May 27, 2015

Portal Zen Pinball Review for PS Vita

Fans of Portal and Pinball rejoice! Science has brought the two together for a delightful combination. This is no lie. Could this be the greatest of the Zen Tables? Read on for our review and 6 minute play along!

Now I've enjoyed most of Zen's Pinball games. They have a tried and true formula for making these games. Get a license, recreate said license into a pinball table with great attention to detail, add some audio tracks and let it rip. Star Wars, Marvel... they've covered a lot of different characters and movies.

That said, when I heard Portal was making its grand entrance onto the Zen lineup I was pretty excited. The mash-up seemed to fit really well as an idea and it would take some serious problems to get it wrong. 



Well, they nailed it. The narrators for the game are Wheatley and GLaDOS for crying out loud. Between Wheatley's incompetence and GLaDOS' snide comments, you'll enjoy hearing the testing progress. No, they aren't new audio tracks, but they fit really well with the game. 

Even Atlas and P-Body show up if you hit the right areas enough. Just like in Portal 2, they are the co-op version of the game and if you unlock them here, it is a multi-ball. It makes sense. 


The flippers are colored yellow and blue, like the two portals you fire. The details are astounding! Portals open up around the table and transport the ball around. There are hidden mini-tables that make sense... these include the Ratman's hidden dwelling and the Turret Factory to bring about GLaDOS' doom. 

Open the elevator and you start up the mini-missions. I found them easy to start, and difficult to perfect. Just the perfect balance of skill needed to play without the fear of never unlocking the extra missions you might get in other tables.


It is very difficult to describe a pinball game without actual gameplay. Check out a 6 minute video I took playing the game:



There is plenty of fan-service here in this title. Humor, skill, science! Oh, and cake, too. Don't forget the cake.

Verdict: 
9/10

Zen and Valve come together to treat fans right. Perfect skill scaling: easy enough to get the missions started, tough enough to finish it all. 

Readers! Let us know in the comments what you think. 



 
                     
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