My love for Pinball FX2 and its Zen brother is no secret. I love the game of pinball and love what Zen Studios has been doing with the game of ball beating. The newest addition to the family of tables is “Epic Quest,” a table themed around good old fashioned action RPGs. In a statement that will make you believe you're telepathic, “Epic Quest” is one of my favorite tables to date.
It may not be the deepest system, but the “Epic Quest” table does include stereotypical RPG elements like leveling up and collecting loot. It was awesome at first, but the lack of a large variety of loot made it less exciting after a significant amount of time passed. That's not to say those elements got boring, but there was little surprise after a few hours of constant play. And for those who play RPGs often, let it be known that purples exist and if you don't know what I'm talking about, just know it's more than just a pretty color. I was also surprised, the pleasant kind, to discover that loot carries over from game to game—as does the character level with a cap of 100—not just over the course of one game.
But levels and loot don't grow on trees—at least, I don't believe they do—and so a little battling here and there is needed to make Max the Knight stronger and prettier. The battling system included is simple and complicated at the same time with specific points on the table for casting spells, adjusting stats, and very simple combos. While some past tables have had similar systems, battling feels better than ever in the "Epic Quest" table. A decent variety of enemies exist and there stats can change to make battles a bit more complicated.
The table is full of personality, reminds me of older cheeky RPGs and bleeds British humour. The voice work is good, if a little repetitive, and I always pictured Randy Quaid in Independence Day when I heard the Knight say a certain line. (I'll leave you to figure it out.) The table is just damn cheerful and filled me with joy regardless of whether I was having a bad game or a great game. The visuals are colorful with a warm palette and the exaggeration in characters and puppet show-esque moments breathe life into the table.
My only disappointment with the table of epic quests is that it's not epic enough; that is, I want a full XBLA/PSN pinball game setup like an RPG, with quests and towns and crazy depth and; basically, I want pinball version of Puzzle Quest. Don't let these words sour your excitement, the table is wonderful, beautiful, and unquestionably worth the money for any pinball nutter.
Pinball FX2: "Epic Quest" - [DLC] (240MS Points/XBLA)
*(Also available on PSN for $2.49 and iOS/Android for $0.99 as part of Zen Pinball)