The game 'technically' has no plot, but you are replaying a bare-bones version of Metroid Prime. You are exploring the Pinball Land, collecting artifacts which grant you access to the last 2 board and eventually reaching the end to defeat Metroid Prime. Sounds simple enough...
... Keeping in mind that pinball games are usually not about story.
Gameplay: 6 / 10
Prime Pinball can be taken 2 ways:
- Prime Pinball IS a pinball game based on the Metroid world
- Prime Pinball is Metroid Prime told in the style of a pinball game.
Either way, you do play a Pinball version of Metroid Prime, the first game. Ultimately, you objectives including expanding beyond your two starting boards, defeating 2 bosses, collecting 12 artifacts and finally going up against Metroid Prime, itself. For those who survive long enough and win against the final boss will be awarded more difficult versions of the game.
One nice thing about the game is the expansions and upgrades you can collect as you progress through the game like Missiles in Phazon Mines and Power Bombs in Phendrana. That element of Metroid helps to make the game what it is, not just that is has energy-sucking Metroids that can interfere with your gameplay if they latch onto you.
Controls: 7 / 10
Controls (I think) are nothing special, but they work quite well for a game of this nature. Since you are playing pinball, if you had too many controls, I think they would end up killing the game. That makes the control balance of this game suitable.
An add-on which works very well with the game is a "Rumble Pak", which produces a shaking effect when Samus comes in contact with certain objects. This can only be used on older DS consoles, as it requires a GBA port.
Music: 7 / 10
A decent mix of music from Prime and Prime Echoes, without going too overboard. Also, wireless multi-player has it's very own music too. :)
Sound Effects: 5 / 10
Something about this game made the sound effects feel... off. Almost, like they simply went on their own with this part of the game. I do not think they are bad, but something about them feel out of place, like they (kinda) do not belong in a Metroid game.
Graphics: 8 / 10
I was very satisfied with the appearance of the game. I thought the Pinball Land looked quite good. The layouts look like they greatly respect what they are supposed to represent (Magmoor Caves, Tallon IV, Phazon Mines, etc.) Bosses looked spot on and were easy to recognize, as were enemies.
This game is more suited for pinball fans, in my opinion. As a Metroid game, it does nothing to contribute to the in-universe storyline.