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OP Update: Madballs in Babo: Invasion! Price Drop Announced!! 800 pts

BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
edited July 2009 in Games and Technology
Update July 14th:

It's great when XBLA titles go on sale, it's even better when publishers price their titles sensibly. Today Playbrains announced they have dropped the originally announced price of 1200 pts for their upcoming game to a bargain 800.
Good news for budget-conscious gamers and those with stereotypical Scottish ancestry: we’re not going to be 1200 points after all.

We just got off the phone with Microsoft Game Studios and they have consulted the oracle, had their epiphany and they have decided that we should indeed go out into the world at 800 points. Despite having features unseen in other 1200 point games (and even some retail games), we’re a multiplayer-centric title, so the more people that play, the more fun the game will be for everyone.

So all that means is that you can now spend that extra $5 on the Dr. Scholl’s…we’re dropping at 800 points in…8 hours or so!

With the amount of content in the title the game is going to be a must buy for many. Look for MSXBOX-WORLD's review within the next couple of days!


Updated July 13th

Just did up a Q & A with one of the developers (it's not up yet at my site and all our UK guys are in bed). Since the game is going live on Wednesday I'm just going to cut and paste it here and pretend everyone visited me *cough*. I like the guys at Playbrains but they are going to need alot of word of mouth if the game has a chance at succeeding

With that said I also got the chance to actually play the game at their studio tonight. It turns out one of their devs is based in Toronto. I have to say after playing it myself if any game deserves a chance it's this one. The game has more features than some full retail titles. And it totally blows away the majority of all other XBLA games in terms of content.

None of that would matter though if the game wasn't fun ... I played through the first level of the single player campaign (this will be included with the demo) and tried out some multiplayer. There is a real "Gauntlet Legends meets Smash TV meets Geometry Wars meets Marble Madness" vibe going on ...

Does that make any sense? I'm not really sure how to describe the game ... one neat thing about the single player portion is that enemies drop multipliers (think Geometry Wars). You don't have alot of time to grab them, the quicker you grab them the more the multiplyer will be ... In 4 player co-op players share multipliers (team multipliers) ...

The gameplay itself is fast and frantic. Control of your marble is responsive and smooth. Best of all the weapons. I can't believe how well they ported the feeling from Babo Violent 2 to this game. The weapons are *perfect*, particularly combined with the new class structure and special powers each different madball has.

Multiplayer is going to be ridiculouly fun. You put together maps the same way you would play Carcasssone ... (tile based), each team taking a turn to place a piece (one member per team at a time). It's impossible to "screw up" a map because the tiles won't fit unless it's a legal placement. You can really do interesting things when making the maps creating choke points and the like.

The game itself ships with 21 multiplayer maps in addition to the editor, and 10 single player maps (which are huge it took me a good 30 minutes to get through the first level -- which is included in full in the demo).

Is it worth 1200 points? I could probaly get a free review copy if I tried hard enough, but I'm going to buy my own. I want to support studios that put out quality titles like this.

Anyways I had sent the developers a Q & A for the site I work with, going to cut and paste it here:

MSXBOX-WORLD Gets Together with John Harley from Playbrains to pick his brain about their upcoming XBLA title, Madballs in Babo: Invasion! The game hits on Wednesday July 15 at a cost of 1200 MS Points.


Q. Tell us a bit about Playbrains.

Playbrains' mission statement is to create digitally downloaded ("DD") games for consoles and PCs that blur the lines between DD and disc-based retail games. We believe that DD games can be as rich and immersive as traditional retail games, and we are committed to creating beautifully polished, highly replayable games across multiple genres. Our first title is Madballs in Babo: Invasion, which we have spent over 2 years putting together.


Q. What is the inspiration behind Madballs in Babo: Invasion! (MIBI)?

The concept for MiBi started as a sequel to the popular online freeware game Babo Violent 2 (BV2). Naturally we wanted to add a lot more theme and style to the environments of the game, which would require a new engine from the ground up. Fans of BV2 were also posting art to the forums that showed our "spheres with guns" as personalities with attitudes. We advanced this concept into three world themes, 10 player-characters, multiple factions and lots of backstory. As a natural extension of the addition of personalities to the characters, they also acquired special talents, and as a balancing mechanism we decided to implement class-based gameplay at that time. When we approached Microsoft with the game proposal, they encouraged us to work with American Greetings to add in the Madballs characters, which are being relaunched this year. The Madballs IP and our gameplay fit together quite naturally, and so this week we have Madballs in Babo: Invasion coming out July 15th.


Q. Could you give us some details about the characters, abilites and gear in the game? (classes, maps, weapon set, etc)

We are really pleased with the asymetric class-based design in the game. The two factions have a very different playstyle and this extends replay substantially. I'll give some specific examples:

There are two factions, the noble BDI, and the evil Scorched. Each faction has 5 classes: Heavy, Assault, Support, Flyer and Runner. In addition to class attributes like hitpoints, speed, size, and elemental vulnerability, each character has two special abilties that help it serve it's role.

Where it gets interesting is the class abilites are different by faction. So while the Heavy BDI class "Robo" has the abilites of a single-target disarm, and a Mass Disarm, the Scorched counterpart "Magmor" has Rockshield which is a Resist-all damage by 90%, and a Colossus mode where you supersize and then crush all opponents. So taking advantage of the Heavy class will require a different playstyle depending on your faction.

Another example would be the Runner class: The BDI side "Eidolon" has Flashbang and Cloak, while the Scorched side "Pett" has Burrow (sort of a temporary immunity) and Dizzy Spores, an area-denial toxic-gas burst which affects enemy movement.

Weapons follow the same model, so for example the range-superiority weapon on the Scorched side is the Riffer while the BDI side has the Beamer:

* The Riffer's elemental firing modes are cold and heat. Cold mode fires a 3-round volley which also slows the enemy, this weapon is great in a support role because you can make the enemy an easy target for your allies. Its Heat mode is a close range, high-caliber incindiary pistol which can be fired as fast as you tap the trigger.
* The Beamer's elemental firing modes are energy and impact. The energy mode is a railgun style ionizing beam that persists in the environment a few moments and does afterburn damage - it is a great lone-wolf style weapon. Its Impact mode is a supression-style weapon which fires a volley of Mini Missles but has a huge kickback.

Exploring the faction differences and finding good combinations is a ton of fun and I think will give players interesting gameplay for a long time.


Q. How long is the single player campaign, and what sort of challenges can the player expect to encounter?

The campaign is made up of Boot Camp, where you learn the ropes, followed by a story-based 10-level campaign, in which you choose to play as either the BDI or Scorched faction. Throughout the story, there is a third enemy force called the Mercs racing against you to collect a powerful ancient artifact. Along the way, there are 50 secrets to find, and players also unlock characters and gear for their chosen faction (unlocking progression is active in in every mode: SP, Coop, or PVP). Beating the campaign unlocks a special treat per faction, so you will want to play through the campaign at least twice, but I think because of all the different classes and abilities, players will enjoy replaying it many times, especially in Coop mode.


Q. Talk to us about the multiplayer features of the game

It's easiest to break down multiplayer into Coop, Avatar and PVP modes.

* Coop has been covered above. It's worth mentioning that the game difficulty scales based on the number of players connected - so you will encounter the toughest enemies by choosing to play 4 player coop on Hard. To me this mode feels a lot like an arcade version of Resistance 2 Coop mode (from the Playstation 3), and it is just inherently fun playing with allies and chewing through tons of enemies and making progress, so I think players will replay this mode a lot.
* Avatar modes let you play in a free-for-all as your XBox Live Avatar head. What we are finding playing this mode is that players really take advantage of the personalization options for XBox Live Avatars, and you see some really funny or surprising heads in the game. One of our testers has configured himself to look like a geisha princess Leia head with red warpaint. Another guy has made his head look like a big white skull with spikes on his scalp. It's really fun to see players express themselves creatively by putting head parts together that you would never expect. In terms of gameplay details, we wanted to embellish the mode with some design to keep it from being too vanilla. What we added was that players have the ability to do jetpack jumping, and as you earn kills in this mode your head will grow up to 300% larger - so you make more of an impression on others and become a bigger target. It's a great mode to blow off steam and laugh at other player's Avatars.

PVP modes - theres quite a few to go through. We support 16 player matches and have 21 hand-crafted maps. The modes are Skirmish, Team Skirmish, Capture the Flag, and the game's namesake: Invasion game mode.

* Skirmish mode is a score-based free for all. To keep the mode original, we have multipliers dropping off enemies you take out - collecting them boosts your scoring ability as long as you survive, so there is a real incentive to prolong your lifetime and collect those. Protip: Close range weapons are really good for this mode. Players can mix and match gear from either faction in this mode as well.
* Team Skirmish mode was a favorite of the prequel (Babo Violent 2) and we really see the class synergies working well in this mode. Multiplier collection is also in effect but the multipliers dropped by a player can only be collected by the enemy team. There is also a MVB "Most Valuable Ball" on each team whom drops additional multipliers when taken out.
* Capture the Flag is that familiar set of game rules that's just easy to play over and over. Area-denial special abilities like the Jenkins' Nuke and Aceu's acid barf play off brilliantly against breach classes like Magmor and the Flyer's ability to bypass walls. This mode is about flag captures, so there's no multipliers to collect.
* Invasion mode is an original design we are really proud of. It's a really interesting combination of Domination and Defend & Destroy gameplay on a map that is never the same way twice. Players on each team build a map by placing tiles much like in the excellent XBLA game Carcassone. Then each side votes for the location of their base and control points. The system then builds the map in real-time and players start battling on their new map. I don't think I have seen any other game do this so I think it's really innovative. If you steal the other team's control points, it exposes their Base to damage by taking down it's shields. Players can also reinforce control points with rocket towers or healing stations which makes them much harder to convert. As far as map layout strategies, it's been interesting. Some players prefer to bury the control points at the back of their territory which puts the base on the front lines for an early team rush. I think we will see some emergent strategies evolve in map building and base placement as the community grows.

Another multiplayer feature that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere is the Prestige Ranks. As you unlock characters and gear you earn ranks. These ranks are displayed next to player names in the Lobby for the game and in the Summary and Ingame scoresheets. At certain points you can trade in your current prestige rank and all your unlocks to earn prestige at a new tier. There are five ranks per tier and these go through bronze, silver and gold levels. So if you see a Gold rank player at the top of the scoresheet, you will know he has played through the game a ton.


Q. Priced at 1200 points, MIBI is positioned as a premium XBLA game. What makes MIBI a premium game?

I hope if you've made it this far through the article, you can tell from the details how much content and design has been stuffed into this game. Any which way you slice it, there is a ton of gameplay here for the money. As far as those still on the fence, the demo will be available day and date with the release of the game and includes character and gear unlocking, Boot Camp and the first level of the Campaign. PVP multiplayer is also offered in the demo: 30 minutes or 3 matches (whichever is more) of any PVP game mode. Retail and demo players play together so you can ask them what they think over VOIP while you play as well.


Q. Any other message for those people considering picking up MIBI this Wednesday?

We are looking to build a community around MIBI as strong and fervent as the one around the prequel Babo Violent 2. We've put together forums over here: http://www.playbrains.com/forums/ There's sections for game tuning and general feedback which we look forward to, and hope to integrate to the game via the rapid-update functionality we've built into the game. Also, I believe we may be putting together a play with the developers day on Saturday July 18th in the afternoon. Look for an announcement on this in the XBox NXE this week. Thanks for your time.



OP UPDATE July 12th : Game is confirmed release date July 15th for 1200 pts:

Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yvf_Ut0NEU&feature=player_embedded

I spoke directly with the PR guys and told them about a month ago that 1200 pts would be insanity (they'll suffer the same fate as Death Tank). Unfortunately as based in their blog Microsoft forced them to price the game at 1200 pts.
devs wrote:
But that being said, come on now– let’s remember what you’re actually getting for your 1200 points:

•Fully 3D, class-based arena combat
•Several hours of a repeatable adventure campaign played in single-player or 4-player online co-op
•50 unlockable characters, abilities, weapons and weapon modes and 50 secrets to discover for you explorer types who aren’t all about the killing
•16-player multiplayer games of Skirmish, Team Skirmish or CTF with 21 arena maps to match all game sizes
•Invasion mode where you create your own maps before entering Domination-style gameplay– you’ll never play the same map twice
•Avatar Attack! bringing your Xbox LIVE avatar into combat
•Deep game features like an accessible damage system, asymmetric classses across factions and dynamic tuning of the game without code updates for proper long-term balancing. All intended to create a game that you will not just play for a week and discard– we want to create a community of people playing this game for a long time (ideally, just like with BV2)

This game is a must buy for me, Babo Violent on the PC is a title I spent dozens of hours playing and it still retains a multiplayer community to this day. I implore all of you to at least download the demo when the game hits, I think you'll be suprised at how robust the game really is. The studio making the game is literally a couple of guys who put their blood, sweat and tears into the game ...



Remember playing with these as a kid?


madballs.jpg


They are Coming to XBLA:


35c37h3.jpg


261nryg.jpg


4vst2c.jpg


20kd8xy.jpg


Gameplay video

Balls, Guns and Avatars. Quite possibly the greatest gameplay combination ever set to release on Xbox LIVE® Arcade in Summer of 2009!

OTTAWA, CANADA – May 28th 2009 – Playbrains, an independent game development studio specializing in the digital download arena, are proud to announce that their debut console title, Madballs in…Babo:Invasion, will be releasing on Xbox LIVE® Arcade in Summer of 2009.

A gameplay rich, feature laden ‘casually hardcore’ action shooter, Madballs in…Babo:Invasion (MiBI) is that rarest of gaming commodities; a genuinely unique title. Featuring the recently re-released Madballs™ characters, Oculus Orbus™ and Horn Head™, from the popular 1980’s toys best remembered for their outrageously bad looks and graphically colourful names. MiBI is an arena based 3D shooter where players are able to design their own combat maps almost instantaneously by placing a combination of map tiles to create a never-before-seen map before gameplay starts. Truly, no two games are ever the same. And with up to 16 player Multiplayer support, MiBI will boast the highest number of players over Xbox LIVE Arcade upon its release.

Offering players a satisfying and immersive experience in both single-player and multiplayer, Madballs in…Babo:Invasion has a plethora of features and game modes such as 4 player online co-op along with, never-before-seen in an Xbox LIVE Arcade title, being able to incorporate your Xbox LIVE Avatar into multiplayer combat via the ‘Avatar Attack’ mode. Yes, Xbox LIVE Arcade combat just got personal.

Much more on this groundbreaking game will be revealed in greater depth leading up to its release in the Summer of 2009, including additional information on the following features;

* Single Player – Hours of repeatable gameplay through 10 epic levels
* 2-4 Player Online Co-op – challenge individual campaign levels with your friends or play the whole campaign in ‘Enduro’ mode
* 16 Player Multiplayer – 21 maps to match all game sizes
* ‘Invasion’ Mode – the signature mode of the game, players take turns placing map tiles to create a unique multiplayer map prior to each match
* ‘Avatar Attack’ – Multiplayer combat with your Xbox LIVE Avatar
* Classes – 10 character classes (each with 2 special abilities) over two warring factions, with each faction having 5 unique weapons each with two distinct firing modes
* Madballs Characters – Oculus Orbus™ and Horn Head™ from the infamous 80’s toy craze as in-game characters
* 5 Archetypes – Assault, Heavy, Runner, Flyer, Support
* Deployables – active (rocket turrets) or passive (healing towers) can be placed in Invasion mode
* Unlocks and Secrets – 50 unlocks and 50 Secrets to find during campaign gameplay
* Action – emphasis on fast-paced, visceral action that is easy to pick and play, yet offers a real strategic challenge for hardcore gamers

Saw this over at GAF, I couldn't believe it. Of all the franchises to raise from the dead. The game looks like it's a mixture of A.R.C. and Babo Violent 2 on CRACK! *brainasplode*

Edit: Got confirmation. The game is coming directly from the maker's of Babo Violent 2!!

If you haven't played Babo Violent 2 go download it (free PC game). It's a blast.

Bamelin on

Posts

  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Madballs? Is that what modern society's obsession with mining '80s culture has lowered us to? I guess I can look forward to "Garbage Pail Kids of War" and "Legends of the Hidden Temple Tactics" also being revealed at E3. :)

    It kind of reminds me of a fancier Assault Heroes, though that whole Invasion Mode aspect sounds kind of interesting.

    Lunker on
    Tweet my Face: @heyitslunker | Save money at CheapAssGamer (not an affiliate link)
  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Apparently the game is being released on Steam too

    Bamelin on
  • METAzraeLMETAzraeL Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I totally had the eyeball one.

    Not sure how I feel about this, though. We shall see.

    METAzraeL on

    dream a little dream or you could live a little dream
    sleep forever if you wish to be a dreamer
  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So I just got confirmation ... the game is indeed by the makers of Babo Violent 2. If you've never played Babo Violent 2 go download it and find out why this spiritual successor is very likely going to be a day 1 XBLA purchase.

    Bamelin on
  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Lunker wrote: »
    Madballs? Is that what modern society's obsession with mining '80s culture has lowered us to? I guess I can look forward to "Garbage Pail Kids of War" and "Legends of the Hidden Temple Tactics" also being revealed at E3. :)

    It kind of reminds me of a fancier Assault Heroes, though that whole Invasion Mode aspect sounds kind of interesting.

    I just want to clarify that I spent hundreds of hours playing Babo Violent 2 on the PC. Do yourself a favour and try it out, then you'll see why I'm so pumped for this game hitting XBLA.

    It's hitting soon, and when it does I fully expect it to make an unexpected splash as long as they are smart enough to price the game at the 800 MS funbucks pricepoint. 1200 pts and it risks facing the same fate as Death Tank ...

    The fact that you can design your own maps ... this alone is something that's very rare in console titles (with notable exceptions of course like Halo 3 and Far Cry 2). Again not to gush, but seriously go download Babo Violent 2. It's free, and a great game in and of it's own right. The dev team that worked on it basically made it as a labour of love, and are trying to translate that onto XBLA.

    Titles like this are what make XBLA great

    Bamelin on
  • RubberACRubberAC Sidney BC!Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Babo Violent 2 was an amazing game. if this is anything like it it might be my first XBLA purchase, providing i can get enough friends to buy it too

    RubberAC on
  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    RubberAC wrote: »
    Babo Violent 2 was an amazing game. if this is anything like it it might be my first XBLA purchase, providing i can get enough friends to buy it too


    It's all going to come down to price point. 800 pts = chance at success. 1200 pts = doomed

    Bamelin on
  • freakish lightfreakish light butterdick jones and his heavenly asshole machineRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Lunker wrote: »
    Madballs? Is that what modern society's obsession with mining '80s culture has lowered us to? I guess I can look forward to "Garbage Pail Kids of War" and "Legends of the Hidden Temple Tactics" also being revealed at E3. :)

    It kind of reminds me of a fancier Assault Heroes, though that whole Invasion Mode aspect sounds kind of interesting.

    God I hope so.

    freakish light on
  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Game now confirmed to release this Wednesday at 1200 pts. See OP for trailer.

    edit: I've also linked this thread directly to the devs if anyone has any questions, and also linked at Neogaf.

    I really want the game to do well but at 1200 pts it's all uphill from here.

    Bamelin on
  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Going to add this to the OP.

    Just did up a Q & A with one of the developers (it's not up yet at my site and all our UK guys are in bed). Since the game is going live on Wednesday I'm just going to cut and paste it here and pretend everyone visited me *cough*. I like the guys at Playbrains but they are going to need alot of word of mouth if the game has a chance at succeeding

    With that said I also got the chance to actually play the game at their studio tonight. If any game deserves a chance it's this one. The game has more features than some full retail titles. And it totally blows away the majority of all other XBLA games in terms of content.

    None of that would matter though if the game wasn't fun ... I played through the first level of the single player campaign (this will be included with the demo) and tried out some multiplayer. There is a real "Gauntlet Legends meets Smash TV meets Geometry Wars meets Marble Madness" vibe going on ...

    Does that make any sense? I'm not really sure how to describe the game ... one neat thing about the single player portion is that enemies drop multipliers (think Geometry Wars). You don't have alot of time to grab them, the quicker you grab them the more the multiplyer will be ... In 4 player co-op players share multipliers (team multipliers) ...

    The gameplay itself is fast and frantic. Control of your marble is responsive and smooth. Best of all the weapons. I can't believe how well they ported the feeling from Babo Violent 2 to this game. The weapons are *perfect*, particularly combined with the new class structure and special powers each different madball has.

    Multiplayer is going to be ridiculouly fun. You put together maps the same way you would play Carcasssone ... (tile based), each team taking a turn to place a piece (one member per team at a time). It's impossible to "screw up" a map because the tiles won't fit unless it's a legal placement. You can really do interesting things when making the maps creating choke points and the like.

    The game itself ships with 21 multiplayer maps in addition to the editor, and 10 single player maps (which are huge it took me a good 30 minutes to get through the first level).

    Is it worth 1200 points? I could probaly get a free review copy if I tried hard enough, but I'm going to buy my own. I want to support studios that put out quality titles like this.


    Anyways I had sent the developers a Q & A for the site I work with, going to cut and paste it here:

    MSXBOX-WORLD Gets Together with John Harley from Playbrains to pick his brain about their upcoming XBLA title, Madballs in Babo: Invasion! The game hits on Wednesday July 15 at a cost of 1200 MS Points.


    Q. Tell us a bit about Playbrains.

    Playbrains' mission statement is to create digitally downloaded ("DD") games for consoles and PCs that blur the lines between DD and disc-based retail games. We believe that DD games can be as rich and immersive as traditional retail games, and we are committed to creating beautifully polished, highly replayable games across multiple genres. Our first title is Madballs in Babo: Invasion, which we have spent over 2 years putting together.


    Q. What is the inspiration behind Madballs in Babo: Invasion! (MIBI)?

    The concept for MiBi started as a sequel to the popular online freeware game Babo Violent 2 (BV2). Naturally we wanted to add a lot more theme and style to the environments of the game, which would require a new engine from the ground up. Fans of BV2 were also posting art to the forums that showed our "spheres with guns" as personalities with attitudes. We advanced this concept into three world themes, 10 player-characters, multiple factions and lots of backstory. As a natural extension of the addition of personalities to the characters, they also acquired special talents, and as a balancing mechanism we decided to implement class-based gameplay at that time. When we approached Microsoft with the game proposal, they encouraged us to work with American Greetings to add in the Madballs characters, which are being relaunched this year. The Madballs IP and our gameplay fit together quite naturally, and so this week we have Madballs in Babo: Invasion coming out July 15th.


    Q. Could you give us some details about the characters, abilites and gear in the game? (classes, maps, weapon set, etc)

    We are really pleased with the asymetric class-based design in the game. The two factions have a very different playstyle and this extends replay substantially. I'll give some specific examples:

    There are two factions, the noble BDI, and the evil Scorched. Each faction has 5 classes: Heavy, Assault, Support, Flyer and Runner. In addition to class attributes like hitpoints, speed, size, and elemental vulnerability, each character has two special abilties that help it serve it's role.

    Where it gets interesting is the class abilites are different by faction. So while the Heavy BDI class "Robo" has the abilites of a single-target disarm, and a Mass Disarm, the Scorched counterpart "Magmor" has Rockshield which is a Resist-all damage by 90%, and a Colossus mode where you supersize and then crush all opponents. So taking advantage of the Heavy class will require a different playstyle depending on your faction.

    Another example would be the Runner class: The BDI side "Eidolon" has Flashbang and Cloak, while the Scorched side "Pett" has Burrow (sort of a temporary immunity) and Dizzy Spores, an area-denial toxic-gas burst which affects enemy movement.

    Weapons follow the same model, so for example the range-superiority weapon on the Scorched side is the Riffer while the BDI side has the Beamer:

    * The Riffer's elemental firing modes are cold and heat. Cold mode fires a 3-round volley which also slows the enemy, this weapon is great in a support role because you can make the enemy an easy target for your allies. Its Heat mode is a close range, high-caliber incindiary pistol which can be fired as fast as you tap the trigger.
    * The Beamer's elemental firing modes are energy and impact. The energy mode is a railgun style ionizing beam that persists in the environment a few moments and does afterburn damage - it is a great lone-wolf style weapon. Its Impact mode is a supression-style weapon which fires a volley of Mini Missles but has a huge kickback.

    Exploring the faction differences and finding good combinations is a ton of fun and I think will give players interesting gameplay for a long time.


    Q. How long is the single player campaign, and what sort of challenges can the player expect to encounter?

    The campaign is made up of Boot Camp, where you learn the ropes, followed by a story-based 10-level campaign, in which you choose to play as either the BDI or Scorched faction. Throughout the story, there is a third enemy force called the Mercs racing against you to collect a powerful ancient artifact. Along the way, there are 50 secrets to find, and players also unlock characters and gear for their chosen faction (unlocking progression is active in in every mode: SP, Coop, or PVP). Beating the campaign unlocks a special treat per faction, so you will want to play through the campaign at least twice, but I think because of all the different classes and abilities, players will enjoy replaying it many times, especially in Coop mode.


    Q. Talk to us about the multiplayer features of the game

    It's easiest to break down multiplayer into Coop, Avatar and PVP modes.

    * Coop has been covered above. It's worth mentioning that the game difficulty scales based on the number of players connected - so you will encounter the toughest enemies by choosing to play 4 player coop on Hard. To me this mode feels a lot like an arcade version of Resistance 2 Coop mode (from the Playstation 3), and it is just inherently fun playing with allies and chewing through tons of enemies and making progress, so I think players will replay this mode a lot.
    * Avatar modes let you play in a free-for-all as your XBox Live Avatar head. What we are finding playing this mode is that players really take advantage of the personalization options for XBox Live Avatars, and you see some really funny or surprising heads in the game. One of our testers has configured himself to look like a geisha princess Leia head with red warpaint. Another guy has made his head look like a big white skull with spikes on his scalp. It's really fun to see players express themselves creatively by putting head parts together that you would never expect. In terms of gameplay details, we wanted to embellish the mode with some design to keep it from being too vanilla. What we added was that players have the ability to do jetpack jumping, and as you earn kills in this mode your head will grow up to 300% larger - so you make more of an impression on others and become a bigger target. It's a great mode to blow off steam and laugh at other player's Avatars.

    PVP modes - theres quite a few to go through. We support 16 player matches and have 21 hand-crafted maps. The modes are Skirmish, Team Skirmish, Capture the Flag, and the game's namesake: Invasion game mode.

    * Skirmish mode is a score-based free for all. To keep the mode original, we have multipliers dropping off enemies you take out - collecting them boosts your scoring ability as long as you survive, so there is a real incentive to prolong your lifetime and collect those. Protip: Close range weapons are really good for this mode. Players can mix and match gear from either faction in this mode as well.
    * Team Skirmish mode was a favorite of the prequel (Babo Violent 2) and we really see the class synergies working well in this mode. Multiplier collection is also in effect but the multipliers dropped by a player can only be collected by the enemy team. There is also a MVB "Most Valuable Ball" on each team whom drops additional multipliers when taken out.
    * Capture the Flag is that familiar set of game rules that's just easy to play over and over. Area-denial special abilities like the Jenkins' Nuke and Aceu's acid barf play off brilliantly against breach classes like Magmor and the Flyer's ability to bypass walls. This mode is about flag captures, so there's no multipliers to collect.
    * Invasion mode is an original design we are really proud of. It's a really interesting combination of Domination and Defend & Destroy gameplay on a map that is never the same way twice. Players on each team build a map by placing tiles much like in the excellent XBLA game Carcassone. Then each side votes for the location of their base and control points. The system then builds the map in real-time and players start battling on their new map. I don't think I have seen any other game do this so I think it's really innovative. If you steal the other team's control points, it exposes their Base to damage by taking down it's shields. Players can also reinforce control points with rocket towers or healing stations which makes them much harder to convert. As far as map layout strategies, it's been interesting. Some players prefer to bury the control points at the back of their territory which puts the base on the front lines for an early team rush. I think we will see some emergent strategies evolve in map building and base placement as the community grows.

    Another multiplayer feature that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere is the Prestige Ranks. As you unlock characters and gear you earn ranks. These ranks are displayed next to player names in the Lobby for the game and in the Summary and Ingame scoresheets. At certain points you can trade in your current prestige rank and all your unlocks to earn prestige at a new tier. There are five ranks per tier and these go through bronze, silver and gold levels. So if you see a Gold rank player at the top of the scoresheet, you will know he has played through the game a ton.


    Q. Priced at 1200 points, MIBI is positioned as a premium XBLA game. What makes MIBI a premium game?

    I hope if you've made it this far through the article, you can tell from the details how much content and design has been stuffed into this game. Any which way you slice it, there is a ton of gameplay here for the money. As far as those still on the fence, the demo will be available day and date with the release of the game and includes character and gear unlocking, Boot Camp and the first level of the Campaign. PVP multiplayer is also offered in the demo: 30 minutes or 3 matches (whichever is more) of any PVP game mode. Retail and demo players play together so you can ask them what they think over VOIP while you play as well.


    Q. Any other message for those people considering picking up MIBI this Wednesday?

    We are looking to build a community around MIBI as strong and fervent as the one around the prequel Babo Violent 2. We've put together forums over here: http://www.playbrains.com/forums/ There's sections for game tuning and general feedback which we look forward to, and hope to integrate to the game via the rapid-update functionality we've built into the game. Also, I believe we may be putting together a play with the developers day on Saturday July 18th in the afternoon. Look for an announcement on this in the XBox NXE this week. Thanks for your time.

    Bamelin on
  • greeblegreeble Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Based on your OP I plan on downloading the demo and giving it a fair shot. But honestly that name is horrible and the fact that you can have your avatar in the game is a negative in my book.

    greeble on
    PSN/steam/battle.net: greeble XBL: GreebleX

    Let me tell you about Demon's Souls....
    I’ll tell you what happens in Demon’s Souls when you die. You come back as a ghost with your health capped at half. And when you keep on dying, the alignment of the world turns black and the enemies get harder. That’s right, when you fail in this game, it gets harder. Why? Because fuck you is why.
  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    greeble wrote: »
    Based on your OP I plan on downloading the demo and giving it a fair shot. But honestly that name is horrible and the fact that you can have your avatar in the game is a negative in my book.

    I thought the avatar thing was going to be really stupid too. But interestingly it opens up some unique gameplay opportunities in terms of "custom designing" an avatar madball.

    I should also add that I cannot BELEIVE the avatar thing made it through Microsoft certification. Decapitations of avatars? Even with the confetti thing I'm suprised it got approved (an awesome surprise)

    Greeble, I'm shilling the game abit. I told the developer tonight I believe the price point is a mistake ... however after playing the game for myself I have to grudgingly admit there is alot of content included in the game. 21 MP maps, custom map editor, 10 huge single player campaign levels, stats tracking, avatar support, ... even really small things that other games would ignore they paid attention to (like the CoD style prestige thing)

    Bamelin on
  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    It's great when XBLA titles go on sale, it's even better when publishers price their titles sensibly. Today Playbrains announced they have dropped the originally announced price of 1200 pts for their upcoming game to a bargain 800.
    Good news for budget-conscious gamers and those with stereotypical Scottish ancestry: we’re not going to be 1200 points after all.

    We just got off the phone with Microsoft Game Studios and they have consulted the oracle, had their epiphany and they have decided that we should indeed go out into the world at 800 points. Despite having features unseen in other 1200 point games (and even some retail games), we’re a multiplayer-centric title, so the more people that play, the more fun the game will be for everyone.

    So all that means is that you can now spend that extra $5 on the Dr. Scholl’s…we’re dropping at 800 points in…8 hours or so!

    With the amount of content in the title the game is going to be a must buy for many.

    For the record it was the comments in this thread here, the XBLA thread and their counterparts at GAF and TeamXbox that directly resulted in this price drop.

    The community was actually listened to.

    Bamelin on
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Hey, nerdrage works for once! Awesome. :) I'm going to check out the demo and see if it tickles me. I've never played any of the earlier Babo games, and my points are pretty precious with the upcoming other XBLA games, but it does sound pretty feature-rich.

    Lunker on
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