Mario Pinball Land
Mario Pinball Land (known as Super Mario Ball in Japan and Europe) is a pinball video game that was developed by Fuse Games and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance and released in 2004. It was re-released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in Europe and Australia on September 11, 2014, Japan on September 17, 2014, and in North America on November 27, 2014.
The story takes place in an amusement park called The Fun Fair. Mario, some Toads and Princess Peach are waiting in line to try a ride called the Air Cannon. To ride it, the rider must be turned into a ball first via the Spherasizer, after which they are shot out of the cannon. The Toad who tries it first has fun. As Peach is about to take her turn, two Goombas appear and change the direction the cannon is aiming toward Bowser's Castle. Mario then uses the Spherasizer to turn into a ball himself to go save Peach.
At the end of the game, Mario confronts Bowser inside his castle. When Bowser is defeated, he is launched out of the castle. Mario and Peach, after returning to normal, are riding the roller coaster on the final screen.
From the instruction booklet
Mario Pinball Land is a pinball game featuring Mario elements. The player controls Mario, who takes on the shape and is used as a pinball. The left and right flippers are used to hit Mario. He can earn points by hitting objects and enemies. There are five stages, each separated into a few areas, and they can be traveled to via the Sky Cannon. If Mario falls down the drain between the flippers at the bottom of a stage, he loses a life. At first, when Mario starts an area, there is a blue pipe in between the two flippers to protect Mario from falling down. After a certain amount of time, the blue pipe disappears. Every stage (except the Fun Fair) has a few paths, each obstructed by a door which requires a number of Stars to open, like in Super Mario 64. Once the door is open, Mario can take the path and continue to the next area. If Mario falls down the drain in a following area, he returns to the previous area, where the enemies and objects are reset.
Whenever Mario defeats an enemy, it drops a coin, although if it is part of a streak, the enemy instead drops a Blue Coin. If Toad appears, Mario can hit him to enter his tent, where Toad offers a few items for sale. Mario can only buy one item with the coins he has collected. After doing so, the item he bought is displayed at the bottom-right corner of the screen up until he uses it. Mario can also obtain items from a ? Block. Blue Coins can only be spent in the blue tent in the Fun Fair, and are used to access three different challenges.
Mario can collect a Star either by defeating every enemy in an area, completing a challenge in the blue tent at the Fun Fair, or collecting every Red Coin in an area. There is a total of 35 Stars to collect. If Mario defeats every enemy in an area where he already collected its Star, a gold question mark appears instead. If Mario touches it, a roulette spins, and he obtains whichever item it lands on.
A boss appears at the end of every stage, and defeating one yields a Star Key (along with several coins). There are four Star Keys, and each unlocks a gold statue in Bowser's Castle. Once every statue is unlocked, Mario can face off against the final boss, Bowser.
There are two modes: Adventure and Time Attack. At first, only Adventure mode is accessible. Mario can unlock Time Attack mode one he has defeated at least one boss. The objective of Time Attack is to complete a stage as fast as possible.
The player can press , , , and simultaneously to reset the game.
After Adrian Barritt and Richard Horrocks founded Fuse Games, they wanted to pitch a pinball game to Nintendo. Figuring that they needed to make an impact before Nintendo would speak to them, Barritt and Horrocks made a demo consisting of what they figured would be the first and last areas of the game. Afterward, they went to Seattle to pitch the game to Nintendo of America and were approved. The game was developed for the Game Boy Advance rather than the Nintendo GameCube due to Fuse Games' limited resources and due to the system's similarities to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Mario Pinball Land was developed over the course of eighteen months, from September of 2002 when the company was founded to its completion in June 2004, and by a team of five people total. At an earlier point in development the game was simply titled "Mario Pinball" before the name was changed.
Mario Pinball Land was developed by Fuse Games, who would later go on to develop more pinball-based games for Nintendo. The entirety of the game was developed by a team of five people: Adrian Barritt, Richard Horrokcs, Cai Remrod, Keith Ainslie, and Kevin Ayre. Shigeru Miyamoto was the game's main producer.
References to other games
Mario Pinball Land received mixed reviews at launch. While most reviewers praised the game's graphics at release, the game was mostly criticized for its difficulty and overall gameplay. It was also criticized for its short length and relative lack of replay value.
Names in other languages