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Game Review: Pinball FX2: Plants vs. Zombies

'Pinball FX2: Plants vs. Zombies'

Zen Studios

XBLA & PSN download

$3 for table, Pinball FX2 is free

ESRB rating: Everyone

Review rating: 3 stars

When a friend first suggested that I give "Pinball FX2" a try, I thought, "how much fun can a virtual pinball game be?" Who knew that the answer is "more fun than you can imagine!"? So far, this top- notch pinball game offers surreal tables that run the gambit from fantasy realms to Marvel superheroes, and the latest table to sprout from the developers is "Plants vs Zombies."

Based on the uber-popular casual strategy game, this crossover table lets players defend their front lawn by collecting sundrops and slaying zombies with cyber-balls instead of buttons. Although it successfully blends the two genres and offers familiar "PvZ" game play, the overall experience is entirely too easy thanks to multiple kickbacks, frequent multiballs and plenty of extra balls!

This became evident when my first game lasted more than thirty minutes and my score was 75 million. Hell, there are some "Pinball FX2" tables on which I have never achieved that high of a score, even after dozens of playthroughs! I understand the desire to offer a more forgiving experience. However, just like the zombies in the game, players would have to be brain dead to enjoy playing the same table for forty minutes or more every time! It also makes multiplayer games last way too long.

On the other petal ... err ... hand, I really enjoy the authentic look of the game as well as the wide variety of ways I can cleanse my lawn of the undead. It's also really cool to time multiball during challenges, because three balls are much better than one for slaying waves of hungry zombies! Also, make sure you buy items from good ol' Crazy Dave, because they can dramatically affect your score.

"Pinball FX2: Plants vs. Zombies" is fun for a while, but the lasting appeal is killed by the lack of challenge.

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