Game Info:

Pinball FX3 Universal Classics
Developed by: Zen Studios
Published by: Zen Studios
Release date: September 26, 2017
Available on: PS4, Windows, Xbox One
Genre: Pinball
Number of players: Up to four
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for fantasy violence and mild language
Price: $9.99

Thank you Zen Studios for sending us this game to review!

Pinball FX3 is the successor to the previously free and popular FX2. If you haven’t downloaded FX2 on Steam yet, you’re out of luck because it has been pulled along with all of its DLC content. On a positive note, many of the DLC tables are imported into FX3 free of charge. Hot seat mode is still available which allows up to four players to take turns after each ball is lost. Every table now has challenge modes added to them which spruces up single player gameplay quite a bit. Tournaments and matchmaking are easier to set up and there’s a helpful female guide to teach you the basics on how to use Pinball FX3.

The three challenge modes are 1 ball, 5 minutes, and survival mode. The goal in the one ball challenge is to get the highest score possible with only one ball. If you lose the ball while the ball save light is illuminated, that still counts. After the ball is lost for good, your score is added to the global leaderboards and stars are earned depending on how good of a score you received. The 5 minute challenge give you an unlimited number of balls so you have plenty of opportunities to get a high score within the time limit. The survival mode gives you unlimited balls as well; however, if you don’t meet the score requirement in the time limit, your game will end.

Pinball FX3 Universal Classics

Strong Points: New challenge modes and well-designed tables
Weak Points: The musical scores are missing and the voice actors are noticeably different; graphical stuttering
Moral Warnings: You can roll over enemies with your pinball; some language (hell, d*mn)

Pinball FX3 does come with one free table, Sorcerer’s Lair. Launching alongside FX3 is the Universal Classics DLC pack. This DLC has three pinball tables inspired by classic movies like Back to the Future, E.T., and Jaws. Each of these tables is well crafted and provides many mini-games and eye candy to entertain you for quite some time. What is lacking from these tables are the iconic movie scores and the voice actors are noticeably different. Seriously, what is Jaws without the Da-Dum...Da-Dum...Da-Dum-Da-Dum-Da-Dum theme? The voice acting for Marty McFly is good (though he says hell occasionally), but Doc Brown is a bit off. E.T.’s noises are pretty accurate and the kid actors are decent. I like how I’m called “zero charisma” for losing a ball. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen Jaws that I can’t comment on how accurate the captain’s voice acting is, but both the captain and Doc Brown tend to say d*mn a bit.

The disappointment continues in the visual realm as well as my i7 desktop with 16GB of RAM and a 4GB 290X stuttered occasionally. I’ve seen stuttering in VR pinball, but the regular version of Pinball FX2 ran much smoother. Hopefully Pinball FX3 will get some optimization patches in the near future.

Pinball FX3 Universal Classics
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 84%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The tables look great and are a blast to play, especially in the new challenge modes. I like how each of them has a nighttime mode with limited visibility. They all have the coveted multiball mode, which takes some effort to trigger. The minigames are worth activating as they can net millions of points upon completion. The E.T. table has a mini game where you have to roll the ball to collect candy while avoiding the police hats. The Jaws table has the infamous shark swimming around and you can get a couple million points for hitting it with the pinball. The Back to the Future table launches with a random theme based on one of the movies from the trilogy. You get the original, the future, or the western themed table.

Even though the audio and overall performance could have been better, I still enjoyed playing these tables. The asking price of $9.99 is reasonable and worth picking up if you don’t mind the mild language. I look forward to more high quality and family friendly tables for Pinball FX3!

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Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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