I’ve already reviewed Pinball FX2 and its MARS add-on, giving both substantial praise. I don’t see much point of embellishing upon the latest FX2 addition because it’s simply irrelevant… but I will anyway. Zen Studios have once again created a masterpiece in design which keeps you coming back for more. Fantastic Four FX2 is beyond addictive, and a perfect way to celebrate the gang’s fifty year anniversary, pinball style.
If you are unaware of this iconic team, the Fantastic Four family are the first of Marvel’s extensive superhero roster, debuting in 1961. Looming over the group – consisting of Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, the Thing and the Invisible Woman – stands their arch nemesis, Dr. Doom, still the greatest name for a villain I’ve ever come across. All five characters are fully animated and modelled, injecting some distinct personality into the table. It never grows tired seeing Mr. Fantastic stretch his elastically defiant arms across the screen, or the Human Torch setting your ball ablaze as it pings around the table.
The table itself is expertly crafted, providing the right amount of challenge without ever-growing tiresome or monotonous. It’s definitely the most interactive offering available, providing a drastic departure from what MARS provided; subdued but sublime nonetheless. The pace Fantastic Four is frenetic; the very antithesis of MARS. Which table you prefer is entirely dependent on your gameplay preference, but both are equal when it comes to executing their intentions. Fantastic Four is the pinnacle of pinball without question, if a synergy of rapidity and electroencephalography (brain activity) overload is what you so desire.
It is worth mentioning however that to activate most missions you have to execute one particular shot. It’s not overly difficult, but may become frustrating for those who are newcomers to the FX2 series. Conversely, it also adds extra depth and strategy to the experience, so simply slinging the ball around the table will not suffice in reaching top-tier scores. Regardless of your skill level though Fantastic Four offers something for everyone, and that alone is worthy of commendation.
Fantastic Four, like every table before is gorgeous, brimming with fine details and interesting nuances. Every facet of the table feels expertly crafted, appropriately positioned and complementary to the Marvel universe. The liberal use of bold, largely primary colours really gives Fantastic Four the appropriate comic book vibe. Again, from a visual perspective, Fantastic is the direct opposite of MARS and thus offers an entirely different experience. With good quality voice-work and some dramatic, action-oriented BMG to accompany, Fantastic Four is the complete package.
At the now expected price of 240 Microsoft Points, Fantastic Four offers arguably the most value of any tables released thus far. It’s simply a no-brainer for both fans and newcomers to the world of digital pinball and/or the Fantastic Four. Zen Studios yet again excel, and I’m slowly becoming more sycophantic with every review. Buy!