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Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One
Score: 90%
Publisher: Zen Studios
Developer: Zen Studios
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 4 (Online)
Genre: Arcade/Classic/Retro/Online

Introduction:

Rogue One occupies a curious spot in my personal pantheon of movies set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I wasn't as instantly enamored of it as so many of my colleagues and friends were, but I definitely enjoyed it for what it was: a fanservice-filled side story that was ultimately worth experiencing. There was a lot that I liked: for instance, its depiction of the Rebel Alliance as not only disorganized and prone to political squabbling, but also very capable of committing their own wartime atrocities. And, let's face it: it was the first time we've been able to see Darth Vader actually being awesome on the silver screen in over three decades (no, the Special Editions do not count). But there was also some stuff I didn't care for. CGI Peter Cushing and CGI 21-year-old Carrie Fisher creeped me out beyond words, and the main character's arc didn't feel natural to me. While Star Wars has gotten a mostly decent rep in the medium of video games, it's been relatively quiet on this front for the most part. It seems the only adaptation we're due to get for Rogue One, save for the Star Wars Battlefront DLC, is going to be Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One.

Presentation:

If you've seen the film, you know it does perhaps more planet-hopping than any other film in the series. While it will ultimately be best remembered for its explosive finale on the beaches of Scarif, it's hard to forget what went down in the craggy fissures of Eadu or on the sandswept desert moon Jedha. Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One goes the distance, even taking into account special weather effects to really hammer home the fact that you're "playing" scenes from the movie.

I remember being rather surprised at how unmemorable I found Michael Giacchino's original soundtrack for Rogue One. I suppose Zen Studios feels the same way; either that, or they had some licensing troubles. Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One's accompanying soundtrack is John Williams' movement covering the Battle of Yavin. A good enough choice, though it feels bizarrely anachronistic. I suppose this is the price of a franchise being literally all over the place.


Content:

Missions are largely story-based, and that's what makes Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One most impressive. Based on which mission you undertake, the environment shifts to reflect where you are. Moments such as Jyn's escape from the Imperial prison transport, the infiltration of the Jedha City, the attempted rescue/assassination of Galen Erso on Eadu, Chirrut ╬mwe facing off against multiple Stormtroopers, and the multiple "test fires" of the nascent Death Star are implemented into this pinball game. Even the paranoia of Jyn's father figure Saw Gerrera is worked into it. Long story short, if you've played one of these before, you're familiar with Zen's aptitude at their craft.

Value:

We're still seeing one-off tables being released in lieu of packs (the releases I personally prefer), but this isn't coming at the cost of any reduced value. Star Wars Pinball: Rogue One is $3.99. Considering how much we're often charged for DLC that isn't standalone, this is a nonissue. If you like pinball and you like Star Wars, you can't go wrong here.

I suppose the next time Star Wars Pinball returns, it will be with a table based on The Last Jedi. Until then, be one with the Force!


-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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