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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blaster Master

Blaster Master - NES
So I've been getting quite a few requests to check out Blaster Master for the NES. Again, not one I had heard of, but I found it relatively easy. First off, let me say that the story to this is so ridiculous that I find it hilarious. You are this guy named Jason, and your pet frog Fred decides he's going to jump away to freedom, but little did anyone know that he jumped right onto a radioactive chest that made Fred grow and then fell into the Earth. Being the upstanding pet-owner that you are, you end up going after him. Jason, of course, finds himself in a space-suit of sorts with a gun and in a tank. Yeah, those 80's games sure were allowed a lot of slack when it comes to storylines, but then again I'm noticing that the whole generation of gamers weren't as focused on the storyline as the newer generation. I think it's just because the game developers back then were more worried about making an entertaining game with awesome levels and bosses rather than focusing on the writing in the manuals.

Platforming with a Tank never seemed so easy
So, as the game starts up, I find myself playing a side-scrolling adventure in a tank that felt very similar to several flash games I had played on the internet. Then I find out the tank jumps and some platforming elements (similar to Metroid) is included. Occasionally, I was forced to get out of the tank to go into these stone doors, and that is where the biggest change occurs; I was suddenly playing a top-down shooter that adds a dungeon crawler feel, which is a totally odd combination with the other gameplay. At first I wasn't sure if I liked this part of the game, but it quickly grew on me. It actually took me a couple runthroughs to figure out that hitting Down is what makes you go through the doors (I kept hitting up to no avail, eventually giving up thinking that I had to wait until I found an upgrade of sorts to get in). The first boss was a little difficult until I figured out that I lose not only health when I got hit, but your gun upgrades as well. This seems outright stupid to me, but nevertheless I just tried my best to stay away from the baddies. Anyways, after you beat the mini-bosses, you get power-ups that allow you to advance on to the next world. Sounds familiar? You bet it does.

Surprise! We included some top-down shooter too!
What I Loved: This game was really fun. The game was challenging enough to make it fun, but not overly so. There are 2 very distinct portions of the game, which helps to prevent repetitiveness. The tank portion is a really good mix of platformer and destroying enemies with your tank. The top-down shooter part is fun as well, but not as much as the part in the tank. The upgrade system (similar to Metroid) helped to promote backtracking, but the inability to enter certain areas just made me want to keep exploring for the upgrade rather than make me angry because I kept seeing places I couldn't enter.

Got lucky in beating the first boss with 0 GUN
What I Hated:  I absolutely despised how weak you were outside of your tank. It's not bad when your gun power is raised more, but when you lose gun power when you get hit is a double whammy. Usually, I'll end up with 0 GUN by the time I get to a boss, making the fights way more difficult than should be. Also, the fact that you did not shoot straight annoyed me as well (all of your shots were aligned with the right side of your body.

My General Impression: I liked this game. It was fun and entertaining. It had parts that made me get really into the game, but also had certain elements that made me want to yell at it. I was delightfully surprised when it successfully combined the two very different game styles together and made it work. The storyline is goofy and almost seems like a shot at any games that put any sort of serious backstory into their games. Blaster Master, though not the most well known NES game, would have been a childhood staple for me.

15 comments:

David Davidson said...

While I'm not surprised you didn't care for Metroid (I wasn't a fan of it either, don't worry) I agree that if I had Blaster Master as a kid, I'd enjoy it too.

Since I'm a Nintendo fanboy, I recommend you try the original Star Fox next.

Miller said...

The AVGN nerd did a review on this :) I found this review to have meaning to it.

BigLoser said...

Really nostalgia blog, I really love retro gaming.
Keep the good stuff coming man, I'll be sure to daily check your blog. :)

:D said...

looks fun

Sparkqtpi said...

Nostalgiad HARD.
Have to go and torrent them now, damn.

Scott said...

Blaster Master is my favorite old NES game. I used to rock this game out nonstop when I was in elementary school. Hard as nails, but fun as hell.

Caroline Amnesty said...

i want to play now

Aprillium said...

I had this as a kid and loved it :)

DaveT said...

I always loved this game, but the last level is so ball crushingly hard that I never beat it until a couple of years ago (I'm 30).

Devilishly Uncool said...

Such great memories with this game. It's one of the first games I ever sat down with my older cousin and tried to marathon play through. We always got destroyed, but man was it fun. If you missed the change to play it originally,(and this review didn't spur you on) go look it up, you'll be glad you did.

Splash87 said...

O MAN THANK YOU, I couldn't for the life of me remember what the name of this game was. I remember playing this when I was around 6 or 7, I haven't played it since then. This game has been in the back of my mind for months now.

SuperSpongy said...

Great post! This was the very first game we got for the NES, so it has a special place in my heart. I have beaten it (when I was older), but I remember having the toughest time with the level 3 boss, then get lost in level 5.

Dion Logue said...

Omg haha. Our Xbox is modchipped and it has literally THOUSANDS of arcade games on it and i totally LOVE Battle Toads! xD

Insomniac #4 said...

OMG, I completely forgot about this! The screen caps brought back long lost memories. That tank was pretty cool (I remember felling weighed down when jumping though) but man.. what an obscure game!

Konstanty Kwas said...

many dev convert this game to PC and trnsform to mmo, its always succes! many underground game card shoop sell a hundert version.

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