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My 2 cents on Pinball FX (2)

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  • My 2 cents on Pinball FX (2)

    OK, first off: this thread is here because there's no overspanning Pinball FX2 forum. They are split into the machine they're on. Which is dumb.

    OK 2 : I really LOVE videogame pinball. I can play hours on end and stop only because I also have worldly things that must be done. Enough praise, on with grievances.

    -The visuals in the Pinball FX2 tables are phenomenal, but for most tables they make it less pinball instead of more. There is generally way to much happening on screen which distracts and generally doesn't do the player any good as he must focus on the ball. It's great for spectators though. You know, those people you NEED to read the DMD and tell you what to hit next as you yourself can't afford to look up from the table. And even so, the messages are gone way too quick.

    -On many tables scenarios and missions are way too convoluted. Again, if you don't have someone else reading the DMD, you will find yourself on your tenth go on a table before you know what to do or be in the game for more than only: 'I'm hitting everything that flashes'. In most videogames, the game itself makes it obvious how to proceed. Not so in PBFX2. The approach to the DMD is severely failing here. And when you decide to stop the ball to read the DMD, the mission is undeniably failed as it almost always is on a (strict) timer.

    -So it's generally difficult to get to grips with a new table and the experience feels generally wrong at first. Combine this with the VERY limited time to try out a table and I find myself skipping lots of tables for purchase and my euro stays in my pocket. (Now they are listening)

    My favorite tables are the ones that are more pinball and less action movie. Like MARS, SORCERER'S LAIR, WORLD WAR HULK. Please ZEN, make a few of those again and don't cater for adrenaline youngsters alone. Fix the DMD concept and make the learning of tables less of an ordeal.

  • #2
    I struggle to read the DMD in the allocated time occasionally when learning a table.

    I wondered about (suggestion to Zen) when you press and hold 'table view' mid-game (where you get the zoomed in pan around table mode), instead of the DMD instantly switching to say "tilt device to pan the table" if maybe it could just display the current DMD message that was displayed at the moment of the pan/freeze. That way it could be used as a handy freeze frame for reading.
    Just an idea.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, there are many players on this forum, including me, who will look at things a bit differently than you do, I would venture to say. I have been playing FX2 on my Xbox360 since it came out in 2010 and after about a year or so I was beginning to think that these tables are all just getting way too easy. Obviously, because I was getting better at it, and I was also getting used to Zen's approach to pinballing. As such I now enjoy any table that has some "figuring out" happening and in which I can't just play through Wizard mode in the first couple of plays. I enjoy the "making progress" feeling when I'm playing a table and as such the first 20 or so times I restart almost each time, refer to the rulesheet often (only after a couple of games of getting to know the layout), practice hard missions and modes over and over (if you can choose), make an effort to read the messages on the DMD while safely cradling the ball without worrying if the time will run out or not and generally work at figuring out how to play the table in the safest way possible (e.g. what dangerous shots to avoid). It is amazing how things then just eventually fall in place especially as you start building a picture in your head of what needs to happen next without having to refer to the DMD any more. You will also quickly realise that really difficult areas quickly gets figured out on the forum so you can just come here as well if you can't manage to figure something out by yourself. There are also off course really good mission completion videos for almost all the tables if you look around on the forum (and other dedicated Zen studios forums), youtube and steam.

      Here are some suggestions based on my approach that might work for you as well. I make use of view 5 or view 7, both views that put emphasis on focussing on the flippers and not looking at all the happenings on the table... all that shenanigans going on at the top of the table is mostly lost on me which I guess differentiates me immediately from the bulk of the "adrenaline youngsters". I moved my DMD to the bottom left as there is less eye movement needed to read the DMD. I also disable any pop-ups and the action cam etc. so that there is nothing happening on the screen but the game and the DMD. I even put the music off so that I can hear the audio cues better.

      One tip for using the forums is to always click on the "New Posts" tab at the top left rather than going to individual sections/threads. This will always show you all the threads that are new since you have last visited. I find that the much easier than having to navigate between the numerous sections.
      You can also take a look if you are interested from the thead following from my signature at strategy guides for some of the earlier tables. In these guides I more or less go through my thought process and findings in figuring out a table so that you can more safely play through to the Wizard mode or alternatively scoring big!
      Last edited by Cloda; 11-02-2013, 02:14 PM.
      XBox One Gamertag - PinStratsDan

      Pinball FX3 Tips & Strategy Guide YouTube Channel - PinStratsDan

      Discord server - PinStratsDan

      Twitter - PinStratsDan

      Facebook - PinStratsDan

      Cloda's somewhat vain and sort of self-indulgent thread

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with Cloda. Personally, I rarely pay attention to the DMD instructions. Instead, I follow the light cues and occasionally read the table guide. I've been into pinball since I was 8 years old and one thing I've learned over those years is that the playfield lights are lit or flashing for a reason. Pinball FX 2 (or Zen Pinball depending on platform) is no exception to this rule. Every mode and every mission have different playfield lights on/flashing. I just hit those lit orbits, ramps, targets and holes and sure enough I usually successfully complete that mission. The only time I glance at the DMD is to see how much time do I have left, if there is a timer on that mission.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, it's certainly not that I find the tables too hard. Some are difficult, some are easier, but none is 'too hard' Although hitting the standup targets in the Pyramid mission on Mars is a design flaw and has a thrown controller written all over it. And I'm no slouch at it, cause I reach +400M. But with many tables there's something wrong with the enjoyment factor.

          Videogames shouldn't be a chore. You should get high scores and completions based on generally playing well and not on grinding untill you make a certain mind-click which allows you to make that seemingly impossible shot (albeit this is forgivable if it's only for a certain achievement and not for a goal). Or grinding altogether like for golden guns in Borderlands. Can't see the 'fun' in that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by shogun00 View Post
            I just hit those lit orbits, ramps, targets and holes and sure enough I usually successfully complete that mission.
            Well, I mentioned that too in the OP. I also know I have to hit the flashing lights, but you don't know how it all sits in the scenario.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rbox View Post
              Well, I mentioned that too in the OP. I also know I have to hit the flashing lights, but you don't know how it all sits in the scenario.
              And that's when I check out the table guide.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rbox View Post
                Well, it's certainly not that I find the tables too hard. Some are difficult, some are easier, but none is 'too hard' Although hitting the standup targets in the Pyramid mission on Mars is a design flaw and has a thrown controller written all over it. And I'm no slouch at it, cause I reach +400M. But with many tables there's something wrong with the enjoyment factor.

                Videogames shouldn't be a chore. You should get high scores and completions based on generally playing well and not on grinding untill you make a certain mind-click which allows you to make that seemingly impossible shot (albeit this is forgivable if it's only for a certain achievement and not for a goal). Or grinding altogether like for golden guns in Borderlands. Can't see the 'fun' in that.
                I hate grinding for scores (once I get a billion on a table I'm generally done with it) but I guess that "grinding" for figuring a table out on what to do and how to score well is something I really enjoy. I agree that there is a learning curve but you get to a point where things become more intuative and many players on this forum has reached the point where they figure the basics of a table out and finish the wizard mode in a couple of hours. There after comes a lot of experimentation (which I enjoy) to figure out how to score well. I equate this to a decent strategy game where it is easy to learn but you can only start to do well once you have figured out the balance of the units and the right combinations rather than just building the biggest army and mass attacking the opposition. The later kind of strategy games are generally the ones that only keep you interested for an hour or two rather than many hours. I like the fact that pinball is accesible for beginners but that there can still be a challenge for the more adept players. It is though a very hard thing to get that balance right for a developer like Zen and there is only a few tables that I believe they came close to perfecting that balance e.g. Blade, Moonknight, Fear itself and Excalliber. Many of the rest end up being too repetitive or are just plain easy e.g. I loved Ms. Explosion Man in the beginning but after 5 days I was all played out and I won't easily touch it again because I know exactly what to expect and that it will take 6 hours plus to get to a top 20 score.

                With this all said I would also not mind if Zen gives you a way to pause and review a DMD instruction. I only try to read the DMD instructions if it is not intuitive, based on the flashing lights and audio cues, and as such really never have a clue what the heck is going on with the story of a table.
                Last edited by Cloda; 11-02-2013, 06:19 PM.
                XBox One Gamertag - PinStratsDan

                Pinball FX3 Tips & Strategy Guide YouTube Channel - PinStratsDan

                Discord server - PinStratsDan

                Twitter - PinStratsDan

                Facebook - PinStratsDan

                Cloda's somewhat vain and sort of self-indulgent thread

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think Barbours idea would be a great idea for Zen to look into.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rbox View Post
                    They are split into the machine they're on. Which is dumb.
                    *screeeeeeeech*

                    Let me stop you right there. Each version is different and gets patched/updated differently because of it's platform. For example, Valve is much more open to letting us patch the game as needed, but not so much on the Win8/XBLA side of things. Being on so many (ten or eleven now?) different platforms is a super fun time! So please, indulge us, and let me know what platform your on

                    As for the DMD - I agree! It can be hard to read without losing a ball or just holding it with a flipper while you try to - oh there it went, gone.

                    We try to strike a balance between too hard and too easy by putting out lots of tables of various difficulty, but the DMD is obviously part of all tables. You're not alone in your opinion, I've had lots of people ask for more DMD options.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nik Barbour View Post
                      I struggle to read the DMD in the allocated time occasionally when learning a table.

                      I wondered about (suggestion to Zen) when you press and hold 'table view' mid-game (where you get the zoomed in pan around table mode), instead of the DMD instantly switching to say "tilt device to pan the table" if maybe it could just display the current DMD message that was displayed at the moment of the pan/freeze. That way it could be used as a handy freeze frame for reading.
                      Just an idea.
                      Letting the team know! I know this would be super helpful to a lot of people, and would be kinda cool to see in the next iteration of the game.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BarbieBobomb View Post
                        *screeeeeeeech*

                        Let me stop you right there. Each version is different and gets patched/updated differently because of it's platform. For example, Valve is much more open to letting us patch the game as needed, but not so much on the Win8/XBLA side of things. Being on so many (ten or eleven now?) different platforms is a super fun time! So please, indulge us, and let me know what platform your on
                        Then I stand corrected. I presume...
                        Playing on X360.

                        Another one on the DMD thingie: was playing Thor a bit and it was not until I read Shoryuken's tableguide that I learned of the Lightning strike tactic (pressing launch button). Later, and after deliberate scrutiny, I noticed that this info also appears on the DMD. You see: I hadn't been able to learn it from the DMD before.

                        Side note: can't wait to see the original (not licensed) new tables that will be coming.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I usually follow the lights too. But one thing that is difficult, is the view on some of the tables. I really like View #7, but some tables don't support this view. Sometimes it is difficult to see the targets for the skillshots, due to not being able to see the top of the table. Some tables don't have the skillshot preview window to see the targets. Limitation of playing on a 2D television vs a real table where you can reach over and look easily what you are shooting at.
                          PSN ID: mdh71

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Warped Trekker View Post
                            I usually follow the lights too. But one thing that is difficult, is the view on some of the tables. I really like View #7, but some tables don't support this view. Sometimes it is difficult to see the targets for the skillshots, due to not being able to see the top of the table. Some tables don't have the skillshot preview window to see the targets. Limitation of playing on a 2D television vs a real table where you can reach over and look easily what you are shooting at.
                            Very true. Luckily skill shots rarely make a big difference with regards to achieving a big score. The other thing I have made peace with is the fact that I can rarely figure out what is going on with the rollover targets at the top of the table (usually above the bumpers). There is not much than can be done about that unless some extra visual cues (permanent or pop up) are introduced.
                            XBox One Gamertag - PinStratsDan

                            Pinball FX3 Tips & Strategy Guide YouTube Channel - PinStratsDan

                            Discord server - PinStratsDan

                            Twitter - PinStratsDan

                            Facebook - PinStratsDan

                            Cloda's somewhat vain and sort of self-indulgent thread

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