|System: X360 (XBLA)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Playbrains||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Microsoft Game Studios||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 15, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4 (16 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Graphically, Babo: Invasion is no slouch. The environments all look tidy, varied, and crisp. The game is also pleasingly colorful, and the enemy design is of high quality despite the reliance on spherical bodies. The 720p output means the resolution is always high, but players will frequently run into framerate issues such as screen tearing on inferior television monitors. Also, the storyboard scenes are uninspired - inspiring me only to button-mash my way through them.
Sounds in Babo: Invasion are somewhat lackluster. While catch phrases are often comical, they become tiresome after a short while. Also, the background music, while professional in composition, doesn't elevate the gameplay experience. All in all, Babo: Invasion won't have you turning up the volume - you may even decide to replace the sounds with your own soundtrack or a simple press of the mute button.
Fortunately, controls in the game are inch-perfect, outshining both visuals and the aural presentation. Rolling around the stages and sniping away at enemies is extremely precise. Also, the Xbox 360 controller isn't cluttered with too many extra options even though additional abilities and secondary weapons fire are available. The developers did a great job of translating the often trying action onscreen into gamer-friendly controller inputs.
While Madballs in Babo: Invasion may seem an unlikely candidate for download, the name belies a quality title that many will enjoy. What's more, the low price, attention to detail in terms of gameplay mechanics, and breadth of play options make this an excellent candidate for purchase through the XBLA. If you like third-person arcade shooters, and you have found yourself getting board with the relative dearth of gameplay opportunities this summer, take a look at Madballs in Babo: Invasion - you'll be glad you did.
CCC Editor / News Director