Review by wolverinefan
Fun but maybe not worth the points.
Switchball is a puzzle game along the lines of Marble Blast Ultra. However it offers longer stages and not quick little puzzles. It's one of the few original Live Arcade titles I enjoyed from the 2007 line up.
Switchball has some very nice graphics. From the cliched levels (fire, ice, ect) the boards and even the ball look amazing. The balls different forms also look cool. My favorite is the one that you need to charge. It kind of glows green which casts a green light on different things as you pass them. Very nicely done.
The music in the game is a bit boring but it's not horrible. I would have preferred more of an adventurous sound. The sound effects are fairly basic with thumps and bounces.
The game controls much smoother than Marble Blast Ultra as well. You pretty much move with the left analog stick, jump with the A button and use your special with the X button.
Switchball offers 30 levels to play. None of them are truly linear either as they offer branching paths and other ways to get around.
The goal of the game is to reach the end of the level and to do so you need to use the different power ups around the level to get there. One might give you a dashing ability which you'll use on ramps to clear gaps while another will increase your size to roll along a track in the air while another makes you heavier so you can move objects like crates.
None of it is all that original but it's very fun to play. Actually the entire game is fun to play and it's some of the best gaming I've seen come out of the Live Arcade in 2007.
The game offers some easy achievements but a few might be harder to get. There is also some Live multi player but again my Live is acting up so I have no idea how popular it is on-line and what there is to offer. I'll be sure to update this as soon as my Live is working again.
I'd recommend this game to anyone who enjoyed Marble Blast Ultra. It's not all that difficult or original but it's just a fun little game to play every now and then. I will admit that I don't think it's really worth the 800 points though.
Story - N/A
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 6/10
Control - 9/10
Game Play - 8/10
Replay Value - 7/10
Final Score - 8/10
Product Release: Switchball (US, 11/07/07)
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