Review: Pinball FX3 – Williams Pinball: Universal Monsters Pack (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC
  • iOS, Android

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Pinball FX3 – Williams Pinball: Universal Monsters Pack
Format: PSN (1.1 MB)
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Zen Studios
Developer: Zen Studios
Original MSRP: $9.99 (US), £7.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 12
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

The Universal Monsters pack features two classic tables from the early 90’s. Monster Bash, from Williams and Creature from the Black Lagoon, from Midway.

Gameplay:
The main goal in Monster Bash is to get the classic characters some instruments so they can form a band. This old-school horror theme is excellent and the table is nicely laid out, with Dracula popping out from a coffin and sliding across the playfield and good-old Frankenstein pivoting on an operating table that allows the ball to roll underneath.

I’ve managed a few good runs on this table, especially after the Frankenstein Multiball. The plentiful extra balls help tremendously too. It’s a fun and easy to learn table and good for beginners.

Lyman’s Lament Easter Egg
To access this mode press the flippers in this order below before releasing the first ball:

Left x 11, Right x 1, Left x 5, Right x 1, Left x 6, Right x 1
The table should say, “Totally,” directly after the flipper presses, if done fast enough.

Once the ball has gone in the scoop, you will then hear different music and some remarks from the programmer, Lyman F. Sheats while the ball is played.

The table layout is one of my favorites, the large open playfield makes it easy to see what’s going on and keep an eye on the ball on its descent. Although, I do struggle with the Multiball on this and can never seem to keep it going for long.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon table is loosely based on the movie and resembles a drive-in-theater. I suggest taking a look at the table guide for this one as there is quite a bit to learn.

It’s definitely the trickier of the two, yet I found it to be infuriatingly addictive, especially considering I’ve never managed to nudge the ball back into play on this one. It drives me mad, but I can’t get enough once I start.

The Multiball on this one is a bit strange, as it only seems to have two balls. It does make it easier to keep track of the shiny spheres, but still feels odd to me.

As per usual there is just one Trophy for each table and I have not managed to acquire either. I did come very close to the Monsters of Rock trinket. It will be mine one day.

Visuals:
I had to look this up (because I obsess over strange things) and, according to the Wiki page, the green hologram in the middle of the playfield was produced by Polaroid. The 3D effect is obviously lost the digital translation, but the Zen magic more than makes up for it. This would be a great one in VR.

The actual Black Lagoon table is based on the movie from Universal Pictures, but sadly did not get the rights to the stars of the film, so the images were of different people. So fans of the film, if there are any left, will still be a little sad to see the faithful reproduction remains. Pinball enthusiasts, which increase by the day, will be delighted to see how good this looks.

Now, this is going to sound a little weird, but the plastic lanes look superb. Zen Studios have done a tremendous job of capturing the reflections and imperfections, which make it look very realistic.

Those enthusiasts will also be delighted by the Monster Bash table. I’ve spent several minutes holding the Square button and panning around the table capturing all the little details. I love the little monster figures that really come to life in the Zen version. I also like switching between that and the original, just to see the differences.

Audio:
Monster Bash has some good music and a ton of voice work, more than many other tables in the extensive Zen catalog. I enjoy the various voices of the monsters and haven’t grown weary of the audio, which is surprising considering how much I’ve played this particular table.

The Black Lagoon features some synthesized-instrumental music from the ’50s, although after doing some checking I couldn’t be sure if all five made it into this digital version.

Online/Multiplayer:
This features the same local Hotseat mode as all the other tables and the all-important Multiplayer Scoreboards.

Conclusion:
Universal Monsters is a good pair of tables that complement each other well. Both can turn into some great scoring tables once a few things have been activated. I’m not continuously worrying about losing my shiny metal balls (didn’t expect to write that in a review), as both tables seem quite forgiving.

These are well worth checking out if you like the classic tables and still worth it if you’re new to the genre.

Score:
8.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

If you send a friend request please add ‘PS Nation’ in the subject area.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook