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  • It�s not often that a Mario game releases to bad reviews. In fact, it almost never happens

  • with the core Super Mario series. And even the Mario spinoff games are typically well-received.

  • This one�s an exception. When it hit the GBA in 2004, the reviews were negativeabnormally

  • negative, for a Mario game.

  • And you know something? They were right.

  • Plumber or no plumber, this is not a very good game.

  • Mario Pinball Land starts with a pretty ridiculous premise. The Princess has been kidnapped,

  • again...in that old pink dress. Which always looks good, let�s be honest. Peach is usually

  • pretty balling. Only this time, she takes it...a bit more literally.

  • You know, it�s not that Mario spinoffs need to make sense or anything...but this whole

  • concept feels really forced. I mean, Kirby and Metroid? Those franchises are natural

  • fits for pinball games. Mario�s a different story. This feels ridiculous...and not in

  • a good way. Nonetheless, it�s still got that Mario polish. This is a gorgeous GBA

  • game, and the presentation is spot-on, as you might expect.

  • What you might not expect...is that it plays like Goomba poop.

  • And actually, the main culprit here is the design of the tables. A real pinball table

  • is a kind of guided experience. There are tubes and rails and bumpers and lots of...things.

  • And those things define the game, right? Otherwise, it�s just...balls flying all over the place.

  • And that sounds awful. No one wants balls flying all over the place.

  • But that�s what Mario Pinball Land is. Balls flying all over the place.

  • See, most of the tables in this game are just...I mean, theyre not even tables at all. Theyre

  • just...open. That means there�s nothing to guide the ball, nothing to guide the experience...nothing

  • to slow things down. And of course, since it�s a handheld game, your space is limited.

  • So you have chaotic tables that play too fast and have no character, as well as pinballs

  • that are incredibly frustrating to control.

  • So...this is just not how you design pinball tables, and the gameplay doesn�t help matters.

  • But you know the worst part? Mario Pinball Land is, like, legit cheap. See, the game

  • takes inspiration from Mario 64. So it�s all based on stars and doors. You need a certain

  • amount of stars to open doors, which then take you to new tables in the same level.

  • A good idea, but...mangled beyond recognition, in the game.

  • Problem one is that...just getting to those doors is insanely tough. I�ve never played

  • a game where it was this hard just to get where you need to go. You clear a table, get

  • the star and spend ten minutes just trying to leave. It�s ridiculous. Problem two is

  • that, once you move on...if your ball gets past the paddles, you end up back at the last

  • table. And the table you just fell from gets reset. So it�s a constant battle to get

  • to the next table and stay there, let alone actually...you know, play the game.

  • Oh, and if you happen to open all the doors, they all close.

  • If that sounds awful and frustrating and poorly designed, well, that�s because Mario Pinball

  • Land is one of the most despicably unfair Nintendo games I�ve ever played.

  • Now, of course, it wasn�t developed by Nintendo. This was a separate team. And they would learn

  • from Mario Pinball Land and go on to do Metroid Prime Pinball...which was a way better game.

  • And you can see brief flashes of that quality here. It has the same production value, a

  • similar kind of look...but it doesn�t play nearly as well, and it has some seriously

  • flawed table design.

  • I�m okay with a bad concept, but...Mario Pinball Land is just a bad game.

It�s not often that a Mario game releases to bad reviews. In fact, it almost never happens

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CGR Undertow - MARIO PINBALL LAND review for Game Boy Advance

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    阿多賓 posted on 2013/08/14
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