Super Mario Ball (Game Boy Advance) Preview

By Adam Riley 19.08.2004

Nintendo has got into the habit of using its key stars to push various games that would otherwise most likely be overlooked despite their high calibre. So far the company has pushed its pinball games the most, with Kirby and Pok

For the sake of Nintendo fans everywhere we hope not, anyway! Nintendo has enlisted the help of a small British outfit by the name of Fuse Games Limited that was founded in 2002 by two of the folk that worked on the award-winning Pro Pinball series, before quickly striking up a deal to create a new style of pinball title in the form of Super Mario Ball. With such prowess behind them it would appear that it is by far the best company for the job!

Screenshot for Super Mario Ball on Game Boy Advance

Super Mario Ball, formerly known as Mario Pinball Land, is definitely pinball with a twist, fusing both the usual table antics with an in-depth adventure where Mario has been turned into none other than a ball! Unfortunately, Bowser has once again done an evil deed in kidnapping the hapless Princess Peach from her beloved home of the Mushroom Kingdom and transported her into a strange new dimension. It is because of this that a strange scientist and his 'Spherifier' contraption thus turn Mario into said pinball, with him then shooting the poor Italian plumber off to rescue the damsel in distress and thwart King Koopa once more.

Screenshot for Super Mario Ball on Game Boy Advance

Along the way he must crash through various familiar enemies, including the likes of Goombas and Petey the Piranha, obtaining new power-ups, find special stars and coins, eventually opening the path through to the next stage and yet another taxing arena full of hectic action and utter mayhem. But play is not linear by any means, as in this game you can choose your own path through the variety of specially-themed locales that range from the rural countryside, freezing cold ice arenas, through to a fairground and each come with their own line-up of enemies to defeat and secrets to investigate.

As can be seen from the screenshots in this preview and those found in the game's folder, this is one of the most beautiful GBA games around and a strong contender for the most attractive title on the handheld, which is certainly no mean feat as there have been some strong contenders in past from developers like Square Enix. With a strikingly rich colour palette, solid 3D visuals and a frame-rate to be amazingly proud of, no wonder even the mighty GameSpot has hailed this as one of the finest looking games on the GBA to date!

Screenshot for Super Mario Ball on Game Boy Advance

But it is not only the aesthetics that are making our mouths water, the idea of encountering Mario in this new world, complete with Super Mushrooms, 1-Ups, Lightning Bolts and Invincibility Stars and the age-old pinball idea of 'kill as many enemies as you can' in order to amass the highest amount of points overall, is an even greater prospect than the wonderful Pok

Screenshot for Super Mario Ball on Game Boy Advance

Final Thoughts

With such a deep adventure, mixed with simple controls and seasoned pinball developers, flipping Mario around the assortment of single screens packed full of fun, as well as tension, is looking to be one of the highlights of 2004. Fuse Games has a lot to live up to as Kirby's pinball title and the two Pok

Also known as

Mario Pinball Land






Table Games



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (4 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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