This game was on display at my local Circuit City and I must confess, I got hooked on it right then and there. I like the \'pick up and play factor\' of this game. Unlike other Pokemon titles, this is not an RPG, but a pinball game. Your goal is to capture Pokemon, get a high score, and have fun!
The game play is an enhanced version of pinball. When you start the game you can choose between two tables: Ruby or Sapphire. Both tables have similar designs, such as: ? A Pokemart ? Pond full of pokemon ? Travel bonus ? An egg to hatch ? A big fish to catch and spit your ball out
Getting points and Pokemon
The Pokemart allows you to buy ball saver times in increments of 30 seconds. This feature helps make the most out of your limited balls. If you lose the ball when the Ball Saver is lit, a bird comes by and picks it out for you. You can also buy a ball upgrade or an extra ball. Bonus rounds and Pikka are on sale there too. Finally the Pokemart is the place to start the evolution process for your captured Pokemon. Once you choose your Pokemon to upgrade you have to hit three \'evos\' scattered around the pinball table to evolve them. There are a couple of ways to catch Pokemon. You can hatch an egg or wait for a big fish to capture your ball for you. In both cases you have to hit the moving creature a few times with the ball. Once you have caught three Pokemon you are eligible for a bonus level.
You can rack up serious points on bonus levels. The Ruby level has a bonus level with a chameleon, where you knock packages out of a tree. The Sapphire level has a graveyard where you pick off ghosts and defeat the boss at the end. Another way to score some points is to travel. You have to hit the left side of the table three times to get the travel option. Once activated you have to get the ball up a ramp, and once that is done, you get a new picture to look at. It\'s nothing special but it does add to your score a bit. If you?re buying this game because you love Pokemon you will not be disappointed. There is a Pokedex of all the critters you have captured. You can beam them to your friends, too. Since there is no multiplayer available for this game this will have to suffice. I just play this game for the pinball.
The graphics are pretty good considering it?s a GameBoy Advance game. The Pokemon creatures are nicely detailed and the table layout is nice. Some of the ramps are a little tricky to get to but that just makes it a tad more challenging. Overall this is a pretty nice looking pinball game.
The background music and sound effects are pleasant to listen to. Some of the creatures have cute noises like the Pikachu, Chameleon and ghosts. No complaints in this department.
As for appropriateness, I realize that some people are against the Pokemon game series. (http://www.bible.com/answers/apokemon.html) Other than the monster evolution factor, I find this game harmless.
If you like Pokemon or just enjoy pinball I would recommend taking a look at this game. Pokemon fans will enjoy swapping out monsters while pinball fanatics will enjoy the pinball action and eye candy.