Publisher: Zen Studios / Developer: Zen Studios / Platform: PSN, XBLA

After seeing The Avengers in theaters, my first thought wasn’t “Wow, I’d love to see this made into a pinball table!”  Despite this, Pinball FX2 surprised me once again with another set of four Marvel pinball tables, all themed around the comic book adventures of The Avengers.  After trying them out, my thoughts on Avengers-themed pinball quickly changed to “Wow, that made some good pinball tables!”

The four tables included in the DLC are The Avengers, Infinity Gauntlet, World War Hulk and Fear Itself.  The first table is actually based off of the recent film, while the other three are based off story arcs from the comic books.  I’m not an avid comic book reader, so my knowledge of these tables is limited to what I’ve learned through seeing the movie, and what I’ve seen or heard talked about while browsing through comic book stores to fuel my Magic: The Gathering addiction (thanks, college!).

The first table in the DLC, The Avengers, surprised me from the beginning.  It keeps very close to the aesthetic of the film, and while none of the voices of the actors are present, it still feels like a pretty well-done movie tie-in.  The first unique thing about the table is the fact that you actually get to pick your hero, represented by different-colored pinballs, usually with each heroes’ logo painted on (except for the Hulk, somewhat hilariously, whose pinball is just green) and abilities that affect the game in certain ways.  Hawkeye, for instance, allows skill shots to be made, while Captain America grants a bonus to ball saves.  Using the abilities of these different balls adds a sense of strategy not usually found in pinball, and it adds an interesting level of “play how you like to play” to the style of the table.

The Infinity Gauntlet features Thanos, and seems to be where many believe the next Avengers movie will lead us.  Thanos has the ability to alter reality at will (or something like that, I’m just going off of what the table rehearses to me during certain parts of play), and will change the layout or physics of the table from time to time, or sometimes even transport your ball to another table entirely.  It’s an interesting table, and seems to have a lot of little secrets to uncover to really learn its tricks.

The World War Hulk table looks like a train wreck.  I mean, a train wreck that The Hulk caused.  Because he destroys things. …Get it?  Anyway, the point to the table is all about hitting any of the many ramps looping about to bring up Hulk’s rage, opening up one of many different activities within the table.  It’s probably the most straightforward of all four tables in the DLC, which is nice.

Fear Itself was the most confusing to me, both mechanically and in terms of layout.  Many ramps seem to be jammed under other ramps or other parts of the table, and it is difficult to figure out what is happening or what ramp you’re supposed to be shooting for.  There are a lot of different activities and modes to this one, many of which I have yet to really figure out.

The Avengers Chronicles DLC is another fun set of four tables that does a fair job of trying to entertain people that might be more into pinball than the Marvel-themed subject matter.  Fans of the Avengers comic books will probably enjoy all the different cameos and events portrayed within the tables, while pure pinball fans might enjoy the wide variety of game mechanics explored by these new tables.