Review by Psycho Penguin
"Hmmm.. I've played this before.. it's still great, though."
Well, this gets my selection as most difficult Genesis game ever. There is a reason this game is called Marble Madness: this game is so challenging it's insane!! The game has a very high challenge factor but the game is still pretty good nevertheless. It also was released for a few other consoles, inclduing NES, plus the arcade. The Genesis version is my favorite version of the game, although I have never played the arcade version. Anyways, Marble Madness is a fun and challenging game and a good pickup for your Sega Genesis collection.
The biggest problem with this is the fact that there really aren't that many differences between this version and the NES version of the game. The only reason I enjoy this game more than the NES version is because the Genesis controller has more buttons, which allows for more intiuitive control. Otherwise, this is pretty much the same game as the NES version, so don't bother wasting your time if you have the NES version already.
Graphically, there isn't too much flash to the game, but the substance is definitely there. This is not going to win any awards for graphical performance, but the game does look pretty neat nevertheless. It has a psuedo-3D look to it, with all these little twists and turns, so the game looks almost 2.5D to it. The marbles look just like marbles, surpisingly, and there is a variety of colors, but they all look the same. I especially love the animation when your marble crashes out, like the little broom and dustpan sweeping it up. It's a nice little touch. The enemies are rather simple in design, as most of them are either green walking blobs, or the same marbles you get to choose from. Oh well, I still thought the graphics were pretty neat, and the lack of slowdown helps in this area.
The music in the game is really solid, and I was definitely expecting less than what I got. There isn't really a huge variety of music, especially considering the amount of stages in the game. However, the music is really good, and gives off this chilling feeling that really suits the feeling of the game perfectly. You definitely feel like you need to not mess up while going around the various bends of the obstacle course, and the music conveys that feeling perfectly. Sound effects are good, especially the ones where your marble decides to fall off the side, it goes WHEEEEE as it goes down. Good stuff.
If this game needed one thing, it was good controls, and thankfully it has good controls. This game would have gotten a 1 if it had bad controls, because of the unique nature. You have to guide a marble through these mazes, but along the way, you have to worry about avoiding unique enemies. The mazes also branch off in paths sometimes, so you need to basically complete a maze like path avoiding enemies while being a marble. It may not sound like a lot of fun on paper, but trust me, once you get into the game, you will find a lot to enjoy. The only main problems are the insane challenge, lack of save feature, and a pretty disappointing two player mode. The cool thing about thw two player mode is it's co-op, so you can ram each other around a lot.
You will definitely want to replay this game a lot. It's fun and very innovative. While the long term appeal may not be there, due to the lack of secrets, it's definitely a blast to play. This game also happens to be an extreme challenge, due to the legendary amount of levels, and awesome level design. It's definitely tricky to manuever your marble around the various mazes, and you will definitely die a lot. You only get a limited amount of continues, and with no way to continue a game you played previously, it is quite intense.
Overall, Marble Madness is not going to win any awards for being an original GENESIS GAME, as it's just a rehash of the other ten billion versions of the game, but damn if this isn't one of the most innovative games of all time. It's fun, classic, and simply a lot of fun. Even with the flaws, you'll love Marble Madness. It's simply madness.
-It's one of the most original games out there.
-... And it's a lot of fun, to boot.
-The graphics and music are awesome.
-The stage designs are genius.
Not So Good Points
-It's just like the NES version for the most part.
-It might be a little too challenging.
-Enemy designs are a little lackluster.
-Two player mode is a tad disappointing.
I Run Down The Game... Psycho Penguin Style!
Storyline - Not Available
Graphics - 8.2/10
Music - 8.8/10
Sound Effects - 8.7/10
Controls - 9.1/10
Gameplay - 8.3/10
Replay Value - Above Average
Challenge - Above Average
Is This Game Worth A Purchase? - If you don't own it for NES, sure.
Overall - 8.3/10
The Bottom Line
Despite the fact it may be rehash, it's still a fun and classic game that is well worth your time. You've never seen anything like this, and chances are you never will again. It's totally unique, and fun to boot.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/27/00, Updated 01/10/02
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