Review: Marvel Pinball Deadpool

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In addition to getting to spend some quality Marvel Pinball time with the Guardians of the Galaxy, I also got to shoot the bull with the Merc with the Mouth. Deadpool’s very own table came out at the end of June, but I didn’t get a chance to spend time with it until now. I’m not the biggest fan of Deadpool, mainly because I just don’t know him very well. I had stopped collecting by the time his character took off in the comics, so my only exposure has been through his appearances in various video games. The zaniness of Deadpool always felt bit forced to me, but when I fired up the new table for the first time and heard him comment that his table “had to be better than the Iron Man table,” I knew I was going to enjoy this one.

But then I started to play the table. I’m not going to say that the table is bad, because it’s certainly not. It’s just not as fluid as many of Zen’s other tables, especially coming off of Guardians of the Galaxy. Since Deadpool is aware that he is a comic book character, the table is broken into comic story missions, each unlocked by sending the ball up specific ramps which trigger mini-game type events. For me, trying to trigger the comic book events was an exercise in frustration. The ramps aren’t directly hit from the flippers at the bottom of the table. The ball needs to be sent up secondary ramps which can drop the ball toward flippers placed in the middle of the table. These flippers can then be used to send the ball up the comic ramps. By comparison, getting the ball to these middle ramps is way harder than hitting the various ramps to spell out the GotG character names. Half the time the ball hits dead spots between the ramps.

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Kick Beat ‘em is the first mini-mission which has angry citizens running toward Deadpool and the object is to hit them before they get to him. Lil’ Me involves trying to hit a tiny version of Deadpool as he bounces around the table. Tie Breaker is a button mashing arm wrestling mini-game. Another mission is U Can’t Touch Me, where Deadpool hides in various locations around the table and you have to send the ball up ramps to find him. Although fun, the missions quickly begin to feel all too similar. At least the Merc and his ever running Mouth makes the repetition tolerable.

In addition to the mini-games, spelling out various names triggers different events. These usually enable Deadpool to leap and flip around almost to an annoying degree. When I wasn’t playing the table in 3D, I found his acrobatic moves more of an annoyance than anything. Deadpool’s leaps would end up blocking my view of the ball from time to time, but when played in 3D I found that the depth of field provided a helpful advantage.

After a ball is lost on the table, another slightly annoying thing that happens is how Deadpool has to get back to where the ball launches from before play resumes. The animations can take up to a minute or so to play out, depending on where Deadpool is in his leaping shenanigans. Both flippers can be held down to fast forward his movement to help reduce the amount of downtime waiting for Deadpool to return to the ball launcher, but it’s still an unnecessary drag on the pace of play.

Even though the Deadpool table isn’t exactly a favorite of mine, the quip that Deadpool makes at the beginning about his table being better than the Iron Man table is true. Deadpool’s humor kept my frustration to a minimum, and while I don’t have any brag-worthy high scores, it is a decent table overall that should be enjoyed by Deadpool fans.

TryIt

Pros:
+ It’s all about Deadpool’s humor

Cons:
– Hitting ramps feels like a crap shoot
– Overly repetitive mini-missions
– Deadpool’s leaping animations tend to get in the way

Game Info:
Platform: Reviewed on PS3/PS4/Vita, also available for Amazon, Android, iOS, Steam, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Publisher: Zen Studios
Developer: Zen Studios
Release Date: 6/26/2014
Genre: Pinball
ESRB Rating: E10+
Players: 1
Source: Review code provided by publisher

About the Author

Tim has been playing video games for more than 20 years. He manages to find time to game in between raising three kids and working as a network administrator. Follow Tim on Twitter @freemantim.