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Metroid Prime Pinball Review
Metroid Prime Pinball
by Nintendo
Reviewer: Michael Knutson
Review Date: 12/05/2005

Time to play a mean game of Pinball

Believe it or not, the one machine that used to dominate arcades way back when was the pinball machine. Even though the pinball heyday was over by the time I was old enough to go to arcades with my friends, I can still remember seeing various pinball machines in there, and playing them from time to time. There is just something so addictive about them that make players want to drop in their coins to see if they have what it takes to obtain the highest score. Throughout the years various companies have released pinball games on video-game consoles based on their popular franchises, and now Metroid Prime is getting the same treatment. Read on to find out if you can or cannot live without this game.

There are three main modes to this game. The first one is Single Mission which allows players to obtain the highest score possible on one table. Wireless mission lets you play with up to seven friends on one table to see if they can get the highly score. The last one is the real meat of the game and it is called Multi Mission. In here players will help Samus collect various Artifacts, which open up new tables. In this mode players will face various enemies and bosses, which makes this game have a real Metroid feel to it. If you beat them you will unlock more tables to be used in the other two game modes.

Unlike a lot of pinball games that are on the market, Metroid Prime Pinball feels more like a real pinball game for various reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that this game utilizes both screens so there is no scrolling of the game when the ball is hit. If you hit it to the top of the table, it will be there in an instant and you can see it clear as day, instead of waiting for the game to scroll up so you can see what is going on. This makes targeting various items easier and makes the game feel much more like a real pinball game.

What makes this game so unique is that since this game is taken off of the Metroid Prime franchise, players will be seeing a lot of things that will remind them of the game. For instance many of the table designs are taken from the game, which makes players feel at home if they love the series. One of the best things about the game is all of the unique mini games that this game offers. My favorites are Metroid Mania, Shriekbat Shootout, and the Wall Jump. All of these mini games really help give this pinball game more flare, which makes it more fun to play.

Players will notice the minute that they open up the game box that there are two Game Cards in there, one is the actual game and the other is a rumble pack. This freebee that the developers included in the game gives players a better sensation of playing in the arcades by feeling the various rumbles as the game lingers on. While the rumble isn’t as powerful as I was imagining it to be, it really works out well. I cannot wait to see what other developers will be able to do to take advantage of this rumble pack. A new era of handheld gaming might be upon us just like the first time the rumble pack was used in console gaming.

One thing that I really liked about this game is how you “nudge” the table. To nudge the table players must rest a finger close to the touch screen, and when they need to nudge it all they have to do is move their finger in the direction they want on the screen. Even though this took some practice and time to get used to it, this way is really inventive and easy to use once you get the hang of it.

The developers did a really good job with the graphics for Metroid Prime Pinball. The way that the game is split between the two screens works really well, and makes it really fun to play. There are various special effects that the developers put in this game that make it look even better such as the various environmental effects. The environments that you will be playing on will look reminiscent to players if you have even played a Metroid game. Even though I wish there was more levels to play on, the ones that the developers did include are awesome. One thing that I really liked is that no matter how many Samus’ there were on the screen that the game never slowed down and the action kept on going.

The sound for the game was also really well done. If you have ever played any Metroid games then you will fall in love since the game includes some good music as well as all of the classic sound effects that players have come to love and enjoy over the years. You will find yourself cranking up the volume on your headphones so you can immerse yourself in the game and you will find yourself having a blast doing so.

A really unique and enjoyable thing about this game is the multiplayer aspect. If you have up to eight friends that have a Nintendo DS, then all of you will be able to play as long as just one of you has the game. How this works is that each player is given their very own pinball board and in that board they will have to see if they can score the highest points. I really liked that the developers allowed their fans to do this, as now if people can see how much fun this game is with their friends, then it will make them want to go pick up a copy of it for themselves.

Metroid Prime Pinball is rated E for Everyone. It also supports up to eight person wireless multiplayer.

Review Scoring Details for Metroid Prime Pinball

Gameplay: 8.4
If you know how to play Pinball then you will know what to expect here, in a way. I really liked how the developers mixed in classic pinball gaming with various missions and things that must be accomplished to move on. The transition and mix of the two really makes this game a blast to play.

Graphics: 8.5
Metroid Prime Pinball is a really good looking game for the Nintendo DS. The animations for all of the characters look nice as well as the various level themes you will be playing in.

Sound: 7.2
The music sounds just like all of the classic Metroid that you have grown accustomed to hearing over the various years.

Difficulty: Easy
This game will be hard for newcomers but once you understand the mechanics and the controls of the game you will find a nice challenge that is not too hard or easy at the same time.

Concept: 9.0
I have to say that the developers really put some neat ideas in for this game. First of all there is the free rumble pack which makes the game feel more like you are playing a real Pinball machine. Then there is the unique way of bumping the table, plus many other extras in the game that keep players coming back time and time again for more.

Multiplayer: N/A
Metroid Prime Pinball supports up to eight-person wireless multiplayer with one Game Card.  At the time of this review I was unable to test this feature.

Overall: 8.5
If you are a fan of Pinball games or of the Metroid Prime franchise, then this is a game for you. Even though the adventure mode is kind of short, you can still find plenty of replayability with its nice multiplayer features.

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Metroid Prime Pinball Review

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