Game: Metroid Prime Pinball
Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: JP: TBA, NA: 10/24/05
Genre: Pinball
Players: 1-8

Take Samus for a spin.

Metroid Prime Pinball follows the same story at Nintendo's sci-fi hit, Metroid Prime. The difference, however, is that Samus spends most of her time in morph ball mode. Our heroine travels from locale to locale (pinball table to pinball table) battling Space Pirates, Metroids, and other nasty critters native to Tallon IV (the setting of both games). Some boss encounters from the original Prime return in the handheld outing as well. They are: Thardus, Omega Pirate, Meta Ridley, and Metroid Prime. The adventure mode, called multi-mission, can be completed in as little as an hour, but that's okay. This is a pinball game with built-in multiplayer. The fun lies in raising your high score or siccing metroids on your friends while you race to get the most points the fastest.

Tables Available
Metroid Prime Pinball features six tables in multi-mission (story) mode and one table in multiplayer mode. The tables all take up as much room as the DS allows, and it's not as hard to look at two screens simultaneously as you might think. The tables capture the feeling and atmosphere of Metroid Prime really well. It sporadically rains on the Tallon Overworld, the Artifact Temple looks like it was build by the Chozo (blue glow and all), and the Space Pirate Frigate is just as dark and industrial as it was in the original. The single-player tables are:

  • Tallon Overworld
  • Space Pirate Frigate
  • Phendrana Drifts (boss table, Thardus)
  • Phazon Mines (boss table, Omega Pirate)
  • Artifact Temple (boss table, Meta Ridley)
  • Impact Crater (boss table, Metroid Prime)

The multiplayer table is:

  • Magmoor Caverns

Each table has opportunities to gather extra balls, accrue points, and run side missions. Side missions range from standard pinball fare to Metroid-specific. For example, the Tallon Overworld offers a burrower beatdown (targets pop up, you push them down), triclops fight (lay bombs or else the triclops spit you between the flippers), metroid fight (hit hard or they'll latch on), and a Power Beam battle against some beetles (Samus comes out of Morph Ball and shoots from a stationary position between the flippers).

Graphics and Sound
Metroid Prime Pinball looks a lot like its GameCube sibling. The graphics are extremely well done. It's never a chore to figure out where the ramps are or what might be dangerous. The sound is appropriate on both counts. Metroid Prime Pinball sounds like a pinball game, and it sounds like a Metroid game.

Metroid Prime Pinball is a good pinball game. With seven tables, it is more than adequate in terms of variety. When you factor in the fun multiplayer, the value only increases. Eight people can play on only one copy of the game. The game also comes with the Nintendo DS Rumble Pak. The pak rumbles when Samus bounces off a bumper or hits a baddie. It really solidifies the pinball feel, and Nintendo plans on using the Rumble Pak in other games, too. At the time or writing, Nintendo has said that Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (the sequel to Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga) and Mario Kart DS will use the Rumble Pak.

This game is a no-brainer for pinball fans that also love Metroid. Multiplayer is fun, and I'm a sucker for a pack-in (the DS Rumble Pak). It's quick, it's fun, and it's definitely worth your time.

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