Review - Mario Pinball Land (GBA)

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by TheGreat2nd, Sep 10, 2006.

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Sep 10, 2006
  1. TheGreat2nd
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    Member TheGreat2nd [No Title]

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    Mario Pinball Land

    Welcome developer Fuse as they try to incorporate Mario into a pinball game. No, Mario is not playing pinball, because he is the ball. And probably, the faultiest part of this game, that most pinball video games suffer from is, bad physics. Nothing can compare to a real pinball machine, and this game really does a bad job emulating a pinball game. The best part of Mario Pinball? Nothing really. There is no storyline beyond Mario becoming a pinball and “trying to save the princess”. It’s just pinball with Mario as a ball. The storyline is pitiful. Toad just shows up and turns himself into a ball and launches himself at a target, on his own will. Why would Toad want to shoot himself out of a cannon at a target? Never even explained, just for the hell of it one would suppose. So, why not, Peach will turn into a ball and go fly into Bowser’s Castle. It’s funny, because the game doesn’t tell you why Mario just can’t stomp into the castle like a regular platformer, he just jumps into the machine and turns into a pinball as well. Oh joy, here starts a wonderful game, right? WRONG.

    Gameplay
    The whole game has only one table setup, and it’s a hexagon. No level design, just hexagon after hexagon. Besides the fact that every single stage is just mind numblingly plain, where you must destroy everything inside the screen, then try and hit some targets before time runs out. It’s kinda like Mario 64, except now you can’t move. You have to shoot Mario over and over through a series of tables. You collect stars in each table, or board, and unlock passageways, just like any original Mario game, where the objective is to collect stars and open up doors. But, alas, this only leads to more of the same, and bland pinball design. Every level feels the same, besides the backgrounds. You have snowmen, and when Mario hits a snowman, he bounces off. Mario sees a beehive, he hits it and he bounces off. There are no ramps, no pitfalls or holes in the floor to enter, no flashing lights…it’s just one map after another, more and more of the same. Not to mention that the pinball physics are totally berserk in a bad way. Most of the time, you’ll try to hold Mario between the flippers, and maybe aim a shot, but each time he comes rolling down the side, he will roll over your flippers and on to the other side, leaving you no time to line up a shot, but just flail your flipper, mashing Mario somewhere into the board. It’s funny because this game is broken beyond belief. One thing to note are the “boss fights”. In one example, you are fighting Petey Piranha. Simple enough, you have to hit him a few times, right? No. Not simple. You have to hit him three times a row without falling through the bottom and leaving the map. You leave the map and you have to come back and start your little three hits over. So, you’ve finally conquered the map, and killed Petey Piranha. Good luck trying to get the star in the middle of the map, because you have absolutely no control over Mario. But wait, it gets better. If you fall through the bottom and leave the map before grabbing the star, you have to fight Petey Piranha all over again. No star for you, you have to earn it all over again. Combined with the horrible physics of this train wreck of a Mario pinball game, it’s just an absolute fiasco.

    Graphics
    The graphics are above par, and at least Fuse did something right. They are 3D and Nintendo branded, with the traditional Goombas, Desert Levels, and those pesky Ice levels. The levels scream of the Mario universe, but it’s hard to notice the backgrounds and subtle touches to different levels when every level is the same, mixed with the mounting frustration of not being able to control Mario. The graphics are bright and typical Nintendo, but it’s just not possible to appreciate it while playing this game.

    Sound
    The sound and music are also above par. There is some voice work involved, along with a few original tunes that go into the game, both meshing perfectly with the Mario universe. But again, most of this music will fall into deaf ears if the game can’t make expectations in the gameplay department.

    Lasting Replay
    The lasting replay of this game is low to none because if you’ve beat this game, you should probably go flush the cart down the toilet. Many of the missions are hard, frustrating to beat using horrible pinball physics. After the completion of the game, it’s almost useless to go back and submit yourself to more torture, even if you want to compete for high scores, which all in all, is not the point of this specific game.

    Please, please stay away from this game. Even if you want some portable pinball action, just go buy a DS and get Metroid Prime Pinball, a much better produced game. This piece of junk is just bland map after map, exploring with a floaty ball that can’t be controlled. Fuse just dropped the ball, and Nintendo dropped the ball hiring them. It’s hard to understand where Nintendo could have gone wrong, seeing how they developed those original pinball games on the original Game Boy, including Kirby Pinball Land. Nintendo could have made this game into something really good, incorporating adventure elements from the Mario 64 game, and add in excellent pinball physics, mixing unique pinball tables, to actually create a playable game. But, this pinball piece of turd is just not that good, and is definitely one that should be left on the shelves and out of Nintendo’s (and Mario’s) history.

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    Gameplay - 3/10
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
    Lasting Replay - 2/10
    Overall - 5/10 (Not an average)
     
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