Review by Psycho Penguin

"Help Mario.. play pinball!"

I have always been a relatively big fan of Pinball, whether it is in the Arcades as a pinball machine, or in video game console format. But I will say I have usually enjoyed almost any pinball game I have ever got the chance to play. And Pinball for the NES is one of those Pinball games I just happened to enjoy. It may not be the most graphically pleasing game of all time, and the pinball physics were actually not that great, despite what I might have thought, but overall I had a lot of fun playing this game. It is definitely a lot of fun, and provides something a little different from the average pinball game, despite the fact they all utilize the same basic game play structure and ideas.

The game itself is not too much different than the average pinball game, as you have to use the various contraptions found around the pinball area itself in order to gain various points, etc. Otherwise, there is not much to do here. There is this one mini game you can play through that I found, where Mario basically has to use the paddle and ball in order to save the princess or something. That is about it, but overall I actually found myself enjoying this game. I was expecting to enjoy it a lot more than I did at first, but over time the game grew on me, and now it is one of my favorite pinball games of all time.

I have not played any other pinball games on the NES at the time of this writing, but I will say this might just be the best one out there. I do not see how a pinball game on the NES could get any more fun. From using the penguins to get special scores, to using the various bouncing objects to gain points, there is a lot of fun to be had here. It is definitely one of the more fun pinball experiences I have played. And I have played a few pinball games over the years, ranging from Devil’s Crush on the Turbografx to stuff like Star Wars and Addams Family when it comes to actual pinball via real pinball machines. So, I know a few things about pinball. I am not a newbie! =)

I remember playing this game for the first time a few years back and I remember not being completely blown away by the game. I felt it was fun, but I did not think it was as great as it could have been. After all, I had always liked most pinball games, so I expected to enjoy this one, as well, especially when the almighty Nintendo is making it. I was not impressed with the game too much at first, but as always I learned to play the game, and I soon enjoyed playing it a lot. I never got into it the way I expected to, but overall I was pleasantly surprised by the game after I was disappointed with it at first.

There is not much of a story line to this game, as you might expect. It is a pinball game, and there have not been many pinball games released that featured story lines. Sure, there may have been the rare exception to the rule, like that game on Turbografx 16, but I was not expecting to see a story line in this game, so I am not that disappointed, at all.

The graphics in the game are actually pretty good, as I was fairly impressed by the quality of them. The backgrounds are the basic black color, and the array of colors employed in front of the background looks wonderful. Everything has a different color, and it all looked very well done. I especially liked how fast the game moved, as there was never any slowdown or anything. I loved the graphics in the game for the most part, although I will admit they could have been a little better. Regardless, they were solid for the most part.

The music and sound effects were definitely solid. I liked the music in the game, despite the fact there was really only a limited amount of it. Regardless, the music that was featured (like the music in the title screen) was definitely well done, in my opinion. The sound effects in the game are the basic pinball fare all the way, with all the bounces and bloops you have come to know and love. I liked the sound effects in the game, despite the fact there was not much of a variety to them, at all. Regardless, I was impressed with both the music and sound effects featured in the game.

The game is easy enough to control, as the game moves at a fairly brisk pace, yet it is still simple to move the ball around. Basically, you use either button to hoist the ball into the air. Then from there, you can use the paddles to move the ball back up. B for the left paddle, A for the right paddle, and the Select button will also come into play, as will the directional pad, because you need to aim the ball in different directions, and you can only do that by using the directional pad.

The game itself is fun to play, despite the fact that it is pretty simple. You only have the one course to choose from, and it is double sided, so you will be going up and down on occasion. There is a lot of stuff to do while you are playing this game. You can try to collect as much points as you possibly can by using the ball to get points around the course, or you can try some of the more challenging things, like lining up cards properly, or lining up three chickens in a row. These actions reward you pretty well, although they are pretty tough to do sometimes.

The physics of the ball is not perfect, but it is better than I expected. The ball moves at a fast and brisk pace, and it rarely goes off course. It always seems to go in a straight line, until it hits a bumper of course, then it will shoot off to the side or something. Of course, this is to be expected, after all, that happens in pinball all the time. The mini game in this game is fun, as you have to control a moving ball rapidly by having Mario move a paddle around to the left and right, trying to bounce it off. It is definitely very fun!

This game does not offer an outstanding amount of replayablity, but I will say I played the game a lot at first. I have always been a pretty big fan of pinball, so I expected to like this game, and I did like. And since the game was pretty damn fun to play through, with the mini games and rewards and stuff, plus getting high scores also adds to the replayability because in the two player mode you can challenge a friend to get a higher high score, so that will make you want to replay the game a lot.

In terms of challenge, Pinball is in a league of its own. The game never seems to end, therefore making the game impossible to complete, it would seem. I felt the game could have benefited from a variety of courses at varying challenges, but I guess that's old Nintendo for you. The games released around this time were not that complex, so maybe I was expecting too much when I expected the game to have a variety of courses. The game was pretty challenging.

Overall, I was impressed with this game, although I was not blown away by it. I really enjoyed playing the game, despite its few flaws. The game was really fun to play, and I had a blast playing it while I did. The game kinda got outdated for me after a while, but I expected it to kind of get boring. But overall I really did enjoy playing this game, and I am sure you will too! It is definitely worth a purchase if you can find it cheap enough, especially if you are a huge pinball fanatic. This is not the perfect game, of course, but it is close as perfect to a pinball game I have played on consoles so far, with the obvious exception of the king of all that is pinball, Demon’s Crush.

Good Points
-The ball physics were surprisingly decent.
-I liked the graphics in the game.
-The music and sound effects were decent.
-I liked the two player mode of the game.

Not So Good Points
-The single player game got boring after a while.
-Music would have been distracting, but I would have liked a nicer variety nevertheless.
-The graphics were not perfect.
-More than one course would have been nice.

I Run Down the Ratings.. DaLadiesMan Style!
Story Line - Not Available
Graphics - 8.3/10
Music - 8.2/10
Sound Effects - 8.1/10
Control - 8.3/10
Game Play - 8.3/10
Replay Value - Above Average (Mike Sanders)
Challenge - Above Average (Mike Sanders)
Is this game worth a purchase? - Definitely.
Overall - 8.4/10

The Last Line
I was impressed with this game, despite its flaws. It was fun to play, and I really had an enjoyable time playing through it. And isn't that all that really matters? I think so, because I really enjoyed playing this game, despite its flaws. It was simply a blast to play! I really think you will enjoy it if you give it a chance, so make sure that if you have the chance to play this game, that you take advantage of it, because this is truly a solid pinball game!

And that’s a Ladies Man guarantee!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/06/01, Updated 07/16/01


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