the leader-boards in once place. As you begin playing your selected table, you are surrounded by fantastic animations related to the machine you're playing, and I do mean surrounded! For example, playing the table MARS surrounds you with an asteroid field and robotic creatures. These animations change as you trigger events on the table and even losing a ball becomes a major event.

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The pinball tables offered in Pinball FX2 VR are very much like the original game, but DO NOT carry over if you already own them in the previous game. This is a disappointment as I can only imagine how tables like Street Fighter 2 and Family Guy would feel like, let alone what cool animations would accompany them. I sincerely hope Zen Studios is working on these and many more tables, but for now, there are only a few available. From the start you get MARS, Secrets of the Deep and Epic Quest. All three are fun and high scoring, with MARS being the best title of the three included. All of them have animations that completely surround and completely immerse you. These animations can totally distract you from play, and can be the cause of many missed shots. Sometimes, I caught myself following some of the animations too much, and would lose a ball. The animations will sometimes intrude onto the table, but will never intentionally block your view.

An extra Season Pass add-on is available and will get you CastleStorm, Wild West Rampage, BioLab, Paranormal and Earth Defense, all of which are great to play in Virtual Reality. Again, if you already own these tables you will have to buy them again to see them in VR. One final table available now is based on The Walking Dead, which is pretty cool. The VR version has a zombie constantly trying to grab you while Clementine stands on the other side, distracting it. As with other tables here, everything that is surrounding you can be a huge distraction but don't interfere with the actual game play.

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Visually, it feels really cool to play these tables with everything going on around them and in the game itself. The PlayStation VR version does suffer from a bit of jaggy-ness and some blurry text. It's not horrible, but it can begin to hurt your eyes after some time. Sound is great, with lots of voices and some good music accompanying each of the tables. The sound of the flippers and the rolling balls sound like real machines just like previous versions of Pinball FX.

Despite having to re-buy tables and some minor low quality visuals here and there, Pinball FX2 VR works incredibly well on the PSVR. Playing pinball while immersed in a virtual world is definitely something to experience and makes playing video pinball in general way more fun. The base package, along with the extra tables might be a little expensive for some, but if you are a fan of digital pinball tables, then you have to experience playing like this at least once. You may get hooked very quickly once you try it.

Grade: B+