For the last couple years, the good people at Zen Studios have spent countless hours designing tables for their Pinball FX 2 and Zen Pinball 2 games that are based on Star Wars and Marvel Comics. But while they’ve obviously got more in the works — including, most likely, ones based the upcoming Star Wars cartoon Rebels, the movie Star Wars Episode VII, and the Ant Man film — I thought it would be fun to think about what other tables I’d like to play…and why I’ll probably never have the chance.
Why I’d Want To See It: The scene in Raiders Of The Lost Ark where Indy is being chased by a giant ball? The mine cart scene from Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom? Heck, an Indiana Jones pinball table practically designs itself.
Why I Probably Never Will: While Zen Studios obviously have a great relationship with LucasFilm, anything connected to Indiana Jones also has to go past director Steven Spielberg, which adds another layer of complexity to the negotiations. Just consider how few Indiana Jones video games there’s been in recent years, especially compared to Star Wars ones.
ROBOT CHICKEN OR ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS
Why I’d Want To See It: Easily one of the funniest shows on TV, especially when they do their Star Wars specials, Robot Chicken is so inventive and weird that it would be easy for the Zen kids to make a cool pinball table based on this Adult Swim cartoon (just imagine Bitch Pudding saying “BLAM!” every time you shoot the ball). And that goes double for a Robot Chicken Star Wars table.
Why I Probably Never Will: As fun as Robot Chicken may be, most of their characters are parodies of cartoons and other things, so getting the rights would be a legal nightmare. And while that would be less of an issue for a Robot Chicken Star Wars table, Disney and LucasFilm have other tables to make (see above).
THE RESIDENT EVIL GAMES
Why I’d Want To See It: Because one of my favorite moments in Zen’s new Walking Dead table is when you hit a zombie with a satisfying “thump” of the ball. Plus this series’ b-movie roots just screams for a pinball adaptation. And seeing as Zen previously made a table based on Capcom’s Street Fighter II Turbo…
Why I Probably Never Will: …except that the Street Fighter II Turbo was made for the original Pinball FX in 2008, and there hasn’t been another Capcom table since then. You also can’t get the Street Fighter II Turbo table for the Xbox One version of Pinball FX 2 or the PlayStation 4 edition of Zen Pinball 2. And seeing how Zen have, in the interim, made such zombie-themed tables as Plants Vs Zombies and Walking Dead, I have little hope of seeing Umbrella’s corporate logo on a Zen table anytime soon.
THE TV SHOW GAME OF THRONES
Why I’d Want To See It: Imagine a pinball table that starts with Eddard Stark’s beheading and goes from there. Morbid, sure, and heads don’t roll as smoothly as metal balls, but that would just add to the challenge.
Why I Probably Never Will: While Thrones writer George R.R. Martin would probably appreciate the gallows humor of a pinball table with severed heads for balls, I’m guessing the suits at HBO might have some reservations.
BIOSHOCK, BIOSHOCK 2, AND BIOSHOCK INFINITE
Why I’d Want To See It: Be it the water works in BioShock and BioShock 2, or the aerial tracks of BioShock Infinite, the vivid imagery in the BioShock games could inspire some truly interesting pinball tables. And then Zen could do a table based on another 2K Games’ series with distinctive visuals: Borderlands.
Why I Probably Never Will: No reason, really. Granted, Zen Studios have never done a table based on one of 2K Games, uh, games before, but there’s a first time for everything.
Got any better ideas? Let me know in the comments below. Or better yet, tell Zen Studios.