REVIEW – Marvel Pinball 3D (3DS eShop)
A Game Review by Greg Dabkey
Game – Marvel Pinball 3D
Version – Nintendo 3DS
ESRB Rating: ‘E 10+’ – Everyone 10 & Up
Obtained – Review copy courtesy of Nintendo of America
Looking for a top notch beautiful pinball game? Or are you looking for looking to compete with other pinball fans around the world? Then look no further, Marvel Pinball 3D is a gorgeous 3D Pinball game that is designed to look and play like a real pinball experience. Marvel Pinball 3D offers four different boards using the characters from Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Captain America and Blade series.
Gameplay & Controls
There really isn’t much to say, it’s a pinball game with Marvel superheroes. The player can choose between four different boards, Iron Man, Captain America, Fantastic Four or Blade. All of the boards are somewhat similar but with different areas to hit the ball into and different ramps to shoot at. Each board holds its theme and has different missions for the player to target with the pinball. On each board, for each ball, the player gets a safety net for the first few moments of play. This allows the ball to re-launch if the ball should leave the board too quickly.
The pinball boards feature missions and special areas for the player gain thousands (or millions) of points. The player may also be rewarded with multi-ball where they can strike three different balls on the board. This allows the player to rack up points as areas can be hit simultaneously. If the player does not know where to hit the ball or wants additional information on the features of the board, this game provides a helpful manual with the areas shown. My only complaint is that there should be additional boards or features to unlock if the player earns particular a particular score. This would allow players something additional to earn while enjoying playing.
The player only controls the flippers using the control pad for the left flippers and the B button for the right ones. The player launches the ball using A. The view can be changed at any time using X. The player has a few view different options for viewing the action. There are two different board shots, one closer up and one zoomed out. The remaining view is a camera that focuses on the ball so the player can always see where the ball is. It would be nice to have custom controls where the player could use L and R for the flippers so it would feel more natural using the index fingers or at least allowing Y or A to be used for the right flipper.
Each board has its own set of options which include Single Player, Hot Seat, Options, Local High scores, Rankings and awards. Single player is the solo player mode where you just play pinball and go for a personal high score (which is reported to Local High scores along with Rankings). Hot Seat allows up to four players to rotate the 3DS around each taking a turn. The 3DS is passed when each turn is over. Options allow the user to change their online nickname and play with sound settings. Local High scores is the top 10 scores reported locally. It comes preset with 10 scores to beat and the player can knock those out by beating them. Rankings are the online leaderboard where it ranks scores globally (and has an option to narrow by country). It also ranks your Super Hero score for your total on all four boards. Awards is a simple achievement section where it shows the four awards the player can earn by completing the four different tasks. There are sixteen overall, four for each board.
Visuals & Sound
This area I found to be the best part of the game. The visuals are quite impressive with plenty of details on the board. The character models look very good as well. The 3D effect is very amazing. It truly makes you feel like you are playing a real pinball game with the depth of the board. I found it hard not to play with the 3D effect turned all the way up. All of the visuals and graphics make this a very beautiful game to play.
The sounds mostly are the standard pinball sounds one would expect. The music is mostly plain and also somewhat quiet. Some of the tracks are pretty well done though, with my favorite being a remixed blade theme. The voice acting was done very well as the characters show emotion in their voices when they are interacting with other characters on the board. For example, Blade will talk to Frost about being defeated.
8 out of 10
Marvel Pinball 3D is a gorgeous looking pinball game that has fun, addictive gameplay. Having themes based on a few different Marvel franchises made the boards very fun to play. With online leaderboards as well as local scores, gamers and Marvel fans will be playing to have the highest score. I would recommend this game to fans of pinball and fans of the Marvel franchises of Blade, Fantastic Four, Captain America and Iron Man.