Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire - GBA

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Viewed: 2D Top-down, Multi-way scrolling Genre:
Simulation: Pinball
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Nintendo Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (US/GB)
Released: 14 Nov 2003 (GB)
28 Aug 2003 (US)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: GameCube Game Boy Player
Connectivity: GC/GBA Link Cable


If you really do have to catch 'em all, then this is the very best way to do it. Pokemon Pinball was such an addictive game the first time around on Game Boy Color. This version for GBA is even better. Some serious hours will be spent playing this all the way through, we'll wager. Props to Nintendo too: another Pokemon title may seem like overkill to some, but when we come across a game targeted at a young audience that causes such a kerfuffle among a bunch of mature (!?) adults - that'll be us, then - we have to doff our caps. This pinball game could easily have had a perfunctory Pokemon presence, but they're all here to be collected and evolved, and what's more, the two tables - Ruby and Sapphire - are two of the best we've played on GBA since Binary 9's fantastic Ultimate Pinball Challenge.

So it's not just a pinball game with Pokemon tossed in to empty a youngster's pocket; no, Nintendo has included all the creatures from the Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire games - Squirtle, Psyduck, Slowpoke - they're all here to be gathered and trained. The two tables are full of features such as good old Spoink (it gets the ball into play) while Pikachu helps prevent the ball in play being lost by lurking in the gutters, and if some of the larger monsters can be found on the table, they can gobble up the ball and activate Catch mode, Travel, Evolve and the like.

Ordinary Pinball is all about scoring lots of points by keeping the ball in play for as long as possible, and as a basic pinball experience, it works brilliantly. But this is more than ordinary pinball. It's not over until all the little monsters are caught and resident in your Pokedex. Most of the Pokemon can be caught just by keeping the ball in play and hitting the right targets and bumpers at the right times, but some monsters are rarer than others, and need some hard work from players to weedle out into the open. The aforementioned Travel and Evolve modes are key to catching all 200 Pokemon. Indeed, some of them can only be caught in these modes, and some creatures are evolved from others you may already have in your Pokedex. The key to evolving them fully is to hit the highlighted features on the table when prompted. It's a big ask to catch 'em all, but you'll have great fun doing it, 'cos it's pinball after all!


Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire - GBA Artwork