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An absolute "must have" title By DocAetzn

Galactic Pinball is one of the launch titles and ranks among the first-ever announced games for the Virtual Boy (working title: Space Pinball). It was already to be seen beforehand as a prototype and as a finished version at various exhibitions. Why this game is of greatest popularity among VB disciples, you can read here.

With the Virtual Boy turned on, one awaits a really cool intro. You are welcomed with the words: “Welcome to space world, let’s go!” and thereby also perceive for the first time that the Virtual Boy has stereo sound. After the opening sequence, in which you find yourself in a planetary world, the level selection already follows immediately.

Besides the high scores, you can choose between 4 pinball tables. These are named Alien, UFO, Colony, and Cosmic. I’ll go into even greater detail on each pinball table in a moment.

The “playing fields” are presented in 3D from the first-person perspective. The game takes place in the universe, and as a gaming device, you have a puck instead of a ball. Otherwise, nothing differs from a classic pinball game.

Let’s get to the individual pinball tables:

Alien: After the short introduction by the Alien logo, you are right in the middle of the game. The music is very well done and contributes a lot to the overall level of quality of the table. On the table itself, there are initially not so many items to encounter at all. You have two flippers at the bottom and two at the top. You should definitely hit into the Alien’s Lair (at the top center) in order to accumulate a lot of extra points. Also worth mentioning is the Bonus Stage, when you hit into the spot in the corner, above the upper left flipper, five times. Apart from that, there are so many bonuses and animations that one can’t even list them individually. You have to experience this yourself. The bonuses and the Bonus Stage are animated very nicely. For example, an alien appears in the middle of the table or virtual rings come flying towards you.

UFO: Very nice level, very detailed. At the beginning, a UFO takes off and uncovers the actual playing field. The music is also fantastic here again. The most important thing to do in this level is to release the Bonus Bumpers. As soon as “Bonus Bumper” stands on the VB-screen, immediately shoot the puck into the upper middle hole. The UFO will reappear and will set a skeleton head in front of your nose. Hit into its mouth to get a galactic 2 million points. Once you have done this three times, you get the jackpot on top (initially 9 million points, rising after that). Here again without end, there are otherwise also hidden bonuses with fascinating animations. For example, a circle of stars moves before you, which is to be shot down to bring in extra points.

Colony: Also here, you are welcomed again with awesome music! Right at the beginning, the many items on the table are noticeable. Crammed full to the top! This makes one eager! This pinball table distinguishes itself by the fact that asteroids fly onto the pinball table at regular intervals, which you must take care of using crosshairs in a cool 3D look. This feature alone launches the gaming fun to the top! The most important thing to do in this level, though, is to gradually shoot into the holes indicated by the flashing arrows, in order to gradually get the cosmic formations listed in the middle. If you can finish everything once, you’ll receive umpteen million points. There is also the Bonus Stage known from the Alien level; you must shoot into the upper middle hill with the hole five times to get it. Also here, everything is otherwise packed full with many bonuses and cool animations, such that one can’t even enumerate them all.

Cosmic: Here you have, in addition to the two standard flippers, another one above the left. The last pinball table in the review also impresses with very well-done, atmospheric sound, which never gets dull. To enter a bonus game, you must hit into the hole of the upper planet three times. Bring the puck to the four right targets to get Lane Chances. Then punch the puck beneath the three upper right bumpers to get a Bumper Crash. You must now catapult the puck towards the bumpers, thereby destroying them after a time. Do this, and there will be a lot of extra points. The rest of the level is like the others, also filled with extras and well-done animations.

What should I still largely mention? Buy it if you don’t have it yet! An absolute “must have” title, which motivates very strongly and, thus, disappears over and over again into the cartridge port of the Virtual Boy!

9 / 10

Rated: Jan 27, 2002 • 22:25