If you didn't know already, I am an achievement hoarder. If I own the game, then I try to get the achievements. Don't get me wrong though, I don't go out and buy terrible games for easy gamerscore, I simply put myself through torturous situations in order to get some fake points. But I love it!

So I recently got Marble Blast Ultra from the Xbox Live Arcade because I had heard great things about it. Also it was only 400 Microsoft Points or 5$. I just want to start by saying that this game goes from incredibly easy to incredibly insane. However it does keep you playing because you just want that sweet taste of victory.

Controls
First off, the controls are simple. Left Stick to move, Right Stick to look around, A to jump, Right Trigger for special and Right Bumper for a little blast off the ground for extra height. The simplicity of these controls make it easy to get into the game right away. For the 5-6 hours I played this, I never felt the controls lag or ever impair my game.

Goal
The game is simple enough, get your marble from the starting platform to the finishing platform while jumping over any obstacles in your path. All this seems pretty simple especially when there are power-ups in the game to help you. But this could not be any more wrong. Pressure is the main factor in completing this game. Even though you have an unlimited amount of time to complete the level, there is a par time put in place for those to challenge themselves. Not only that, but there are also 20 easter eggs to find hidden throughout the 60 total levels. Like before, the easter eggs start from easy to find to "why the hell did they put one there."

Achievement Layout, Tips, etc.
There are a total of 15 achievements in this game (3 from 3 separate DLC)
There are 9 single player and 6 multiplayer to be had.
-Single Player
There are a total of 3 difficulty stages with 2 achievements tied to them a piece.
---Beginner Stage
3396.jpgApprentice's Badge: Complete all Beginner stages.
3395.jpgMarble-fu Initiate: Complete par times of all Beginner Stages.
The Beginners Stage is easy and shouldn't take more than 30 minutes to complete. The first few levels are spent introducing game mechanics which are easy to understand anyway. Also, the par times are very easy to pass which means both of these achievements are pretty easy to get.
---Intermediate Stage
3391.jpgJourneyman's Badge: Complete all Intermediate Stages.
5245.jpgMarble-fu Master: Complete par times of all Intermediate Stages.
This is when things start turning sour. These require a little bit more patience and are based solely on trial and error. Trust me, if you do these enough times, patterns will get burned into your head.
---Advanced Stage
5244.jpgAdept's Badge: Complete all Advanced Stages
5243.jpgMarble-fu Transcendent: Complete par times of all Advanced Stages.
Alrighty, where to begin? These stages are a major pain in the ass! I found myself completing some of them within milliseconds of the par time. These levels are so frustrating and require a major amount of patience and some also require perfect jumps with perfect speeds to complete. Some levels do not even have checkpoints which adds to the difficulty. Be sure to settle in if you want to get these par times done in one sitting. It took me 4 hours to complete, so the best of luck to you.
---Other
3397.jpgTimely Marble: Complete one level under par time.
3394.jpgEgg Seeker: Find any hidden easter egg.
168100.jpgEgg Basket: Find all 20 hidden easter eggs.
Timely Marble you can and will get by Level one. Also, you can get the Egg Seeker achievement in the first level if you look hard enough :) However, finding all twenty eggs becomes a giant pain even from Level 1. I would suggest looking up where the eggs are, but if you want the additional challenge, go ahead and find all 20 by yourself. One last tip, they are very rarely in plain sight and are usually at the top of a level or under a random structure. Once again, good luck.
-Multiplayer
I will not go into great detail with these since they usually are gotten over time by just playing the multiplayer. I will go over one though.
3392.jpgGem Collector: Collect 75 gems in one multiplayer match.
To get this the easy way, create a custom match on the stage of your liking, throughout the game gather the gems you need. Eventually, at least one person will join in. In order to get this achievement, both of you need to be in the game until the finish, so try to persuade him to stay in the game.

Final Comments
This game will keep you occupied for a good 5-6 hours. The levels are challenging but also fun to play, but as with all games, if it begins to get frustrating, just set it down, and try again a later day. For 5$ I found this game to be well worth it. This game is at its most fun when you are down to the wire just trying to make that last jump without failing. Is this a must get? No. However, you will not be disappointed if you do decide to buy it.
If you liked this, please let me know!
Credit to TrueAchievements.com for pictures and help on getting the achievements.
Achievements 12/15 190GS