OK, I’ve reviewed a number of Zen’s virtual pinball tables and each review has pretty much followed the same formula, saying largely the same things. In fact, the first sentence of my last Zen Pinball 2 table review ended with “what more is there to say at this point?” And now, having played the latest addition to Zen’s vast library of tables – Ant-Man, based on the major motion picture – I can only echo that sentiment, now fearing that this review will be déjà vu all over again.
But I refuse to repeat myself. I won’t tell you the same things I’ve to told you numerous times before. I’m not going to talk about the perfected gameplay, that I once described as “authentic, fun and fair.” And I’m certainly not going to explain how the presentation is “absolutely on point” – I’ve done that before, too. “The plethora of little touches that a real table could never offer you,” I’m not telling you about those either. And there is no way that I’m going to make lame references to songs by The Who; this review will be different… there has to be a twist.
What I will tell you about, though, are the things that make this table ever-so-Ant-Man. As you will have garnered from my earlier attempts at humour, this is standard Zen territory and the touches that pertain to the theme are what really make the table stand out.
This Ant-Man set-up is a small table – much akin to Wild West Rampage – which leads to fun, fast and frantic gameplay. But unlike the cowgirl adventure, this Marvel outing is less clear in its missions and objectives, making it a more hit-and-hope affair for novices.
From a presentation standpoint, this table is unmistakeably Ant-Man for the very first glance. Upon the table rests an Ant-Man helmet, a glowing science-ball (ok, so it’s probably an atom or a particle or something but I’m no physicist) and a little version of the titular hero himself. There’s even a miniature Michael Douglas, not remotely fazed by the fact that he now lives on a pinball table, who commentates on your play. The coolest aesthetic twist, however, is that the table itself has apparently been shrunken like its protagonist and sits tiny, on a desk, under a microscope and next to a gargantuan pair of glasses. The little things.
If you’re a big Zen Pinball 2 fan, then you’re probably already going to get this table. If you’re a big Ant-Man/Marvel fan, looking to jump into this virtual pinball arcade as a means of quenching your superhero thirst, then this probably isn’t the best gateway. Either way, “what more is there to say at this point?”