symphony's Rollerball (Nintendo Entertainment System) review

A great NES pinball game, but it's still just pinball

Roller Ball, not Rollerball!
"Welcome to Roller Ball. The super pinball game that will excite and amuse you."

Those are the words that greet you as you view the start screen and while I've never considered pinball to be all that exciting, I have to admit that Roller Ball did have it's charm. Oh and just so we're clear -- we're not talking about the 1975 (or 2002 remake) movie of the same name.

What differentiates Roller Ball from most other NES pinball titles is that the board is divided into 4 sections, each with their own set of flippers and different objectives to achieve in order to score mega points. For example, one section has unlockable exploding bumpers, while another has a slot machine.

The ball moves at a good pace and the flippers are responsive, although the ball will often defy physics and go flying off the flipper in a way you least expected.

Besides the fact the board was split into four sections, two things really stood out. First of all, the graphics are crisp and easy to tell where your ball in going and what objects can be hit for points. Secondly, the music is really catchy and feels like something out of a Mega Man.

Roller Ball feels like a pinball game that's beginner friendly. You can spend a lot of time bouncing back and forth between the top two screens without ever seeing the bottom screen (the only screen where you can die if your ball goes below the flippers).

That all said, Roller Ball is still just a one-table pinball game that was originally available at the same price as other cartridges like Super Mario Bros. 3 or Final Fantasy. Unless you're a pinball aficionado dying for a pinball game, it's hardly worth the price tag. But if you happen to find the cartridge today on the cheap and enjoy a good pinball game or two, Roller Ball might be worth a shot.

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