Review by Phyre_2
It's just pinball, afterall
Having played most of the games in the Mario franchise, I decided to play this game, having high hopes. These hopes were broken within the first few minutes of playing the game. It is fun for a while, but the luck required is too high to fully enjoy this game. If you decided to complete the game, almost all of the levels will be very memorable, mostly because you will be spending hours on them going up and down.
The gameplay is very challenging, especially because all it really requires is to be very lucky. You control the flippers to advance Mario to the next level, or to allow him to pass down to the previous one. It requires luck and a bit of skill to get precise aiming, and this is important to open doors to the next area. In the game there are warp pipes that block the ball from going down, these can be both an advantage and disadvantage, because the ball will bounce off of them. Other than that, the gameplay has originality and it's fun to play.
The music is exactly what you expect from a Mario game, (the first level reminds me of Roller Coaster Tycoon...), but the sounds will get very repetitive very quickly. The music suits the area you're in, but since there is limited music, it too will become repetitive
The graphics in this game are very well done, and 3-D. They are well used and well executed, especially for a game where the main character is a pinball. The graphics are similar to Super Mario 64, but without the crispness due to the Gameboy Advance's limitations.
The only real story is in the introduction to the game. Peach gets transformed into a ball to follow Toad's example, and then Goombas turn the cannon and it fires exactly into Bowser's castle. This was a very poorly executed storyline, with many flaws. This is as much story as you're going to get throughout the game, other than Mario becomes a pinball to save Peach.
The controls in this game are nothing special, and the lack of being able to pick your own controls makes the game much harder for those who need a preset control scheme to get into the game.
Replay Value: 5/10
The only reason to replay this, is to play pinball, or to collect all the stars, and do time attack mode. Time attack mode is fun, but becomes very challenging very quickly.
Overall, this game was a disappointment to the Mario franchise, but it does have its moments to make it a very fun game. I would recommend renting this game if you like pinball, or if you're just interested in playing a fun, yet very frustrating game.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
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