Marble Blast Ultra Reviews

  • Rebmob x360aRebmob x360a145,417
    04 Jan 2010 04 Jan 2010
    18 0 1
    Marble Blast Ultra (400 Microsoft Points)
    For Fans Of: Puzzle Games, Marbles and Gems, Super Monkey Ball

    (Graphics) 4.5 / 5
    For an arcade game, and an old one at that Marble Blast Ultra has some pretty decent visuals. It's a huge step up from it's older computer version! A HUGE step up, but there's nothing really too impressive about the graphics. Let's just say they suit the game very well.

    (Gameplay) 5 / 5
    Overall Marble Blast Ultra does mostly everything right. All sixty levels in singleplayer are fun, and challenging. And eight player versus online is very fun and addicting. The developers even felt like hiding twenty easter eggs throughout the game's single player levels for you to find. The only thing I would like to see is an expansion to the single player campaign or a level editor. If you love a challenge, and puzzle games, this is the game for you!

    (Singleplayer) 4.5 / 5
    First let me start by explaining your objective while playing this game. You must rush to the finish line as fast as you can on most levels, and sometimes collect a certain amount of gems on your way while maneuvering through numerous obstacles. Singleplayer offers up to sixty levels ranging from beginner, intermediate and advanced. Twenty levels each, and a difficulty level for everyone to enjoy. It does get pretty tough in the advanced levels, but nothing is impossible. (YouTube is your friend!) Overall after beating all of the singleplayer levels in par time, you can look back and say that was a satisfying ride. The only thing the game lacks, is singleplayer DLC support, and maybe a level editor? There isn't much replayability unless you haven't beaten all the levels under par time, but the single player is definitely fun and challenging.

    (Multiplayer) 4.5 / 5
    Multiplayer still excels, the game has been out for a few years now on Xbox Live arcade and it's still easy to find a versus match with up to eight players! The reason I gave this a 4.5 is because there is only one game mode, versus. In this game mode up to eight players compete to collect the most gems by the end of a time limit. It may sound boring, but things can get hectic! The developer even cranked out two multiplayer map packs that you can download for 200MS points each, not that you need them. This game comes stock with a ton of multiplayer levels, and if you know some one who bought the map packs you can have them host a match if you want to play any of them even though you haven't bought them. I would love to see other game modes, how about a race to the checkpoint game mode?

    + Singleplayer and multiplayer is very fun!
    + You can still find an eight player match in multiplayer years after the games release!
    - Why not release any singleplayer DLC?
    ? When will we see Marble Blast Ultra 2?

    OVERALL SCORE: 4.5 Stars / 5
    4.0
    Showing only comment.
    tractakid4.5 rounded to the nearest star should be 5, so change this review to give a 5* score!
    Posted by tractakid on 07 Jan 10 at 16:27
  • RaythebestRaythebest164,658
    09 Aug 2010 29 Apr 2011
    14 0 2
    Marble Blast Ultra

    Overview
    Marble Blast Ultra is a new and improved version of the PC title Marble Blast Gold, that was released in 2003. Marble Blast Ultra hit the Xbox Live Marketplace in January 2006, with a price of 800 Microsoft Points. However, on December 5th 2007, it's price was lowered to 400 Microsoft Points. The game includes two new power-ups, a multiplayer mode, the blast ability, 20 easter eggs and 60 splendid levels.

    Gameplay
    Marble Blast Ultra features 60 well designed levels, some of them were also in it's predecessor Marble Blast Gold, but most of them are brand new. The levels are split into three sets of difficulties. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Each of the sets has 20 levels, and a color to represent them. Some of the levels are straight forward, all you have to do, is to simply reach the finish as fast as you possibly can. While other levels has a set amount of gems that you have to locate before you can finish the level. To avoid frustrated gamers starting from the beginning over and over the developers has put in a fair amount of checkpoints that you can also go back to after being there the first time to save your progress once again.

    Each level has it's own par time which can be slightly challenging on the harder levels if you're just starting out.Usually on your first playthrough you'll get stuck on a couple of levels, mostly on Advanced but likely also on a couple of the Intermediate levels, but you'll be able to skip them and come back later, only to realize how much you have improved. If you have an okay run, without too many mistakes you'll easily pull off the par time. On every level there are a number of obstacles that will hinder you from getting much further, but there are always power-ups there to help you out, you could also combine a couple of skillshots to get past them quicker. You also start out with the blast ability, which is an ability that you constantly recharge, you'll be able to use it quite often but you'll have to wait some time for it to be at maximum power. Blast helps you jump higher and you can make some tough jumps that you wouldn't be able to make without it.

    - The Power-Ups

    Along the way you'll also find numerous power-ups that will help your Marble on it's journey from the starting point to the finish. You have the Super Jump and Super Speed, which makes you either jump super high or send you at a high speed in whichever direction you want to. You have a Mega Marble that turn you into a giant marble. With this power up you can avoid falling down small gaps. It can also provide a little extra jumping power. The Time Travel, is a hourglass power-up that stops time for five seconds, the time travel effect works with other time travels aswell, so if you pick up two it's not only five seconds starting when you pick up the last time travel, but the time bonus adds up. The Gyrocopter is your own little helicopter cap. With this you can cross big gaps or fly to tricky locations on a level that can only be reached with a Gyrocopter. Gravity Modifiers, by many not looked at as a power-up along with the Time Travel. The Gravity Modifier changes the gravitation, and you can suddenly roll on the walls and in the roof of the level.The Ultra Blast will help you even more than just a standard blast and as soon as you pick it up your blast will be fully recharged. This is a power-up that has more of an effect in Multiplayer as it will send any fellow marble blaster adjacent to you, flying.

    A perfect combination of power-ups. Two from the original Marble Blast Gold didn't make it into Marble Blast Ultra. The Shock Absorber and the Super Bounce, but they aren't missed in any way.

    - Graphics

    The game's graphics is pretty good for a 2006 arcade game. It beats alot of other arcade games, even some that are released now. It's not flawless, but when you sit there playing the game the graphics won't be a problem at all. If you try the first game, Marble Blast Gold. You'll see the huge improvements in graphics they made. So this is one of the many positive sides of the game. The background music on the other hand, is repetitive. There's only one song/beat and it's on repeat. I'm still sane though, even after having played the game ocassionally for four years the music still don't bother me. The game is a laidback game so you could chat with your party or something instead of listening to the in-game music anyway.

    Achievements

    The achievements are pretty straight forward, the first few are simple. Your first easter egg and level under par time are easily achieveable on level one. After that you'll have to complete every level, and every level under par time for all the difficulty sets to get your next six achievements. These are probably the achievements that are going to be hardest to achieve, especially the ones for advanced. This game though, only takes a couple of days of practice at most to be able to beat all par times. Nothing too frustrating, as you can always skip a level and come back to it and then you'll probably be able to beat it. The big challenge of the game is Level 60, "Schadenfreude". This level has a par time of 3:30:00 which at first seems pretty hard, you'll most likely spend more than ten minutes on first time completing it, but with enough practice at this game the par times become so easy it's not even a challenge anymore.

    The Easter Eggs are another fun addition to get something more out of the game, collecting them all is also an achievement. These are no problem at all with a proper guide so any completionist with enough determination should have no problem with this. The hardest one for most players is on the level "Black Diamond". With some luck you'll eventually hit this one though.

    The last three achievements are Multiplayer achievements. They are easily boostable as they can be done in private games. Gaining 2000 gems does take some time in the beginning but if you really enjoy the game you could end up gaining more than 100.000 gems in total.

    Multiplayer


    The game comes with ten multiplayer levels. They're very different from each other, some are small, some are big, even the friction of the levels are different. The easiest level for most starters is the level "King of the Marble". This is also the level where most players stand a chance at winning games as people who have played for some time usually dominate the harder ones. Sprawl is the most common of the levels that the long time players play, especially those that aim to win every game they are in. In Multiplayer the objective is to collect the most gems in three to five minutes (depending on the level you're playing). There are three different types of gems, blue gems are worth five points, yellow are worth two and red are worth one point. The player with the most points when the time runs out is the winner. You're able to play with eight people at a time, and when you make the game you can set the amount of max players between two and eight. You can also make seven slots private. Now, almost five years after it's release people still play this game online. There are always people online so it's definitely not a dead game.

    There is another section of multiplayer though that is rarely touched by anyone. Ranked Match, these matches have no private slots and count towards a TrueSkill ranking on the leaderboards. Everyone usually plays player matches though and achievements are obtainable there, so that's no problem at all for the completionists.

    The online experience in the game is a blast. You could either be one of those people that simply rolls around for fun while talking to the Marble Blast Community, or you could be having a good time competing for the number one spot. It's simple and addictive.

    - Multiplayer DLC

    There was also added some DLC recently. The "Marble It Up!" pack is free, and has one achievement and one new map. The other two packs cost 200 MSP each and both also have one achievement. Each of the mutliplayer level packs have 5 new levels, but you don't need to buy it to play them. You could join a game with these maps, but then you won't be able to get your beloved achievements.

    I think this add-on really wasn't what the game needed. The most popular online maps are still the free ones. If the players got to decide, they would've definitely picked Single Player DLC over Multiplayer DLC, but that's the way it is.

    Replayability

    Once you have all the achievements in this game, most of the completionists will probably add them to their completed games collection and never touch it again. However, this game is addictive and another one of those games that if you really enjoy it, then it's hard to stop playing. If you have enough friends on LIVE you can probably find a few of them on the single player leaderboards and beating their times and moving up the leaderboards is always something you can work on, even after you've gotten par time on all the levels. There are alot of new routes and you can always improve your time with new skillshots, edgehits, tweaks and methods that you previously never thought you would be able to pull off.

    Glitches
    (just for the information, not much to do with my review unless it matters to you and if this changes anything)

    The game community has spotted alot of glitches. Some pretty annoying, others create more possibilities for players that just want to have fun. The annoying one is a leaderboards glitch where some people have managed to copy their time. It has misused to get on top of the leaderboards for every level, destroying alot of the competitive part, especially if you aim for the top spot. Most of the other glitches unlock more possibilities in the multiplayer gametype. Some of these lets you play never-ending games or even single player levels in multiplayer. Some of these glitches are only known by a couple of people while others are easily found on YouTube for everyone to enjoy.

    Overall

    A great addictive game, totally worth the five dollars it costs. If you happily enjoy beating your friends personal records or see yourself moving up the leaderboards, this is definitely the game for you. I suggest you try the trial anyway. It might not be love at first sight, but if you slightly enjoy it I promise you that it'll be way more enjoyable in the full game. If I would have to say something bad about this game it would have to be the glitched leaderboards and the need for more singleplayer levels. After almost five years, the hardcore players have perfected their times on every single level and the singleplayer game community is pretty much dead, at least among the top. That's a combination of the lack of new levels and the leaderboards glitching's fault.

    Rating

    Value: 5/5

    Definitely worth 400 MSP, I bought it when it was 800, and I don't regret it.

    Gameplay: 4/5

    Comparing it to Switchball it has alot of more speed and more action, there's always a way to improve your time or a new pathway to pull off.

    Replayability: 4.5/5

    If you enjoy beating your times, this is one of the games you just can't get off. "One More Go!"

    Multiplayer: 3.8/5


    It's fun and enjoyable, but kind of hard to get into because of all the tryhards wanting to steal every single gem in their path.

    Overall: 4.2/5
    4.0
  • AerodynamoAerodynamo168,851
    05 Jan 2009 05 Jan 2009
    18 5 5
    Marble Blast ultra
    400 Microsoft Points


    About the Game (taken from www.xbox.com)

    "Suitable for players of any age, Marble Blast Ultra transports you to a futuristic 'astrolab' arena suspended high in the clouds. Compete against each other by navigating your marbles through moving platforms and dangerous hazards, while collecting rare gems and power-up enhancements, in an effort to complete each course in record time. Compete head to head in Xbox Live® ultra blast multiplayer mode! "


    Gameplay ( 9 / 10 )

    Do you remember that game at the arcade that involves a dropped marble on a board with several holes, and a handle to control the board. You have to watch the marble roll, and try to make it into the right hole in order to get however many tickets? Marble Blast Ultra is like that game, minus the tickets. You are rolling a giant marble around on a board in the hopes of making it to the finish in time. Along the way, you must collect gems and get past a variety of obstacles. There are 60 puzzles in the game, which range from extremely easy to ridiculously impossible.


    Graphics ( 8 / 10 )

    For an arcade game with a 3D marble, it looks pretty fun. Especially when you see the reflections of the level off of the marble you are rolling around, and how real that looks. Everything looks very fun and flashy.


    Sound ( 7 / 10 )

    Nothing special, but not incredibly annoying. Can get annoying when you pick up 8 power-ups in a row in multiplayer, but because this isn't a frequent thing, it doesn't become too bothersome


    Replayability ( 9 / 10 )

    Besides the major reason to replay the game in order to collect the easter eggs, I have fun going back and playing a few levels to try and beat my times every now and then. It gets addicting to try to climb the leaderboards, especially when so many people own this game.


    Pros:
    Challenging Puzzles
    60 Levels
    Fun Multiplayer

    Cons:
    Nearly impossible and frustrating final level, which feels rewarding to complete
    Costly DLC, which I guess is made up for by the game's low cost

    Recommendations:
    Patience, a couple of hours, and a brain for puzzles


    Recap:

    Gameplay ( 9 / 10 )
    Graphics ( 8 / 10 )
    Sound ( 7 / 10 )
    Replayability ( 9 / 10 )


    Overall ( 8.25 / 10 )

    If you love puzzle games, and games like Super Monkey Ball or anything similar, you'll like this game. The controls are easy, which makes solving the puzzles the only difficulty, and doing so in the time limit becomes harder and harder.
    4.0
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