Review: Pinball FX3

I’m back once again, and it’s time to talk about one of my favorite game franchises, Pinball FX from Zen Studios. The Pinball FX series has been incredible, spanning several generations on console, PC, and the mobile market. Though the Pinball FX series has been ported to everything from PC to Mobile Devices, today we will be reviewing the Nintendo Switch version of the latest entry, Pinball FX 3.

30 Second Review

+Amazing Pinball Physics and Gameplay

+Uniquely Designed Original Tables

+Excellent Handling of Liscensed IPs

-Fewer Tables on Switch than other system versions

-Match Up Mode Flaws

Pass Me Some Popcorn

If you’ve been looking for a pinball game that has tables based on your favorite TV shows, movies, and games, than look no farther than Pinball FX3. The exciting and fun licensed tables are a genuine treat to play. The pinball gameplay and special effects are just simply superior when comparing this to other pinball video game titles. The ball is smooth and rolls across the table swiftly with each flip of the flipper, feeling intense yet satisfying. Their are 7 viewing modes of the ball, so any player can customize their experience to their playstyle.

If you’re looking for more originally created tables, then fear not, Zen Studios has created 18 unique and original tables. Enjoy the best of licensed and original ip’s. One of my all time favorite tables is an original table named Epic Quest. You play as a knight thwarting evil and winning the affection of the princess. Don’t forget about chasing after that glorious loot! The table even has leveling xp and saves your character’s level over multiple playthroughs.

In addition to Single Player, Classic, and Hot Seat, there are now even more ways to play. Pinball FX3 has included challenges. Get the highest score possible in 1 ball challenge, but be careful; when the ball drains out it’s game over, because no extra balls will be rewarded in this challenge. Only got a few minutes to play? Then 5 minute challenge is just for you: get the highest score possible in 5 minutes before the time expires. Want to chase high scores but ball drains got you down? Survival gives you 1 minute to chase a score, and if you meet the score, then you’re 1 minute is refreshed. How long can you keep the game going?

A new and exciting feature unique to the Nintendo Switch, compared to other consoles, is vertical mode. The Switch sets on the table top vertically and now you have an excellent way to experience Pinball FX3 in all of its features. This is a much better experience than playing in hand held mode with a horizontal screen. Hand held is still nice, but I’ll take vertical over it any day.

A major update has been done to the Nintendo Switch version of Pinball FX3 to allow for 60 FPS, especially in hand-held, and HD in docked mode. These community requested improvements were difficult to achieve, but Zen Studios is committed to excellence on the Nintendo Switch platform.

Nintendo Switch also has Cross Platform Leaderboards and Tournaments, so you’re not playing alone with just other Nintendo Switch users. The exception of course is PS4 players, because Sony is still not on board with the Cross Platform movement.

Are We Doomed?

While the Bethesda tables just released last month, which include tables based on Fallout, Doom, and Skyrim, many tables, such as the Marvel and Star Wars franchise tables are still missing from the Nintendo Switch version of Pinball FX3. This stings a bit, because most of those tables were available in previous versions of Pinball FX. My guess is it takes time to port these tables to the Switch. I believe we will see these tables in the future, but just know that at present other versions of Pinball FX3 have 73 tables, while this version only has 36. However, there is hope, as the upcoming tables based on Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be coming out soon, so I don’t think the Star Wars category will be barren for long.

Zen Studios has tried to do more community features with Pinball FX3 than any of their other game iterations before. We now have access to Tournaments and Match Up modes. The Tournament mode is great; you can set up a competition on any table you own and set your own custom rules for the table. You can make this Tournament Friends Only or take on anyone Worldwide. There are also Zen Studio Organized Tournaments Weekly. I have absolutely no complaints with this mode.

In Match Up, you take on the saved score of another player in League Competition. Each completed match either earns you League points or takes away League points. You start off facing a fairly low score, and if you go hog wild trying to earn the highest score possible, the next opponent you face is going to have an even higher score than the one you posted. Earning league points can be very difficult and frustrating, unless you cheese the system; let me explain. If you play a low score, barely beat that score, then trap the ball till the 3 minute timer expires, then the next opponent you face will have a score slightly higher score than the score of the opponent you just faced. This might be the optimal way to earn league points, but beating a score in 30 seconds and holding a ball for 2 and a half minutes is not my idea of fun. I don’t know what could be done different with this mode, but just in general, I don’t like it. It’s a nice concept, but failed in execution.

Let’s Be Friends

The pricing of the tables in packs and bundles in Pinball FX3 is very competitive when compared to other pinball games that you can purchase digitally. If you do decide to download this title, it will include a free table named Sorcerer’s Lair, which is one of the best tables that Zen Studios has made to date. So download it, and start chasing those high scores today!