Review by beruchechan

Reviewed: 02/11/10

It tries to tug the nostalgic strings of fans of the original, but otherwise does nothing to impress.

Blaster Master: Overdrive is a revamped version of the original NES classic from Sunsoft. It tries to touch on nostalgic strings with it's familiar gameplay mechanics along with remix of classic tunes from it's 8-bit counterpart.

The original game was very unique back in its day, it was like simplified metroid. You explored the platforming levels with your tank S.O.P.H.I.A. and occasionally you had to leave your tank to go into some top down shooting levels to obtain power-ups, and eventually defeat a boss for a power-up to your tank. Those power-ups would allow your tank to access the next level and so it went.

This new version follows the metroid formula more closely. The overall design appears nearly identical, but now all the stages are mapped into one large area with many points of entry, making each stage feel more like one zone in a larger environment rather than separate areas. Their numbering only serving the purpose of telling the player where he should go to progress through the game. You also get new power-ups so that it doesn't feel like a carbon copy of the original.

The graphics have a very basic 16-bit style, and nothing fancy like Konami's rebirth series. They're not ugly to look at but there's nothing special about them. One complain I have is while in the original each stage had a very distinctive look to it, in this new version the entire game seems to take place in some caverns with very little variation to the look of each area. There's also no wide-screen support.

The soundtrack borrows most of it's music and sound effects from the original 8-bit game. If you enjoyed those tunes it will probably add to your experience, but like the graphics, there is nothing that stands out.

The controls are the biggest drawback, the game is only playable using the Wii remote held sideways. The way the buttons are mapped; 1 serves to shoot, A changes weapons, B strafes and 2 is used to jump while on your tank and to use bombs on the top down levels. The placement of the buttons seems adequate for controller's design but in particularly holding the B button for long times is rather uncomfortable; support for Classic Controller would have been greatly appreciated.

The way the controls respond also feel a bit stiff, and there seems to be a small lag with the jump button which seems to be intentional but I'm not sure why. The game is far from unplayable but the controls definitely need some getting used to.

This revamp of the original game feels sort of cheap but competent. If you're a fan of the original you'll probably like going through this new version, but it will have you wishing it was a bit more than what it is. All in a all it's a light metroid-esque type game that will entertain you for a few hours.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Blaster Master: Overdrive (US, 02/08/10)

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