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About the product
- Roll a squished Mario around in prerendered pinball tables
- Smash him into Goombas, Koopas and other classic baddies
- Collect enough power stars to save the Mushroom Kingdom!
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When Bowser kidnaps Peach and escapes to another dimension, a scientist uses his Spherifier to transform Mario into a ball and fires him after the fiend. Lightning-fast action, crazy pinball worlds and Mario. What's not to love? It's just a pinball game, right? Hardly. It's a flipping adventure. Mario rolls through different worlds. Instead of performing his signature jump on enemies, Mario just steamrolls them in ball form. Each pinball arena contains a door to the next level. You must shoot Mario into the door to open it and then shoot him through the door to advance to the next level. Of course, all your favorite baddies from the Mario universe stand in the way of Mario and the door.
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The game mashes up the pinball style of play with a Super Mario 64 structure; collect Power Stars by slinging Mario as a ball into enemies and grabbing keys by defeating bosses. On paper, the concept is really good. However, here's the major flaw: Navigation. In order to get anywhere, you must use the flippers to fling Mario to doors and paths, which is EASIER SAID THAN DONE. It's not like in any Mario platformer where you can just move him with the analog stick to that door. Oh, no. Here, you have to hope Mario rolls down to the direction the door's located! There are numerous instances where Mario would hit the door open, but then constantly miss the opened path. Or maybe Mario would hit something else by accident and trigger more frustration. He could hit paths that I don't want to go to. And this problem is worsened during missions where you must hit enemies in specific ways (such as hitting snakes before they go the manhole in the middle, or hitting Shy Guys to change their color - all Shy Guys onscreen must be the same color)! Heck, maybe the problem wouldn't be as jarringly apparent if the pinball physics were completely accurate. But they aren't; they are surprisingly unreliable for a Nintendo-published game.
It's not like no one made an effort to make this game good, though. There is a lot of positive weight to this, too; the music is appropriately catchy and has the typical repetitions of a Mario soundtrack, and the graphics are actually some of the best the Game Boy Advance has to offer. The pinball mechanics also do have their merits, since it IS, well, pinball, and you could even use a few items to help a little. It's just a big shame the physics haven't been tweaked up enough and navigation isn't any easier. The bosses justify this even further, especially Bowser. You just had to hit them a few times and they're dead, but Mario's bound not to hit them when you need him to.
The Game Boy Advance little Nintendo - very portable in a pocket - player uses this cartridge,
The cartridge was one of the very best of games in most respects. I never tire of working it to the very top and then starting over,
It requires skill and trial-by-error knowledge by those of us who do not regard cheat sheets as ethical(!)
Thanks for having vendors who can still supply these. The stores no longer carry them, did you know?