DLC Review: Aliens vs. Pinball (Zen Pinball 2)

Ripley stands guard over the Aliens pinball table.

Ripley stands guard over the Aliens pinball table.

By: Mike Chen

There’s been a revival in the Alien franchise over the past few years, first with the pseudo-prequel Prometheus, followed by the excellent Alien: Isolation and most recently talk of a direct sequel from filmmaker Neill Blomkamp. Zen Pinball 2, the master of tie-in DLC, now has released the Alien vs. Pinball pack, a trio of tables from a cross-section of the Alien franchise.

The three tables are:

  • Aliens, based on the James Cameron film (and really, one of the best sci-fi films of all time)
  • Alien vs. Predator, based on a fun crossover idea for a comic book that has gone way too far now.
  • Alien: Isolation, based on the poop-your-pants scary game from Sega.

All three tables feature familiar iconography, with Aliens having an animated Ripley and Alien Queen on the table. Alien vs. Predator has the Predator hanging around and the temple from the movie (Movies? Were there multiple?) as a backdrop. Alien: Isolation‘s table is a little less exotic, as that game was set on a spaceship so your table’s background is essentially the cargo hold.

As always, the requisite Zen mini-games are there, with Isolation‘s being the most detailed by adding in elements from the stealth-horror title. There’s also a ridiculous puzzle mini-game that should have never been incorporated into a pinball design.

Zen Studios usually gets voice actors to recreate dialogue from licensed properties, so it’s cool to see that Aliens features actual dialogue from the film, including the very appropriate “GAME OVER MAN” from Hudson (Bill Paxton).

The tables themselves are all par for Zen, which means they’re busy, visually detailed and fun. Aliens is probably the best of the bunch, but from a pure pinball perspective, you’ll have fun with all three of them. None are so revolutionary that they’re recommended to non-fans, but they’re still solid across the board.

OVERALL (4/5)

There are three fun tables on offer here with a lot of franchise elements involved — while Aliens vs. Pinball won’t break any ground by Zen Pinball 2‘s standards, they’re still casual fun for sci-fi buffs.

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About Herija Green

Avid gamer, adventurous lover and all-around damned handsome man...
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