Make Mine Marvel Pinball!

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The last time my good friend Mr. Shuman let me do one of these PlayStation.Blog entries, I was telling you all about the seven Marvel games we were discussing at our games panel at New York Comic Con. There was an eighth game I really wanted to squeeze in there, but the timing just wasn’t quite right in early October (plus, we didn’t want to be held accountable for the unpredictable result of what might happen when you fill one single panel so full of awesome). That game is Marvel Pinball for PSN, and all personal biases aside, it’s my favorite video pinball experience of all time.

Of course, a lot of people already say that about ZEN Pinball – so just imagine that game with tables based on Iron Man, Spider-Man, Blade and Wolverine, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect.

I don’t know about you, but all of my favorite actual pinball machines from the glory days of arcades were based around licenses (e.g., Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Addams Family, etc.); to that end, the Marvel flavor really takes these tables to the next level. And while ZEN Pinball demonstrates Zen Studios’ immeasurable passion for making awesome pinball tables, Marvel Pinball enhances things with an equal passion for Marvel and its characters. These guys really get it.

Let’s take a look at each table in the initial set, shall we? (Yes, I said “initial” – Marvel Pinball will regularly expand upon with new tables. More on that at the end.)

Marvel Pinball PS3: Iron ManMarvel Pinball PS3: Iron Man

The Invincible Iron Man

With a couple of hit movies in the recent past, some might argue that Iron Man is the most popular hero at Marvel these days. (Who’da thunk that three years ago?…) As with all tables, Zen gives us a comics-based take on Tony Stark’s heroics, including showdowns with the Mandarin, Whiplash (who at times actually destroys your ball if it crosses his path) and – if you’re a real pinball wizard – Ultimo. And the table doesn’t just stick to the “Iron Man” part of Tony’s life – you’ll also hit ramps and other targets to throw huge galas and boost Stark Industries’ stock price. You even get 3D models of Tony and Iron Man, including the suit-up process whenever you start a mission.

Marvel Pinball PS3: Spider-ManMarvel Pinball PS3: Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man

The Spider-Man table is all about the special touches. First of all, just check out the zoomed-out view: Though it seems a bit odd that Peter Parker would ever have a pinball machine in his apartment based around his everyday life, you have to love the setup there. And then, once you play, you get things like J. Jonah Jameson yelling at you, Mysterio reversing your controls, a “clone” multiball mode, a ramp that leads to Spidey’s hand shooting out a web and, my personal favorite…

Marvel Pinball PS3: Spider-Man

…PLAYABLE PUMPKIN BOMBS! I mean, how cool is that?! You hit them with your flippers, and they explode after a certain amount of time and everything.

Marvel Pinball PS3: BladeMarvel Pinball PS3: Blade


I know what you’re thinking, ‘cause it’s the same thing I thought at first: “Blade? In the first batch of tables? Really?” But then you play it and you know why. In fact, this might be my favorite table of the bunch, with all sorts of perfectly placed ramps and minigames. I especially like its day/night cycle, wherein you gather resources by day and fight vampires such as Dracula and Deacon Frost alongside Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds’ first onscreen comic book character) by night. Just like the 1998 movie, the fun everyone has with this table is really going to surprise some people.

Marvel Pinball PS3: WolverineMarvel Pinball PS3: Wolverine


And here’s the final table in this first batch, bub. At first we at Marvel wondered why Zen didn’t want to just do an X-Men table to start things out, but then they showed us just how packed with Wolverine’s history they could get – we were convinced. The table does an excellent job of showcasing Wolvie’s annual “birthday present” from Sabretooth – which, if you don’t know, is a yearly fight to the death. Plus, we get to take part in his rivalry with the Silver Samurai, scrappin’ with some Sentinels and Hand ninjas, tapping into his volatile memory, and even reliving the Weapon X experiment that infused him with adamantium. It’s also awesome when Logan’s hand bursts through the back to feed you a new ball, and I’m pretty proud of a personal contribution: to activate a ballsaver, spell out SNIKT.

Marvel Pinball PS3: who will be next?

And That’s Not All!

As I’ve mentioned, the four debut tables seen here are only the beginning. Marvel Pinball isn’t just a set of four tables – it’s a platform for many Marvel-related pinball tables to come. What’s next? Well, that’s something Zen wants you to help them decide between Captain America, Hulk, Fantastic Four and Ghost Rider. Go to and cast your vote! Then, let us know which tables you want to see in the comments below…

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12 Author Replies

  • Will be getting this one. Got ZEN pinball and loving it.

  • Gambit Table needs to be next, hands down & up, possible to the side too.

  • This means no more tables for Zen Pinball?

  • Sold first day as long as its not overpriced.

    Remember everyone Xbox is getting these tables as DLC add-on to Pinball FX2. We as PS3 customers are getting this in the form of a new game. This will NOT be added as DLC for Zen Pinball.

    I have a bad feeling we PS3 customers will end up paying more for our “new game” compared to Xbox getting them as DLC.

    • I don’t think Zen has announced pricing yet, but I can assure you it’s not overpriced, and it won’t be more expensive on PSN than it will be on XBLA.

  • DC Comics and The Joker FTW

  • @4

    Zen Studios said on their facebook post that they will still be making tables for Zen Pinball

  • I vote for Hulk table next!!! Then Cap and Thor around the time the movies come out

  • Awesome-O

  • 4 tables for $15 then $2.50 for each table?

    I wish people wouldn’t pay these prices. Then the companies would lower theirs.

    Release a full game with all tables for $40 and call it a day.

  • I would live a space themed Silver Surfer/Galactus/Celestials table. Or THOR!

  • Why is this not DLC for Zen Pinball on PSN when its DLC for Xbox Live Arcade’s version of basically the same game named “Pinball FX2”???

    That makes absolutely no sense at all, I would prefer to just add to my collection of tables in Zen Pinball rather than have a whole new game, especially when the other console gets to do just that.


    The tables do look nice though…

  • I’m picking this up. I’d love to see a Devil Dinosaur, Man-Thing or Nextwave get a table.

  • @12

    Sadly, Zen Pinball is consider the lesser version compared to Pinball FX2. Pinball FX2 was the newest pinball game from Zen Studios if im not mistaken, and the new Marvel tables run on the same platform/engine as FX2 does.

    If you take the time to look at Pinball FX2 trailers, they really got some great pinball tables that i wish we as Zen Pinball buyers could have.

  • Can’t find where to vote on the marvelpinball site… little help.

  • As a Marvel nerd, this pleases me greatly. I think some nice obscure ones would be great; tables for Squirrel Girl or the Great Lakes Avengers maybe, or a cosmic board featuring Ego the Living Planet as the ball? Let’s make it happen. Excelsior!

  • @10

    You find those prices unreasonable? I’ve gotten hours and hours of enjoyment out of the Zen tables, and I find paying $2.50/table to be excellent value for my money. I’ve probably put in 10 hours on each table, so that’s $0.25/hour for entertainment. I continue to buy the tables because I want to see more of them released.

    I’ll buy the Marvel Pinball game, and I’ll buy every table they release for it.

  • agreed this should be zen pinball add-ons for $2.50 each. Anything over $10 for this pack will feel as though we’re being taken advantage of.

  • The incredible hulk Pinball!!

  • My vote is for FANTASTIC FOUR out of those. Only one of those that I actually read for a while as a kid.

  • SOLD, Zen Pinball PWNS, Yup, SOLD!!! 8)

  • I must have it!! Thank you Zen Studios for Spider-Man table :)

  • @Chris Baker

    thats good to hear that we will be paying the same price for our “new game” as xbox will for their DLC

  • What about trophies list ? :D

  • BTW Zen Pinball is a great game as it is and i have all the tables for it.

    Will enjoy playing the new tables when this game comes out

  • So Zen Studios is taking another crack at a Marvel game. It’s pinball now. We all know how their other Marvel game turned. I’m looking at you Punisher: No Mercy. This seems decent, but Blade is so out of place. I could think of at least probably 30 other way better characters other than him to start out with as the first four.

  • Exciting! I’ll be buying it!

  • @ Chris –

    I bet my prices aren’t to far off are they? Didn’t think so.

  • I bought Zen Pinball for ten bucks, and that’s better than spending $40 for just the same games but with more tables. At ten bucks, I can expand the number of tables when and IF I want to. That’s a better model than one price, one size, fits all.

  • I actually won Zen Pinball/Paranormal DLC not too long ago in a random giveaway. It wasn’t something I really thought much of before since I wasn’t into pinball really….but after actually playing it, I found it was an amazing game. Very addictive, especially if you just want something to mess around with while listening to music.

    Since I got that one for free and enjoyed it so much, I feel like I almost owe it to you guys to buy this one. Plus I’m a huge marvel fan, so that’s always a plus.

    So…..Deadpool table. Make it happen?

  • Ghost Rider table ftw!!

  • I would buy some of those as DLC for Zen Pinball, but I’m not interested in buying another pinball game.

  • I truly enjoy every table you guys offer. But why not raise the price and offer more tables at once? I’d gladly pay another $5 or $10 for 4 or 6 more tables even if it meant waiting longer. Kind of a shame that you won’t be giving this out as DLC for Zen pinball, it would have been much easier to just navigate through one pinball game.

  • I bought Zen pinball way back when it was first released and have purchased every table since. For them to team up with Marvel is a fanboy’s dream come true. I have to vote for my all time favorite character I’ve been reading since his first series in the 70’s… Ghost Rider!!! Going to the official voting site next to place my vote there too.

  • Soo this is being sold as a separate game and not add ons for ZEN, that seems like a lil’ bit of fail to me…Bad call folks at ZEN as much as i love both pinball and comic books, i do not love having to quit one pinball game just to play another pinball game made by the same people, and does this mean that ZEN will be focusing more on adding tables for this new game and ignoring new tables for the previous pinball?

  • Why not a Punisher Table? Zen already had experience with the character in No Mercy, and we all know how kick ass their pinball games are.

    Daredevil would be pretty badass as well…

    Or maybe just an Avengers table, encompassing tons of everyone’s favorite heroes.

    (Would a Cosmic Marvel table with Nova, Star-Lord, Thanos, and all the others be too much to ask for?)

  • Zen Pinball reawakened my love for pinball games.

    This looks amazing, cant wait.

  • Hmm, honestly if these were add-ons to Zen Pinball I would probably buy them all individual and spend more doing so. Since they are a separate game I probably won’t be buying them until the itch gets too strong.

    It one of those funny perception things in marketing. Instead of having multiple pinball games I’d like to have them all in one place. I suppose even if you could import all the old tables to the new engine it might be more appealing. I suppose if this were a competing developer it would be a completely different story but since its still ZEN Studios it makes it seem redundant. I know I’m crazy but looking at the comments I’m not the only one who feels this way. It’s not really a logical assessment of the product but the perception is there just the same.

  • Obviously they are looking to generate new business with they way they are doing it. If they just release these as an add on probably no one but people who already own Zen Pinball take advantage of it. If people see that a Marvel game is coming out though then new people will look into it just because of Marvel’s popularity.

  • Please add 3D and Move compatibility to all of the boards!

  • Heck yah!!!! Day one fo sho! When is Winter 2010 btw? I know it’s officially December 21st @ 2pm but do we have to wait that long??? All kidding aside, release date please.

  • Zen Pinball is without a doubt one of the funnest games I’ve ever played- Hands down. I’ll be getting this without a second thought. I’d say that The Hulk or Ghost Rider would make for a pretty good table.

    By the way, did Zen say why they didn’t want to just make it an expansion to Zen Pinball?

  • You people are complaining about a possible (possible!!) $2.50 for a table?

    ARE YOU SERIOUS? What planet do you live on, and how’s the weather there?

    Do you know how much it costs to play a single game of pinball in real life? Just one game?

    Or the fact that a Zen pinball table costs less than a CUP OF COFFEE?

    Seriously, some people have been spoilt by the rush-to-the-bottom market mentality of the AppStore and the like. It takes months, and years of engineering and artistic expertise to make these games. And you want them for less money that you’d lose behind the sofa cushions? Really?

    $10 a table would still be a huge bargain, but we won’t be paying that.

    Anyway, I’ve got Pinball FX 2, so I’ll definitely be getting these tables for that version. (I am not at all sure why there isn’t an equivalent for the PS3, considering Zen Pinball was the supreme console pinball until recently. PSN issues maybe? Who knows. But it is strange, considering there’s already a pinball “platform” on the PSN, to use Zen’s terminology.

    Thanks for the good works, Zen. This is an easy launch-day pickup for me.

  • Chris, 2 things…

    1. How do u resist the temptation to backhand some of these ungrateful users? Like the smug son of a jackal who thought he knew your prices then rubbed it in your face. Game devs shouldn’t take that kinda harshness just to appear “professional”. U could always get back at him covertly, like the guy from Atlus did in his first reply in the blog post above this one.

    2. If this is by Zen Studios, why not just make all these tables DLC for Zen Pinball instead of making a whole new game? Wouldn’t that have been easier? U coulda made it so ppl could buy each table separately, or in a discounted bundle pack.

  • …I don’t understand why this isn’t just DLC for Zen Pinball :(

  • If this can’t be DLC for Zen Pinball, how about making the original ZP tables plus downloadable content already purchased playable through the new game…

    That seems reasonable doesn’t it…or maybe a discount if you already own ZP…

  • Why make a new game?.. very very disappointed that these could not have been DLC for Zen pinball…. sorry, but i cannot justify purchasing another pinball game when Zen is perfectly fine… Whos idiotic idea was this not to make this DLC?…it just does not make any sense??????????????????????????????????????????

  • Has there been any luck on improovement of load times when switching between tables, or something clever that makes it feel faster? It may sound ridiculous to some, but I pass over playing sometimes because it takes so long to get started that life’s other priorities get the upper hand and i do some real work.

  • I already have all the tables from Zen anyway. Now that these new tables are Marvel themed just screams “BOUGHT” already. I don’t know why some of you are complaining…’re going to buy it anyway regardless. IT’S MARVEL BABY!!!!!

  • Tales from the crypt pin would make my life complete :)

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