I remember watching late night TV many years ago and seeing those ads for the Richard Hoaglund VHS tapes where he talked about the face on Mars and it kind of freaked me out. Now I just think of that line from Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream”- “press your space face close to mine, love”. Or sometimes it reminds me of “Life on Mars” from Hunky Dory>.
What I’m also freaking out about it, albeit in a good way, is that there’s a new Pinball FX2 table on the shelf of your local Xbox Live Arcade. It’s Mars, and it’s a port from Zen Studios’ PSN platform, Zen Pinball. I’ve had access to it for a week and having put in some good time with it I’m glad to report that it’s definitely in line with the rest of their top-flight digital pinball tables. It’s a fun table with a fairly clear and uncluttered playfield, simple mission progression, and lots of fun novelties including a crazy zero-G multiball and holograms by the shuttleload. If Portal 2 didn’t give you your fill of spidery robots, there’s one here for you as well. The Mars exploration theme (including that damn face and the supposed pyramids) is well implemented. I love the themes these guys use, they’ve got a great eye for unusual themes that make for great pinball tables, Rocky and Bullwinkle notwithstanding. This is also one of their easiest tables, so if you’re easily frustrated by dropout lanes or low-scoring balls I think this one might be more accomodating. If you’re a pinball wizard like myself, you might find that the challenge isn’t nearly as compelling as it is in Rome or Blade.
But it’s only 240 MS points. You can’t go wrong unless you hate pinball. If that’s the case I’m not sure it’s going to work out between us anyway.
I hear tell that their next FX2 table is another Marvel one. Wanna bet it’s Cap, Thor, or Avengers?