Rogue One: A Star Wars Story took the box office by storm at the back end of last year, providing fans with an inspirational tale of courage, bravery and ultimately sacrifice, set in a period of time leading up to the events of A New Hope. Zen Studios are always ready to deliver Pinball FX2 players the latest and greatest themes for their table; therefore, Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One has arrived for your pinball playing pleasure.
The table itself is based in the tropical looking location of Scarif, where the main crux of the action takes place as Jyn Erso and a band of rebels are trying to infiltrate the Imperial compound which holds the extremely important schematics of the Death Star. And successfully getting those schematics is the ultimate aim during play on the Rogue One pinball table. Simple enough isn’t it? Not quite.
Layouts for tables can generally make or break the overall enjoyment factor when hitting the ball around, and one of Rogue One’s major flaws is in its layout. Not only are there just the two main ramps easily accessible to send the ball up, but the orbit shots seem rather ineffective and nine times out of ten when flipping with the main two flippers, the ball ends up in the highly populated bumper area. This wouldn’t be all that bad if the mini-games associated with hitting the targets above this area weren’t so awkwardly tricky.
The mini-games in question are actually related to the story progression, where an occasionally moving enemy target will appear and you need to knock them down to reach the bonus part involving the wonderful K-2SO. For some reason, it requires incredible accuracy for the table to acknowledge the hit at all, and as is often the case, the ball can bounce back rather centrally and go straight down the drain. It’s a small mercy that the story based games are easily activated, hence if you’ve got a few spare balls then there’s an opportunity for a couple of attempts at moving onto the next one. The ideas for the mini games actually follow the journey of the film and on paper are very good concepts, however, the layout makes it all too difficult to progress to the next stage in the story and so many will possibly fail to have the chance to appreciate them.
Should you manage to progress through sheer skill, then you can expect to be sneaking past Stormtroopers, sending the legendary Chirrut in a spin to knock out the enemies, and evading an AT-ACT. There’s even a mini-game involving the Death Star, so you know they’ve tried to include lots of variation throughout. A personal favourite of mine is a night-time themed mission, where rain actually falls onto the playfield and looks great visually.
As far as authenticity goes, the 3D character models inhabiting the table – such as Jyn Erso, Stormtroopers and Director Krennic – are visually recognisable upon first glance. The TIE fighters and the U-wing look very cool also. Although rare, the voiceovers are accurate too, which I presume have been taken directly from the movie. This is all while the orchestral sounds set the tone to ensure the Star Wars feel is present throughout the action.
Overall, Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One does a terrific job of actually transferring all that’s great about the Rogue One, by incorporating plenty of characters and ensuring the soundtrack delivers in creating the atmosphere. This is a pinball table though, and despite adding two extra flippers into play, some of the lanes are too tricky to hit the ball down, thus having a knock on effect for gamers who want to complete the mini-games which incorporate these actions in order to succeed. It’s very limiting to those lacking the necessary skills, or luck.
Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One encapsulates the world in which it wants to convey, but the table layout means that only the brave pinball players should give this a go as it’s really tough.