Pinball is something that most of our parents grew up with, and probably very few of us have had the pleasure of playing a truly great pinball game. My closest interaction to pinball in recent years has been purchasing the backlit film to a [i]Super Mario Brothers[/i] pinball game off eBay. The game of pinball is an ingeniously simple yet addicting one. Throw in one of Nintendo’s most successful and loved franchises, and you are sure to have a winner on your hands.
Fans of the [i]Metroid franchise[/i] are undoubtedly aware of their heroine’s ability to turn into a Morph Ball. This unique ability was a perfect fit for the [i]Metroid[/i] franchise to make the jump to pinball. [i]Metroid Prime Pinball[/i] has a few different game modes: multi-mission, single mission, and multiplayer. Multi-mission is where the bulk of gameplay occurs. It allows you to choose from two starting tables and then gradually transition to additional tables. These additional tables are then unlocked in the single-mission gameplay. Multiplayer is a mere score competition between up to eight people and requires only one gamecard, which is a nice feature.
[i]Metroid Prime Pinball[/i] really excels in its [i]Metroid[/i] theme. The music, visuals, and even special effects are spot on for the franchise. Enemies from the [i]Metroid[/i] games also rear their ugly faces. Throughout the tables, you will be able to activate short minigames that bring Samus out of Morph Ball form and pit you against a bevy of nasty enemies. Lucky for you, Samus is packing a gun. Completion of these ‘mini-modes’ results in lots of points to boost your score. Things like force field and multi-ball also show up to aid your pursuit of an ever-growing high score.
Boss fights also appear on various tables. These boss fights typically result in you hitting the ball into the boss to defeat them. Your Morph Ball also packs a life meter, so be careful.
[i]Metroid Prime Pinball[/i] sports a number of different methods to control the various flippers. You can use the shoulder buttons, Left and Right, or Left and A. My favorite was the Left and A combination. You can also use the touch screen to bump the table. Since [i]Metroid Prime Pinball[/i] makes use of both screens on the DS, there can be a slight adjustment to make when keeping track of the ball’s position as it travels between the two screens. This should be a relatively quick adjustment for most people.
A neat bonus included with [i]Metroid Prime Pinball[/i] is the rumble pak. The rumble pak looks like a black GBA cartridge and fits into the GBA slot of the DS. It gives a nice amount of force feedback when the ball hits bumpers. It adds to the realism of the pinball experience. If you don’t want to play with vibration, you can remove the pak or disable it in the game options.
[i]Metroid Prime Pinball[/i] is an extremely fun game that really could have benefited from additional tables. The game is addictive enough that even the limited number of tables will keep you coming back for more. [i]Metroid Prime Pinball[/i] is definitely a must-own game for any DS owner, and even more so for [i]Metroid[/i] fans.