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Pinball FX2: Balls of Glory
Score: 80%
Publisher: Zen Studios
Developer: Zen Studios
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 4 (Online)
Genre: Arcade/Classic/Retro/Online

Introduction:

When I read about Pinball FX2: Balls of Glory, I knew instinctively that it would be my least favorite Zen Studios release. And I was right. Granted, Iím not really the target audience for most of these pinball tables. I really donít like Family Guy and American Dad!, and I have no experience whatsoever with Bobís Burgers. That being said, my love for Archer is enough to lift me past this initial stigma. But the biggest problem for me is the biggest problem I had with South Park Pinball; when you bowdlerize something meant for adults, it comes dangerously close to failing as an adaptation. And thatís Balls of Gloryís log in the eye. The tables are fun and elaborate, just as youíd expect. But Iíd really only recommend them if youíre a hardcore fan of each of the series.

Archer:

Of the four animated series adapted in Pinball FX2: Balls of Glory, Archer is arguably the funniest and foulest. It rarely reaches South Parkís level of depravity, but itís still plenty filthy. And the sad thing to report is that most of Archerís humor is so reliant on context that itís difficult to deliver out of it. And thatís what Balls of Glory attempts. What easily works the best is how it works iconic in-jokes into the table. For example, you can most definitely expect to see a Danger Zone.

Family Guy:

I loved Family Guy until I realized just how poorly written it is. Its overreliance on cut away gags and its near-complete lack of focus eventually wore on me, and when it returned to the air, the increased amount of small-minded and gratuitous social and political commentary alienated me further. And now, well, I pretty much hate it. But that has no bearing on how I review things; if youíre a Family Guy fan, youíll certainly find a lot to like, including a multiball that involves Peterís oversized, feathered nemesis.

American Dad!:

Seth MacFarlane's magnificent singing voice is about all I remember of American Dad!; having read the premise and knowing what the writing staff of Family Guy was like, I've avoided that show like the plague. But again, like its older brother, I can't begrudge its success. Clearly it's doing something right. So if you're a fan of the jingoistic Stan Smith and his screwed-up family, you'll find a lot to love about this star-spangled table.

Bob's Burgers:

I consider myself a loquacious, witty guy (toot toot), but I fear I'm not good enough to really "get" Loren Bouchard's unholy blend of intellectual, searingly sarcastic, positively dehydrated sense of humor. Not having seen Bob's Burgers, I have to go by Home Movies. But hell, I'll listen to Jon Benjamin talk anytime. And this is the second chance in this pack that we get that privilege.


Conclusion:

Zen Studios hasn't really ever made a misstep in table design, but some of its theming choices have been questionable to me, lately. But in the end, this is still high-quality pinball at a good price, and I can't argue with its quality or value.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated