Repost: Zen Pinball: Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Review

Digital translations of time-tested older arcade games is a tricky thing. For those who were able to go to the arcades and drop quarters, the titles that were bought by the owners was a special thing. Pinball games are some of the oldest arcade games that still exist.

Though now they are more of a novelty than something special, Zen Studios released Zen Pinball for the PlayStation Network and have been releasing tribute tables for some of the bigger titles on the PlayStation 3. I was able to give the Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 table a try, and while Zen Studios can replicate the table, memories of the physical machine do outweigh the digital version. Though this is as close the digital version can get to the real thing.

The Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 table looks like any other specialized pinball table. With Ryu Hayabusa and Genshin placed on opposing sides of the table, it did remind me of other themed tables when I was younger. Controls are mainly through the L1/R1 buttons controlling the bumpers and using the X button for the initial shooting of the ball.

The table looks exactly like a pinball table should, with all the buttons and lights on the interior of the glass screen, that was the amazing thing about the add-on. It feels like pinball, and doesn’t add any real unauthentic touches to the game. It is even possible to use the motion control to tilt the machine, a trick from the old days.

The sounds that Zen Studios have in the game are pitch perfect copies of normal pinball noises like bumper movement, the ball hitting various switches or rolling along the metal guides. The only addition are some of the effects from Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2‘s attack noises and voices from Ryu and Genshin.

My only issue is the movement of the ball because all among the other animations of the game, which are silky smooth, the ball rolls like it’s on ice without a real sense of weight and position. Other than that small gripe, Zen Pinball: Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is a great add-on for their game.

Keep in mind however, that this is just a digital recreation of pinball and there isn’t anything extraordinary about the add-on itself other than Zen Studios faithfully made pinball possible on the PlayStation Network. Essentially, Zen Pinball: Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is the title played between the bigger names and when players need a break.

Review copy provided for review purposes