Review by TBranford

Reviewed: 08/07/00 | Updated: 08/07/00

Pointless storyline, yet great game

The original Nintendo Entertainment System, as a console, had a lot of good qualities. One of the main qualities of the system was the fact that it featured many outstanding and classic games, like Kid Icarus and Bubble Bobble. One of the earlier games released for the console never generated much hype, but turned out to be one of the best NES games ever made (well, at least it is in my opinion.) That game? Blaster Master. Blaster Master never really got huge hype and still does not get too much respect from the average video game player, even to this day, but that does not change the fact that this is one of the premiere games to come out for the console. Everything about the game is great, from the great music and sound effects to the quality and well detailed graphics, all the way down to the unique game play and control that the game offers. This is definitely one of my favorite NES games of all time, and it will live on in my heart forever, even if it never got the full respect and attention I feel it deserved. It should be mentioned in the upper echelon of games by the majority of video game players, but it never really has been, which I feel is a shame because this truly is a classic video game that offers very unique game play.

Storyline (3/10)
I am not really going to go into the story line of the game much, because it is not am important part of the game at all, but I will explain the basic aspects of the story line. Basically, you are this kid named Jason that had a pet frog named Fred. You are feeding it when suddenly it jumps out of the tank and goes into a radioactive field. Being the moron that he is, Jason decides to jump in and saves his precious frog. And the adventure begins. The story line is original but completely pointless, as there is no way to figure out why Jason did what he did. That is my major problem with that, I mean why would the kid jump down a hole to save his stupid frog, then attack other frogs? That has to be the stupidest idea ever, and this is one of the stupidest story lines, even if it is fairly original. Overall, this is an original story line but it does not make sense, at all!

Graphics (8/10)
For a game released in the earlier years of the NES, this is an impressive looking game. First off, the backgrounds in the game are great. They are well varied and very detailed. I especially like the background in the first stage of the game, as it changes several times. What do I mean by this? Well, let’s say you are driving around in your tank and you see a blue sky background. You drive around some more and suddenly the background is a giant oak tree. Driving around some more, you are suddenly in water! This variety is definitely welcome, and all of the stages feature well varied backgrounds. I enjoyed the looks of some of the later stages of the game, for instance the ice stage and the fire stage. The backgrounds look great, particularly in those two stages. Enemy designs in the game are unique, to say the least, and they are definitely well detailed and overall very well designed. There is also a nice variety of enemies. Boss designs in the game are awesome, I especially like the frog and the brain. It is also cool how the screen goes dark and then slowly lights up again, very slowly, as you approach the boss of the stage. It definitely looks great! Overall, the graphics in the game are great, especially the backgrounds, character designs, and enemy designs.

Music and Sound Effects (9/10)
The music and sound effects in this game are definitely great, and I liked the variety of music featured in the game. In my opinion, the best music in the game is the music that plays when you first start off the game and plays throughout the first stage. It sounds simply incredible and is one of the most classic video game themes I have ever heard in my entire life. The rest of the stages feature quality music, as well, and while there is certainly nothing wrong with any of the other music in the game (have I mentioned that the first stage music kicks major booty?) it just not sound as good. Still, the music in the game is definitely well above average and there is not a single bad music piece featured in the game. Even the boss theme is great! Now, onto the sound effects featured in the game. The sound effects in the game are awesome, although they are not as good, nor as varied as I would have expected. Regardless, they still sound great, even if I do wish there would have been more sound effects. Overall, the music is incredible but the sound effects come up a tad short.

Gameplay and Control (9/10)
One of the main reasons why Blaster Master is such an appealing game is the fact that it is a lot of fun to play, and featured great control. The control in the game is not perfect, as I did find a few flaws in it. First off, changing weapons can prove to be rather annoying, as you have to head to the pause screen before being able to change your weapon. I didn’t like it in the Mega Man series, I don’t like it in this game, as well. The main problem with the control, however, is the fact you have to hold the A button, release it, and push it again just to hover when you gain the ability to hover. This is simply annoying. Otherwise, the control is not bad besides the few flaws I mentioned. Now onto the game play of the game. This is one of the most fun games of all time mainly because it is simply unique. The start of the game has you in a tank, and it is your basic ''go around and shoot the enemies while making your way through a huge maze'' type game. But after a while you can get out of the tank and go inside the catacombs of the stage. After beating the boss of the stage, you can collect a special item, which allows you to gain access to the next stage. The game is fairly non-linear, as you can go back to any stage pretty much whenever you choose to. As a matter of fact, you can only gain access to some of the stages (like the 3rd stage) by returning to previous stages in the game (like the 1st stage, all the way to the beginning of the game). This game is simply very fun to play and very unique. It is also a major challenge. One of the major flaws mentioned by most of the people I know that have played this game is the fact that it is a very difficult game featuring an insane challenge level. So that might play into your enjoyment of the game. The non linear aspect of the game definitely offers both advantages and disadvantages, that is for sure. This is still an incredible game, even with its few flaws. Overall, this is a very fun and very unique game with great control.

Replay Value: Way Above Average
I still play this game, even to this day. One of the main drawing points of this game is the fact that is so much different than anything that had ever been seen before. It is one of the most unique games ever made, and is very fun to play. The combination of those two important factors means that this game definitely has great replay value. It is simply one of the best on the NES, a console known for great and classic video games. It offers a lot of drawing power, as do a few other games (as you may know) so what does this game offer that others can’t? Well, there is no other game like this, and there has never been a game like this before, so that would increase the replay value right there, because this is a whole new fresh idea for a video game. This leads to great replay value. Overall, this game has great replay value, even today!

Challenge: Very Difficult
One of the major flaws mentioned by most of the people I know that have played this game is the fact that it is a very difficult game featuring an insane challenge level. And yes, it is true, this is a very challenging game. So, it basically boils down to whether or not you find a difficult game to be a bad thing or not, because this is probably one of the most difficult games you will ever play (if you take my advice and play this game, that is.) Most of the stages in the game are quite challenging, the bosses are not that challenging but the stages definitely are. Overall, this is a very challenging game, one of the biggest challenges on the old Nintendo Entertainment System.

Overall (9/10)
This is one of the best games I have ever played, and would definitely be on my list of top 10 best NES games ever made. It is a blast to play, as it features innovative and very unique game play that stands the test of time very well. The graphics in the game are simply incredible, as the backgrounds in the game are well varied and very detailed, as are the enemy designs. The music and sound effects in the game are mixed, the music in the game is classic but the sound effects come up a tad short, in my opinion. That is about the only flaw in this otherwise incredible game. Regardless of the flaws this game has (and it does have a few) it is still very fun to play. And that, my friends, is true!

Would Terra Branford buy this game?
I ended up buying this game because it is one of the best you can find for the NES. It has always been one of my favorite games, and is still in my video game collection, even to this day. I think that you will also enjoy this game a lot, so I advise that you purchase it as soon as you possibly can, because you can find it for a cheap price nowadays, and the fun factor definitely overrides the relatively low cost of the game. And that, my friends, IS true!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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