Violent, bloody and foul are three traits you won’t find here. Momonga Pinball Adventures is an adorable story about a squirrel like creature called Momo who is trying to rescue his tribe from the clutches of dastardly Owls. All this is laid out in a game of pinball with Momo representing the ball. Originally being released on mobiles in Japan, Paladin Studios have gone all out overhauling the visuals to bring it to Wii U in full 3D. Has the gamble paid off or is it just another frustrating pinball entry that drives you nuts?
Starting off with controls using the GamePad triggers you have the option of L, R, ZL and ZR to control the flippers. It’s very easy to pick up and jump right in especially if you’ve played any other pinball game. Linking sections of stages together Momoa can fly which in turn you must tilt the GamePad to grab any collectibles or avoid any obstacles. The two main characters you encounter are a Panda (lazily named Panda) and Fry the Firefly. Both are quite adorable with each (especially the latter) having a part to play in helping Momo defeat the evil General Kuton.
Art-style wise it has carried over reasonably well with the whole world brimming with colour. Would it be better suited on the 3DS? Possibly. I always prefer having a game on a wide-screen TV as opposed to playing it on a small portable handheld nevertheless there are occasions where this does not work out, simply due to taking visuals designed for less powerful devices and blowing them up for a larger screen. With Momonga it’s very hit and miss. Cracks do show throughout because of rough edges however the colour aspect overshadows this negative. Sadly it’s blatantly obvious that the roots of this game are from mobile which is something I want to forget if I’m playing this on my console.
Voice acting has been kept in Japanese with subtitles added. Smart decision as most times when English voice actors dub over foreign languages it rarely pans out well. The language is charming upon first listen but swiftly starts to agitate. You have the option to skip all interactions, however I found the voice acting carried on over one another piling up to be just discomforting noise.
Music is always a defining aspect of any game although here there seems to be an absence of tracks that managed to keep my attention. I quickly became dreary of the repetitive title music, even though it is very peaceful, like something you would find in a Buddhist temple. The aim here seems to be trying to create a sense of tranquility that the Owls have now disturbed. It works but apart from this there is nothing really to shout about.
Looking for a challenge? You’re in the wrong place as Momonga offers little to none. The only level that starts to ramp up the difficulty is the finale, yet this is purely because the luck factor plays so heavily here. Apart from this I managed to complete the entire story without dying once. Speaking of levels, Where are they? With only nine main story levels and three bonus, there is really a lack of content to justify this purchase. The game is easily beatable in under one hour with only challenges given for replayability. Again though these do not challenge the user whatsoever and the whole package can be wrapped up in no time whatsoever.
Momonga Pinball Adventures try’s to be an original, exciting story laid out in a pinball mechanic, however the lack of levels, disappointing difficulty and price when compared to its mobile counterpart all are too much for this little squirrel to handle. Sure there are a few minuscule moments where you actually get some fun, but it is not nearly enough, making this an unnecessary port. Trust me when I say it’s better to let this one roll straight past you.
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