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flamesofchaos avatar 3:49 PM on 01.23.2009  (server time)
FlamesofChaos reviews Planet Pachinko

Players: 1 - 2 (co-op) Blocks: 188 Price: 500 Nintendo Points
Control Schemes Supported: Wiimote (on it's side), Wiimote + Nunchuk, Classic Controller

Planet Pachinko is a game where you play as a family of robot trying to save their dog in the temple of pachinko. In each level of the temple of pachinko you are basically inside a giant pachinko machine and the objective of each stage is to destroy a certain amount of pachinko balls while surviving.In each level the pachinko balls shoot out at a rapid pace and randomly so there isn't any real set patterns and consequently there isn't any set strategy except run aimlessly and hold down on the attack button if you stay in a area too long then a turret of 3 lasers start shooting either vertically or horizontally which is annoying and frustrating since not only you have to dodge these fast lasers but also the pachinko balls that just keep raining down, when you advance to the next level the only difference is you have to destroy more pachinko balls and the frequency of pachinko balls shooting down increases but sadly it just feels like your playing the same level with minor variations. There's also boss battles at the end of each "world" unfortunately there's not much skill with these boss battles except just to try to kill the boss before you exhaust all your lives. When you beat a boss your reward is rescuing a space animal, but what the space animal is just concept art of a weird looking animal that was probably drawn by a four year old (it's a simple crayon drawing on white construction paper).

A neat thing is since you play as a family of robots whenever you die you alternate to the next family member and since there are three family members you have three lives, additional lives can be earned when you reach a certain score. Also if you are playing single player and reach a certain amount of points you get a NPC helper in the form of another member of the robot family and for some reason you shift control to the new robot which throws you off because all of the sudden you control a new character while the camera seems to focus on the character that you were controlling about five seconds ago. The NPC helper is somewhat useless because of the poor AI but thankfully it will help you from time to time and if it dies, it doesn't make you lose a life.

Graphically this game is very basic, the backgrounds of the pachinko machines are somewhat neat and follow a certain type of theme based in the "world" that you are in. However everything else looks bland and uninspired. Everything in the games presentation just proves that this game is very low budget. The music in this game while it's repetitive it has this nice retro and upbeat vibe, while there isn't a lot of variation in the soundtrack it's catchy.

Control wise this game is fine but it just feels loose, you get a typical 2d formula with your traditional jump, primary weapon fire,secondary weapon fire, melee attack (although it's pretty much useless) and a weapon switch. While all 3 control schemes are fine it's recommended to use either the wiimote+nunchuk or classic controller because it's easier to switch weapons with these control configurations.

The game shoehorns a story in the worst way possible with the worst way possible text that you can't skip and these scenes occur right before entering a new "world", right before a boss battle and right after you beat a boss. The story is just horrendous with atrocious dialog and is just essentially mind numbingly bad which makes you wish that you could just skip these segments.

In conclusion this game had a interesting concept and it would seem like it would be a fun game, but the game falls flat on it's face because it is full of design flaws, chaotic gameplay which is at times very frustrating and has things that are just there for the sake of being there and ultimately its just poorly executed. The game is only $5 and you can do a lot worse with $5 however I wouldn't recommend a download.


+ Catchy soundtrack
+ Co-op


- Game feels unfinished
- A lot of features like the story seem forced
- No strategy in the gameplay
- Camera gets confused easily
- Ultimately it's way too chaotic and is a mess
- It feels like your playing the same level again throughout the whole game
- Extras are atrocious

Verdict: SKIP IT

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