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    jp's Pokemon Pinball (GBC)

    [August 1, 2004 09:59:36 PM]
    Time to move on. It has been very enjoyable. Absolutely. In fact, on Friday I caught a whole bunch of new Pokemon. Very exciting.

    For the record, my high scores are:

    Red: 618,380,350 and 446,772,400
    Blue: 420,264,900 and 381,137,000
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    [July 29, 2004 03:46:58 PM]
    What makes a videogame pinball different from a "real-life" pinball machine?

    To certain degree, it's a rather silly question. Of course, we know that a pinball machine has all sorts of physical limitations. It also has unique kinaesthetic qualities. Tilting a pinball machine is not quite the same as pressing the "tilt" button.

    On the other hand, the computer affords a whole slew of new opportunities. The "design space" for pinball games is radically enlarged...or so we are led to beleive.

    I think that, to date, we haven't really seen a lot of radically new pinball games. Most games seem to focus on the idea of simulating the qualities of pinball machines. In other words, accurately modelling the physics, the sound, the visuals, etc. This isn't necesarrily bad, it's just part of the picture we could be painting.

    I tried to come up with a list of unique features I have seen in pinball games that would be unavailable to pinball machines. Unfortunately the list isn't very long. (I don't profess to being a pinball game expert either!)

    a) Different physics - A few games have toyed with modes in which the physics (notably, gravity) aren't necesarrily constant over the duration of a game.

    b) Larger spaces - Linking of multiple tables and areas so that the pinball game space is essentially a LOT larger or impossible to mimic in real life. Check out Flipnic and Akira.

    c) Independent moving objects - Pokemon pinball advance has little pokemon walk around the table now and then. You have to hit them!

    Am I missing anything else that is really different? I wonder what new sorts of pinball games we could come up with.... I hear there is an interesting one coming out for Gamecube.
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    [July 28, 2004 12:32:59 PM]
    I think that Pinball games are the only type of (non-random) game that can consistently humble you despite many hours of practice. It never fails to amaze me how, having spent a lot of hours practicing and honing shots, I can play a completely pathetic game every now and then. Maybe pinball games do have a luck factor embedded in them. Well, maybe not luck as in rolling a die, but simply an entropy effect. There are so many things going on that you will undoubtedly lose due to no fault of your own at some moment or other. (you can also hit the jackpot, through no skill of your own).

    Weird thoughts, eh?
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    [July 26, 2004 11:46:19 AM]
    I've always wondered why pinball games always have huge scores. This applies to both videogame versions as well as the original "physical" ones. It always seemed to me that pinball tables had a "normal" scored multiplied by 1,000 (or some other large number). In other words, if a standard score for a video game is in the hundreds of thousands (say, 154,340) then an "equivalent" pinball score would be 154 million. What is it with that?

    I always thought that it was a cheap way to get people to think they were really good at the game. After all, scoring in the millions? Wow! Right? Of course, it just means that you get scoring by the number of digits you can display on the machine. (which would be about two feet?)

    What I've noticed in the case of Pokemon Pinball is that when you score in the millions you are basically playing well. In other words, you are meeting the goals of the table. This would be in contrast to just messing around hitting random things. It's actually kind of cool since in a pinball game you have to (1) Not lose the ball and (2)Hit the right things at the right time. Thus, the scoring system really help you focus on the second objective, since that is where the REAL points are.

    I've played a few games which, in terms of time played, where rather lengthy. However, I wasn't able to meet any important table objectives. My scores where less than 10 million. (pathetic) Compare this to a game in which you are able to capture a couple of Pokemon, maybe evolve one or two. A score for this game would by over 100 million! In other words, pinball games are an interesting example of using the scoring system, and differences of magnitude in said scores, to differentiate sucessful games from unsuccesful ones.
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    [July 21, 2004 10:12:42 AM]
    I rock!

    They say that practice makes perfect. Well, if you beleive that then you have an explanation for my current high scores!

    Red Table: 618,380,350
    Blue Table: 381,137,000


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    [July 19, 2004 04:34:40 PM]
    This time I'm VERY sure I saw some dodgy rendering/collision detection between the left paddle and the ball. It was dodgy in that I saw the ball overlap de paddle though It wasn't dodgy enough that I lost the ball.

    I'm surprised by how many good ideas implemented in the tables of this game carried over to the GBA version. Surprised in this case is a good thing. The tables in this older version are simpler, yet different enough that I won't call them "older versions". It is also interesting to note some of the things which changed. For example, in all versions, for every three Pokemon you catch/evolve you are given the change to play a bonus table. In the old version (as far as I can tell) you just get extra points. In the new version you not only get points but can also capture 2 special ultra-rare Pokemon (one for each of the tables). This special capture is VERY difficult since it requires you to play the bonus areas succesfully at least twice (in the same game)! Since I haven't been able to do this yet on the GBC version I might have to revise this comment.
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    [July 16, 2004 10:51:04 AM]
    Yay! I got my name on the high score tables for both of the pinball tables that come with the game! Now I have to play some more so that I can get a better spot than last place...
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    [July 15, 2004 03:23:30 PM]
    The GBA version of Pokemon Pinball really surprised me with its finely tuned gameplay as well as neat integration of "Pokemon ideas" with classic pinball mechanics. I really liked the GBA version.

    This one, the precursor is also very good. Some of the physics seems a bit wrong (I swear I saw the ball halfway through a flipper once) at times but the gameplay is still good, albeit simplified. The rumble is a neat plus (even if the cartridge sticks out a whole bunch from my GBA-SP) though I'll see how long I stick to it. I guess I'll probably play this a week or so...and try to get some records on the high score table.
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    jp's Pokemon Pinball (GBC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Something better came along

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 14 July, 2004

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 1 August, 2004

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    GBA version is better, but this one is still very good.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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