Nintendo has once again partnered with the pinball wizards at Fuse Games to bring Pinball Pulse: The Ancients Beckon to the DSiWare service. Although Fuse's first Nintendo collaboration, Mario Pinball Land, received a tepid critical reaction, their second game, Metroid Prime Pinball, was a quality pinball experience, and The Ancients Beckon may be their best work yet. This original stand-alone table stands apart from its predecessors in two ways:
1) It takes a physical simulation approach to pinball, rather than the unrealistic fantasy approach of the previous titles. Though packed with imaginary targets and lights and ramps (and even a 'video mode'), this is a table that could technically be built. (Granted, it would be an absolute nightmare to maintain, what with its giant rotating stone heads and wooden ball swap...)
2) It eschews the Nintendo mascots for an original theme (as original as the theme of Ancient Greece can be, anyway), and really makes the most of it, at that. The Ancients Beckon is positively dripping with old-school pinball charm, from the sharp graphics to the amazing voice work, which, in classic pinball fashion, sounds slightly compressed. If you don't crack a smile at Zeus' blustery admonitions, then you have no soul.
For the souled among you, however, Pinball Pulse: The Ancients Beckon is one of the safest bets on DSiWare. The modes are limited to Normal Play and a Daily one-ball challenge, and there's only one table here, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more solid, inventive, and charming pinball table. It would be nice to have online leaderboards, although, in that case, the personal conception that I have the highest Daily Game score in the world might be challenged. My only other gripe about the game concerns the use of the touch-screen for tilt, but that tiny blemish does little to mar the excellence of Pinball Pulse: The Ancients Beckon, hopefully only the first in a long-running series. Let's just have our old pal Zeus play us out.
Off to Hades... the hard way!!
Unfortunately, as of this writing, Pinball Pulse is one of the handful of non-transferable-to-3DS games/apps on the DSiWare service. But DSi(XL) owners should definitely still give it a look!
Sorry, I was at work earlier when I posted and didnt have time to read all the posts. Yea, in a way that does look fun, I like how the backgrounds change...but at the same time I can see where it might not be fun. Not that much is really going on, on the playing field, Plus, it doesn't look like a typical pinball game.
Oh well, I guess I will just have to do without. I guess I could always go out and pick up Metroid Pinball again. That was one of the few games I owned when I owned the DS. I am sure a used copy wouldn't be too much these days.