Marble Blast Ultra on XBOX 360 Live Arcade

This popped up on Live tonight.

Never tried any previous versions of this but I have to say I’m hooked. It’s kind of like an uber marble madness with nice 720p support, tight controls, cool power ups, and great level design. I haven’t even tried the multiplayer yet. It cost 800 points. The trial is very short.
My 4 year old son just loves watching me play it.

Sounds cool. Any word on when we’ll see Crystal Quest?

The control is quite nice, and I like some of the additions to the monkey ball like play. They have gravity modifiers, and the ability to jump and bomb.

The ability to see a post on QT3, stop my DVD from playing, and instantly buy it is fantastic. For both the consumer and the creator.

The beginner levels just fly by. I’ve already finished all of them under par. (I got the #6 complete time on the Skate Park level on my first try, but subsequent attempts to bring the time down instead increased it)

But I tried a couple of the intermediate levels and one of the expert, and they take a bit longer. Especially if you go for the par time.

As an aside, Bob, I saw you’re like number five in the world in Hexic Survival Mode. Awesome job!

He’s also the person my wife is chasing in Bejeweled. Bob, I think your score in action mode (and the achievement as well) is safe. We’ll never get close.

Is that the Crystal Quest? The Mac game from the late 80s with all the weird sound effects? If so, then cool. :)

Out of curiosity, how do you control your marble in this Marble Blast game? Does a Marble Madness-like game work without a trackball?

Yup it’s that Crystal Quest. Supposed to come with a new HD spiffy version, and the classic ‘retro’ version. That’s mostl likely my next Live Arcade purchase.

Thanks. When I got that score, I was #2.

I don’t have the action mode achievement. I made it to level 8, but you need to pass level 8. I’m not sure I’ll ever do it.

I’m not certain it’s possible. Those records on Xbox Live are lies, lies!

Just finished the last of the singleplayer levels (only have par in 4 of the expert levels, though… not sure I’ll ever get par on all of them) and I tried some multiplayer for the first time. Initial impressions: holy crap, this rocks!

I set up a two-player match on the King of the Marble level (I think that was the name). It’s just a pretty small floating platform with an assload of powerups scattered about. There’s a mega marble (or something) powerup in the center that makes your marble grow quite a bit larger. This also has the desirable side effect of launching far into space any other marbles unfortunate enough to touch you. Also on the platform are a few ultra blast powerups which significantly increase the power of your blast; unfortunately, even an ultra blast has little effect on a mega marble if you’re a regular-sized marble.

So I created the match and the second time through some guy joined that was pretty comparable to me in skill; we played five or six matches and tied half of them, and two more were within two points. I was giggling like a giggling fool as I caromed my opponent far into the distance. Being thrust into space myself often produced just as much giggling.

Highly recommended.

Okay, I take back my self-doubt. Tonight I went through and collected 17 of the 20 easter eggs, and in doing so I noticed my skills increasing substantially. Some of those levels are still going to take a lot of work (the last one especially), but it’s definitely doable.

As for the eggs, I used a list that tells you what levels they’re on, but provides no further info. That way you still get the fun of hunting them down and figuring out how to collect them, without needlessly hunting around levels that don’t have any.

I don’t think Crystal Quest would work that well with a console controller. Half the game was the excellent mouse control, with just the right amount of drag applied to the on-screen ship thinger.

It was a game designed around the mouse itself, as the mouse was a piece of new technology and a game like that couldn’t have worked before having one.

It’s like trying to play Shufflepuck Cafe using a joystick.

That’s funny, my only experience with CQ was on the Gameboy, where I thought it controlled just fine.

Picked this up last night and I am going to say if you are easily frustrated stay far far away from this one. It is endless repeat until you get it right gameplay and when you are done you don’t feel like you accomplished anything more you are just totally relieved you are done with it and never have to deal with it again. I am in the middle of this stupid series of jumps on an intermediate level where you have to make like 10 or 12 in a row with holes in the platforms and up and up these tiny platforms. The last one in the sequence is across an extra long jump so after you knock off the first 10 or so you have this one and if you miss it you go back to the beginning of the series. I am ready to break my controller over this but I don’t want to quit the level because there is even more annoying shit back before this sequence and I can’t imagine having to deal with it again.

– Xaroc

I was singularly unimpressed with Marble Blast Ultra. Astro Pop just made it onto CertNet, so I’m not sure when it is going to get propogated out to the production environment, but it is the next great Live Arcade game not named Street Fighter. (When you hear the breathy female voice say “mega combo!” you’re going to roll your eyes, then you’re going to want to hear her again and again.)

If you are on the intermediate level from the demo, you can hold forward to help you with the jumps. It stops your marble from bouncing up and down between the jumps.

I got a similar impression from the demo. Anybody actually have fun trying the last part of the first advanced level (the one with the 20 blocks going up and down)?

Marble Blast Ultra is fantastic. Sometime last week I finished getting the par times on the advanced levels. It took about an hour to get the last level, but the others were not even remotely that hard. Once I play more multiplayer and get the “2000 points total” achievement, this will become the first game on which I’ve maxed out the gamerpoints.

I’m surprised that people find the game frustrating to the point of negativity, because usually I’m very sensitive to that sort of thing, and it wasn’t an issue here. Sometimes a certain level will get a little frustrating, but that’s when you move on to another level and come back later. Your skills are constantly improving even when you don’t notice.

I don’t know what intermediate level you’re talking about, but here’s a tip for series of jumps: if you hold down the jump button, you’ll immediately jump again upon landing. That way you just have to get your speed right and not worry about the button timing.

Yeah baby I wonder when I will have a machine that lets me play downloadable casual games.

Hmmmm Shufflepuck Cafe…

Interesting point. I found Zuma unplayable with the controller.