Some quick thoughts on various tables for those who may be new to Zen Pinball. My preference is for tables that have multiple flippers and a variety of game modes. I like tables that have video modes or secondary mini tables and that are not too difficult.|
1. The Excalibur, Earth Defence, and El Dorado tables are well worth playing. There is a real skill progression on these tables and you should see your scores gradually increase over time.
All 3 of them have a fair bit to do and I would say that they are relatively fair in terms of ball draining. Excalibur has a slight imbalance due to the ease with which the multiball can be spammed - although it's still an excellent table. I put in over 75 hours on the 3DS game on these tables alone. I rank them all very closely, but would give the nudge to Earth Defence (maybe just cos I have a good score on that one in the 3DS version).
2. Shaman is the exception. It it is a very difficult table with only a few different modes. Specific shots must be made in a specific order to activate the high scoring modes. A frustrating table that is not as deep as those above.
3. Plants V Zombies is a relatively easy table to make progress on. It has a variety of missions and uses the IP of the original game to good effect. I've enjoyed playing it so far and can see that it's a 'fair' enough table that you don't feel cheated when the ball drains. The missions are good fun and there's a lot of zombie humour.
4. Wolverine. This is a relatively simple table in terms of layout, with much of the game play appearing to be composed to making combos up the left and right ramps, then shooting the central lane. It's stingy with points at first but gets into some pretty crazy scoring opportunities once you activate the missions. There's a super fast 1 million points per orbit mode. I feel this table is promising but potentially a little difficult to get into. It is not as easy as some other tables but I did feel satisfied after getting a decent score.
5. World War Hulk. A table where it seems relatively easy to keep the ball in play for long periods of time. The playfield is physically very wide and there's a lot of scope for shooting orbit combos. I got a bit of an Earth Defence vibe from this one. Quite enjoyable. I look forward to discovering more. It has at least 1 alternate bonus table 'The Arena'.
6. Epic Quest. A fantasy/rpg themed game. It's an easy one to play and has quite a lot of content (from what I've seen so far). There's always seems to be a more powerful item to be unlocked or a more powerful enemy to be battled. I can see this table having a satisfying score progression as I get better at it. It has a left / right orbit and another flipper that is very difficult to activate. I'm enjoying it. Again, a table where it's easy to keep the ball in play for extended periods of time.
7. Fear Itself. A wide play field table that appears to depend on extreme angle combos and hitting specific targets. I am not very good at it. Difficult to say whether it's a good table or not. Perhaps not as immediately accessible as others due to the high skill level required.
8. Infinity Gauntlet. Probably my favourite table so far. An easy playing table with left / right lanes and three centre lanes. Seems like there is quite a lot to do on the table and it has mission modes like upside down or always activated flippers. It's easy to to keep the ball in play for long periods of time and it always seems to be doing something. Just very easy to get into and therefore quite enjoyable.
9. Avengers Assemble. Have not enjoyed this one so far. The interesting thing about the table is that you have to choose your character before playing, which affects the appearance of the ball and some of the bonuses and modes. It seems very easy to drain on this one, I never feel like I have a lot of control on the table and thus far haven't unlocked much stuff. It has some good multiball stuff going on but so far it just hasn't grabbed me at all.
10. Iron Man. Fantastic Four. Blade. Captain America. Fantastic Four. These 4 tables are in the 3DS Marvel Pinball game. None of them has particularly grabbed me as being that entertaining. Blade seems the most feature rich and is probably my favourite of these 4. I particularly dislike the Iron Man table, due to its simplistic combo lanes and its reliance on activating missions via the centre channel. Fantastic Four and Captain America are ok, I guess, not great tables but nor are they terrible. They just don't seem to do anything new or better than any of the other tables. I would not really recommend any of these tables.
11. I like the Moon Knight and Thor tables, particularly Thor. Thor has easy to activate missions and is a table where I can understand what's happening just by playing (if that makes sense). I feel like I'll be able to make good scoring progression in Thor. I was underwhelmed by the Ghost Rider and X Men tables, not bad tables but again just not as good as some other ones. No specific good or bad comments...just meh on them.