Madballs in... Babo Invasion

Review: Keep rollin', rollin', rollin'!

Despite having one of the worst names in videogame history, Madballs in Babo:Invasion is both a pleasing nostalgia trip and a surprisingly deep arcade shooter.

The action takes place from an isometric viewpoint, as the gooey '80s toys roll around and battle the spherical Babos. It's half Marble Blast, half Unreal Tournament, set in gigantic obstacle course-style arenas.

Campaign mode supports one to four player co-op. Each level is constructed like a huge puzzle, with multiple routes and areas that only certain characters can access.

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There's a ton of upgrades and perks, and they're awarded at a compelling pace. Every weapon has a secondary fire mode, and there are four character classes, each with their own ways of getting around the levels.

Multiplayer supports 16 combatants online, making for some truly hectic battles. There's also the option to use your Avatar's head as a playable character, which is a nice touch. The developer is able to make balancing tweaks without forcing patches on you, too - a first for XBLA.

Another cool feature is invasion mode, allowing two teams to create a unique map on the fly before a match. It's a shame you can't save the best ones, but it does mean that every game of invasion is unique.

Madballs in Babo:Invasion seems like it should be short-lived, but the constant flow of unlockables and perks keeps it fun for a long time.

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The verdict

Xbox Live Arcade