Review - Battle Pinball

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Trev
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Review - Battle Pinball

Post by Trev » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:45 pm

** This game was released exclusively in Japan **

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Japan Data Works … where do I recognize that name from? I got it, ‘Real Pinball’! (oh no! :shock: ) With those three words read, my expectations immediately plummeted. Don’t worry though, because Battle Pinball (while not great) is better than it’s predecessor. Plus, it’s an import so I’m naturally more forgiving.

A space introduction? In a pinball game? Only on 3DO my friends! :wink: Actually the opening music is kinda catchy (more so than the in-game tunes) It reminds me of one of my old favorite NES games, Star Tropics.

Battle Pinball is English friendly in the sense that it’s just pinball and therefore easy to play. However, unlike many import titles, there is hardly a hint of English. The six choices are all in Japanese, but here is what I was able to figure out.

The first choice lets you select a computer opponent who appears on the right side of the screen with you on the left (similar to puzzle games like Bust a Move or Trip’d) What’s curious is that each player plays on their own themed table rather than identical ones. Some tables are more conducive to points … hmmm. :? Well, it gives you a chance to learn which players are stronger (aka which ones have easier tables) I wasn’t thrilled at first, but after playing for a while it did grow on me.

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The second choice is similar, but with you trying to eliminate every cpu opponent in turn (the order seems to be a random selection) Beating this mode rewards you with a brief character specific cut scene. It has to be said that Battle Pinball does have much more in the personality department than Real Pinball.

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The remaining choices are a two player mode (which I have yet to test) some kind of playoff mode (complete with a tree or bracket showing the competition) options, and credits. The credits are presented as scrolling lines of text through space similar to Star Wars, and have the characters waving goodbye to you. Unless I am mistaken, this is the only place in the game which actually identifies the name of the game as Battle Pinball.

Two minor side notes on the aforementioned, in both the playoff mode and the credits I found that I could not exit without reseting the multiplayer. This is something I’ve been noticing more and more in Japanese games as of late. Am I really that ignorant of the language?

As far as graphics and sounds go, Battle Pinball does a servicable job. The tables, while looking too modest for a 32-bit 3DO game, are colorful and benefit by being presented from a more traditional view. This makes it much easier to play without having to strain to see high targets, and perhaps is an acknowledgment that Real Pinball had it wrong and nearly every other pinball game released since the 2600 had it right. :P The characters are an interesting lot as well. The tunes (like Real Pinball) seem steeped in Japanese culture, and while this isn’t really my thing they didn’t annoy.

As imports go Battle Pinball is decent, and I'm glad to own it. :)

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-Trev
Last edited by Trev on Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by stienreys » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:02 am

Turn this mode rewards you a brief characters specific cut-scene. It must be said that the Battle Pinball did not have much more in the department of personality that the Real Pinball. while watching too small for a more traditional view. This makes it much easier to play without having to strain to see high goals ..

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Post by Austin » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:27 am

This is a neat one with some decent qualities. The sound is fitting I suppose, and the physics are much better than Real Pinball. The tiny, tiny flippers however make it difficult to aim properly (And it's weird getting the ball to shoot up the table appropriately), but with a little practice it seems it's much more controllable than the other pinball effort on the 3DO. What I am most impressed with though is how smooth the game runs. The graphics aren't pretty, sure, but the framerate is so smooth (One of the smoothest on the 3DO, easily), it can be forgiven.

My only real qualm with this game is that I can't find much reason to play it by myself. I would imagine this to be a great two-player game though (Which I haven't tried), much like Bust-A-Move and Trip'd. Now that I think of it, playing Battle Pinball multiplayer is probably more akin to Twinkle Star Sprites from the Neo Geo though, which isn't a bad thing at all.

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Post by Trev » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:48 pm

I still haven't tried this in 2 player mode either. I'm sure you are right though, most of these types of games excel w/multiplayer. (Trip'd in particualr is really designed for 2 players) Even playing solo though, Battle Pinball still trumps 'Real Pinball'.
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Post by Austin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:32 am

Well, Trev, I must have been drunk when I posted my last comment on this game (I probably was, now that I think about it).

I just received this in the mail today, and really it's not very good. The physics is enough to ruin it in itself. Like, there being no physics, essentially. No ball inertia. When you hit the ball, the ball doesn't fly up strong like it should. It floats up, and your flipper even goes through it. It's completely out of whack. It makes it really tough to make accurate shots, nor do they feel good. Shots are supposed to feel good in pinball. This misses the mark.

I think it would have also been nice if this game had single-table options, with more goals on each playfield. That would have been easy to implement, and had given the game more replay value with a high score keeping system (not to mention a larger playfield, theoretically).

Ah well, I guess I can't complain too much. The point is moot in this day and age. I have a legitimate copy, and I guess it's something to talk about, and a neat little collector's item if anything (I don't see any on the evilbay as I write this).

It's still going on my "Failed Japanese Exclusives That Had Potential" list though. :lol:

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Post by Trev » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:43 am

Austin wrote:Well, Trev, I must have been drunk when I posted my last comment on this game (I probably was, now that I think about it).

I just received this in the mail today, and really it's not very good.
:lol:
Most wanted - Eye of Typhoon, 3DO Magazines issues #14 & #15, Pro Stadium, Defcon 5

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