Well I haven't touched a Pinball game for the SNES since I reviewed Pinball Fantasies (which as I mentioned in my review was a port of an Amiga game)also ported to the Super Nintendo). At the time while listing a few other pinball games on the system (not the one I will be talking about today) I basically said that for your pin-balling needs you'd be better of looking at the megadrive well will this game change my opinion at all? I guess you will have to read on to find out.
Well the game I have been playing is Super Pinball: Behind the Mask a pinball simulator for the SNES that was released in 1994 in North America and Japan (I cant find any details on a European release, yet there seem to be pal copies being sold from various European countries so maybe it was just never brought out in the UK). It was made by a company called KAZe a video game developer whose headquarters were/are in Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan. Founded in 1987, KAZe is mostly known for developing various pachinko and pinball video games. In fact the last game they were involved with to my knowledge was a pinball gameShin Megami Tensei Pinball: Judgement which was released in 2006, published by Atlus. As far as I know they still exist they have just diversified into areas such as the development of Web sites, IT consultation and the cell phone industry. My favourite game they are responsible for would be a Japanese PS1 exclusive Power Rangers Zeo: Full Tilt Battle Pinball, a game I actually menttioned in my Pinball Fantasies review, when I wrote that review I had no idea Super Pinball Behind the Mask even existed but learning it did and who had made it I was obviously excited especially as it only cost me £2 for a loose cartridge of it including postage.
OK so to get in to the game a little bit Super Pinball: Behind the Mask features three different tables, a clown based one called "Jolly Joker", a pirate one called "Blackbeard and Ironmen", and a fantasy one called "Wizard.". All of the tables are shown in a way where you can see the whole table on the screen without the need for any scrolling. The issue however is that all of the tables are basically very straightforward and there design while very functional doesn't really show any real imagination. The ball physics are good, the controls are pretty much perfect but Its just not that interesting in the long run I am afraid. The graphics are functional but not exactly amazing, and the sound is well its a mixed bag they effects are good but the music gets very annoying very quickly. There is very little to the game other than trying to get the best high scores you can get but then there is no battery backup so unless you want to go old school and grab a pen and paper there is no real way to know if you have managed to improve in the long run. I guess I have ended up at the same point I did when I reviewed my last SNES pinball game, I cant call it a bad game, I can recognise that it does some things well but ultimately in this particular genre of games your just much better of looking at what the Megadrive has to offer.
Having rated Pinball Fantasies as a 6 out of 10 and feeling that while decent this game is not as good, I feel I have to give it the very average 5 out of 10. No its not a bad game, but there are a lot better games out there. I have seen a fair few copies of this on ebay and in other places but they are seldom being sold from inside the UK, if you want a pal copy they seem to be going for about £8 after postage with Japanese copies being closer to around £6, but then as these are coming from outside the UK there is the extra waiting and such and I just dont think this title is worth it. If you see one for as cheap as I did then jump on it, it is after all a perfectly playable game just not something to get excited about or go running to try and find. If you get a chance to try Power Rangers Zeo: Full Tilt Battle Pinball then I would strongly recommend that you do.