Marble Madness (1989) (NES) Review

A NES game about marbles?

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Marble Madness may be one of the most bizarre video games that I own, you play as a marble and the objective of the game is to roll the marble through six different obstacle courses.

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You may think that this seems really easy, but believe me it’s not because the controls are very sensitive, one tap on the d-pad can get your marble rolling and then its up to you to carefully traverse past any obstacles,it genuinely feels like you are controlling a marble and because of that reason the game is immensely difficult, anything can happen you can fall into a dip in the course and then you will need to roll around to build up momentum and speed in order to push yourself back to the flat area, you can roll into acid and melt, you can be eaten by a snake, you can be blown off of the course by powerful gusts of air and you can even spin out of control and smash, and while all of this madness is happening you have a time limit!!

depending on how quickly you finish a course will determine how much time you will be given for the next course and once you hit zero seconds its game over and back to course 1.

You have six courses to get through and each course has its own specific design and theme.

Course 1 Practise

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This is literally the practise stage, no obstacles just a good way to get used to the controls by rolling to the goal while trying to avoid falling off of the course.

Course 2 Beginner

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Things start to get a little more challenging here, you will now need to travel through a bigger course than before while avoiding those green snakes who will eat you and also staying clear of the mean black marble that will try to knock you off of the edge.

Course 3 Intermediate

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This course isn’t too difficult but it does introduce a new hazard, puddles of acid are now in the game and if your marble touches any of these puddles it will immediately melt, also introduced is a really tough section of the course that requires you to avoid a green wave that will push you off of the edge of the map.

This course also brings back those annoying green snakes and the course in general has many high slopes for you to climb in order for you to reach the goal.

Course 4 Aerial

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This is where the game gets really tough, in the aerial course you will need to use fast speeds and patience in order to survive, while trying to build up speed to jump large gaps you will be greeted by many air blowers, the air blowers will blast heavy gusts of air at the marble attempting to knock it off course, also some areas of this course will have floors that will raise very quickly often throwing your marble into the depths below

Course 5 Silly

Silly

When you first start the silly course you are made to traverse up some rather steep hills, this is not too difficult to do but it can cause you to lose quite a lot of seconds if your not quick, you are again having to deal with the green snakes and the black marbles but now they are tiny and because of this they are much less dangerous and you shouldn’t have any trouble avoiding them, a new enemy introduced here is the purple birds, these birds are a pain they show up in a flock right at the end of the course and it is your job to try to avoid them while quickly making your way to the goal, it took me lots of practise before I could finish this level.

Course 6 Ultimate

Ultimate

This is the final level of the game and so as you may expect it is really hard, you need to patience, good timing, fast reflexes and constant movement in order to make it to the goal. You will need to get past puddles of acid, the black marble, and an extremely annoying final section that requires you to carefully travel across many disappearing and reappearing sections of a dangerous path and if you fall your marble will smash.

Marble Madness does in fact have a multiplayer mode, if 2 player mode is selected on the main menu, you will need to go through the same six courses from the single player mode, the only difference is that now there are two marbles on the screen instead of just one, Player one (Blue Marble) will need to race Player two (Pink Marble) to the goal, both players will be given the usual time bonus upon starting each course but whoever wins the race will be given extra time on top of the usual starting bonus.

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The overall winner is whoever makes the most points at the end of the game

Once you select either singleplayer or multiplayer you will be given a choice of either playing the game in 90 degrees mode or 45 degrees mode.

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In 90 degrees mode you hold the NES game pad vertically and you control the marble with all four of the D-PAD buttons

In 45 degrees mode you use all four of the D-PAD buttons but in this mode you need to rotate the NES controller so that the D-PAD looks like an X, some players find this mode easier because while playing the game you will be moving diagonally more often than you will be moving horizontally or vertically.

When I played through the game I realised just how brilliant the soundtrack is not only because the music if super fun to listen too but because of how it evolves throughout each course. In the early stages of the game the music is really fun and happy but when you go to the later stages the music starts to get more intense and crazy as if its warning you of the dangers lurking in the later sections of the game.

Final Verdict

Due to the sensitive controls this game can prove to be very difficult, I see this as positive thing because in reality marbles are round which means that they are very difficult to have control over once they start rolling and also due to their round shape the slightest touch can get marbles moving quite a distance before they come to stop, Marble Madness follows these rules and so it may surprise you that this game is actually quite realistic, its not just the physics based game play that’s impressive its also the way that the music changes with the atmosphere it really helps you feel immersed in the experience and it only goes to show just how special this little game about marbles really is.

Marble Madness is literally Madness, its a fantastic little game which uses realistic physics, has a surprisingly immerserive soundtrack, the game is challenging but still really fun to play I only wish there was a few more levels and maybe some more options such as changing the colour of your marble and being able to play with more than 2 players on multiplayer mode.

Marbles have never been so much fun 8.9/10

Thank you for reading my review of Marble Madness for the NES

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

My thoughts on Gender Roles in Society

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How often have you heard the phrase “Bacon is a mans meat” or “only boys can play with Transformers”

This is a form of forced gender roles and I am sure that everyone has heard a phrase or a saying similar to these at some point during their lifetime.

In this blog I am going to try and analyse why we have gender roles and my thoughts on the subject

The most common form of forced gender roles is found in toy stores, when you go into a toy store the two most common colours you will see are Pink and Blue.

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The reason for this is because Pink is often considered to be a girls colour while Blue is often considered to be a boys colour, the Pink section of a toys store will be filled with Barbies, My little Pony and Disney Princess while the blue section will be filled with G.I. Joe’s, Transformers and Hot wheels.

This would be a flawless idea if all girls liked girls things and all boys liked boys things, but what happens when a girl wants a Teenage mutant ninja turtle action figure or when a boy wants a My little pony doll?

You may think whats the big deal they can buy whatever they want, but how can they when society has told them that those toys are only for the other gender to play with.

This wasn’t as much of an issue until bronies hit the scene, bronies (A combination of bro and pony) are male fan’s of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic a show targeted at girls but surprisingly has a large male audience.

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So what happens in this situation because My little pony is Pink but the majority of its audience are males, which is something that I don’t think anyone saw coming.

you will often see bronies in the Pink section looking for my little pony stuff and people who see them will often look disgusted and pull their children closer to them, or if its a child who’s a brony then its usually the parents that will receive this treatment.

Toy stores are not the only thing that are very heavily genderized, the same can be said for TV shows, Movies, Music,magazines, shampoos, and pretty much everything.

A prime example would Pop Princesses, a CD series that is heavily advertised that it is for a female audience

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Another example would be any gaming magazine which are genuinely targeted towards a male audience with very few exceptions such as Girl Gamer (a gaming magazine for girls).

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something that makes me really happy is when I see a female who’s a plumber, builder or a mechanic all jobs which are often associated with men, the same goes when I see male receptionist, nurse, hairdresser and stay at home dad.

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Bringing gender roles into food and beverage is just stupid, anyone should be able to eat or drink what they want and I honestly don’t understand why people try to genderize food in the first place.

Women can eat Steak and men can drink wine, we should not be told what we should eat and drink just because we are a certain gender.

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Some people may look at gender roles as a good thing and I understand why some people believe that each gender should do as society says, personally I think that having gender roles is genuinely a bad idea not only because it limits the consumer to what they should buy depending on their gender, but I also feel that it affects the companies that produce the goods because limiting their products to specific genders does in some way limit the amount of money those companies can gain from sales.

Gender roles are something that we will always have, I don’t personally see it as good thing but I understand that it helps companies identify what gender they are targeting their products at and in that sense it does help benefit the companies in some way or form.

I think we need to draw the line when having gender roles becomes a brick wall built by society trying to prevent someone from taking on certain careers or purchasing gender specific products without them looking weird or strange in the eyes of the general public.

Whats your opinion on Gender Roles?

Do you agree with my opinions on the subject?

Thank you for reading this blog

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer