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Marble Madness (NES) artwork

Marble Madness (NES) review


"Interesting Innovator from Rare "



Interesting Innovator from Rare

Another childhood memory on the NES, Marble Madness was actually one of my least favorites. When I played it again a couple weeks ago, I enjoyed it alot more. I realized the true genius of the game. Marble Madness was another one of Rare's coin operated games on the arcade, which was brought to the NES.

Graphics: 7/10
One of the first 3d games for the NES, Marble madness features interesting backgrounds with polygon like marbles. For an NES game, you can't get much more spherical then that. The backgrounds also look very interesting. There are a few graphical glitches at times, but for the most part, it looks very good. Also, whenver your marble breaks it has a nice little animation for cleaning it up.

Gameplay: 7/10
The gameplay is very new and innovative, which not many other games ever decided to follow up on. Basically you play as a marble. You must go through different levels while controlling your marble and go through different obstacles. Many of the levels involve small twists and turns. The problem with the gameplay is that it is very easy to die. If you fall from the slightest ledge your marble breaks, which is very unrealistic. Also, if you crash you have to start over from a farther away point. You can also get dizzy if you hit anything. The main point of the game is to get through the levels in the time limit. If you beat the level before the time runs out you get a time bonus for the next level. There are also other marbles throughout the levels trying to break you. They add a nice little touch to the game. The control like you do, so you aren't completely helpless. You can break them, too. The bad control though brings the game's fun down a notch and the game's challenge up about 5 notches.

Sound/Music: 10/10
The music is some of the best on the NES. Other than Wizards and Warriors, this is probably the best music to come from Rare. All the levels have awesome catchy tunes, which have you cranking up the volume and wasting time in the level because you can't stop listening to the music. A number of the songs are russian jingles, but, knowing the Russians who did the music for Tetris, I wasn't surprised.

Control: 5/10
The control really drags the game down. You choose from a 90 degree control or a 45 degree control. I can't really find a difference, but they're both equally bad. Moving the marble is extremely sluggish and slippery, adding to the ''challenge'' of the game. This wouldn't be so bad, but the majority of the game is spent going through very thin bridges and across large slopes leading into bottomless pits. Sometimes you can't really control the marble at all. I understand this is being realistic, since it's phsyically impossible to control the movement of a perfect sphere, but this could be a bit easier to control. Also, when you crash into something, you don't crack, you become dizzy, in which you have even less control than you did. That plus the extremely fragile marble itself makes the game extremely hard.

Replay Value: 6/10
Once you beat it, there's not really much of a point, excepting racing your friends. Although that is pretty fun, it still doesn't save the fact that the game isn't fun to play through again since you need a miracle to get through it the first time.

Overall: 7/10
One of Rare's first NES games, Marble Madness is no push-over. It is innovative with great music and cool gameplay. Had it not been so difficult and had such bad control it would have been a much better game.

Pros:
Fun
Great Music

Cons:
Bad control
Very Hard

To Buy or Not To Buy:

If you like change in games, you might enjoy it. If you get frustrated easily, stay away from it.

Rating: 7/10

aganar's avatar
Community review by aganar (Date unavailable)

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