It seems like every few months I’m going through the same routine. I sit down at my desk, fire up my Xbox, and begin a new adventure on some of the coolest and over the top pinball tables ever created. Zen Studios has found a way to out do themselves with almost every table they release. Their ability to blend stories and characters together with the world of pinball is unmatched. Their new release Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles is no different and brings more Marvel Super Heroes to the forefront of their ever growing table library and showcases their creativity in pinball table design.
With Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles Zen Studios has set out to create a more cohesive story from the actual comic material as well as incorporate some of the most dramatic elements through gameplay within the table. The goal was to give fans of the series a fresh approach to each table that includes deeper character interactions, more dialogue, and tons of action. After spending some time with each table I can say that they have no doubt achieved this ambitious goal. The amount of story represented and dialogue contained in each table is pretty stunning. Sure you will hear many of the same lines repeated but not as often as you would think in a session of play especially on The Infinity Gauntlet table.
Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles gives you four new Marvel themed tables to play on. The Avengers table is based off the recent film and features a custom ball based on each of The Avengers. Players must choose the specific ball which represents The Avenger they want to send out on specific missions. Black Widow, Iron Man, Hulk, Hawk Eye, Thor, and Captain America all make appearances and each has separate sets of dialogue. The table is based on the Hellcarrier ship and features Nick Fury directing the earth’s mightiest heroes on what to do. The whole time they are battling Loki and completing each mission will eventually activate wizard mode which ramps the difficulty and your score.
The Infinity Gauntlet table is based off the early ’90′s mini-series of comics which featured Thanos attempting to take over the galaxy throug the use of The Infinity Gauntlet. It features 3-d models of Thanos himself as well as Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock. As play progresses a battle between them plays out on the table with the goal being to collect the six Infinity Gems from Thanos. Thanos’ large hand appears in the back corner of the table and constantly drops your ball on the table when it happens to grab hold of it. The table can even flip upside down, literally. This table shows the creativity at Zen Studios and is by far my favorite of the set.
World War Hulk is another table based on a mini-series within the Marvel Universe. World War Hulk was a Marvel Universe event that occurred a few years ago across many of the Marvel titles. Hulk was banished to outer space and returned to Manhattan to seek revenge against the Illuminati. Each session plays out with a 3-D model of Hulk overseeing a Madison Square Garden themed table. As play progresses we see Hulk battle many of he Marvel heroes attempting to defeat him including Iron Man, Wolverine, The Thing, and even Dr. Strange (first appearance in Marvel Pinball). The table features 11 lanes and when multiple balls are thrown into the mix it becomes a chaotic experience that helps represent the chaotic nature of the Hulk.
The final table included in the pack is Fear Itself. Fear Itself is once again based off a Marvel mini-series. The table includes many of the mini-series themes including Captain America’s broken shield and the Hammer of Skadi all being parts of the table. It also uses magnetism in a unique way with the players ball often being stopped or levitated. The table features 3-D models of The Serpent, Skadi, and Odin all of whom interact with the on the table action. Of the four tables included in this pack, this is probably my least favorite. With more obscure characters being represented on the table it just lacks that intensity and familiarity of the other tables. I do appreciate though that Zen Studios is broadening their reach for inspiration for the tables similar to how they included a Moon Knight table in their previous release.
The bottom line when it comes to Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles is whether or not you have enjoyed the Zen Studios releases in the past. If you answer yes to that then there is no reason not to purchase this pack. Being a fan of the series I can’t help but enjoy every release and this one is no different. I also love the fact that Zen Studios is continuing to expand more and more into the world of Marvel. There is just something cool and fun about playing on a table that is themed by some of my favorite comic book characters. Sure this pack includes some of the lesser known characters in Skadi and The Serpent but this gives me faith as to who they may come out with next. If virtual pinball is your thing, then stop reading this, pick up your controller, and become one of the Earth’s Mightiest Pinball Heroes.