"Jump in the tank, Jason, were going to save a frog!"

This was one of those typical NES games. It was pointless, it looked sloppy, and (this was always my favorite) it didn't make sense. I always find amusement and humor in games that didn't make sense, and this is no exception. Well, you're probably asking, ''What do you mean it didn't make sense?''. Take a number, wait your turn, and then check the Story section for more information. Ah yes, Blaster Master was one of those games that everyone you knew had...buried under a pile of junk in their closet. I've only rented this game...three times, mostly because I thought I would like it better each time. I was wrong. My friend has this game, which I still play sometimes when I get really bored...really bored. But, anyway, I remember Blaster Master very well...

Gameplay: 2

This is just another lame, boring, wouldn't pay 25 cents at an arcade to play this if they had even had it, side-scrolling shooting game. You have this nifty little tank that you use to discover this subterranean mutant environment. For some reason, it can jump...pretty high. It can also shoot out some...pink bullets. Whatever. Anyway, it was a pretty cool hunk of metal that you could drive around in. The controls of this game drove me crazy, however. Sure, there's a button to jump, a button to shoot, but do you know how long it took me to realize that you can get out of your vehicle? I won't say, because it's very pathetic, and I'm ashamed of it, but you can escape from your tank with optimum health. I've always wondered how to go up ladders and enter doors before I learned you could get the hell out of your tank. Enough ramblings of my pathetic past, and more on controls. Sure, they're very responsive, but a little too responsive. You lightly tap the directional pad and the tank zooms forward 30 feet. Also, when you let go of the pad, the tank doesn't stop automatically. It still slides another 50 feet, leaving you probably down a pit or attacked by those gray zombie creatures. That's another thing, the enemies. They all seem bent on trying to kill you, even though you just want to find your frog. There are these gray zombies that jump a lot and try to destroy you, but you can destroy it faster, and sometimes pick up a few health bonuses along the way. Well, that's pretty much everything...Oh, wait! I forgot to mention that, once you get out of your tank, you can enter doors, which lead you a little bit more above the below ground. I'm not sure. Anyway, it changes to an overhead view, ideal for blasting little enemies in all directions. I don't remember, but I think that all the bosses where in these areas also. You'll definately know when a boss is coming because the screen violently and rapidly flashes for a few seconds, making seizures a probability. This game isn't as fun as it seems, and you'll probably fall asleep by the end of first level, waking up several hours later with a Nintendo controller-shaped rectangle imprinted on your face.

Sound/Music: 1

The music actually starts out all right. It's pretty suspenseful during the very first cut-scene (the one that happens when you don't press any buttons). Then comes the cut-scene before you start the level. The music here sounds like a racing game, and you're thinking, ''Wow, maybe I won't have to turn the volume down!''. That's when the high-pitched, squeaky, repetitive, annoy-o-rama of noise comes in. The music doesn't fit with the surroundings at all. I would think the music would either be fast-paced by the action, or dreary and somber from the huge amount of enemies to battle. Nope, it's full of annoying, melody-less sounds some baby probably composed on a one of those toy xylophones. It sounds, actually, more or less like an early Nintendo sports game. So, simply put, the music sucks. Now for sound. Simply put, the sound sucks also. I recall that the same noise for when you jump is used also when you blow up a zombie. That probably means there's only one sound effect in the game. THIS GAME WAS MADE THREE YEARS AFTER SUPER MARIO BROTHERS, AND THIS IS WHAT WE GET?! Now I'm mad...

Graphics: 1

The graphics weren't that good, even for Nintendo. Objects are severly pixilated. Jason himself looks like some laboratory rat. He's so tiny in this game. Pretty much all the enemies are gray in color. Now, here's one thing I completely don't understand. This all takes place underground, right? It was explained in the cut-scene (and probably in the instruction booklet). Now that we all have a little mental picture in our heads, answer me this: Since when do you see trees or the sky whilst underground? Does that seem like a stupid question? It sure is, but I'm still asking this to today. Why does a game that takes place completely underground still have a bright blue sky with clouds overhead, and some trees growing? There's even grass! How could Nintendo screw up this bad? I remember another game, a fighting game, that took place in medieval times, yet there were skyscrapers in the background. Sounds to me like a half-assed job. Minor details like this should not be overlooked in a video game...

Story: 2

Oh boy, I'm going to have fun with this. It all starts out with Jason, and mild-mannered teenager living in the suburbs. Jason has his frog, Fred, his very trusted and only friend in the world. All of the sudden, Fred feels trapped in a world where some red-headed kid is his only companion, and desides to leap out of his completely open glass cage. Poor, pathetic Jason. His mother always told him not to leave the cage open. Now his friend has leaped on over to a big box of radioactive substance just 5 feet from Jason's garage. Obviously, one must have a supply of radioactive material located near one's home. The frog feasts on the radioactive waste, and grows to about 5 times his original size. He then leaps into a huge, mysterious hole still in Jason's backyard. Jason, being the genius that he is, leaps down the 50 foot hole. After surviving the horrible plummet, Jason spots a shiny blue and pink tank, complete with a suit, just waiting for him. With a smug look on his face, and not thinking too clearly, Jason rides off into the dangerous depths of the underground world, filled with zombies and weird machines ready to stop his quest to find his Freddie frog back. Now, how's that for a story? You're right, it's terrible, and this is why I gave it a 2.

Replayability: 10

This is the only aspect of the game I truly don't understand. I understand it even less than the underground sky, or the horrible story. It's the replay value. Somehow, even though you know how terrible the game is, and know you've hated it more and more each and every time you've played it...you just have to play it again. Over the three different rental periods, and the few times I've borrowed it from my friend, I must have played it over 1000 times (not beaten, just played). I have no idea why. It drives me mad. Even up to this day I get an urge to play it. Does anyone know? Subliminal messages are my guess...

Overall: 3

Well, Blaster Master will always be remembered...as the boring game with awful music, horrible graphics, confusing story, yet unbelieveable replay value. It will also always be remembered as another failure for Nintendo. Buy it at a garage sale for two cents, slightly brown from when coffee was accidentally spilled on it, and scratched from when the dog chewed on it for five hours straight. On second thought, it really isn't even worth that...


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 04/21/02, Updated 04/21/02


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