22 – Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire (Game Boy Advance)
In a rare example of a spin-off title getting a sequel that was actually an improvement on the original, Pokemon Pinball reveled in the 3rd generation by adding the best-loved ‘mons from Hoenn to its pinball antics. Far from just a generic game of pinball, Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire (like its predecessor) uses the pinball game to capture, evolve, and now hatch Pokemon in yet another quest to collect every available Pokemon. There are two boards, one for Ruby and one for Sapphire, and playing long enough on either board will reveal to the player various hidden tricks and bonuses necessary to win the game. Pikachus and Pichus appear and disappear to change where the ball is shot from, a Zigzagoon pounces across the table, and a bonus mode exists, hiding a special legendary. Each game mode has a different set-up with different objectives, resulting in a lengthy quest if one wants to catch all the Pokemon.
This was the 2nd and last of the Pokemon Pinball games, likely due to mobile gaming making such titles on handheld gaming devices less marketable, but it’s a shame. A cheap, eShop Pokemon Pinball now would probably do well as something to take out and play for five, ten, fifteen minutes at a time. On the GBA, Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire was a welcome diversion.
Next: #21 - Pokemon Stadium 2