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Sep 04

Sep 04

Plants vs. Zombies Shambles onto Zen Pinball 2 With New Table

Neil Sorens's Avatar Posted by Creative Director, Zen Studios

Zen Pinball 2: Plants vs. Zombies Table

Hello PS.Bloggites, today we’re giving you something a little different! We are pleased to welcome ourselves — Jeff Green, Community Manager for PopCap Games and Neil Sorens, Zen Studios’ Creative Director — to the show, as we dynamically tag-team this entry. We wanted to share with you a little bit about how Zen and PopCap worked together to create the Plants vs. Zombies Pinball table, releasing today right alongside Zen Pinball 2 for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. Enough of us rambling though; take a look at the trailer.

Jeff: The first thing you need to know about this Plants vs. Zombies table is that it is built out of authentic Plants vs. Zombies bits and pieces. We handed Zen Studios original game assets including art, sounds, objects, zombies, flowers, plants, defenses – ok, you get it – in a beautiful package of digital goodness. Zen took these and went to work designing another brilliant pinball table. We asked Crazy Dave for some wisdom to send along to Zen: “MMMMMM PINBALL”.

Neil: When we first received all these assets, our excitement level went through the roof. We were beyond excited! The second thing that went through our mind: wait, Plants vs. Zombies is 2D, are there any 3D assets? Obviously, the answer was no. One of the first things we had to figure out was how to translate a very deliberate, slow-paced 2D game into a fast-paced, frantic pinball game with 3D interactive characters. The team went to work creating a bunch of 3D models for the zombies, plants, Melon Pults, and Crazy Dave’s jalopy. We then had to figure out how to incorporate all of these into the table geometry. Luckily, we received tremendous help from the Plants, and Crazy Dave also turned out to be very supportive.

Zen Pinball 2: Plants vs. Zombies TableZen Pinball 2: Plants vs. Zombies Table

Jeff: When the Zen Studios team started sending us materials for approval, we were seriously impressed with how they were translating 2D to 3D. It was like Plants vs. Zombies was completely new again, totally remade for a brand new experience. The day playable code showed up, we were all lost in a “wow” moment. We about lost it when the “Going Nuts” mission started and fog came billowing in across the table, while zombies started marching toward the door step. That’s when we knew the true spirit of Plants vs. Zombies had been successfully captured in this pinball creation.

Zen Pinball 2: Plants vs. Zombies Table

This was the very first time PopCap has ever licensed out any of our game properties or worked with another developer on this level. Zen did a stellar job — the table turned out better than anyone could have expected.

Neil: It’s been quite a good time working on pinball over the past few years. We have had the privilege and honor of working with some of the biggest names in entertainment, and some of the most creative people in the industry. Working with PopCap has certainly been an amazing experience, and it’s really cool that our first project together will release today along with Zen Pinball 2. When I look at the game, I see the work of so many… not just Zen Studios people, but people at Tecmo, Capcom, Marvel, and now PopCap have contributed so much to this game.

We sincerely hope you enjoy the new Zen Pinball 2 platform and Plants vz. Zombies table. Don’t forget, this is a Cross Buy game, so buy it once and get it on both PS3 and PS Vita! If you have any questions about Zen Pinball 2, check out the FAQ we have put together in the Zen Pinball 2 forum. We’ll be here to answer your questions all day long!

Add Your Own

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BunnySavior said:

September 4th, 7:30 pm

Oh my, confused *but for *bought, what a typo!

BunnySavior said:

September 4th, 7:32 pm

you can just sear Zen Pinball on the PSN store, and go down the list, saw it in there buried other Zen Pinball DLC’s, for $9.99.

Ecks said:

September 4th, 7:39 pm

Stuff4Crab, now that Zen Pinball 2 has been released, you can no longer buy the original Zen Pinball.

detictiveconan said:

September 4th, 7:57 pm

Hey, I was wondering if you could let us buy the original table peicemeal instead of having to buy the pack. I want the Tesla table but don’t really care much about the other three,I wish I could buy it on it’s own. :-/

    Neil Sorens's Avatar

    Neil Sorens said:

    September 4th, 8:18 pm

    Not at the moment, unfortunately. If you decide not to get the pack now, keep an eye out for sales and PS+ bonuses, as we’ve done both for this pack in the past.

    (P.S. Tesla is my fav from that pack as well. I love how crisp the updated visuals for ZP@ look!)

Stuff4Crab said:

September 4th, 8:06 pm


I only saw demo and will start dl soon. I hope there’s a way to buy the full version through the demo?

HappyJTheClown said:

September 4th, 8:39 pm

Kind of have an issue here, after dl’ing and installing zp2 and my previous tables, marvel and zp1, among other dlc, when I try to check the trophies, it says I need to purchase zp2, and then it takes me to purchase the avenger tables. Do I really need to buy this dlc pack to access my trophies?

    Neil Sorens's Avatar

    Neil Sorens said:

    September 4th, 8:58 pm

    You *should* only need to have any piece of content purchased for the trophies to work, but we’re checking with PS Ops team to verify this. I know for sure that having either the Avengers pack or the PvZ table will enable the trophies, but I’m not 100% sure beyond that.

    If you come and post on our ZP2 forum, we’ll be better able to keep you updated (

HappyJTheClown said:

September 4th, 8:45 pm

An additionap footnote considering that I can’t edit my origanl post, this is for the vita version.

fester420 said:

September 4th, 8:47 pm


HappyJTheClown said:

September 4th, 9:05 pm

I already purchased, dl’ed and installed the pvz table and no change

    Neil Sorens's Avatar

    Neil Sorens said:

    September 4th, 9:08 pm

    OK, can you post on the forum? We’ll figure out what’s happening and get back to you.

FreeAsInBeer said:

September 4th, 10:09 pm


I’m trying to do the same thing. I started this thread: Good to know there are others like me out there!

FreeAsInBeer said:

September 4th, 10:09 pm

@NeilSorens, actually, some people just want the original experience, some want the trophies. ZP2 offers neither of these. (ZP2 has 2 trophies per table, which is half of the original ZP1 trophies. But still, they are different trophies. I want all 6 per table, not just the 2 in ZP2 and I want to experience the difference in physics in order to truly appreciate the improvement).

The point is people are willing to give you money for a product that is already made. I appreciate that ZP2 is free and I want to give you more money. Not sure why you don’t want that. I’m clearly not the only person who wants to give you money but can’t. Sure, ZP1 isn’t “as good” as ZP2 especially to all the people who spent hard work on it the past few years, but that’s OK. I want to play both. Take my money. Please. I’d love to just give you money in exchange for the unlock code for ZP1 either on PSN or direct from you guys via a code, and then go back to playing pinball. Instead, I’m trying to figure out the ins and outs of the UK PS Store (which still has ZP1 listed, but not for long I guess).

    Neil Sorens's Avatar

    Neil Sorens said:

    September 5th, 2:37 am

    I’ll ask my boss!

mainkster said:

September 4th, 11:40 pm

i can’t turn off the in game challenge . it clearly says off in the options but i see it in big white letters… score left to beat: . is it only me ? help me neil , it covers the entire dot matrix when in lower corners.

    Neil Sorens's Avatar

    Neil Sorens said:

    September 5th, 2:38 am

    We’ll look into it. In the meantime, it’s possible to move the position of the dot matrix display.

dFUSE said:

September 4th, 11:57 pm

Hello there good Sir. I am pondering the possibility to add another view mode on the Vita. I’m thinking if it would’t be a near perfect fit to be able to hold the Vita vertically since the proportions of a pinball table is that of the approximate screen? Ten you will be able to almost view the entire table at once and the scrolling up/down would be minimal. I’m not sure what to do about the button configuration but I can’t think of everything now can I? :D Oh and great going with the PvZ table, I will EAT this like it was a plate of fresh brainz.

saskamazon said:

September 5th, 12:32 am

to the Zen / Pop Cap team …. it is absolutely amazing what you have done with the P vs. Z table …. a lot of thought, love, humor & skill went into the creation ! it is stunning & a lot of joy to play …. I am VERY impressed …. grabbed 5 single tables tonight & am entirely pleased. I own the 2 packs for the 3DS & this option for the Vita alongside the cross buy feature is fantastic value ….I’m going to demo the table packs & pick my fav.

I love Pinball – have the Williams / Gottlieb collections. Pinball Arcade. & Zen …. you guys are top notch ….

THANK YOU ! wonderful addition to the Vita

    Neil Sorens's Avatar

    Neil Sorens said:

    September 5th, 2:39 am

    Glad you’re enjoying it!

TwisDeaD said:

September 5th, 4:12 am

I too feel a bit let down that ZP2 doesn’t have the same trophy sets for the tables as the original!? I deleted & redownloaded ZP cause I’m still not finished earning the trophies. I really wish ZP2 would have been more complete in the aspect. What’s with the two trophy per table deal? Bummer!

pudgenet said:

September 5th, 6:46 am

I love Zen Pinball 2. I’m disappointed my scores from Zen Pinball and Marvel Pinball don’t carry over. It’s like when I would get a high score in an arcade and then they’d get a power outage and I’d lose it. :(

Joe-TFW said:

September 5th, 6:49 am

The Plants vs Zombies table is awesome. One of the best you guys have done. Great use of the license and a perfect table layout. Was ranked #17 when I went to bed last night, but doubt that position was held for long. Wish I was playing right now.

Squiggle55 said:

September 5th, 8:45 am

@Neil I just wanted to say that I absolutely love the Plants vs Zombies table. The only disappointment is the amount of trophies per table. I notice other people saying the same thing, so it would be awesome if more could be patched in. The layout and gameplay of the PvZ table is fantastic, and it seems well suited for more trophies. There could be a trophy for beating each challenge on the way to defeating Zomboss, or getting 10 multiballs in the same game. All sorts of possibilities. It won’t change how awesome the table already is, and it truly is my favorite table yet, and the game looks beautiful on the Vita, but more trophies and hard to achieve trophies are great for replay value.

Zen is already great to their fans and I truly appreciate the free hub for our tables, but hopefully you all make a lot of money on ZP2 here real quick and it won’t be any issue to add some more trophies for us.

FearMonkey said:

September 5th, 8:46 am

Still hoping for a Disgaea-themed table one of these days. :p

Loserkid said:

September 5th, 6:30 pm

Is Nightmare Mansion an unannounced table or were you referring to Pinball FX?

saab01 said:

September 5th, 7:56 pm

I really am enjoying Zen Pinball 2 my only complaint was that it took almost an hour to import all the tables. I wish there was a better way than to download each demo and than download the unlock key just to transfer them over to zen pinball 2. But at least all of the tables now especially the older tables look amazing.

Great work and I hope we see some exclusive tables soon for the PS3.

    Neil Sorens's Avatar

    Neil Sorens said:

    September 6th, 9:24 pm

    Yeah, I wish this could have been a shorter and simpler process. The store system certainly wasn’t designed to handle such an unusual and complex system, and it’s a credit to Sony that they were able to make the back end work.

Nitrosonic0 said:

September 6th, 6:50 pm

ok, the graphics EXPLODED in my face the first time i started playing. now i only have the Marvel Originals (because i have the Marvel Pinball game). however, i also downloaded all of the demos for the remaining tables. everythings great (especially the split-screen multiplayer), however, there is one sick twisted little problem…


please reply neil, your my only hope…

Finka_Karfein said:

September 6th, 11:58 pm

Somehow new pinballs are not my cup of tea. I prefer the atmosphere of Pinball Dream/Fantasies/Illusions and most of all SlamTilt (not the Resurrection one).

But now… with this table… I’m considering purchasing this one. This is your success :) Congratulations!

quasenadaaocubo said:

September 7th, 7:40 am

hi guys at zen studios, when you guys plan to launch your games in the playstation store Brazil? i was super excited to play Zen Pinball 2 in my vita, and with this plants vs zombies tables now i am even more, but it is not avaliable in Brazil… :(

NeoPaladin said:

September 7th, 3:53 pm

OK! Scored 133M on my second play through. WHEW!!! Hit #22 on the scoreboards!! Best I’ve ever done so far! Of course, that number began dropping within minutes, but HEY, I held #22 at least for a short time! Anyways, I digress, this is the BEST table yet! I was concerned due to my excessive fandom of PvZ, but WOW!!!! Team Zen truly captured the heart, ummm or brains, of PvZ, however you look at it. I can stop playing it! It looks gorgious on the big screen as well as on the Vita! If you are unsure about this one… JUST BUY IT! GET OUT THERE AND TAKE OUT SOME ZOMBIES!!! Just dont’ forget Rule #2: Double-tap! Oh, and if you are in for a long game sessinon, keep rules #18 and #24 in mind. ;-)

See ya! gotta go get back on the scoreboards!

xPITS211x said:

September 12th, 8:17 am

I NEED HELP!!!!!!!
i cant import my ninja gaiden or my street fighter 2 tables to zen pinball 2.
can any1 help me?

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