Review by Walker Boh Ohmsford
"I never thought I'd be rescuing a frog, but..."
First, this game was made by Square, or rather by one of its lesser branches, Sunsoft. I believe they also made games like Journey to Silius and the very horrible Fester's Quest. Blaster Master is a game that features some Metroidish gameplay and a musical score that's just as good, if totally dissimilar. Read on and I'll explain further.
Gameplay 10-10. There are two modes, since you can fight in your vehicle or on foot. In both modes you jump and move around and fire weapons. However I don't remember if you can use special weapons while on foot. Of course I wasn't always paying attention to that sort of thing.In a game like this you kinda want to stay alive, so that tends to be your main priority. There are many traps that can cost you your life. In stage 1, for instance, there are weeds that if you touch them will drain your life away unless you get away from them in time.
Control 10-10. Fire with B, jump with A, move with D-pad, pause with Start and enter or exit your vehicle with Select. If you've got a special weapon selected, you use them by pressing Down and B. Simple, and on the whole reliable.
Audio 10-10. From the intro to the ending, this game has it all. The level themes vary depending on the mood, from the upbeat tunes of earlier levels to the ominous and...well..weird tune of the final area. The boss themes (and there are at least two), are all very fast-paced. The ending theme starts out very slow and gets faster after a little while. The point is, it's not painful to listen to. In fact it's just right, from the mysterious intro to the triumphant ending. The sound effects (some at any rate), are featured in many Sunsoft games (Fester's Quest comes to mind). I liked the music so much I went out and downloaded an NSF soundtrack (NSF for those that don't know is a fairly new file format that almost and sometimes depending on what player you're using, exactly duplicates the NES' sound).
Story 10-10. It's original, so I give it a good score, although saving a frog from a bunch of radioactive mutants seems a little...weird. Of course destroying an alien from inside its body is a story that hasn't shown itself since Life Force as far as I know. You're a guy named Jason who was keeping a frog for a project at school. One day the froggy escaped and fell into a sewer witha bunch of creatures, so you went after them with the help of Sophia, an armored car which is capable of carrying several different weapons and traveling over a lot of terrain with the proper components.
Challenge 10-10. If you lack coordination then stay clear, 'cuz you'll need it here. The jumping isn't always easy, and if you're just controling Jason and not his car, you can take damage if you misjudge a jump. But that's only part of the challenge. Play the game to experience it.
Overall 10-10. Truly a must-have for old NES fans, even if you're using an emulator, which I try to avoid unless the game is really rare or never was released in the US except in ROM form.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 03/14/02, Updated 03/01/03
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