Metroid Prime Pinball
Metroid Prime Pinball is nearly upon us and we're bracing for impact.
Similar to seeing a naked woman on stilts back flipping over parked cars, the arrival of Nintendo's Metroid Prime Pinball is one of those moments that causes me to go, "the hell"!?! I mean, where did this game come from? Where's the advertising? Where's the preview coverage (because the stuff on the "bigger" sites just plain sucks)? This game sort of came out nowhere as in it ships next week! Yeah, I was surprised too!
Part of the reason why things have been so quiet just might be because Nintendo's great at keeping secrets, or the fact that Metroid Prime Pinball was developed by Fuse Games, the same developer responsible for the frigidly received GBA title Mario Pinball Land (I liked it). But its portfolio aside, it appears that Fuse has done a kick ass job on this game because it looks rather enjoyable.
The short of it is you're knocking Samus (in ball form) across pinball tables that take up both DS screens, and much like old school TG16 Devil's Crush (Google it) and the exquisite Pinball of the Dead (Google that), you'll use your flippers to drive Samus straight into all sorts of enemies, so this is more combat pinball than the traditional stuff your parents (or legal guardians) are used to. You'll splat all sorts of familiar creatures from the Metroid Prime series, locate hidden artifacts, pick up various power ups like those famous missiles, and battle titanic bosses that take up three quarters of the top screen.
The game's Multi-Mission Mode contains six very different tables, each of which carries a signature Metroid theme. There's also tons of unlockable goodies, Time Attack (where you square off against the game's bosses in battles against the clock), Score Attack (where you just play old school pinball), and multiplayer for up to eight people on a single cart!
As you should clearly see, there's plenty of stuff to do in Metroid Prime Pinball, but the overall experience goes far beyond killing aliens. Fuse Games is also including a rumble pack with each copy of the game. Resembling a GBA cart, you plug it into the bottom slot and it causes the DS to shake. Then there's the ability to actually tilt the boards by tapping the touch screen, and the music, well, let's just say that this may turn out to be the most aurally impressive Nintendo DS game to date. I haven't been able to listen to all of the music, but what I've heard is pure Metroid goodness, the type of stuff you'll want to blast as loud as you can.
Then there's the graphics, and the game's definitely not lacking in the visual department. Fuse has taken advantage of the hardware and produced a title that features lots of great character animation and snazzy effects (some of which are in full 3D). It's just a very attractive game that makes excellent use of the system's technical capabilities. However, it's a bit of a shame that we have to deal with the separation between screens. But I'm thinking that, much like Sega's Sonic Rush, we'll get used to it.
Providing all goes according to plan, Metroid Prime Pinball begins shipping to stores on October 24 and Modojo will run the review on that very same day to give you the heads up on whether Nintendo's latest is a yay or nay. Till then, consume some nachos for no logical reason, party like mad, and sharpen those pinball skills. Wait...you sharpen those pinball skills, and I'll eat all of your nachos. That's better!