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Mario Pinball Land (Game Boy Advance)

65
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.


Our Users Say

Category Description MobyScore
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 4.0
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 4.2
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 3.7
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.8
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 3.8
Overall MobyScore (5 votes) 3.9


The Press Says

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
91
The Video Game Critic
Ultimately I found Mario Pinball to be madly addictive and perhaps the most enjoyable Gameboy Advance title in my collection. I especially love the power-ups that double the size of your "ball", add an extra ball into the mix, or place a pipe between the flippers. The bouncy soundtrack is loaded with catchy, playful tracks, and some of them are pretty amazing. The festive snow stages in particular really put me into the holiday spirit. The cartridge saves your progress, but there's only one slot. For those still having painful flashbacks of Sonic Spinball (Sega Genesis, 1993), rest assured that this game is ten times better. Some critics may question its simplistic approach, but maybe that's why Mario Pinball is so hard to put down.
83
Fragland.net
Overall, Super Marioball looks very nice and it will keep you busy for several hours. The level of addiction is very high and that's exactly what you want from a Gameboy game!
80
Cubed3
This is by no means Mario’s finest hour, yet the game is also nowhere near as bad as many other reviews would lead you to believe. With a hidden complexity that veteran pinballers will appreciate and clever tasks that platform aficionados will warm to, Super Mario Ball proves that more than a little innovation can be injected into the classic genre without upsetting the balance too much. At such a cheap price, you certainly will not go too wrong with this purchase!
80
GameZone
That’s about all the screenshots say. They don’t reveal anything concrete about the gameplay other than the presumption that you play as a ball-shaped Mario, and your only two control mechanisms are left and right paddles. What is Mario Pinball Land really about? Is it Pokemon Pinball with a Mushroom Kingdom twist? Or is it like Sonic Spinball, featuring weird platform elements? Let us shrink, deform and reshape to discover what makes this game spin.
80
GamePro (US)
By delightfully melding combat and puzzle solving with solid pinball physics, Mario Pinball is not only the first pinball action-adventure game, but also a damn good one at that. Only the most gifted of pinball wizards will rise to the challenge as the game demands a near extrasensory blend of patience and precision, the kinda that world hasn?t seen since a blind, deaf boy named Tommy played a mean game some years ago.
79
Kombo.com
One thing I feel that critics do, and me included is over analyze every detail. When it came time to review Mario Pinball Land this became painfully clear to me. MPL is a fun pinball game, with enough new twists and turns to keep any flipper fanatic happy. Sure I could go into details about the physics and how the ball (Mario) deflects from objects, and how it could benefit from some improvements. When all is said and done, it is either entertaining or not, and lucky for us, it is a good departure from the usual Mario fare.
75
Jeuxvideo.com
Combinez un flipper avec un épisode de Mario, et vous obtenez un flipper mutant clairement tourné vers l'exploration. Super Mario Ball brise les règles établies et invente le flipper sous forme de niveaux. Il en découle un titre bourré de bonnes idées et dont on se lasse difficilement. Espérons qu'il sera le premier d'une longue série.
75
NintendoWorldReport
As long as the player’s primary concern is combat and points instead of doorways and star collision, Mario provides a fun game of pinball. The mechanics can get annoying, but brevity and a lack of extras is the true downfall of a promising game that almost delivers. Mario Pinball Land has quality entertainment, but as it is, not enough of it.
75
Game Informer Magazine
Mario Pinball Land’s greatest strength – the developers’ ability to transform pinball to take on design elements of platforming and adventure games – is also its greatest weakness. For this reason, I suspect your opinion of Mario Pinball Land will depend on which part of its title you most crave – "Mario" or "Pinball."
75
GameSpot
Nintendo has a knack for coming up with quirky games that are easy to pick up and play. The company's latest game, a funky fusion of Mario and pinball called Mario Pinball Land, is a good example. It combines the general concepts behind tabletop pinball with the characters and worlds from the Mario franchise to create a strange sort of adventure game that's fairly fun but a little on the short side.
74
Gamer 2.0
If you can get by the game's mediocre sound or another poor execution that we call a Mario plot, you'll find a really entertaining game of pinball in Mario Pinball Land. Though the game only has four worlds to explore, the only real valid complaint you can make about the game is the ball physics'which were already explained about earlier. Mario Pinball Land is a lot more than anyone can expect, and that's only one of many reasons why the game is a very enjoyable experience.
71
Lawrence
Mario Pinball Land is not without fun , though. Despite all of the design flaws, it can prove fun in little bursts. It would take a gamer with an amazing amount of patience to play for hours straight, but it can be done. I think Nintendo should stick with the pinball idea; there is a lot of opportunity there in the handheld market. But next time, adapt the Mario world to pinball, not the other way around.
70
Nintendo Life
What could have easily been a quick cash-in pinball title with a Mario theme slapped on turns out to be a completely unique way to experience the wonderful worlds from the Super Mario series we all know and love. Hardcore pinball fanatics will likely find little to enjoy here, but for Nintendo fans, tracking down this spin-off from Mario’s ever-growing catalogue is definitely worth your time. Even with its few flaws, Mario Pinball Land is as much a treat on the eyes as it is on the thumbs, and once again proves there's nothing Mario can't do.
65
Armchair Empire, The
There’s no multiplayer to speak of but pinball has always been about the solo experience - setting the high score then waiting for someone else to beat it. In terms of challenge and entertainment Mario Pinball Land is a good choice for a long flight or a series of shorter periods. Depending on your pinball skills you might even be done before the flight is over.
60
GamerDad
If this were a TV console title, I'd give it a big thumbs-up as a rental. It is a good game, but the blend of pinball and Mario-like exploration seems to lose a bit of both rather than combine into an improved whole. Despite the variety of tables and settings, at times I was yearning for a more pinball-like experience with a high score rather than an hour-long star-gathering challenge. Other times I wished I had more freedom to control my journey through the kingdoms rather than suffer the fickle fate of my flippers. The result is a decent game that doesn't seem to be able to find the right genre niche.
60
Game Informer Magazine
Mario Pinball is moderately entertaining, but in the end I have a hard time recommending it. Go find yourself a copy of The Pinball of the Dead instead.
60
GameDaily
The bottom line is this: had Nintendo done a straight-forward pinball game it would've been well-done but boring because we've seen mascot pinball before, so Mario Pinball Land is a welcome change of pace. Of course, the fact that it's been so well done is the bonus. It may irk you on occasion, but it's definitely worth checking out.
60
Mygamer.com
Mario Pinball Land is a very boring game. There is not enough substance on each game board. Trying to take the pinball video game genre in a different direction is a noble step, but at the same time, you cannot remove things that define pinball games and make them fun. Massive point totals, a solid multi-ball feature, accurate ball-to-flipper physics, mini games, and tons of interactive objects are the most important elements in any pinball game. Adding a tilt feature would have been nice. Mario Pinball Land does not contain the same addictive quality that other pinball games have due to slow and inaccurate game play. Just like Mario Vs Donkey Kong, Mario Pinball Land is very disappointing. If you need to play a pinball game on your GBA, then look for Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Saffire, Pinball of the Dead, or even Kirby's Pinball Land.
60
DS-x2
Unfortunately games need to offer more than a mere graphical demonstration of the GBA's power and this is where Fuse Games? latest starts to become unstuck. The problems aren't with the games engine, and the developers have done a fine job of replicating the balls physics, but with the overall design. This may work for some gamers but for us pinball is all about objectives and obstacles, which are a little thin on the ground here. There's very little to rebound off and, once you've cleared the current table, even less to aim for. If you can cope with this 'reworking' of pinball then you're in for an enjoyable time. We do have to add that it was a bold move introducing Mario and the various associated characters into a pinball world and whilst on some levels the game is a great example of what GBA games should aspire to there's simply not enough variety or longevity in order to fully recommend it. A definite 'try before you buy'.
60
Modojo
The bottom line is this: had Nintendo done a straight-forward pinball game it would've been well-done but boring because we've seen mascot pinball before, so Mario Pinball Land is a welcome change of pace. Of course, the fact that it's been so well done is the bonus. It may irk you on occasion, but it's definitely worth checking out.
55
JeuxActu
Des bonnes idées, Super Mario Ball en dispose mais son gameplay peu convaincant, sa maniabilité imprécise et sa musique cauchemardesque font de lui un titre dispensable. Sur Game Boy Advance, Sonic Pinball Party ou bien encore Pokemon Pinball Rubis & Saphir s’en sortent beaucoup mieux.
50
GamerDad
The best part of Mario Pinball Land is the graphics. Large, well-animated rendered characters fill the screen, making it easy to forget you're actually playing a Game Boy Advance. Music is cheerful and bouncy, but lacks any familiar Mario tunes, surprisingly. Aside from the bad play control, the only other problem with Mario Pinball Land is that it is very short. You can beat the game in less than a couple of hours, and while getting all the stars, red coin challenges, and time attacks to improve your score are there for after you beat the game, there's not a whole lot else to encourage you to keep playing. In a sea of AAA Mario titles, one stinker is bound to show up now and again. Skip this and get a REAL pinball game like Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire.
50
Eurogamer.net (UK)
It's best not to ask why Mario is a ball. Just accept it. It doesn't matter anyway. Just think of Super Mario Ball as the latest Nintendo-themed pinball game for a handheld, and suddenly it transcends classification as one of the Game Boy's quirky spin-offs and slots happily into a niche that's birthed the likes of Kirby's Pinball Land and Pokémon Pinball, both of which were excellent.
50
IGN
There's absolutely no denying the production value of Mario Pinball Land. The game initially looks like it's one of the most graphically marvelous and energetic Game Boy Advance games yet released for the system. But unfortunately, all this glitz and glamour is all a front, almost overcompensating for a flawed game design. It becomes clear pretty early on in the challenge that Mario Pinball Land is an absolutely frustrating series of pinball challenges that does a better job at annoying the player way more than it amuses.
50
GameSpy
It's not all bad, though. As I mentioned, the exploration aspect, despite the occasional frustration, is fairly enjoyable. The boss fights (against staple Mario enemies like Big Boo and a giant Piranha Plant) are fun. The Red Coin challenges, which have you quickly traveling around the world to collect eight Red Coins under a strict time limit, are hectic and exciting. It's just a shame that the gameplay flaws (seriously, why can't you tilt?) drag the entire package down so far. Maybe next time, Nintendo should just toss a few Koopa Troopas and Goombas into the Pokémon Pinball template. It wouldn't be original, but at least it would play well.
40
Bordersdown
Unfortunately, such technical prowess has been wasted on a mediocre game. A traditional Mario platformer with these kind of visuals could have been superb, or a new Game Boy Advance Mario Kart game. But a pinball game that has flawed physics and a serious identity crisis? With the Nintendo DS just around the corner, impressive 3D visuals, whilst a pleasant surprise, are simply not enough. Super Mario Ball is cute and the Mario theme is well applied, with lots of familiar elements from games throughout the series, but fun soon gives way to pure frustration and the whole affair is over far too quickly. Ultimately, Super Mario Ball is the exception to the rule: a disappointing game dressed up in impressive, Mario-themed clothing.
33
Gaming Age
If Mario Pinball Land were simply a normal pinball game perhaps it would have been a good time. I'm seriously in shock that this game made it through Nintendo's quality control department. A company that values gameplay and "fun factor" over everything else just doesn't put out a game like this. Nintendo's games usually reward players as they progress, not punish them for design flaws the player has no control over. I suppose Mario's name alone on the game will guarantee some sales success and I'm sure there might be the occasional kid that will enjoy the game, but it's a shame the game doesn't live up to Nintendo's standards. There are so many better games available on the GBA right now. If you're considering a pinball game, get Pinball of the Dead or Pokemon Pinball. If you're simply looking for fun games, be sure to try Metroid Zero Mission, Castlevania, Fire Emblem, any of the Mario Advance games, or even Pokemon. Don't disappoint yourself or a loved one with Mario Pinball Land.
20
Digital Press - Classic Video Games
Overall, Mario Pinball Land is a frustrating title that could have been much better. Recommended only to Mario nuts and those absolutely starved for pinball games.