Childhood memories unite!
Pokemon Pinball, a series of games that take the Pokemon franchise to some obscure gaming territories, made a return to Wii U’s Virtual Console. Since Nintendo decides to release Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, instead of the original Pokemon Pinball game, it’s obvious Nintendo wants the game to hop on the hype train of Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. Regardless, the release is appreciated, and it brings back memories already forgotten. Mainly good ones too!
Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire was first released back in 2003 for Game Boy Advance, and it’s the sequel of Pokemon Pinball for Game Boy Color. The game plays almost like a traditional pinball game, but the main goal is to collect all the Pokemon and complete the Pokedex. The game features many methods to capture Pokemon, and it even has a cute way to hatch baby Pokemon for you to capture too. However, even if the Pokemon are before you, it’s still not an easy task to catch them. The game requires some high level skills, and it manages to keep things interesting for hours.
Other than capturing methods, the game also keeps things interesting by having two very unique platforms. One based on Pokemon Ruby, and the other one based on Pokemon Sapphire. The platforms incorporate many personalities and Pokemon into it, and it’s fun to see Spoink as the plunger, or a group of Shroomish bounce the ball around like bumpers. It’s a fresh take to see the already familiarized Pokemon take on a new role for the pinball game. Personally, I favor the Ruby platform over the Sapphire platform, as the Ruby one features a more friendly design that allows easier gameplay.
While the game brings back many pleasant memories, it also reminds me how repetitive the game can be. It’s the same thing over and over, and the only real excitement is when new Pokemon appears. However, it’s not easy to have that happen in the first place, as it requires some serious skills and practices. If you’re the determine type of player, you will want to keep playing this game to master the skill. Me, I’m not necessary that kind of player.
The game being a Virtual Console title has a lot of benefits and a few downfalls. It’s a great experience to play a classic GBA game on the big screen, but it can be very pixelated too. Also, the Virtual Console takes away some abilities only available in the original GBA version, and you can no longer share you scores with other players. Other than that, the game is virtually the same as the original one, and that’s definitely a good thing.
Overall, Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire’s return to Wii U Virtual Console is a great thing. The game brings back many memories, and it reminds us what a good game it was. The game can be pretty repetitive from time to time, but once the skills are mastered, it can be a whole different experience. Even after all these years, the game still holds up, and I think it’s about time Nintendo gives us another Pokemon Pinball game.