Highly recommended! The Xbox version contained improved graphics mainly bump mapping and reflection and replaced a number of Marble Blast Gold levels with newer ones, including: Black Diamond, The Road Less Travelled, Root Cube and others. The Xbox version can no longer be bought since Microsoft moved to the newer Xbox Live Arcade, but those who purchased Marble Blast Gold and still have it on their Xbox can still play it. Marble Blast Ultra had upgraded graphics as it used the Torque Game Engine Advanced , leaderboards and multiplayer up to 8 players. Players could play any of the 10 original multiplayer levels and in were able to purchase 10 additional levels, which were split in 5 levels per pack, for Microsoft Points per pack.
Users who purchased Marble Blast Ultra can still play it. Players at first started with five default marbles and needed to purchase additional marbles if they wanted to use those.
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A number of Marble Blast avatars were also available for purchase. The developers were split on which level Core or Concentric was better, and they eventually chose Core. Concentric went to Marble Blast Ultra in place of Core. Multiplayer is also available. Many of these levels were modified from the original and received some extensions to make them more compatible to the smaller screen. Published by Digital Transfusion. Developed by Digital Transfusion.
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March 10, 2006
To rate and review, sign in. Sign in. Showing out of 4 reviews. Filter by: All reviews All reviews Most recent. The player controls the marble by using a trackball. Marble Madness is known for using innovative game technologies. It was Atari's first to use the Atari System 1 hardware and to be programmed in the C programming language. The game was also one of the first to use true stereo sound ; previous games used either monaural sound or simulated stereo. In designing the game, Cerny drew inspiration from miniature golf , racing games , and artwork by M.
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He aimed to create a game that offered a distinct experience with a unique control system. Cerny applied a minimalist approach in designing the appearance of the game's courses and enemies. Throughout development, he was frequently impeded by limitations in technology and had to forgo several design ideas. Upon its release, Marble Madness was commercially successful, becoming a profitable arcade game. Praise among critics focused on the game's difficulty, unique visual design, and stereo soundtrack. The game was ported to numerous platforms and inspired the development of other games.
A sequel was developed and planned for release in , but canceled when location testing showed the game could not succeed in competition with other titles. Marble Madness is an isometric platform game in which the player manipulates an onscreen marble from a third-person perspective.
The player controls the marble's movements with a trackball , though most home versions use game controllers with directional pads. The aim of the game is for the player to complete six maze-like, isometric race courses before a set amount of time expires. With the exception of the first race, any time left on the clock at the end of a race is carried over to the next one, and the player is granted a set amount of additional time as well. The game allows two players to compete against each other, awarding bonus points and extra time to the winner of each race; both players have separate clocks.
Courses are populated with various objects and enemies designed to obstruct the player. As the game progresses, the courses become increasingly difficult and introduce more enemies and obstacles. Each course has a distinct visual theme. For example, the first race titled "Practice" is a simple course that is much shorter than the others, while the fifth race named "Silly" features polka-dot patterns and is oriented in a direction opposite that of the other courses. Cerny and Flanagan first collaborated on a video game based on Michael Jackson's Thriller. The project was canceled and the two began working on an idea of Cerny's that eventually became Marble Madness.
Cerny designed Marble Madness in accordance with these company goals. He was first inspired by miniature golf and captivated by the idea that a play field's contours influenced the ball's path. Cerny began testing various ideas using Atari's digital art system.
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After deciding to use an isometric grid, Cerny began developing the game's concept. His initial idea involved hitting a ball in a way similar to miniature golf, but Atari was unenthusiastic. Cerny next thought of racing games and planned for races on long tracks against an opponent. Technology limitations at the time were unable to handle the in-game physics necessary for the idea, and Cerny switched the game's objective to a race against time.
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The development toolkit for the Motorola CPU included a compiler for the C programming language , which the two programmers were familiar with. After Atari had conducted performance evaluations, it approved usage of the language. Atari games had previously been programmed in assembly language. Cerny decided to use a trackball system marketed by Atari as Trak-Ball to give the game a unique control system, and he chose a motorized trackball for faster spinning and braking when the in-game ball traveled downhill and uphill, respectively.
As it was building the prototypes, Atari's design department informed Cerny that the motorized trackball's design had an inherent flaw—one of the four supports had poor contact with the ball—and the use of a regular trackball was more feasible. Additionally, Cerny had anticipated the use of powerful custom chips that would allow RAM -based sprites to be animated by the CPU, but the available hardware was a less-advanced system using ROM -based, static sprites. These technical limitations forced Cerny to simplify the overall designs.