More noise than signal

Pinball of the Dead — Gameboy Advance

This review has been ‘repurposed’ from my other site,

Sega are clearly a rather thrifty company, certainly if their use of the House of the Dead 2 assets are anything to go by, Having saved a boatload of cash by hiring some of the most lackadaisical and unintentionally hilarious voice actors for the game proper, further funds were raised from the arcade, Dreamcast and PC versions, with it even showing up as a bonus in the Xbox House of the Dead 3. All fair game, although using the game as a basis for a touch typing game, The Typing of the Dead was an inspired if abstract move. With this zombie killing pinball game, I think they’ve pushed the name as far as it can go.

Thankfully Sega have graced the Gameboy Advance with a rather decent little pinball game in so doing, three tables full of shambling monsters along with the more common spring loaded flippers and bumpers. Rather reminiscent of ye olde Megadrive pinballer Dragon’s Fury, Pinball of the Dead provides a stiff challenge, multiple subtables, three main tables and many of the sound clips we’ve come to know and cherish so to my perverse pleasure I can also ‘suffer like G did?’.

Along with the usual ball bouncing antics that computerised pinball generally provides, Pinball of the Dead will also see you taking on various pint sized versions of the bosses, although the limited strategy of the lightgun based bigger brother translates to an equally limited ‘keep the ball in play until it dies’. However, seeing as that’s largely the point of every pinball game I’m sure we can let it slide.

As a genre, pinball games are largely limited by the fact that they’re pinball games. Little call for Fancy Dan 3D affairs and photo realism, which means that there’s hardly been a tremendous shift in the genre since they made the leap to computers. While purists will still argue that only a real bricks ‘n’ mortar table will provide a true p-balling experience, Pinball of the Dead is as good a portable solution as I’ve found. Cribbing graphics and sounds from its bigger brothers gives it a sense of continuity despite the disparate genres, an if you can’t stomach the shame of buying Pokemon Pinball this is a rather neat alternative.