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Zen Pinball 3D (Nintendo 3DS eShop) discussion [game]
8.5/10 from 10 user ratings

Welcome to the official discussion thread for Zen Pinball 3D on the 3DS!

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This game has finally hit the North American eShop and it's pretty fantastic... four fun, quality tables in 3D for $6.99.

I've already put a couple hours into it and I'd have to say that Excalibur is my favorite of the tables so far. There's a lot of fun toys and modes that aren't too difficult to unlock. The physics are well done and the graphics are pretty nice, though perhaps not quite up to Farsight's efforts with The Williams Collection.

I was hoping to get my hands on Pinball Arcade soon, but it looks like that's going to be a little delayed on the platforms that I have access to, so it's nice to have a quality pinball game like this to tide me over. I guess it is also going to support DLC tables in the future. Good stuff.

If you like pinball, you should probably buy this.

Negative World ZEN Pinball Friends List


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Posted: 01/13/12, 10:11:00  - Edited by 
 on: 02/21/12, 17:15:59
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I think it will upload the scores eventually... that happened with me initially on one of my scores when I turned my wireless off.
Posted: 01/14/12, 22:30:10
Yea, I am going to have to download Zen Pinball. I love pinball and it sucks that there isn't many to pick from on the 3DS or hell even on the Wii for that matter. Though to be honest, I have not been up to date on checking out pinball games for the Wii.
Posted: 01/15/12, 08:42:37
I'll buy this just to spite Williams Pinball Collection. I never picked it up because they cut the tables AND they charge an arm and a leg. Plus, I like pinball.
Posted: 01/15/12, 17:04:13
I read on anther forum that if you sync up the leaderboards, or play the table once more, your offline score should count.
Posted: 01/15/12, 20:11:46
I'll try finding that "syncing up" option. I did play the table once more while connected, but it was my new high score so it wouldn't have uploaded the previous one.
Posted: 01/15/12, 20:30:26
I'm going to download this now. Just took a view at the table in 2D and then in 3D. Wow, what a HUGE difference!
Posted: 01/15/12, 21:13:35
Deerock69 said:
I'll buy this just to spite Williams Pinball Collection. I never picked it up because they cut the tables AND they charge an arm and a leg. Plus, I like pinball.

You know... even so, it's still in the #3 spot for time played on my 3DS.

I agree that it probably should have been an eShop game sold for much cheaper, but I'm looking at it this way... I'm helping them fund the development of Pinball Arcade, and that game is going to be amazing (and reasonably priced).
Posted: 01/15/12, 22:38:37

Had they not CUT tables, I would have bought it day one even if they charged 49.99. Its the principle. No excuses.
Posted: 01/16/12, 17:08:37
Well they're releasing more tables via DLC in the next 2-3 months, so they said.

Why hasn't kriswright said anything in here?
Posted: 01/16/12, 17:15:19
I finally 100%ed Might Switch Force so I will be downloading this tonight. Woul be nice to put a list of users who have the game in the OP.
Posted: 01/16/12, 18:28:32

I haven't posted because I'm supposed to be avoiding this place right now. But I can'ts stays away!

I blew my last 3DS money on that 8-bit Sequencer and I haven't reupped my game budget so I could pick up Zen Pinball. I will certainly get it within the next few weeks (days?) especially since, as Hinph pointed out, the 3DS release of Pinball Arcade has been pushed back. I'll post my impressions of Zen when I do pick it up. I will say that I'm one of those who favors realistic pinball emulation over fantasy pinball, so it is less of a priority for me. Still looks awesome, though.

Also like Hinph, I've put a lot of time into Williams Pinball Collection 3DS. The fewer tables haven't really slowed me down. Between that, Mario Kart and Swapnote, I've finally started getting some serious use out of my 3DS.
Posted: 01/17/12, 01:01:33
And, of course, I'm totally weak-willed and have already bought it. Peer pressure. 'Tis a cruel master.

So far... it's decent. It's not as fantasy-driven as I expected. With a few obvious exceptions/substitutions most of the features I've seen on these tables could be recreated in real life on an actual machine. That's cool with me, as that's my preference, anyway, but it did surprise me a bit. I expected there to be more cartoony stuff happening in the game. But I found myself thinking "hey, it's the flipper setup from Baby Pac-man" and "Ha, they incorporated the ramp from No Good Gofers" more than I expected.

I've played for an hour and a half or so and I feel comfortable giving some first impressions about Zen Pinball vs. the Williams Collection.

- Value for money goes to Zen Pinball, easily. 7 bucks for 4 good tables beats 30 bucks for 4 good tables and 3 okay tables. That said, I think the fact that the Williams Collection emulates actual classic pinball machines makes it worth the extra money (though maybe not with their inevitable rerelease as part of the gonna-be-awesome Pinball Arcade series). For now, though, any Pin-Curious person would be wiser to go with Zen. For now.

- Physics vs. Physics there's no contest: Williams Collection just flat out has the better ball physics. So far, I don't feel the weight of the ball in Zen the way I do in the Williams Collection. The ball moves too fast most of the time and doesn't behave correctly when it actually does slow down. It reminds me a bit of the goofy physics in The Gottlieb Collection, Farsight's first foray into pinball. That's acceptable for a 6 dollar release, of course, but if they want to compete with Pinball Arcade, they're going to have to step it up next time.

- The tables all seem pretty good. Excalibur is like a bootleg Medieval Madness, but with a few original bits like the Joust mode. I like the multiball, but it'd be better if everything didn't shrink down to where the balls are the size of a BB pellet. Mostly that's unavoidable, though, so I'm not knocking them for it. This is possibly the best table in the package (though it doesn't quite compare to Medieval Madness, I gotta say). I like Eldorado, too, despite the pretty boring theme and not-very-inspiring artwork. There are some nice touches, like in the archeological site where I managed to dig up a fish for a 1-point reward. Shaman I only played a couple of times. Already I can tell it's pretty decent, though. Interesting theme. Seems fun, if a bit politically incorrect. I also just barely touched Earth Defense. Ramp overkill! But the ruleset looks pretty interesting, so I expect I'll like it.

- So far, there doesn't seem to be a dog biscuit in the bunch. I'll see if I still agree with that after I've played some more, but first impressions are positive. Nothing seemed unappealing.

- Oh, except the music, which is generally pretty stock electronica.

- As Hinph pointed out, the Nudge is pretty weak. Not sure it's saved me a ball, yet. That said, Farsight has always seemed a bit overgenerous with nudging compared to how it works in real life. I'm just a novice pinballer, of course, but my experience suggests that you'd have to slam the table pretty hard to get the sort of leeway you get with a flick of the finger in the Williams Collection. So, believe it or not, this may be one area where Zen is more realistic. Whether or not they needed to be realistic is arguable, but I can see a case for the weaker nudge. After playing the Williams Collection, though, using Zen's nudge is... well... emasculating.

- A few presentation things: I like that the points you get for hitting targets, etc. flash over the actual table. It's the sort of thing only video pinball can do, and I think it's a good idea. One of the barriers to entry with pinball is it takes a long time to figure out what you're supposed to be doing and develop a strategy for scoring. This simple thing makes it a lot easier to ride that learning curve. I haven't played deep enough to figure out the rulesets to the tables, yet, but I could easily tell what wasn't particularly effective and change my strategy accordingly. That's a good thing. I'd go so far as to say I'd love it if Farsight offered this as an option on Pinball Arcade, too. It's a great idea. Zen does need to work on their tutorials, though. Apart from some sketchy English, it just doesn't flow logically the way the Farsight tutorials do. I'm glad they thought to include tutorials, though, even if they aren't ideal. Also I'm digging the leaderboards. It'll be fun to compete with you guys for high scores. I wish we could form an official Team Negative World, for that team stat, though.
Posted: 01/17/12, 10:32:53  - Edited by 
 on: 01/17/12, 11:12:12
Downloaded it yesterday, but I fell asleep before I got to play!

So I checked it out briefly this morning, couple rounds of Earth Defence and Excalibur (I've already played El Dorado and Shaman on the PS3). Both are pretty solid. I really like the 3D, it gives the game so much substance via the added depth.

I like that they added local leaderboards with name entry.

I really hope they release Tesla as DLC, that was my favourite table.

Kris, I'm gonna add you to my friends list when I get home. In the mean time feel free to add my code (in my profile) when you get a chance.
Posted: 01/17/12, 17:46:33
@kriswrightWhat 8bit Sequencer? Shelf, homebrew or Maker-faire-fare?

I managed to find a few bucks for this one. So glad I did. I love it.
Posted: 01/17/12, 18:14:52  - Edited by 
 on: 01/17/12, 18:15:33


Also, know that DLC is coming to Zen Pinball once Nintendo approves it. That will up the replay value.
Posted: 01/17/12, 18:35:48
You know why I don't have this game or Pushmo? Because every time I try to buy a game, it asks me for my credit card info and my credit card is always downstairs, while I'm using my 3DS in bed and it's never worthwhile for me to get up and go get the card. :p

My laziness is saving me money.

There might be a way to have the 3DS remember your credit card info, but I haven't looked that hard into it.
Posted: 01/17/12, 20:03:14
nacthenud said:
You know why I don't have this game or Pushmo? Because every time I try to buy a game, it asks me for my credit card info and my credit card is always downstairs, while I'm using my 3DS in bed and it's never worthwhile for me to get up and go get the card. :p

My laziness is saving me money.

There might be a way to have the 3DS remember your credit card info, but I haven't looked that hard into it.
You lazy bum. Apparently the eShop can now register your CC info.
Posted: 01/17/12, 20:11:01

Peer pressure, eh? Muhahahaha! Swapnote strikes again!!!

I'm happy to be in a heated battle with Gui on the Excalibur table. I totally forgot how much I love pinball.
Posted: 01/17/12, 20:22:36

I picked up the 8-Bit Rytmik sequencer from the 3DS shop. Pretty cool musical toy, though it's not a perfect NES sound card emulator by any stretch.


Yeah. Next you'll be trying to get me to try booze. Momma told me about hoodlums like you.
Posted: 01/17/12, 20:53:30  - Edited by 
 on: 01/17/12, 20:54:39
Just bought the game, nearly beat Guillaume's Excalibur score. I was so close :'(
Posted: 01/17/12, 21:43:37
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