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Five Cool Things About ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ Pinball

Chris Baker's Avatar + Posted by Chris Baker on May 04, 2012 // Manager, Licensed Games, Marvel Studios

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It’s a truly historic day here at the House of Ideas, as Marvel’s The Avengers is finally making its way to American theaters. I’ve seen it. It’s awesome. I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me soon. (Maybe you already do.)

As Interactive Manager at Marvel, it’s been my pleasure to work with Zen Studios on the video-pinball adaptation of the film, which, as one of four great tables in Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles, should be headed your way in just a few weeks. It looks a little something like this…


Cool trailer, I know, but you can see it pretty much anywhere. When Sid Shuman and Jeff Rubenstein – who preside over the PlayStation Blog with legendary Thanos-ian tyranny – demanded I present “a li’l somethin’ extra for our minions,” who was I to say no? So, here you have it, my fellow peons – five cool things about “Marvel’s The Avengers” pinball…

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5) Zen Pinball 2!
“Marvel’s The Avengers” and the other three tables within the Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles four-pack help to usher in Zen’s new PlayStation pinball platform on the same launch date (best I can give you now: “soon”). You can read all the details here, but the basics you need to know are 1) it houses all past Marvel Pinball and Zen Pinball titles under one virtual roof, 2) it does more stuff than those other two titles, and 3) you can switch between playing on PS3 and Vita at no extra charge. Excelsior, indeed.

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4) Real Movie Assets
See that Quinjet? And those 3D character models? Oh, and those S.H.I.E.L.D. monitors with all sorts of high-tech-looking pictures of countries and stuff (you may have gotten a better look at Comic-Con)? They’re all taken directly from digital assets used in the film. So, that is the Quinjet. Those are Iron Man and Hulk. Those are the same S.H.I.E.L.D. monitors with all sorts of high-tech-looking pictures of countries and stuff.

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3) You’re Not Just a Ball – You’re a Character…in the Form of a Ball
In terms of sheer gameplay, this is what makes “Marvel’s The Avengers” one of the most unique video pinball tables you’ll ever play. As you may have noticed, none of the screenshots feature a traditional silver ball for this table – that’s because no traditional silver balls exist at any time while you play. Instead, an Avenger of your choosing – represented by the balls you see above – is dropped right into the thick of things, each boasting his or her own unique buffs based on character specialties. (My personal favorite: An exclusive bonus to the skillshot when you’re Hawkeye.) I look forward to watching the Zen Studios forums and seeing how sequence of Avenger selection affects the battle plan for all the hardcore Zen fans out there.

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2) Thor vs. Hulk!
‘Nuff said.

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1) Movie Guys Helped Make It
This table was a true team effort. In addition to our games group here at Marvel and, most especially, the immense talent at Zen Studios, “Marvel’s The Avengers” features what may very well be a video pinball first – actual filmmaker involvement.

One of the coolest parts of the development experience for me was shooting ideas around with Executive Producer Jeremy Latcham, Creative Manager of R&D Will Corona Pilgrim and few others of Marvel Studios’ finest. They were genuinely enthused about the process, and I credit them fully with coming up with inspiring some of the missions, as well as the idea of having the Helicarrier act as the setting for the board. Once things were in full swing, Will was especially helpful, providing detailed feedback on everything from character animations to the minute details of the table’s script.

All told, the film team provided some invaluable ideas and feedback. You can tell there’s a lot of talent there – the type that’s capable of creating what very well may be the best super hero movie ever, I’d say…

//Add Your Own

49 Comments   25 Replies

1

+ xaos on May 4th, 2012 at 10:19 am said:

Wow, I would have been content with, like, 3 cool things :)

Even though he’s not now nor has ever been an Avenger, I’m kind of amazed that Speedball isn’t a “playable character” :) Looking forward to getting some wquality time with this… and to the Infinity Gauntlet table!


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    + Chris Baker on May 4th, 2012 at 7:35 pm said:

    Happy to overdeliver for you! :-) And yeah, Infinity Gauntlet is pretty sweet as well.


2

+ GGCAN on May 4th, 2012 at 10:21 am said:

Thanks Chris.

I love the pinball games and this one looks really nice.

Also loving that it’s on PS3 and Vita as well !


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    + Chris Baker on May 4th, 2012 at 7:36 pm said:

    You’re welcome. And I love all Zen’s tables too — even the non-Marvel ones!


3

+ gr1mj0w on May 4th, 2012 at 10:27 am said:

Am I crazy or did I miss the release date? Seems I can’t find it for Zen Pinball for PS vita either :(


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    + Zsolt Kigyossy on May 4th, 2012 at 10:56 am said:

    I’m filling in for Cbake at the moment, he is heading up to San Francisco for some special Avengers happenings. To answer your question about release date, we still do not have one. As soon as we are confirmed we will let you know. It will be soon!


4

+ remanutd5 on May 4th, 2012 at 10:28 am said:

you can switch between playing on PS3 and Vita at no extra charge. Excelsior, indeed. – sold


5

+ FrogmanTM on May 4th, 2012 at 10:29 am said:

ZEN 2? This is wonderful news! Other than the fact that we have to wait for it….


6

+ devilmosh on May 4th, 2012 at 10:35 am said:

I haven’t been this excited about a game in a long time! Thanks for the update, all very cool, for sure. Fortunately, I have all the other Zen/Marvel tables to keep me busy while I wait.


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    + Chris Baker on May 4th, 2012 at 7:41 pm said:

    Awesome! I always love hearing that people are excited for Zen’s great work.


7

+ MK24ever on May 4th, 2012 at 10:35 am said:

” (best I can give you now: “soon”)” hmm, that’s not soon enough I must say, we want it even sooner than soon, like yesterday soon! XD

No really, you guys are killing me since the announcement of Zen Pinball 2 announcement, my VITA can’t wait to much to Multiball!


8

+ luvtoseek on May 4th, 2012 at 10:35 am said:

@3, Zen mentioned a Spring release in their original blog post a few months back.

Thanks for the info Chris, that menu screen looks terrific! I’m eagerly awaiting to play the Infinity Gautlet table!


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    + Chris Baker on May 4th, 2012 at 7:47 pm said:

    I’ve only seen Zen Pinball 2 via video so far myself. Can’t wait till it’s “real”!


9

+ FearMonkey on May 4th, 2012 at 10:43 am said:

Saw the Avengers movie at midnight last night. I agree, Chris, it was AWESOME! :)

re: the Avengers table – STICK IT IN MY VIENS!


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    + Chris Baker on May 4th, 2012 at 7:49 pm said:

    I’m pretty sure just playing it on a TV screen would be much more rewarding.:-)


10

+ trexpert on May 4th, 2012 at 10:48 am said:

Looks great. But you know what is not cool? The fact that the one female character is doing her best to arch her posterior in a sexual way while the guys are all just standing around strong and silent type.

I’m no prude. I surf the porn all the time. I’m just saying that the one female character that could show my daughters they can be kick butt super heros is instead showing off assets. I know this is the comic book way, but once in a while it’d be cool if you didn’t do it.


11

+ MARLLOW-X on May 4th, 2012 at 10:50 am said:

I can see myself dropping some cash on these tables after Zen Pinball 2 is release on the vita


12

+ fathead170 on May 4th, 2012 at 10:50 am said:

is this all you guys do over there is make marvel pinball games geesh


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    + Chris Baker on May 4th, 2012 at 7:53 pm said:

    Recently, I contributed to 10 projects (most unannounced), all in one day. So I’d have to say no.


13

+ BigTallChris on May 4th, 2012 at 10:51 am said:

Really looking forward to this!!! I’ve got quite a few Zen tables and all of the Marvel tables so far. These will be great additions!

It will be really nice to be able to play all of the Zen and Marvel tables under one game app.


14

+ shogun00 on May 4th, 2012 at 10:58 am said:

@ Chris Baker: Why don’t you join the Zen Studios forums? It would be fun to chat with you on a more regular basis. :)

@ #3 (gr1mj0w): Zen is gunning for sometime this month, but it’s really up to Sony. They are the ones that decide on the release dates.


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    + Chris Baker on May 4th, 2012 at 7:56 pm said:

    I’ll see what I can do about that….


15

+ Xcaligamer1 on May 4th, 2012 at 10:58 am said:

to me, what would be an instant buy for these pinball games would be move compatability…can hold move button pull move controller and release move button to launch ball, cal aside the flickers to face button or T buttons and you can use 1 or 2 controllers if you prefer T button


16

+ johnnyp70 on May 4th, 2012 at 10:58 am said:

@3 In the article, it is simply “soon”.


17

+ saab01 on May 4th, 2012 at 11:00 am said:

I want Zen PInball 2 and the new pinball tables to be out already I cant wait anymore. And yes The Avengers movie is great its really funny. The theater I was at last night was playing it in 12 theaters at the same time since so much people showed up.


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    + Chris Baker on May 4th, 2012 at 8:01 pm said:

    I can’t wait to see it again!


18

+ DMcgee627 on May 4th, 2012 at 11:06 am said:

Where is Hank Pym?
He was one of the founding members of the Avengers after all


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    + Chris Baker on May 4th, 2012 at 8:02 pm said:

    Just pretend he’s super small…. :-)


19

+ gr1mj0w on May 4th, 2012 at 11:17 am said:

thanks all, love me some pinball games so I am eagerly awaiting the ability to purchase this!


20

+ luvtoseek on May 4th, 2012 at 11:19 am said:

@13, great comment! Zen designs other tables too, but considering the Marvel superhero craze around the planet- what’s wrong w/ giving people what they want? It sounds like you clicked on the wrong link or oddly, expected something completely different after reading the title post!


21

+ ChazzH69 on May 4th, 2012 at 11:20 am said:

Any idea for UK (EU), are we going to have to wait any longer than the US?

Please tell me it’s in the Sony approval process for US & EU.

Oh & keep up the great work.


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    + Zsolt Kigyossy on May 4th, 2012 at 11:24 am said:

    I’m filling in for Cbake at the moment, he is heading up to San Francisco for some special Avengers happenings.

    ZP2 is currently in the approval process for US and EU. Should be coming soon!


22

+ ChazzH69 on May 4th, 2012 at 12:53 pm said:

Thanks for the quick reply Zsolt, I can’t wait to do some score chasing on Zen Pinball 2.

Looking forward to all the future tables from Zen. Oh & if you guys ever get a chance to do an AR view (Vita) of one of the tables that would be insane! Anyway I’m rambling now. Thanks again for the reply.

See you all on the leaderboards!


23

+ ChaseHammerJ on May 4th, 2012 at 12:55 pm said:

First off let me say I CANNOT wait for Zen Pinball 2, i only have Marvel pinball so the other tables will be awesome.

Second, the character balls? BRILLIANT!!! Its a simple thing but it does enhance the experience a bit knowing you are kinda the hero not just a silver ball.

Great job again, keep it up.


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    + Chris Baker on May 4th, 2012 at 8:07 pm said:

    Zen did a great job! And you’ll love Infinity Gauntlet, where the Gems are playable as well.


24

+ PainOfSarrow on May 4th, 2012 at 1:18 pm said:

this one actualy looks very good. i wanted a pinball game on my ps3 but always held back. if this game is 9.99 i will buy it first day. let me know


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    + Zsolt Kigyossy on May 4th, 2012 at 1:49 pm said:

    I’m filling in for Cbake at the moment, he is heading up to San Francisco for some special Avengers happenings.

    Your guess for pricing is pretty good :) AND, that allows you to have the game on both PS3 and Vita!


25

+ Squiggle55 on May 4th, 2012 at 1:29 pm said:

I will most definitely buy the Avengers tables, because i absolutely want to support this type of model. I’m very thankful when someone gives me quality free content on my Vita.


26

+ FeistFan on May 4th, 2012 at 1:33 pm said:

I’m looking forward to having all my Zen Pinball tables together in one place almost as much as any of the new tables. I’m hoping there will be some deals packaging several of these tables together — I’ve purchased five or six tables, and have another four from Playstation Plus, but there are a lot more interesting ones out there I’d like to add.


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+ MarkakaJin on May 4th, 2012 at 1:49 pm said:

I would play the Blade table to kill some time and I like how you guys put that techno theme song that played from the movie, that was awesome! Looks pretty cool from what I’ve seen in the trailer. Looking forward to it. We need a good Avengers game though. Not some Facebook game that’s small time.


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+ mixedkidbx on May 4th, 2012 at 2:38 pm said:

I have all the tables for Zen Pinball and Marvel Pinball, and i will be getting the new tables when they come out. Also looking forward to having Zen Pinball 2 so all the tables are under one roof.

I do like how Epic Quest was done on Zen Pinball. I hope future tables will work just like Epic Quest did with having “xp” and “leveling up”.

I look forward to all the future tables you guys release.


29

+ Bearded_Warrior on May 4th, 2012 at 3:28 pm said:

@Chris Baker – All of this news is amazing! I’m more excited for Marvel Pinball than I have ever been before. One question – could you please tell me if there is even a sliver of a chance of ever seeing a table featuring Apocalypse and Archangel?


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    + Chris Baker on May 5th, 2012 at 12:27 am said:

    Hmm, we could never rule it out, but we probably won’t get back to anything so specifically X-Men for a while.


30

+ Hooligantuan on May 4th, 2012 at 3:29 pm said:

Oh thank goodness there are people out there to make pinball worthwhile with tie-ins to other products and franchises.


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    + Chris Baker on May 7th, 2012 at 7:45 pm said:

    Marvel or not, pinball is always worthwhile.


31

+ BlackoutBasement on May 4th, 2012 at 3:38 pm said:

Awesome. Thank you! The table looks fantastic. I’m always itching for that next Pinball update. This one is too much! Thanks again!


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    + Chris Baker on May 7th, 2012 at 7:46 pm said:

    Thanks for playing! They’re a ton of fun to contribute to.


32

+ luvtoseek on May 4th, 2012 at 6:51 pm said:

@20, sorry all, I was replying to comment #12.


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+ BIGWORLD41 on May 4th, 2012 at 8:32 pm said:

I am SUPER psyched for this to release. The Zen folks knock my socks off with the quality and dedication to their craft. These folks CARE about pinball. I also think that this is just a taste of whats to come for the future of cross play features between the VITA and PS3!! I do wish the game was out, but honestly, it is a FREE update, and the VITA version is a dream.


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    + Chris Baker on May 7th, 2012 at 7:44 pm said:

    Well said!


34

+ comicfan007 on May 4th, 2012 at 10:30 pm said:

I want it !!!


35

+ AizawaYuuichi on May 5th, 2012 at 12:00 am said:

So, question. Does this ZP2 update mean that all previous tables will be playable on PS3/Vita? Or just the new Marvel Avengers tables? I’ve got all the original Marvel tables (got 4 of them with PS+ and bought the rest, great stuff), but I haven’t bought the original Zen tables yet. If ZP2 makes them all playable on the Vita, then buying the original Zen tables will become a priority, as pinball on-the-go is awesome. I’m loving The Pinball Arcade, so it will be awesome to add some more tables for more variety!
Looking forward to this a lot.
And the movie was freaking AWESOME! Went to the midnight show (well, 12:20), and I plan to see it again real soon! :D


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    + Chris Baker on May 7th, 2012 at 7:48 pm said:

    I’m actually not sure. I’ll alert Zsolt to this comment, and hopefully he can let you know for sure.

    Glad you loved the movie, though!


36

+ Bearded_Warrior on May 5th, 2012 at 5:25 am said:

“+ Chris Baker on May 5th, 2012 at 12:27 am said:
Hmm, we could never rule it out, but we probably won’t get back to anything so specifically X-Men for a while.”

That’s a little disappointing to me. We’ll have six tables featuring Avengers compared to only two based on X-men. I always felt that the X-Men were more popular (and cooler ;) ) than the Avengers ever were. Oh well, I still love all the tables and will buy anything Marvel related. Keep up the good work guys!


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    + Chris Baker on May 7th, 2012 at 7:54 pm said:

    That’s one way to look at it, but all of the Avengers with their own tables very much center on a given character’s solo comics. Even the other Avengers Chronicles tables involve X-Men characters in some way. I definitely appreciate the feedback, though — and I definitely appreciate that you’re such a fan! Thanks!


37

+ SirEggsBenedict on May 5th, 2012 at 7:28 am said:

why isnt there any news concerning psn server being down?


38

+ TJF588 on May 5th, 2012 at 9:05 am said:

Man, that response on #18 is aces.


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    + Chris Baker on May 7th, 2012 at 7:54 pm said:

    Thanks! :-)


39

+ SquareSide on May 5th, 2012 at 6:23 pm said:

Sony: “Quick, we need something about Avengers due to it’s success….” PSN Staff: “Uh….we got Avengers Pinball?” Sony: “Sweet, post it on the blog asap!”


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    + Chris Baker on May 7th, 2012 at 7:55 pm said:

    Funny, that’s not how I recall it going at all.


40

+ luvtoseek on May 6th, 2012 at 3:16 pm said:

@37, huh? It’s not down for me. :?


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+ Emerald_Swords on May 6th, 2012 at 4:04 pm said:

Sounds awesome, can’t wait to try it out.


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+ FlaFantasyGirl on May 7th, 2012 at 6:54 am said:

OMG! I can’t wait for this to come out. I been waiting a long time now. I’m so happy to see psn finnally putting it up. So that means it will be out within a couple weeks. Yayyy!


43

+ YunGFLASHyy on May 7th, 2012 at 9:36 am said:

The movie was AMAZING! havent played pinball in a while but this looks like it might get me back into it. Did I read that right that this will be a bundle with the past 2 marvel pinball titles?


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    + Chris Baker on May 7th, 2012 at 7:57 pm said:

    Glad you loved the movie! This will actually be one of four tables (the other three being brand new as well, based on comics events) called Avengers Chronicles. However, all of the past Marvel Pinball tables will be playable via Zen Pinball 2. I hope that makes sense!


44

+ warlock7 on May 7th, 2012 at 11:09 am said:

I would have been happy if it didn’t require me to buy a whole new pinball game to get it! I’ve only shelled out for both the Zen and Marvel games already, so why not charge me for another pinball game!?!?


45

+ warlock7 on May 7th, 2012 at 11:16 am said:

Why did Zen hold back the love for the PS3 in the first place? XBL has both Marvel and Zen 1 titles under one game already. I’ve already been hit up for the full pinball game twice and now you want me to happily fork over for another zen pinball title?!!?

So, straight up, will this table play on marvel or are you going to expect to get paid again for zen 2? If you’re expecting to get paid again, then I think I will be done with Zen…


46

+ warlock7 on May 8th, 2012 at 4:37 pm said:

Chris. I must humbly apologize for my disruptive behavior. Thank you for clarifying the details. I had not seen that before and I was told that the new Zen would cost upwards from $15. Thanks. Now I am totally psyched!


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    + Chris Baker on May 9th, 2012 at 9:35 pm said:

    No worries, man! Enjoy!


47

+ Bearded_Warrior on May 8th, 2012 at 6:11 pm said:

FYI – Since I love you guys so much I updated The Avengers movie wikipedia page to include some info on the upcoming pack and the Avengers table. I gave props to Zen Studios as well. Hopefully that’ll get noticed by a few thousand people or so ;)


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    + Chris Baker on May 9th, 2012 at 9:36 pm said:

    Nice!


48

+ Mammouth25 on May 11th, 2012 at 2:17 am said:

Wait… I saw a disturbing thing in the Force : i can’t see the “Fantastic Four” table on the screenshot with all the Zen Pinball 2 tables. Will it be disabled ?


49

+ ilyr73 on May 15th, 2012 at 3:24 am said:

Mammouth25: Not an official answer, but for me it seems from other comments on the Zen Pinball forum, that F4 table will not be available at the time of Zen Pinball 2 launch, but will be released later. This is probably (and hopefully) because they try to fix a bug on that table…


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