DAMMIT! Another Sonic Pinball game. Well I did grow up with this game and I have some nice memories of it, but considering that this is years after the shoddy Sonic Spinball, I’m sure this game will be much better. Sonic Pinball Party (ソニックピンボールパーティー Sonikku Pinbōru Pātī), developed by Sonic Team and Jupiter and published by Sega and was released in 2003 worldwide.
So here’s some filler because this review is short enough. In America, it was only released in Target stores exclusively, and this is the reason why you’ve never heard of it and became a highly sought after game…I’m serious, I have a physical copy of this game (despite being a PAL game and I probably got it at the time because if it has SONIC on the box, I wanted it) and it’s a near collectors item in the US, about $10-15 for it when I paid much less for it many years ago. Because of this, Canada and Mexico, two countries who didn’t have Target stores, missed out on getting it at the time and Sega just didn’t give a damn until 2005 with Sonic Advance & Sonic Pinball Party Combo Pack which was released in other stores, which is why there’s so little information about it online.
So the story is set in Casinopolis at Station Square and Dr. Eggman has turned people gambling into robots and Sonic’s friends have been brainwashed and Sonic must save them by competing and winning the “Egg Cup Tournament.”
For the arcade mode you have three tables based on Sonic, Nights from Nights into Dreams and Samba from Samba de Amigo. The pinball is NOT Sonic Spinball but just normal pinball and it’s much better that way, the gameplay is good, the physics are decent for a GBA pinball game and it’s fun to play. The story mode is good until the ending where I have to battle Dr. Eggman and, for example, if I get 5000 points, he instantly gets 20000 points…ARE YOU SERIOUS???
There’s also mini-games though with Roulette, Bingo and Slots, they’re nice time-wasters but nothing you’d probably care about.
Overall, Sonic Pinball Party is a great pinball game and a much better pinball game than Sonic Spinball in terms of gameplay. The graphics are great for the GBA and the music is very memorable, it’s a childhood favourite of mine and a great Sonic pinball game. I’d recommend it though get it cheap, I would like it to be on the Virtual Console though the 3DS can’t do GBA games for some reason. Maybe the Nintendo Switch perhaps?
You can get it on the Game Boy Advance.
OK, since this is short, what else can I talk about that’s Sonic-related? SONIC ERASER!
And many of you are thinking, “what?”. Well remember that Sega Game Toshokan review I did? Well Sonic Eraser was another game for that device that was released in 1991, probably around the same time as the very first game.
And what is Sonic Eraser? A puzzle game…yeah the device couldn’t pull off downloading big games so I guess this had to do. Before 2004, nobody knew this even existed, but when Sega released it on their Japanese website in 2004, everyone knew…I think, maybe only the Sonic fans. Someone eventually translated the game into English, then again, there wasn’t much text to translate but I’m happy we have it?
So what kind of puzzle game do we have? A colour-matching game. Welp, that’s originality thrown in the bin. It’s a really basic puzzle game. But there are many modes like Normal Mode, where you just play a normal puzzle game, it gets faster as the game goes. There’s also Round Mode, where you have to get rid of whirly shapes to get to the next level. Doubt Mode, where despite not getting white squares, one shape from a cluster of shapes will turn into a white square when it hits the ground. And Block Mode, where the clusters are in squares but they won’t fall to the ground until you match a coloured shape.
You also have a 2-player mode and a VS. CPU mode where you play as Sonic and puzzle against another Sonic, and if you get a combination of three matches of shapes, you can throat punch Sonic. Puzzling sure is fun!
So yeah, it’s still a by-the-numbers puzzle game that’s not really worth your time if you want something new as there are much better puzzle games…well, most of them are near enough the same anyway.
The graphics are very basic and simple, but considering that it’s a puzzle game, it’s good enough. The music is horrible, it’s that Mega Drive twangy earrape that some people hate. But despite that, it’s one of my favourite Sonic soundtracks in the franchise, no joke, I love all three music pieces in the game, I guess I’m one of those people who like the Sega twang…to an extent.
Overall, Sonic Eraser is a puzzle game, offers nothing new and is best left remembered as ‘that game’ you downloaded and regretted paying that subscription, letting alone the Mega Drive…if you live in Japan and actually used it.
Like 16t, you can only download it as a ROM and play it on an emulator. And don’t forget to patch the ROM into English.