I have a confession to make: I suck at pinball. I don't understand the physics, I can never make those perfect shots that the tables require, and I spend more time looking at the glow of a "Game Over" screen than the table itself. In spite of my lack of pinball wizardry, however, I found myself unable to resist Zen Studios' "Paranormal" table for its popular Xbox Live Arcade title Pinball FX 2. Find out why after the break.
The "Paranormal" table is exactly what it sounds like: a series of bumpers, flippers, and minigames devoted to the paranormal, in this case cryptozoology and urban legends. Players take on the role of a supernatural detective—a Kolchak lite, if you will—that uses his balls of steel (snicker) to investigate everything from haunted houses to the Jersey Devil. It's a brutally busy table, with the ball disappearing for seconds at a time (it's longer than it sounds) among the various fixtures that populate the playfield. Adding to the complexity is a rotating playfield in the middle of the table that leads to four different minigames, each with their own rules, theme, and goals. It's both overwhelming and fun at the same time.
The biggest reason for recommending the "Paranormal" table is its price. It's free through November 2, 2011 as long as you have the main Pinball FX 2 client, which also happens to be free. After that it will most likely revert to the normal pricing structure for the various tables, which is 240 MSP/3 bucks. I still suck at pinball, but all the wannabe Tommy's reading this will find a lot of fun to be had here.
"Paranormal" for Pinball FX 2 is available now on Xbox Live Arcade.