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Review: Ms. 'Splosion Man - Can Zen make Stern pink with envy?

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  • Big White Mint
    replied
    Great review!

    I love how easy it is to start the modes on this one, but I do agree that the overall difficulty may be too low. It is possible to create challenging tables that don't rely on 2-3 shots to start a mode and feature a lot of good ball flow - Medieval Madness and the newer Stern Spider-man come to mind. I'd like Zen to take what they did here and build on that instead of giving us another Rome.

    Almost all my favorite tables, virtual and otherwise, work this way - relatively easy to start modes, challenging to reach wizard, low on the stop and start gameplay. Ms. 'Splosion Man gets two of those right. I'd hate to see more tables with two tricky shots to start a mode and a random mission selector like Pasha. Compare it to the real table Tales of the Arabian Nights.
    Last edited by Big White Mint; 09-07-2011, 11:41 PM.

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  • ShoryukenToTheChin
    replied
    Originally posted by cwata View Post
    Tip for high scores. Let splosion man die.
    That cracked me up so much lol. Should and that to my guide as its a great tip.

    Leave a comment:


  • SpieleNerd
    replied
    i love this Table =)

    its a lot of Fun!

    Leave a comment:


  • cwata
    replied
    Table looks nice. Mechanics feel rushed. I got 400m just doing the random awards and 160 m doing the wizard mode 3 times. Balance is way off. The most frustrating thing in this one is starting the main mission on accident when trying to activate the treads. You get more points from the zip line than the wizard mode. Feels like you get put in a penalty box for hitting the left ramp. Some of the main missions are only worth a few million. I completed the wizard mode with mt first ball an only got 1.6 million ball end bonus. The main missions don't add much to it.

    Tip for high scores. Let splosion man die.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lepruk86
    replied
    I have played the table right through and it only took three tries...

    In terms of getting to the Wizard mode; it is a bit easy. But there seems to be scoring tactical options.

    I am not sure if the table is too easy because I am pretty bad at pinball? But it's a fun one that captures the theme.

    (I think it's the least frustrating table that has been released mind)

    Leave a comment:


  • Cloda
    replied
    Brilliant Scoring Ballance!!!

    I had to reassess my initial opinion on the table... I am now of the opinion that this is ZEN's best work to date. Yes the table is quite low on variation compared to a table like Blade and it is very easy to score a couple of hundred million but from there on out it is a different story... it is there that I can see that Zen really applied their minds to balance the scoring on the table so that it is a challenge for all levels of player. All the decisions they have made is perfect from this perspective...

    - easy first couple of extra balls, tough to get 6 during a game. Only one extra ball awarded for each method during a game.
    - easy to activate barrel save, really tough as the game progress to reactivate, and its almost impossible not to use if you want to make further progress (multi ball and wizard mode)
    - easy to start multi-ball, but tough to score really high on it as the jackpot max are low and reset once you finish the multiball
    - the scoring between the different modes is well balanced, there is not one mode that completely outscores any of the other modes
    - very nice random reward system (Zip line, Splosion Award and Cannon Award) but you can score points much faster by continuing with the modes, kicker combo's ect.

    All in all Zen just really paid attention to the feedback from the community and I can't wait to see how they are going to apply this well balanced scoring strategy on their future releases... hopefully they have done it for the Paranormal and Sorcerer's Lair ports as well.

    I also can't wait for the new tournament structure... Ms. Splosion Man is going to be a great tournament table if the tournament is time limited or restricted in any other way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Skode
    replied
    I agree with everything said here - i actually LIKE the constant but limited Ms Sploshion Man quotes which do not for whatever reason get irksome. I also love the conveyer belts and exploding barrel ball save making for something very different from what i am used to.

    Tables SHOULD use the audio announcements more for declaring extra ball etc as im one of those players who used view 5 as standard and really would prefer NOT to view the Corner Hub for updates and what it is im supposed to do with missions and yes Blue i agree... the windows mission scales down to easier missions as your progress.

    Great review and again i agree with everything. I like also the fact the table is every inch a visual feast - every lane comes with an explosion, a shash or fantastically immersive sound for your efforts and i also deplore the consistant need to light up lights to spell out works to activate kickback which as far as im aware if not the case with this table.

    My gripe with the table however is some of the lights on the table are too hard to make out... for example for mission, with the Laser Grid thing that appears on the second mission despite trapping the ball with the flippers i still find it unclear where exactly the next lane is that im supposed to be aiming for to progress the mission - its just not made clear enough, maybe a glowing pink light for mission objective lanes would have been more beneficial for me but its also a minor gripe from a more casual players perspective.

    The missions whilst difficult scaling is kinda reversed i applaud the fact they are all simply and easy to understand at a glance, outside of the problematic lights for the second mission i mentioned anyone can see where the back of the robots are to hit or the barrels all over the table for mission 4 etc making a more immersive and approachable experience unlike say Rome or Earth Defense which take several playthroughs to understand what does what and where. I also like a clear and not overly complicated skill shot which scales based on as far as i can tell with each ball... its perhaps too easy but give me this hundreds over the likes of Wolverine or Rome where you spend a dozen playthroughs trying to figure the damned thing out.

    I gotta admit this table is my fave yet and not because its the newest and freshest one... i played it for about an hour and a half and went back to some of the older tables and man do they appear bland and unoriginal compared to it so keep up the good work Zen.

    Leave a comment:


  • wednesday
    replied
    What a great table this is, easily one of my favorites. I see you were playing at the same time as me cloda, you weren't on the leaderboards when i started my run

    Leave a comment:


  • blue
    replied
    I suppose I am a little biased there. I have no intention of grinding this table for a high score after the time I put into Spider-Man. I plan on playing it for half an hour every other day as a break from retail games. It's a vibrant, fun little distraction that reminds me more of an actual pinball table. Also, it isn't Marvel.

    I agree with you though about Vengeance & Virtue. I hope at least one of those tables is exceedingly difficult. I want a challenge.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cloda
    replied
    Thanks Blue for a great descriptive review. My only concern with the table is that it has very low longevity in my opinion. Most players will already realize that to better their first high scoring game on the table they are going to have to play another really long repetitive game

    Leave a comment:


  • Tryton1000
    replied
    Great Table! I think Blue hit the nail on the head with the difficulty. I beat the table only after 3 retry's.

    Leave a comment:


  • lexandro
    replied
    No worries, just didnt want someone coming in to the thread and start shouting abuse about a minor error thats why I mentioned it

    As for the table Im on the fence at the minute. Its not got the appeal of Marvel tables to me, but it does seem like a well laid out design. Maybe after a few more trial games I might buy it, or I might not. Maybe Zen could furnish me with a code to negate my hesitation

    Leave a comment:


  • blue
    replied
    Thanks for catching that! I wrote that line late last night before I'd actually compared the views and neglected to go back an edit it. There are eight views; seven of them are unique.

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  • lexandro
    replied
    Blue I think you made a mistake there because View 4 is still the wacky far away view rather than the "standard" view 4 of the core tables. At least thats the way it is in the trial of the table. Its the first thing I checked on the table, though I didnt look to see if there was more views.

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  • Review: Ms. 'Splosion Man - Can Zen make Stern pink with envy?

    The announcement of a Ms. 'Splosion Man table must have come as a surprise to Pinball FX 2 fans. Eager for Mortal Kombat, Halo, and Duke Nukem tables, many were curious how Twisted Pixel's latest 2.5D title would translate into pinball. Six weeks after the platformer was released onto the Xbox Marketplace, Zen has delivered its flippered counterpart. Their prior experience adapting video game franchises (Street Fighter, Ninja Gaiden) has paid off; Ms. 'Splosion Man is the studio's most faithful and impressive effort to date.

    Tiwsted Pixel's hyperactive puce protagonist explodes across a stunning azure playfield flanked with pink overtones. The Mighty Eternal stands guard beneath the backglass, pleading with Ms. 'Splosion Man as she rockets barrels at his gaping, surfer dude maw. The table is stocked full of Zen's signature goodies gleaned from the source material: rollerbots, electric beams, glass walls, goofy scientists, an actuating canon, and a Mr. Destructoid zip line. In a clever innovation, the kickbacks have been replaced by conveyor belts, which escalate the ball back onto the playfield. An exploding barrel hurtles lost balls up the center ramp rather than dumping them into the plunger lane. The ramp layout is fresh and exciting, a welcome change from Captain America's generic design.

    The table's audio design will be familiar to anyone who's played Ms. 'Splosion Man. The soundtrack and voice clips have been recycled, sucking players back into the glass filled corridors of Team Science. In theory this should become tiresome, but the lively beats cement the immersion. In lieu of new tracks from Attila Heger, the team has resampled most of the mechanical sounds. The flippers, bumpers, and pit holes all resonate with discernible metallic THUNKS, providing an arcade realistic experience.

    Zen has listened to its fans and addressed multiple issues from previous tables. While view four remains near identical to the zoomed out view six, there is now a seventh table view. Further, it is possible to toggle between four of the views during multiball modes. Another improvement is an announcer who alerts players to important events on the table (e.g. ATTENTION! YOU HAVE AN EXTRA BALL!). The difficulty also appears to have been tweaked for expert players who spend hours on a single game. Extra balls are limited, multiball jackpots cap at low vaules, and the conveyor belts make it difficult to save kickbacks via nudging. The counterbalance is a deep combo system which can reward bonuses up to ten million points.

    The gripes are negligible. Only about twenty lines of Monica Rial's dialog have been included. Ms. 'Splosion Man may be as truly, truly outrageous as Jem, but those who've played through the full arcade game know these by heart. There are only five core missions, two of which are the wizard mode. Novice players may become frustrated with the reverse difficulty: the initial unbreakable glass mission is the hardest, while the final mission against the Mighty Eternal is perhaps the easiest of the entire Pinball FX 2 library. The only reward for completing all five modes is a [Mr.] 'Splosion Man cameo, which often leads to a lost ball as the table resets. Quality control has improved significantly from Fantastic Four and Captain America, although there are a few bugs associated with multiball.

    Despite these minor quirks, Ms. 'Splosion Man is one of the best deals on the Marketplace at a mere 240 MSP ($3 USD). This table is worthy of a spot next to the latest pin from Stern. If Zen are able to maintain such a high standard for an indie title, there is no limit to what they can pull off with a big budget franchise. Any developer interested in having their game immortalized as a pinball table should contact Zen immediately. The line forms behind CliffyB.
    Last edited by blue; 08-31-2011, 07:48 PM.
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