TL:DR – It’s a good game muddled by a ton of annoying and outdated things that prevent it from truly being great. There’s a few annoying bugs and I don’t feel like there’s enough tables to play with. Other than that, I think this is a perfectly solid VR version of Star Wars pinball that has always been fun to play.
NOTE: The following text below is a collection of bullet points and notes that guided my video review that you can watch above. It contains all the main points that I wanted to get across, but they are mostly unorganized and aren’t structed as a regular review. I think watching the video above is necessary to properly address the good and bad stuff about this game, so I recommend watching the video over reading my notes. However, if you insist on just reading my thoughts on the game, then you can read them all below:
Platform and Controls
- It’s a solid version of Star Wars Pinball, with some minor pitfalls that prevent it from being the definitive way to play the Star Wars pinball tables.
- I played it on PC with an Oculus Quest 2 via Oculus Link. My motion controllers are the newest Oculus Touch controllers. I also played on an Xbox controller for most of my time with the game.
- D-Pad didn’t work super well. Analogue sticks always worked though.
- I found the game to be way more comfortable with an Xbox 360 controller than the Oculus Touch controllers.
- The Touch controllers worked for me perfectly, but I hear that all other VR controllers out there don’t work, which I think is unacceptable. There’s no reason for these controllers not to work.
- The angle in which you play VR is super uncomfortable. You practically look straight down for the pinball, with no option to change the angle.
Bugs I found
- There’s a few bugs, like the game never exiting. I have almost 50 hours on Steam, not because I played it that long, but because the game never stopped “running” despite me exiting days ago and launching other games in between.
- Another bug was multiple buttons being selected, which made it difficult for me to select things. The “Next” and “Exit” buttons are both lit up here, so if I press A, what am I actually choosing here? I had to move my selection around to the edge to make sure that only one thing is selected.
- Everyone that I have seen talk about this game have been relentlessly harsh about the graphics and how terrible they allegedly are. I say allegedly because, in my personal opinion, I don’t think they look that bad. My personal standards for graphics have never been that high to begin with, but when I heard all the complaints, I was bracing myself for something truly horrific. And…it looks fine. It doesn’t look amazing, but it doesn’t look like “mobile game trash garbage” as people have been saying.
- When you look carefully, you will notice some jagginess and some textures that aren’t as detailed I would’ve liked, but that’s what I’m seeing through the headset. When I went back to see the footage on a flat screen, it looks way better. It’s kinda the same problem I have with PlayStation VR. Inside the headset, it might not look great, but on a TV it does look great. So, I hope Zen Studios find a way for there to not be such a big disparity between what I see in the headset, and what the game actually looks like. It could obviously be better, but I don’t think it’s bad enough to not recommend it.
The Fan Cave and Music
- The literal man cave that the game gives you as the main hub of the game is also pretty fun to move around in for a little bit. It’s nothing mind-blowing, but I do like the freedom of movement to see posters, statues and figurines you have unlocked over time. You can spin these unlockables around to see them from every angle, but that’s about it. It would’ve been nice to get a little more out of it, like a character bio or maybe some behind the scenes information on how all of these objects were made. Since this game is all about loving Star Wars, some more content on the memorabilia side of things would’ve been appreciated.
- And of course, it’s not a Star Wars game without the John Williams music that I’m not allowed to play here because of copyright reasons. Luckily, there’s a feature in the game that allows you to mute all of the copyrighted music if you’re streaming the game, but playing pinball is significantly less exciting without the music to accompany it. There’s also an in-game jukebox that you can use to play whatever music you unlock. What I don’t like is that the music only plays once and doesn’t loop to play for as long as you want. As soon as the song ends, the room goes quiet. I think this is ridiculous, especially when there’s an option to only play the song once, but even if you don’t, the song still plays only one time, so what’s the point? It would’ve been great if the game just automatically played everything, or at least allow us to create a playlist for songs we want to hear on a loop. This might even a bug that needs to be fixed, but still, I found it annoying having to go back to the jukebox over and over to keep selecting songs.
Career Mode and Lack of Tables
- Most of your time playing the game will most likely be spent on the career mode. Here you can play a ton of different challenges in order to unlock and upgrade Force Powers that you can use in other modes, such as slow motion, point multipliers other similar stuff. However, because there are so little tables to play with, most of the missions will repeat. You’ll be doing the same handful of missions over and over to the point that Career Mode loses it’s appeal very quickly.
- The only big complaint that I have with this game is that I simply want more tables for it. There are a total of 19 tables for Star Wars Pinball, and this VR version brings it up to 21. However, Star Wars Pinball VR only has 8 tables. Considering how much fun I was having playing the current selection, it really makes me want to see all of the tables make it into VR someday. I don’t know how much work or time it takes to bring the previous tables onto this newer game, but it would be a massive shame to only stay with this very small amount we currently have. Same thing goes for the items you can unlock. If it possible to have more figurines, posters, and toys to play around with, then go right ahead.
- Game’s good, but not great. The pinball itself is as good as it has always been, but everything surrounding it to spice up the experience is clunky, not well optimized for current VR standards, and has strange limitations that will turns people off from it. There’s is nothing here that can’t be fixed with patches and updates though. This game can become something great, but only if Zen Studios cares enough to do so.