The Top Ten Video Pinball Games in the History of the Universe (Part 6 of 10): Pokemon Pinball 2

By: Krooze L-Roy

Click HERE for the Rest of the List

#5 – Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire

I’ve played Pokemon. Matter of fact, I was downright into Pokemon for a spell. I was 15 when Pokemon Red and Blue came out, which was just young enough to be self-conscious about doing things that I felt I was “too old” to do. Thus, my friend and I played covertly, trading pocket monsters with a discreetness that a serial killer would find over the top. Well aware of the fact that our reputations in middle school would determine the rest of our lives, we weren’t nearly as shameless as the other nerds; playing right in the middle of class for anyone and God to see.

Thus it is with a vague yet lingering sense of shame that I, as an adult, play Pokemon Pinball Ruby and Sapphire. The awareness that I should not feel thus serves only to fortify and enhance to this feeling.

In my emotionally fragile state, you’ll have to forgive me if I babble somewhat. And if I suddenly start to cry, don’t try to comfort me; it’ll just make me cry harder. But don’t worry about me, I’m alright. So on with the review.

*Clears throat* The combination of Pokemon with pinball is a marriage made in my darkest, most guilt-laden dreams. The concept of collecting and evolving Pokemon is a great hook, and really gives you reason to keep coming back these two otherwise run-of-the-mill tables. With most pinball games, if you luck out and do too well, it sort of kills your drive to keep playing, since you know you’ll never be able to beat that high score. With Pokemon Pinball, you don’t even have to play well to enjoy it; you’ll still have a tangible feeling of progression. Thus this is the perfect game for those who feel that pinball is too aimless.

It’s also good for those who suck. Much like Kirby’s Pinball Land, this game is a bit on the easy-as-fucking-hell side. Now, your ball will actually go down the drain quite often; so it’s not the table designs themselves that are easy. It’s that the game is so generous with the ball-save feature. Anytime you’re in the process of trying to catch or evolve one of the little shits, the ball save feature is there to save you some frustration. Other times it’s just on for the hell of it. Pinball purists might scoff at this lack of difficulty, but piss on ‘em. The game is fun and addictive, so who cares if you might be able to play for a day or two on a single credit, as ridiculous as that sounds. The fact that you won’t mind playing for that long is a testement to the game’s greatness.

There are two tables available; Ruby and Sapphire. And much like the game’s predecessor, one of them is more difficult than the other (though the difference isn’t nearly as pronounced this time around). The tables are also a lot more complex now with tons of clever little touches.

They certainly have added a lot of monsters since my in-the-closet days of collect-em-alling abandon. I haven’t seen many of my old favorites; just a bunch of imposters with crappy names like Wynaut and Torobiusu. Where’s Bulbasaur, damnit?! They kept Magikarp’s worthless ass!

This minor grievance aside, I should also add that there are a number of boss fights. Some of them are rather irritating too, but luckily you can opt not to fight if you’re get sick of them, or are just a pacifistic coward. And I’m not positive, but I’d swear that the big dinosaur pokemon actually ended my ball once by stomping it. That’s either awesome or total bullshit; I haven’t decided.

Best Table: Tough call, but I’d have to go with Ruby

Also check out: The original Pokemon Pinball, for the Gameboy Color. The tables are a lot simpler, but it’s still fun, and the characters are more nostalgic (for me, at least). The rumble feature is a nice touch; unfortunately the added size of the cart enables anyone to see that you’re playing a Pokemon game. And that’s the kind of humiliation a young man might never recover from.

Click HERE for the Rest of the List


~ by Krooze L-Roy on October 14, 2007.

2 Responses to “The Top Ten Video Pinball Games in the History of the Universe (Part 6 of 10): Pokemon Pinball 2”

  1. […] #5 – Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire […]

  2. […] sense of shame that I, as an adult, play Pokemon Pinball Ruby and Sapphire…. source: The Top Ten Video Pinball Games in the History of the Universe (Part 6 of 10): Pokemon Pinball 2, […]

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