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Sonic Pinball Party Package Art
GENRE
Pinball
DEVELOPER
Sonic Team
PUBLISHER
Sega
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
1-4
CONNECTIVITY
Yes
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Sonic Pinball Party

Sonic is rarely seen outside his traditional environment. Short of his own party game, he really just sticks to battling Eggman and saving his animal friends. However, that all changes in Sonic Pinball Party. In a much more light-hearted game, Pinball Party puts Sonic and friends in the middle of a world of flippers, targets, and... chao.

visuals

The visuals in Sonic Pinball Party are nothing to write home about. For the most part, it's standard pinball graphics. Aside from the loops, targets, and flippers, there are some Sonic Team-related obstacles and environments, and that does help to tailor the game to the Sonic crowd, as well it should. Each table has a unique look; advantageous in a pinball game. Every part of the game has a retro-pinball feel, mixed with a 21st century, modern style. It all looks good, just not amazing.

audio

There are some nice points in the audio section, especially due to a whole slew of music and sound effects from past Sonic games. There is music from the very first Sonic game, the Sonic Advance titles, and even the Dreamcast's Sonic Adventure. There are also the basic pinball sounds, all of which are right in time with the game.

gameplay

Sonic Pinball Party offers several modes of play. Arcade mode, which is the classic play-pinball-get-a-high-score style. Also available is a story mode, where the player must go head-to-head against an AI-controlled character. This could mean getting to a certain point in a pinball table, getting to a certain score first, or simply having the most points after the time limit.

Three different pinball tables liven up the game. The Sonic and NiGHTS Into Dreams tables are used in the story and arcade modes. There is also a Samba De Amigo board, which is only playable in arcade mode. Each board is completely different from the other, and although it is only pinball, they all feel like their namesakes. In the Sonic table, the player must defeat Eggma. In the NiGHTS Into Dreams table, the player must collect the Ideyas. The Samba De Amigo board lets the player enjoy a fun rythym mini-game when a task is completed. Although these three boards are quite different from one another, there really is not a whole lot to do with them. Each table is relatively small, and it gets boring fairly quickly. There's enough to keep you occupied, but there are some more interactive single or double-table pinball games out there that provide a tad more diversion.

Of course there is also the Tiny Chao Garden mode. The garden itself is the exact same as in Sonic Advance and Sonic Advance 2. The only difference at all is the second mini-game (the matching game is still there). In the new mini-game, the player must throw colored balls into the playing field and match them together. It's sort of like a variation of Tetris. There is also a casino mode, which is really just an expansion to the chao garden, providing a collection of casino-based mini-games. Coins earned get added to the tiny chao garden bank.

Not to be overlooked, the game can be linked to the GameCube's Sonic Adventure 2: Battle or Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut to transfer chao and coins.

multiplayer

There is a multiplayer mode for gamers with access to multiple GBA's -- it's the Party in Sonic Pinball Party . Only one cartridge is needed and up to four players can join in. The three multiplayer games to choose from are entirely different from the rest of the game, and are quite addictive. For only needing one cartridge, the games function very well. There is a baseball-style game, a crossfire game, and even a co-op mode in which players must hit the pinball up as high as possible.

overall

Sonic Pinball Party is not an earth shattering game, but it does what it is supposed to do. The only problem is that Sonic Team just tried to do too much with it. Instead of getting a really solid set of pinball tables, it's a mediocre collection of several different play modes. Any Sonic Team fan will like the themed boards, but it's not a fantastic game for widespread appeal.

If you're still interested in purchasing this title head over to your local Target outlet or if you're into shopping online check out this website to purchase it.

final score 7.6/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Mark Raby
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"'The smartest one is he who knows he does not know' -- Socrates"


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