Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cut Down: Pinball Quest (1990)

Source: Wikipedia.org

Pinball Quest - Rating(2 RPP)
1) 0 - Character advancement: none
2) 0 - Combat: none
3) 1 - Items and equipment: equipment decisions
4) 1 - Story: main story at the forefront
5) 0 - Exploration: none
6) 0 - Quests and Puzzles: none

Do you like pinball? Yeah! Do you like RPGs? Oh yeah! Well too bad, this isn't one. I really got my hopes up about this title. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of pinball, but I was hoping for a different type of CRPG. Even if they don't turn out well, I think expanding the genre is a good thing. Trying out new ideas can bring about innovation.

Unfortunately, all we have here is a pinball game with an embellished story. I remember pinball machines being mostly random affairs, and while the flashing lights, sounds, and scrolling text telling me I had accepted my first quest or space mission should have appealed, I recognized them for the quarter eating machines they were. This is in contrast to other arcade cabinets that I happily fed.

Even so, I enjoyed some electronic pinball, but again I was faced with the idea that these were pure randomness. I could never quite get the ball to go where I wanted it. Here was the promise of something different though. I had images of improving my ball's stats, or gaining skills that would allow me to change direction, travel through barriers, aim, or split my ball into multiples. None of these are fulfilled in this title.
No, but thank you.
There's no character advancement. Combat is a tired affair with no way to improve. I will give it acknowledgement for trying to develop a story, and some upgrades to flippers and bouncers. Yet, I can't help noticing the lack of depth with no exploration or quests. Congratulations Pinball Quest, you're leading the bottom.

How does a game like this even get confused as a CRPG?
Oh, I see anyone can just call themselves an RPG...


  1. Replies
    1. I know! I could actually imagine what this game would be like as a full RPG, but no, not even close.

    2. I...oddly would like to see an RPG Pinball game. Spend points on extra lives (Replenished each table), stronger balls (Break down barriers more quickly), and um, speed? Paddle power? Weapons systems on the ball that shoot down attacking critters?

    3. I found a game you probably missed on the 'is it an RPG' front: Captain Tsubasa, or Temco Cup Soccer Game in the US. Soccer game played out as an RPG, including leveling players and menu driven gameplay.

    4. Thanks for looking out for me. This one is on the list, released in 1992. I don't think I realized there was leveling for each player, but even with that it still looks like it just doesn't have enough. I'm doing the 'cut' post a release year in advance, so it'll get its post right after Shining in the Darkness is played through.

      I'm trying to space them out somewhat evenly rather than make a flood of posts.

  2. A friend and I finished this several times each back in the day :)

    1. I've never been able to get past the randomness long enough to finish such a game. The physics of the ball just aren't familiar. Maybe one day I'll sit down with a pinball game and really think about why the ball flies in the direction it does.