Review by Cyre_Knight
"Blaster Master - Old School NES Classic"
This is my first review on a video game. I couldn't think of a better game to do my first review on. Here are my thoughts.
Blaster Master is one of my favorite video games of all time - from when I was ten years old to this day. There are many aspects of this game that make it great. From the graphics, to the music, to the storyline - it is an enjoyable experience for those who appreciate a challenging and rewarding video game.
Blaster Master follows the story of a young boy named Jason who has lost his frog down some hole. The game begins with you, Jason, following the frog down the hole and finding a vehicle - which happens to be a tank that can jump and swim under water.
There are a two modes to the game: platforming and overhead. Platforming consists of using the tank or getting Jason out of the tank to get around an area. You will use the tank to get to a door or ladder that Jason can either enter or climb, respectively.
Platforming mainly consists of using the tank, which eventually, will be able to hover, climb walls, ceilings, swim, and use an arsenal of upgraded weapons (homing, lightning and multiple missiles - among others). Overhead consists of Jason inside a room, maneuvering by himself to find the boss of each level. You can upgrade his weapons finding power-ups in these rooms - they are only good for the overhead area, not the platforming area outside of the room. They may be in an open area, hidden under "rocks" or surrounded by a trap.
You begin Level 1 with the tank at a basic level - you can jump, shoot, and get out of the tank. The mechanics of the tank may take a bit to get used to, but once you get the control down, maneuverability is easy. Jumping out of the tank allows Jason to enter certain areas, swim and climb ladders. He can also shoot outside of the tank - pea shooting, if you will. As you explore the first level, you will notice areas that you know you will have to revisit as your current weapon cannot penetrate certain walls or get to certain areas, which starts to add to the puzzle of the entire game.
As you continue through the game, your vehicle will get an upgrade for each level you complete. This is essential for getting to the next level. Finding the next level is something different. You may have to travel to previous levels to find the next (yes, you can go back a level). To me, this adds to much more to the game. It is not a straight-forward game, you really have to look around to make progress. When you do find the correct path, it is truly rewarding. For instance, to get to Level 4, you must travel to the beginning of Level 1 and shoot the some flying enemies that drop an "H" power-up (for hover) - when you started the game, you had no idea what this was for, but once you get the hover upgrade at Level 3, it makes sense.
The music in this game, for it's time, is incredible. Every level has an original theme, and each one fits the level perfectly. The "Atlantis" level (Level 5) music couldn't fit better and the ice level (Level 6) is top notch. You will find yourself humming along - like it or not (you'll like it...). I believe this game probably has one of the top 10 NES soundtracks of all time.
The bosses are huge and require some skill to defeat. They are not impossible - they require some patience and practice. The Level 5 boss, a giant crab, will truly test your patience and skill - but once you beat him, nothing can stop you.
My only complaint is a no save/password feature. For new gamers (or old), not being able to save can be frustrating. In the fast-paced world we live in nowadays, spending one to two hours to complete the game (after you know where everything is!) is hard to do. Even still, there is always a "Pause" button to take a break.
I did read a review about this game that was rather poor - the writer, it seems, had to use a computer emulator to finish it. I have completed this game, a long time ago at that - before emulators, and I am here to say that this IS one of the best NES games of all times. The sequels have been sub-par, but if you want a challenge, enjoy old school NES music, or just to play a great game, Blaster Master is the one.
Please - play this game.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/10/08
Game Release: Blaster Master (US, November 1988)
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.