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Dragonbeat: Legend of Pinball
  PS1PinballJPN  
  opened by paleface at 01:44:22 08/18/03  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Pinball; loc=JPN]
           
Rather unique pinball game with three tables of surprisingly squat shape, like upside-down pears. It's disappointing seeing their stubby dimensions in the manual diagrams but when you get into the actual game you realize that they're sized that way so that the isometric view can fit the whole table in the screen without having to scroll. That's what I like about this game: it bends the rules to make things fun.
 
As you play you get little bonuses that appear over the screen as gorgeously-drawn antique figures on playing cards, with weird little cryptic names and lessons in heinous and amazing Engrish. The game is constantly shouting out little Engrish phrases when you hit stuff on the table. These go well with the scratching, break-beat techno-hip-hop soundtrack. Certain combos may spawn monster "attacks" where various D&D-style monstrosities float around over parts of the table, obscuring the view.
 
The stubby tables seem small at first but hitting certain things begins to open them up with new panels and twists appearing. The ball physics are fantastic, none of that floaty or jerky crap here that you usually get in video pinball, and the flippers trap the ball better than any I've ever played with.
 
The pre-rendered 3D tables are rather dark and it can be a bit hard to see certain areas, and it looks like the ball sprite is a bit ugly up-close. I say "looks like" as I have so far only seen this game running on my tiny PSOne LCD screen--it refuses to run on my Japanese PS2, hanging on a black screen when it should bring up the main menu. Noooooooo! Argh.
    

 
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