“Sharp, Polished, Addictive, Vibrant – Everything You Want In a Pinball Table.”
An XboxHornet Review By WDesm.
I’ll be honest – I’m a rabid fan of Pinball FX2 and Zen Studios. I love their marketing strategy (give away the base “shell” of the game free, allow free upgrades to original owners of Pinball FX1, sell tables both individually and in deal-saving bundles, and even once-in-a-blue-moon give away tables for a limited time completely free), I love their online & community-driven mentality, and it probably doesn’t help that the game itself is a complete bundle of fun. Despite my subjectivity, I still try to turn a critical eye on each table that Zen Studios releases, and when I turned to Epic Quest, I couldn’t help but become incredibly uneasy. Why? Simply put: Epic Quest is probably the pinnacle of pinball on your Xbox 360. There, I said it. And I meant it.
Zen Studios has a standard when it comes to their tables, and if you’ve played Pinball FX2 (or even Pinball FX1 for any length of time), you can clearly tell that the standard has slowly risen over time. More recent tables are tighter, more responsive, prettier, crammed full with mini-games and multiball madness, and keep the fun going non-stop. Epic Quest takes this philosophy and cranks the dial to 11 by adding something Just Crazy Enough To Work – persistent stats. In this latest table, modeled after the numerous loot-grinding fantasy games, “stats” (a character level, as well as arms and armors) are retained between playthroughs, which come into play during the mini-games (monster fights, where hitting certain ramps in sequence will deal damage to the monsters, gaining you more loot and more experience). The persistent stats concept is no deeper in concept than, say, Progress Quest, but chaining that whole idea to a pinball table, and indeed, to Pinball FX2’s highly-competitive online aspects, is brilliant. As you get better at any table, you would expect to start getting larger and larger high scores, but this personal mastery combined with a shiny +11 longsword or a new tier of monsters to fight really allows the huge jackpots to roll in.
Beyond an innovative and addictive table, Epic Quest also has personality. From the cheezy narrator’s spoof on Pokémon or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to the princess’s semi-sexual rhetoric (please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks she’s a walkin’ talkin’ euphemism for the bedroom), Epic Quest is simply a vibrant, fun, and lively table. In fact, if there is anything wrong with this table, it’s probably that it’s too vibrant – true diehards to pinball realism probably won’t appreciate this table as much, as the animated knight and his ever-growing armaments collection isn’t quite a 1:1 comparison with reality, but if that destroys your immersion, then it’s probably time to get on eBay and shell out for a real table. I know that if Epic Quest was a real table, I would have already sold my kidneys for it.
Game Score: 10/10.