Pinball FX2 is already full to the brim with all things Marvel and so Zen Studios have tried to bring something new to the pinball table. Step forward the Marvel’s Women of Power table pack, featuring a varied bunch of female heroes across two vastly different tables. Will the heroes chosen generate enough interest, and can Zen deliver some exciting new features to help them stand out from the rest?
The first of the tables, and arguably possessing the most star power, is the A-Force table featuring the Russian spy turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Black Widow. This table focuses on her ending up in an alternate reality with rival Hydra agent, Madame Masque, after a Cosmic Cube was destroyed. They must get along in order to fix reality, and there are references to She-Hulk, Captain Marvel (formerly Ms. Marvel) and other A-Force members. There’s a little cutscene involving the two main women to set the scene for the table, which is a pretty neat idea, albeit a bit of a bland one.
As for the modes, the one that stands out involves creating a path for the ball to enter a Sting weapon – skill is required – which is then used to actually shoot at the Soviet version of the Black Widow 3D model. These novelties are ideal for anyone that isn’t a pinball purist, but for those who just want wholehearted ball flipping action, the layout does falter a little. I’m not a fan of ramps, or anything potentially obstructive, being too close to the main flippers because if you hit walls of the ramp then the ball comes hurtling back towards the drain very quickly. Many of the lanes are difficult to hit, even with the extra two flippers on the playfield to change the shot angle.
Although I reckon the playfield is tricky to navigate the ball around, I at least managed to enjoy whacking the ball at Titanium Man’s giant head. The frantic fun of multi-ball can be realised via this method as balls can be locked inside his helmet. Being so big makes it nice and easy to activate; one of the few things that is.
So, the A-Force table has a notable member of the Avengers as the star, but who takes centre stage for the Champions table? Only Ms. Marvel – the Kamala Khan version as opposed to the one seen in the A-Force – Squirrel Girl and the villainous Bombshell. Basically, these heroes need to stop Bombshell from robbing a bank using all of their awesome super powers. Visually it’s far superior to the other table with its vibrant colours and downtown setting; even the opening scene is orchestrated really well.
The whole layout is designed to offer a spacious playfield, but not one bereft of ramps or lanes, and there’s room for a third flipper; it’s almost the ideal balance as the extra flipper doesn’t have to be relied upon constantly. Zen have made good use of Ms. Marvel’s extendible limbs for both the launch and the kickback save. It’s weird, but cool to see. The modes are where Champions lets itself down, with the only interesting one being in dot matrix video form. Here, you must collect magical sparkles using Nico Minoru’s Staff of One, and although it’s a little fun, it looks awful in dot matrix. It’s possibly the only visual letdown throughout the table.
Marvel’s Women of Power delivers two female orientated tables full of Marvel’s finest superheroines. Sadly, what one table does well, the other does pretty poorly and vice versa; with Champions delivering a smashing design, cool sounds and a spacious table layout, whilst the A-Force brings better table features and modes. If you could combine the two they’d make a brilliant table, but in the end they both turn out pretty average on the whole, with Champions just edging it on the pinball side.
Sure, £5.59 is cheap for two tables with the Marvel license, but unless you’re a massive fan of Ms. Marvel or Black Widow, then there’s not enough on either table to draw you in and keep you addicted like many others do.