Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nerdicus Genesis Review #32: Blaster Master 2

Title : Blaster Master 2

Publisher : Sunsoft

Developer : Software Creations Ltd

Genre : Run and Gun

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1993

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $7-$10

You know, I didn't even realize there was a second Blaster Master game until around four or five years ago. Some retro gamer, right? One of my favorite NES games as a kid, and I didn't even know there was a sequel for it! But, I have a reason for not knowing. I didn't own a Sega Genesis until I was in my 20's, so why would I know there was a second Blaster Master game, if I wasn't buying Genesis games?!

First off, I don't understand why Blaster Master moved from the Nintendo over to the Sega systems. I'm assuming Nintendo just decided not to continue with the series, or perhaps Sega offered more money for Sunsoft to publish it exclusively for them. After all, the game was a huge success on the NES. I don't know. I can safely say I am absolutely confused. You would think Blaster Master is a game you would want hold on to.

Anyway, bonus points to anyone who can let me know why Blaster Master moved to the Genesis. Back to the review at hand.
This game takes place after the battles of the first one, but Jason and his frog (remember that guy?) have since retired from saving the world. HA! Not if the lightning warriors have anything to say about it. That's right, mysterious lightning bolt creatures have arrived on earth who are about to destroy the Earth by destroying his old friend SOPHIA (his mechanical tank), and using the parts to create a robotic army. Jason has to rebuild SOPHIA, and stop the Lightning Men before they annihilate all of mankind.

INTENSE RIGHT!? This isn't a frog rescue...THIS IS HARDCORE ALIEN FIGHTING. Yeah, it's the same as the first one, just less frogs, more aliens. LET'S GO!

You'll be taking control of Jason again in this game, and will have his usual blaster weapons at your disposal. As expected, Jason is pretty damn weak when you're outside fighting the massive robots, and that's where your other means of attack comes into play: Your mechanized tank, SOPHIA. This bad ass robot is just as awesome as the first game, capable of tearing your opponents to shreds.

The game takes you through 8 levels, where you'll be able to collect power ups and new weapons that will assist you on your quest to defeat the Plutonium / Lightning Bolt / Alien invaders. Much like the previous Blaster Master, this game has a few various styles of game play that you will alternate with as you traverse the 8 levels.

The first view you'll come into contact with is the platforming / run 'n' gun gameplay style where you'll primarily be controlling SOPHIA as you encounter enemies. There's a bunch of power ups you could use as SOPHIA such as homing missiles, and shields which makes fighting enemies a hell of a lot easier.

Just like in the first game, you'll be required to exit out of SOPHIA and take control of Jason in order to get into areas that are bit of a tight squeeze. For instance, sometimes you'll need to crawl down a ladder that only Jason can use so you can either collect an item, or enter a doorway into the next area. Of course, you need to be careful because Jason can obviously be killed a lot easier by all the enemies that are typically meant for SOPHIA to destroy. Hell, the ability to jump out and control Jason is always fun. AND, when you enter other areas as Jason, you are greeted with another type of gameplay.

Here comes the zoomed in version of Jason as you blast your way through a side-scrolling adventure styled level. Here you'll usually have to fight mini-bosses such as this Giant Goldfish pictured above. Seriously, it's like every boss in these games are household pets that have turned into mutant monsters.

Most of the time, these monsters and bosses will just drop something you need to move on to the next portion of the game with SOPHIA. This is ironically my least favorite portion of the game. I feel like the camera is too close to Jason. Ah well, it's still entertaining to kill giant fish.

Back in the mix, is the good 'ol overhead view. I actually enjoyed this view a lot in the first game where you played as the big headed Jason astronaut. Loved the chibi-mode Jason, lol.I do like how in this version you can control SOPHIA and use her turrets as 360 degree canons, but for some reason it loses it's impact from the first game. It feels like a bad arcade shooter in this portion.

Maybe I'm a bit hard on this game. Maybe it's because I have such a strong nostalgic-factor for the original Blaster Master. This game is by no means a bad game. It's actually pretty good, and it does a good job of replicating what the original Blaster Master was about, only this time in 16-bit graphics. Still, it doesn't have the "Wow" factor that the original had.

In fact, besides the upgraded graphics and sounds, it seems like I'm playing the same game over again. Just...prettier?  Except for the soundtrack. That's appalling. The added gameplay, really doesn't do much for it as I feel as if there was TOO Much going on now. I felt like I was constantly switching view points, and it got kind of irritating, because just as I was enjoying one portion, I was forced to switch out.

I guess this is a case of me feeling like a game was trying to do too much. Ah well, still an enjoyable game, and it's still BLASTER MASTER. With less frogs.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until Next time - Keep on Gaming!


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