Han Solo has been a regular character in the Star Wars films over the years, with Harrison Ford playing the part of the quick-witted smuggler to perfection in four major movie instalments. Recently though, the origins of the character were delved into for Solo: A Star Wars Story – with Alden Ehrenreich taking over the titular role – and Zen Studios decided to design a set of tables inspired by the blockbuster. There are already lots of tables from this franchise available to purchase in Pinball FX3, but can the Star Wars Pinball: Solo Pack deliver a pinball experience worthy of shedding out even more cash for?
I’d wager the Falcon that Star Wars fans will adore these tables!
Let’s delve into the Solo table, which follows many of the best film moments and puts Han Solo right at the heart of the action – his 3D model stands proudly watching over proceedings alongside everyone’s favourite Wookiee, Chewbacca. It’s set on Vandor-1 with that cold, rocky environment surrounding the table and the tracks are present for the Conveyex train to enter proceedings on. There’s even a massive Millennium Falcon smack bang in the middle of table, whilst the custom made L3-37 droid is incorporated into the set-up too. The design also features those two, Beckett, Qi’ra, Dryden Vos and a couple of others on the main playfield artwork.
It has to be said that the visual representation is brilliant and almost everything memorable is included, but the enjoyment of playing comes from the recreation of certain scenes. Want to shoot the outer-most lanes to pilot the Falcon on a Kessel Run, avoiding a rather ugly looking creature, to reach its destination? That can be done, although it’ll be tricky. Would you prefer to tussle in the pit with the hairy monster that is Chewie? Not a problem. Despite being enjoyable and bringing back memories of the film, it’s a little bit disappointing that most of the modes involve drop target versions of the heroes and villains, instead of a more advanced approach.
The Solo table isn’t an easy one, so it’ll require a skilful player to initiate and complete all of the main game modes. Fortunately, the layout offers plenty of shot options to choose from no matter your abilities, with four flippers, several ramps, a couple of lanes, a sink hole and a rotating target that can launch the ball upwards to a potential lock-up. In regards the sounds, there’s is just the one problem I have and that’s the fact the Han Solo voiceover is more like Adam West’s Batman. I don’t expect Alden to reprise the role, however someone closer resembling him would be great.
Moving on to the second table of the pack, Calrissian Chronicles, and this one is centred on the iconic Lando Calrissian, enabling you to experience a number of scenes from not only Solo: A Star Wars Story, but also The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, the Lando comic book and the animated Rebels TV series. These scenes play out as part of the modes, which are easy enough to activate for even the most casual of pinball players.
I like how lengthy these modes can be, with the events inspired by the comic book heist on Palpatine’s yacht being especially fun for one of them. It’s nothing too flashy, in fact just a matter of hitting specific lanes and ramps before whacking moving targets, but there’s a real balance of challenge and room for error in the time limit to ensure you’ve got a chance of progressing through the different sections of the scene. There’s also an opportunity to knock down sabacc cards, defeat a variety of pop-up targets bearing resemblance to Star Wars characters and break up fights between droids.
Everything on offer in Calrissian Chronicles provides a solid experience, with nothing over-complicated. The layout presents a selection of ramps to hit, with just a single lane, whilst an additional flipper is placed on the left side to ensure the toughest angles are reachable. Visually, there’s a lot of brilliant art on the playfield and fans of the character will love that the 3D model changes between the Donald Glover incarnation and the one portrayed by Billy Dee Williams.
And then there’s the third and final table, Battle of Mimban, which could in fact be any mucky warzone. I don’t mean that to sound disregarding, because it’s actually a compliment in the way that the table can be enjoyed even if you haven’t seen the film. The modes are less scene-based that the others, with a focus on ordering Imperial attacks on the hostile natives of Mimban in order to conquer the land. Variety is sparse here in comparison, but you’ll still have plenty of fun taking on the Mimbanese in the form of 3D models and stiff-looking targets.
Amongst the action, an AT-DT can be called into play for support by hitting a sink hole and this aids your chances of completing the objectives. Should you manage to reach the mini-playfield, then there’s a great little section where you can shoot a turret at enemy drop targets – just remember that the Storm Troopers are allies. The Mudball Multiball is very easy to pull off, adding even more carnage to the table to ensure there’s seldom a dull moment.
The layout for Battle of Mimban incorporates a total of four flippers to enable players to hit the lanes that are at obtuse angles and those in the upper level of the table. It’s quite a jam-packed table, but there’s plenty of space between the main flippers and the rest of the playfield, which ensures failed shot attempts don’t come back too swiftly. One thing that irks though is the animation between the loss of a ball and the next launch as it isn’t smooth at all.
The Star Wars Pinball: Solo Pack is a great trio of tables for Pinball FX3 and all of them offer something completely different. The Solo table is the best one for fans of the movie, whilst Battle of Mimban I’d suggest is for anyone to have a go at, but that’s not discounting the pinball prowess of Calrissian Chronicles. Granted, there’s no wow factor and they aren’t perfect by any means, however the trio each have a draw of their own and can be quite addictive.
Take the plunge and buy it; after all, you don’t want to upset a Wookiee!