Reviewed: Pinball Deluxe (Nintendo DS)

I love pinball games, and back during the heydays of shareware, Epic Pinball was one of the main stays in my “big” (back then) 420 MB harddrive. But I wonder whatever happened to that shareware distributor, I  remember subscribing to their newsletter (which was more like a huge listing of shareware stuff) on Computer Shopper Malaysia magazine but that was many donkey years ago. They gave out shareware diskettes through that magazine as well, if I remember correctly.

In any case, the only other pinball game that competed for my attention was the ubiquitous Pinball, the scurge of productivity for anyone running a Windows PC. And for the past 2 years, Metroid Prime Pinball along with the included Rumble Pak rank as one of the most played games on my Nintendo DS. The game is so good that it’s hard to believe that people still make pinball games for the DS.

But always willing to give games a chance (Speed Racer wouldn’t have been highly recommended by yours truly if I took it at face value as a movie tie-in and didnt play it), I decided to check out Pinball Deluxe for my favourite handheld platform, the Nintendo DS.

The first thing that you’ll notice is that Pinball Deluxe trumps Metroid Prime Pinball in the number of boards available, as they are divided into two themes, toys and sports, which further drilldown to individual boards for tennis, soccer,etc.. However quantity doesn’t equate quality as these boards are rather simple bothering on being boring.

While the boards feel like they were pieced together with little imagination, the gameplay suffers from lag as the pinball itself travels as though it has an anvil chained to it. And if you must know, the Adventure Mode will have you fulfilling objectives such as scoring x amount of points for a particular board, and by doing so unlocks the board for the Free Play mode. A pretty standard modus operandi for this sort of game.

At the end of the day (or the play-through session) Pinball Deluxe doesn’t really live up to it’s name. Having a huge number of boards doesn’t stick as a plus point as the quality is questionable at best (with some capable of putting you to sleep), and if you are in a situation where you have to choose between Metroid Prime Pinball (click here for purchase info) and Pinball Deluxe, pick the former. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it.

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