Metroid Prime Pinball Review

Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: October 24, 2005 Also On: None

I’ve never really understood entrepreneurship and risk-taking. It’s too, uh, risky for my tastes. Luckily, I’m not the one in charge of developing games for Nintendo, because once again they’ve completely blindsided me by taking one of their top franchises, Metroid, and mixed it with a completely random genre, pinball, creating a game that is simply one of the best of its kind. My first thought was, “Who wants to play a Metroid pinball game?” Well, I sure as hell wanted to once I tried the game out for the first time. After that, I was hooked. One pinball session turned into ten, minutes turned to hours, and as I learned the ropes…er, ramps of Metroid Prime Pinball, I’ve been made a fan.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

In the game you roll through seven of Metroid Prime’s different environments to collect artifacts and eventually destroy bosses like Omega Pirate, Meta Ridley, and Metroid Prime. Of course, in typical Metroid style, you’ll collect power-ups and backtrack through the different levels in order to progress. This makes the game quite challenging, but most pinball video games have a steep difficulty anyway.

In order to collect these artifacts, you have to complete challenges that are almost always involved with destroying a certain number of enemies in a limited amount of time without sending your ball into the gutter. These challenges get pretty difficult but maintain a level of excitement as you try to kill off as many enemies as possible without losing a ball. Essentially that’s what it always comes down to. I was surprised that my blood was pumping while playing a pinball video game, but it’s that gripping and it’s that exciting.

I’m really impressed with the graphics and the sound that come from Metroid Prime Pinball. Nintendo almost perfectly captured the look and feel of the GameCube classic, from the wet-looking, rainy Tallon Overworld to the powdery, snowy Phendrana Drifts. Even the tiny enemy sprites look and act just like their slick GameCube counterparts. Of course, they make the exact same sound effects as well while the game’s atmospheric music pounds in the background. Somehow a 2D pinball game captures the same feel as a super-detailed first-person shooter. It sure caught me off guard.

I’ve mentioned it several times that I can’t believe I enjoyed a pinball game so much, but it’s really not all that surprising when you consider how well it captures the feeling of the source matter, Metroid Prime. Once you’re finished with the final boss in the game’s Multi Mission mode, there’s the score-based Single Mission mode and a Wireless Multiplayer mode. That’s all there is, so unfortunately there aren’t many different modes of play. The Multi Mission mode is difficult but once you get the hang of the different levels, I’d say it only takes a few good sessions before you’ve completed the game. Still, this is the best pinball game you’re going to play for a very long time. Even after one play-through, you’ll want to play it over and over to get the highest score you possibly can. That’s the charm of pinball, and Metroid Prime Pinball does it perfectly. Check it out if you’re a Metroid fan, you might find yourself as addicted as I was.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 9
Written by Cliff Review Guide

Leave a Comment