Dr. Strange Pinball from Zen Studios for the PC (Steam) (a J!-ENT Video Game Review)
March 23, 2014 by Dennis Amith
From the enemy battles, lighting and special effects utilized and the ultra-fun gameplay, “Dr. Strange” is another fantastic Marvel Pinball table worth purchasing! Recommended!
“Dr. Strange” and “Pinball FX2” is under the copyright of Zen Studios. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO GAME TITLE: Dr. Strange Pinball
TYPE OF GAME: Pinball
PLATFORM GAME REVIEWED: STEAM PC GAME
DEVELOPER: Zen Studios
PUBLISHED: Microsoft Game Studios
RELEASE DATE: February 2014
The greatest powers of the occult, both from our own world and the darkest dimensions in existence, are combining their forces to take over Earth. And only one man can stop them – Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme! With the help of the beautiful Clea and his faithful servant Wong, the Master of the Mystic Arts faces his greatest challenge ever in Doctor Strange pinball, the newest addition to the Marvel Pinball library.
Since 2007, Zen Studios has been the jet setter when it comes to pinball games on all video game platforms.
From featuring “Star Wars”, “Plants vs. Zombies” and a multitude of tables available, their installment of “Pinball FX 2” have showcased various Marvel pinball tables and the latest entry for Marvel Pinball comes “Dr. Strange”.
Featuring numerous voice over lines and situations adapted from 50 years of “Dr. Strange” comic books, the pinball’s theme revolves around Dr. Strange’s rival Baron Mordo calling upon the demonic forces of the Dread Dormammu, while other evil entities have plans of their own.
With this single table now available on all home and portable consoles, the game was released on Steam.
With “Dr. Strange”, Zen Studios takes the concept of pinball for the digital realm by introducing various acts, special effects, audio and gameplay elements that you won’t typically experience on a real machine.
For pinball purists who have played a digital pinball game, yes the game requires you to shoot the ball, use your flippers to hit the ball and you can briefly nudge the machine (nudge it too much and you are in danger of tilting). You lose a ball each time it falls down through the center (between the flippers) or far left and right boundaries of the game. The good news is that if you quickly lose a ball not long after a launch, you are given another chance with a free play ball.
But various tables offer more than just the ability to score more points. It also allows you to fight various villains and take part in mini-games, if your ball is able to reach a certain location and certain goals are met.
Controls are primarily [Enter] to shoot the ball, shift keys for trigger and [c] for changing table views.
Prior to playing “Pinball FX2” on Steam, I played various tables on the XB360 and PS3 console. On Steam, I will tell you that your mileage may vary when it comes to computer use and operating system. The older the PC, you can expect some lag.
Otherwise, I have been playing this game on my laptop with Windows 7, another via Windows 8.1 and tested the game on a PC with Vista and the game runs perfectly smooth. Ran it on an older PC and I saw lag when it came to using the triggers but like any game, the more recent the computer and a good amount of memory, you should be fine!
As for common questions in regards to controls:
Which is better, keyboard or controller pad?
As for my choice on using an XB360 controller or the keyboard, it is subjective. I tried both and enjoy both but I do recommend a keyboard if you have no lag, while a controller pad is much better to use if you do experience a little lag.
I’ve actually tested various heights of my keyboard to see which I felt comfortable with the keyboard and also what distance from playing the various tables. As mentioned, I have played these on my console, sitting about 10 feet away. But playing it on Steam and having a chance to have the monitor up-close, I can see the flippers on bottom and top and table details much more clearly, so I felt I had better visual perspective in coming up with strategies of how to hit the ball and where to hit.
How are the physics of the game?
Physics for this game on Steam was perfect. I had no issues of balls reacting differently during bounces. If anything, physics for “Dr. Strange” seemed accurate.
GRAPHICS & AUDIO:
The graphics for “Dr. Strange” is fantastic. But what is more impressive is the amount of special effects and fight scenes when you are able to activate a villain in which Dr. Strange must fight. From the sword fight against Baron Mordo to the dark colors employed when Dormammu is awaken. Lighting effects and special effects for the game was well-done.
Audio is another plus as voice acting is well-done and the audio definitely complimented the game and it’s overall atmosphere (for those who read the comic books are familiar with the slightly darker tone that “Dr. Strange” had considering the enemies he often faced).
“Dr. Strange” is a game with a lot of replay value if you are into getting high scores. With the number of challenges available, it gives one a chance to focus on a table and learn it and move on to the next table and continue getting high scores, topping a table leaderboard and obtaining achievements. But also to unlock the various modes and battle multiple enemies.
There is no doubt that Zen Studios pretty much has the market for digital pinball games.
No company has ever taken the genre of digital pinball to new heights than what Zen Studios has been able to accomplish in these past few years and by having the Marvel and Star Wars franchise has no doubt led to many people discovering digital pinball or rediscovering pinball games in general and finding out how awesome they are!
And with the latest release of “Dr. Strange”, it’s another awesome addition to Marvel Pinball and for old school and new school fans, you have to appreciate this latest pinball table for the number of Dr. Strange rivals that are featured and for the most part, how challenging this table is until you figure out how to get the big points.
I have to admit that the first week of playing “Dr. Strange”, I was a bit frustrated as the ball would go through the sides or through the center until I found a strategy and realized how much points you get for defeating an enemy.
From defeating Baron Mordo, I immediately received 30,000,000 points and from then on, knowing how many points you get from each villain beaten became a priority and found myself really enjoying this table.
From the enemy battles, lighting and special effects utilized and the ultra-fun gameplay, “Dr. Strange” is another fantastic Marvel Pinball table worth purchasing!
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