Back in January of this year, idarb for Xbox One received its first update, which added a bunch of fixes, new features, and even some loading screens. Yep, loading screens were added to the game. It’s been a long time since I played idarb, loving it when it came out, but eventually moved on to other games. I decided to revisit the sports title with an amazing development story.
I first noticed the loading screen when it loaded up. A black screen with white circles moving across. Right away I was thinking “That’s James Bond!” and right I was! The developer, Other Ocean added in a bunch of themed loading screens, and the one I saw was a tongue in cheek nod to Goldeneye, and was brilliant.
idarb was given away free with Xbox Games with Gold in February last year, and allows up to 8 players on a single console, or 4 v 4 on two consoles to go at it in a soccer style platforming sports title. Each match has a Twitter code which allows anyone watching the game to interact with the match using hash bombs. These vary from filling the level with water, turning the characters into clowns with accompanying music, or even reversing everyone’s controls. You can set the hash bombs to happen automatically, just to spice up the action when your friends are over.
What I loved most about idarb however, was the customisation, and that’s still fun to play with nowadays. Creating your team of 8 bit pixel players, making a banner for them, and customising their own music (I made The Ramones, with Blitzkrieg Bop as their theme) is too addictive.
Creating characters is easy, and the community have made some great designs too. You can share and download new characters using the QR code system too, and from what I’ve seen, there doesn’t appear to be a limit as to how many teams you can store in-game.
New DLC has also been added to the game, including The Walking Dead and Invincible content, along with Masters of the Universe. Each add-on includes new arenas and features, such as zombies on the stages or hot lava in the case of Skeletor’s castle. Yep, why not play idarb as He-Man?!
While fans are still waiting on an update that allows for more than two Xboxes to play online, the game is rather limited in that department. idarb is perfect for couch multiplayer, doing 2 v 2 matches with a few beers. The story mode is fun and humourous, but serves as a way to teach you how to play. It’s very simple to pick up and get into, but tricky to master the long range shots while being chased down for the ball.
It’s hard to recommend the game if you fancy playing online, whereas the likes of Rocket League, which offers 8 players online is easier to be drawn into, and is great fun. idarb has that potential too, but is better suited to players who tend to have their friends around on the weekend. One of the new halftime modes added for example is a Bomberman mock up, so if you fancy a classic game of Bomberman locally, idarb might be worthwhile in that case!
idarb also has one of the best credits themes ever in a video game. It always reminds me of something you’d hear in Team America or something. Under the video, you can see a listing of the patch notes, and as well as sounding interesting, there are some fun entries included too, so it’s worth taking a look at them!
- “Team Breakfast” and“Moustache Cops Versus Cthulhu in Space”
New Modes and minigames!
- Halftime Olympic mode – compete in your own custom minigame marathon!
- “Hoppy Street”, “Photon Bikes” and “Boom Chamber” Halftime Games
2 NEW ADDITIONAL PACKS AVAILABLE!
He-Man: Masters of the Universe Pack, includes:
- 2 New Arenas with unique play modes:
- Grab the Power Sword in the Castle Greyskull arena,
- Evade Skeletor’s fiery wrath in the Snake Mountain arena
- 2 Exclusive Half-time mini-games!
- Rev up your engines for classic “He-Karts” racing
- Prove your prowess in Orko’s “He-Math” challenge!
- 2 New Teams! He-Man’s Heroes and Skeletor’s Villains!
- Custom “Masters of the Universe” Hashbombs
The Walking Dead/Invincible Pack, includes:
- 2 New Arenas with unique play modes:
- Beware walkers and other obstacles on the playfield in The Walking Dead arena!
- Take to the skies in The Invincible arena where your heroic leaps make for epic battles
- 2 Exclusive Half-time mini-games!
- Fight for survival in “Halftimenstein” a First Person Shooting classic!
- In “Sky Knights” heroes go head-to-head as they joust for supremacy
- 2 New Teams! The Walking Dead and Invincible!
- Custom “The Walking Dead” and “Invincible” Hashbombs
- Improved matchmaking and latency.
- AI Teammates now available in local matches.
- Kinect Voice Hashbombs added.
- Added Trading Post – Unlocks achievement that required Kinect on previous release.
- Tracking 3,5,15 point shots
- “Downtown” Shot for 10 points recognized.
- Majestic Eagle recognized for 15 points. (Honoring @cheezgamer92)
- Added Song Sequencer (Honoring @adriancajili)
- Ability to rename Songs.
- Added loading screen(s).
- Option to turn crowns on and off for winningest local team.
- Option to enable alternating goals between rounds.
- Tears upgraded. (Aim your tears!)
OTHER FEATURES AND FIXES:
- Flags on VS. screen for online games.
- Hashbombs are off during transitions and selection screens.
- Added vibration to penalty zone.
- Smartcasting – Backdrop and PIP gameplay screen with action logic.
- Twitter crawl crash bug fixed.
- Ball cursor is now a personal setting – not overridden by host in online games.
- Rage quits tracked per team.
- Half Time wins tracked per team.
- Added Bouncy Floors – Also resets double jump when encountered.
- Rage Quits under 10 seconds are not counted – implemented “Missed Connection.”
- New credits sequence to accommodate continued contributions.
- Grammar and spelling corrections to recipes and in-game text.
- Japanese font now supported by the text crawl.
- Additional teams added and a new system created to prevent stomping of user generated teams.
- Tug of war – added grunts, sounds, and reduced the goal line distance.
- Boo hashbomb revisited.
- Ball no longer warps out of the top of map. Hopefully doesn’t freak out in other ways!
- Added 37 new lines of VO.
- Added New Logos to the ad loop. We made more friends!
- Infinite fizz bug should be finally eliminated. This should also address 3rd party controller issues.
- Behind goal paint and goal color drawing updated for support of side-switching after a quarter.
- Fixed bug where practice play with one player existed but halftime wouldn’t activate properly.
- Fixed transition from menu to local play start game.
- Added street lingo titles to team make-up on team selector. (Via Charla)
- Re-organized the team on-boarding to allow for future AI co-op and competitive modes.
- Timed characters to the beat on the main menu for our OCD friends.
- You can now make TEMPO stop in Song Editor when you press Y.
- Versus screen for online now has drop-shadows to separate characters from the backdrop.
- Fixed character select bug on locked teams.
- Added character highlight box, which only comes up now but will have a future purpose.
- Fixed the Dead Presidents team song.
- Fixed the On-line Wins/Losses team tracker.
- Music now plays on the team viewer.
- Reformatted Team Stats – Now displays Rage quits and Halftime victories.
- Endorsements added.
- Penalty reminders in round breaks.
- If all players are in the penalty box after a round, they are all released in the next round.
- Pressing left or right trigger will dim the screen in the tools to help with cell phone photos of QR codes not scanning in easily.
- Added arena titles for future updates.
- Added crowds at the edges of the playfield.
- Corrected AI intelligence scale
- Goal Sign colors represent current goal team
[Source: Other Ocean]