Pinball videogames suck when they put an entire realistic-looking table on screen at once. The screen is cluttered and gives you a tilted perspective that feels like a stupid compromise. It’s like playing 22-man soccer on an 11-man field. Star Wars Pinball does move the camera up and down, but that perspective isn’t ideal – the camera should be top-down, as in A Link to the Past. The way to put an entire table on screen at once is to tailor-make the table for a videogame experience, such as Midnight Magic on the Atari 2600. That’s a decent compromise, and the camera perspective is the best possible.
Compare the mediocre Star Wars Pinball to Devil’s Crush and Alien Crush on the TurboGrafx-16; the latter two show you half the table at a time, but do a great job of transitioning. You actually have a good, straight-on view of what’s happening in those games.
But the very best pinball videogame by far is Metroid Pinball for the DS. You have the entire pinball table visible at once, but with no compromise, as the DS and 3DS have two screens, one on top of the other. It puzzles me that only one developer had the ingenious idea to make a pinball game for the DS, and that no one made one for the 3DS. If you play Metroid Pinball on a 3DS XL, you’ll agree that it’s the best pinball experience in videogames.
This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News