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It’s the original pinball game *and* catching pocket monsters (Pokémon) at the same time.
I don’t claim to be any kind of games expert, but having bought a Game Boy Color, the first game I bought to go with it I thought, might as well be “colourful”. I bought Pokémon Blue, and completely exhausted that, and recently purchased Pinball, yet another “colourful” game. Better value than the original Pokémon Game Boy game I think – you get both red and blue cartridge Pokémon on one Game Boy game. There are two games to play on the cartridge - “the red table” and “the blue table”, and also, various “bonus stages” – such as “The Meowth stage” (you fire the pinball at Meowth, and gold coins fall down which you collect, or “The Diglett stage” (where you have to knock down all the Digletts, and the Dugtrio at the end).
Even if you don’t like Pokémon, you will like this game, and even if you know nothing about Pokémon, it doesn’t matter, as virtually everybody knows the principles of pinball. It is addictive (for me anyway, and for a friend who absolutely hates anything Pokémon!). It is a clever idea, and the principle of the game is the same as for the original Pokémon game. You still have to “Catch ‘em All”, but you do it as you play the pinball game.
Some of the objects you hit to get points are in fact Pokémon. For example on “the blue table”, the Pokémon points objects are three small Shellders, a Slowpoke, a Cloyster, a Polywag, and a Psyduck. On “the red table”, there are three Voltorbs in the middle, two Digletts and Dugtrios either side, a Bellsprout, a Staryu, and on both games a Pikachu stands on either side of channels to the pinball gates. On “red”, a Ditto guards the entrance to the “cave” which enables your Pokémon to evolve. Talking of which, evolution of your Pokémon takes place as it would in the normal game. You can either collect various “stones” to evolve your Pokémon, or else collect “Experience Points” during the “Evolution mode” of the game.
Mentioning “the modes” - this is where my patience wore a little thin however, as the accompanying instruction booklet contains a *lot* of information, and the pinball icons such as arrows and characters are small and difficult to see. There are different “modes” in the game, the “Catch ‘em” mode – which is activated once certain arrows are lit up, enables you to (surprise surprise!) catch the Pokémon, whose shadow outlines appear in the centre of the screen. The “Evolution mode” allows you to evolve the Pokémon you have caught, and the “Map mode” allows you to change the location where Pokémon appear (e.g. Pallet Town or Viridian Forest).
It comes with it’s own Rumble Pak, and a battery to go in it, which is very effective in giving you a little of the “contact” feeling of playing real pinball (vibrations as the pinball hits the objects etc), though none of the “table tilting”. You can save the game, your Pokédex (the list of Pokémon you have caught), as well as the top five high scores on both red and blue tables. You can also use your Game Boy printer (if you have one) to print out the high scores if you should so wish, and use infrared to transmit high scores between Game Boys (if, say, you got a high score on your friends Game Boy, and wanted proof of it on yours).
You really have to have a good read of the instruction booklet first, in order to know what all the little arrows, and lights and letters mean. If your eyesight is bad, unfortunately this is NOT the game for you! There’s probably loads I’ve missed out here, but then again, there’s loads of little things that make up this game. The most infuriating thing about Pokémon Pinball is probably on the “pinball” side as opposed to the “Pokémon” one. Those blooming pinball gates! I always manage to let the ball go straight through! Grrrrr!
Great opinion - I absolutely love this game! Thanks for such a great review of a fantastic game. I have a problem though - I can't get all the Pokémon, I have about 120, can you get any more? Thanks again, keep writing :)
clanmac4 02.02.2001 00:43
I have looked at this game but could not make my mind up,sound like a good addition. Thanks
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for the uninitiated to get their feet wet on Pokémon Pinball. Also, pinball fanatics should not dismiss this as a kid's game, because it's a solid pinball game, regardless of the Pokémon brand. Two Pokémon-themed tables, Red and Blue, are here for players to bounce the Pokéball around in hopes of catching up to 150 Pokémon monsters. The monsters are collected by hitting targets on the pinball tables and, once collected, the monsters can be perused in the popular Pokédex format. Owners of the Game Boy printer can print their prize collections and mount their characters on the wall, if they so desire. Unfortunately, the monsters collected in Pokémon Pinball cannot be traded with other Pokémon monsters from the Red, Blue, or Yellow games, making this game a stand-alone product. A unique aspect of the game is that it has a built-in rumble pack, which vibrates and shakes the Game Boy system as the Pokéball bounces around the screen. --Jeff Young