Marble Blast Ultra - Xbox Live Arcade review

  • Super detailed textures
  • Plenty of different game modes
  • White-knuckle multiplayer
  • Wonky marble bounciness
  • Unfortunate multiplayer lag
  • Falling to your death

In the long history of video games, the act of frantically rolling balls around multileveled tangles of track has a proven appeal. From Marble Madness to Super Monkey Ball, navigating your orb through a ridiculous obstacle course in record time is the pinnacle of arcade satisfaction. Marble Blast Ultra is the high definition realization of this time-honored concept.

A decent single-player game, MBU presents a challenging 60-level campaign to test your stick-twiddling thumbs. Rolling your marble through the tutorials will give you all the knowledge you need to master a wide variety of special maneuvers. Super-jump, super-speed, mega-marble (beefs your marble up to super-size) and the game's namesake marble blast (an explosion you can trigger to boost your jump or devastate other rollers) deliver enough of a twist on the old-school roll-around game to keep you interested.

The real pay-off of Marble Blast Ultra is in the swear-inspiring multiplayer. You probably want to turn your headset to mute during these matches as the action gets frantic enough to encourage streams of ear-blistering curses from even the most level-headed gamer. In a full 8-player game, the competition is ferocious with all eight marbles vying for a few precious red gems. Once you grab 'em, another set appears (usually on the other side of the map) and it's another mad rolling dash to collect more. Matches typically end up looking like someone dropped a stick of dynamite in a sack of marbles, only in reverse, because everyone converges on the gems. It's so simple in concept, but so rewarding to actually pull-off a win.

More Info

Release date: Jan 25 2006 - Xbox 360 (US)
Jan 25 2006 - Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360
Genre: Family
Published by: Garage Games
Developed by: Garage Games
ESRB Rating:


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