Pulse Reviews – “Metroid Prime Pinball”

Dan Myers and Dan Myers

Grade: A-

A classically non-virtual pastime like pinball might seem like an odd choice for the handheld Nintendo DS system.

But “Metroid Prime Pinball” turns out to be a perfect fit. Fun and challenging, it’s ideal for 5 minute playing between classes – or while sitting in one.

A pinball game at its core, its locales, music and overall presentation are derived from the “Metroid Prime” series of sci-fi shooter games on GameCube.

It pulls off the series’ transition to the DS very well – “Pinball’s” boards are beautifully drawn alien landscapes taken from Metroid Prime levels and its soundtrack is remarkably faithful to the ambient music the series is known for.

“Pinball” uses the DS’ two shoulder buttons to control flippers in-game. This works pretty well with one’s thumbs pressing onto the system’s shell for balance, but playing for extended periods of time will cause some wrist pain.

The ball’s physics feel like a real ball would roll, and to aid the realism, a “Rumble Pak” – a cartridge that fits in the DS’ GBA slot and vibrates when the ball hits an obstruction – ships with the game.

On top of everything are minigames activated by hitting certain switches on the table – they’re fun and break up the action well.

Overall, “Pinball” is a good pick-up-and-go title that works best in short bursts.