The pinball wizards at Zen Studios have made some cool Star Wars tables and they're now available in virtual reality via PlayStation VR.
Considering I haven't yet tried the VR version of Pinball FX2, I figured I should finally see what VR pinball is all about with the brand new Star Wars Pinball VR. Right off the bat, it impressed me a great deal as you walk around a floor of a house that's decked out in Star Wars paraphernalia as well as a pinball table. After approaching it, you can choose from any of 8 included tables then play to your heart's content. The gameplay itself is exactly like it is in the non-VR pinball games except it's far more immersive here considering you can see each table's features in gorgeous 3D and you can move your head around to really scope out what's available on each table. To be quite honest, this really blew me away as I wasn't expecting it to feel much different to the standard game but it definitely does.
Playing the pinball tables may be immersive and a ton of fun but there's also a sense of spectacle to the whole experience that makes it an even greater treat. For example, as you play, you'll see characters walk around the table and even look down at your game. Some characters even fight off drones and seeing lasers whip by your head as you concentrate on playing is just awesome.
The quality of the 8 included tables is generally quite high; as to be expected from Zen Studios. With that being said, a few of the tables definitely aren't up to par (I'm looking at you, Rogue One). Therefore, you'll likely only go back to a handful of these tables which will still provide plenty of fun even if the whole package isn't consistently entertaining and it's good that there's some variety.
With all of that being said, one aspect that's hard to get over is the fact that you have to physically look down to play. Yes, this makes it feel more authentic but I wish there was an option to look at the table straight-on because my neck consistently became strained as I played. On the plus side, the music is ripped straight from the films and it all sounds great. You even get a jukebox that you can play classic Star Wars tunes on in the lobby. In other words, the visuals and audio alone make this a fantastic purchase for fans.
On top of trying to get high scores on the 8 included tables, there are various modes to enjoy and collectibles to unlock. For starters, there's a whole light and dark side mechanic where you choose which side to be on and earn points towards it. You'll also unlock posters, memorabilia, and many other objects that you can decorate your room with which is pretty cool as it adds a sense of personality.
Even though I enjoyed my time a great deal with Star Wars Pinball VR, I must say that it's incredibly glitchy in its current state. I like to give developers the benefit of the doubt when I come across glitches in games in the hopes that they'll be patched at some point but my experience with Star Wars Pinball VR so far has been maddening because of the vast amount of different bugs. One issue is that there's a speeder bike mission and whenever I finished it, the camera would jump back and I wouldn't be able to play the table properly. However, the most substantial issue is that the game crashed on me constantly; about every couple of attempts. There are other issues, too, such as how I played every table a couple times but still haven't yet unlocked the trophy for playing 3 tables.
Star Wars Pinball VR is an excellent package of virtual pinball fun that's unfortunately weighed down by an absurd amount of bugs and some inherent issues. Here's hoping that it'll be patched but until then, I'd wait before pumping quarters into this pinball game.
- + Feels like you're actually playing real-life pinball tables but with more spectacle
- + Authentic music and cool visuals
- + Lots of extras to enjoy
- - It's hard not to strain your neck while looking down the whole time
- - Currently super-buggy
- - Some tables aren't as enjoyable