Sunday, January 8, 2006

Metroid Prime Pinball review

Ah pinball. You can never go wrong with the classic table game. And this also happened to feature Samus Aran - which explains why Metroid Prime Hunters has been delayed for over a year. Samus has been moonlighting from her bounty hunter duties by being smacked around on a giant pinball table blasting Metroids and Space Pirates.

Making creative use of the Metroid Prime license, Fuse Games has recreated some of the well known locations featured on Metroid Prime games. In Metroid Prime Pinball, you will be hitting Samus Aran in her Morph Ball around pinball tables that were designed based on Metroid Prime universe. This isn't a bad thing as revisiting Retro's GameCube classic locations does give the game a nice production class. Even the music and sound are rehashed versions from older games. I am not complaining but some may accuse the British developers of being lazy.

There are two single player modes to choose from. One being Multi-Mission where there are levels to be defeated and the Single-Mission mode which is classic pinball - getting the highest score possible. There is also a multiplayer mode which only requires a single game cart. You can play with up to seven other NDS players and only one of you has to actually own the game. Unlike Mario Kart DS, the multiplayer game features a special multiplayer only table.

The graphic is wonderful. The developers have opted to use sprites to create a pseudo-3D effect location and it works well. The lack of high polygon count meant that the frame rate remained smooth throughout the game, even when there are up to eight Morph balls out there. 99% of the gameplay involves hitting Samus in her Morph Ball as she rakes up points. With two screens playing pinball is dead easy on the NDS. There is a 'dead zone' between the two screens where you can't see Samus but if you ever played Sonic Rush then this shouldn't be a problem. You will get used to it regardless.

Combat Ready mode is available as Samus regains her human form and starts blasting around at enemies. Even in Morph Ball mode Samus can drop bombs around just like in her Metroid Prime games. Fuse has also taken advantage of the NDS touch screen by even including the ability to 'tilt' the table. This can be done by rubbing the touch screen whenever you see fit.

Rumble Pak bundle

The game comes bundled with a Nintendo DS Rumble Pak. This is the size of a GBA cart and slots into the NDS GBA slot. It brings rumble mode to the NDS platform but early reports of its weakness proved to be quite true. The vibrating unit is weak and noisy. Reading through the manual revealed that the noise is apparently normal. It could prove annoying if you decide to play the game with the sound mute. Other games will also take advantage of the Rumble Pak and so far that includes Mario and Luigi 2: Partners in Time and Metroid Prime Hunters.

It's A pinball game. Yay!

Not enough pinball tables.


Buy now from Play-Asia or Amazon UK

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