PopCap's famous Plants vs. Zombies tower defense puzzle game has turned up across plenty of platforms spanning PCs to game consoles to handheld systems to mobile phones, but one medium in which we've yet to see it is the pinball table. That changes today with the launch of Zen Pinball 2 for the Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita which features a table dedicated to everyone's favorite undead-resistant plants (don't worry, Pinball FX 2 players, as the PvZ table is headed your way as well). The PlayStation Blog has a few screenshots of the table and some commentary from Jeff Green, Community Manager for PopCap Games, and Neil Sorens, Zen Studios’ Creative Director, regarding the design and creation of this awesome-looking pinball table.
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.
While a virtual table based on Plants vs. Zombies is one of the best things I've seen in the world of pinball, pinball video games just don't match the experience of playing a real table. What would it take for Zen's PvZ table to become an actual physical product? I want to walk into a future Game Warp event and find Crazy Dave and friends waiting for me. In the meantime, I suppose Zen Pinball 2 is as close as I can get. It's a free download on PSN, but the PvZ table (along with the other premium Zen tables) will cost extra. You'd better save up some sunlight if you plan to buy them all.