Haven't we seen this somewhere before? Like, the best part of two years ago. Developed in England, released in the US in October 2005 and now finally out over here after an inexplicable delay, Metroid Prime Pinball is a solid fusion of game genres that works far better than the same developer's Super Mario Ball for the GBA.
PIN DOWN THE APPEAL
The DS turns out to be really well suited to this sort of thing, with both screens used to display the full length of the game's four main tables. There are two general areas, which you can travel between, and two boss areas that must be unlocked. The shoulder buttons control the flippers, and scraping a finger across the bottom screen nudges the table to divert the ball, which rolls with pleasantly reassuring predictability.
Various bonus modes are nicely implemented, including bits where Samus pops out of her morph ball and blasts at incoming enemies. Bosses are contained in separate areas, and are challenging obstacles on the way to collecting the artefacts needed to 'complete' the game.
It also comes with a tiny rumble cart that fits into the GBA slot and chirps away while you play, making more noise than motion. Still, it's free and it also works with a few other games such as Mario & Luigi. Our one big moan about Metroid Pinball is that it takes ages to rack up a decent score, but that may be a reflection on our playing skills rather than any kind of design flaw.
Video pinball is great when it's done well, and Metroid Prime Pinball is at the upper end of the scale. Nice tables and a very Metroid-y feel