PSX Mania – 011 – Blaster Master: Blasting Again (2000)

Completion time: 20:15:31

Now here’s a game that I had high hopes for. I had heard very little about it, and none of it was particularly negative. I mean, it’s from an established franchise (Blaster Master) that an established developer worked on (Sunsoft). What can possibly go wrong?!

EVERYTHING.

Well, before I actually drop a heaping load onto Blaster Master Blasting Again, let me get the only positive out of the way – the third world boss was perhaps one of my all-time favorite boss fights in any game. It’s basically a fight against over a dozen cubes that will perform one of several attacks before going invulnerable while another cube spawns. The long and short of it all is that this boss fight was brilliant in its execution, creating a controlled chaos of a battle.

Now everything else outside of that can blow its self.

Literally nothing else worked with Blaster Master Blasting Again. There’s no camera control, so leaps of faith are the norm (the right analog stick is completely unused). There is no auto aim with enemies that usually move in erratic paths, so combat is absolute garbage (even the “homing” missiles that are acquired early on end up missing more than half the time, with very little targeting range). Visually it looks like a higher tier budget title. The audio is a mix of poorly done voice acting and music that’s either forgettable or grating. There are multiple areas where you get instantly attacked when zoning it, giving you little to no time to take evasive maneuvers. Boss battles are based around blowing up 6-15+ different pieces/enemies, all with their own life bar (the first boss has almost a dozen health bars corresponding to the myriad of pieces that can be hit).

The controls are so incredibly touchy that the platforming (yes, platforming in a game without camera control, proper depth perception or precision) is some of the most aggravating I have ever encountered. Sometime in the second half of the game, I had the idea of doing side strafe jumps as a method of having more precision platforming. It actually worked, however the game started throwing more platforms on higher planes and further than the strafe jumps range. Once I unlocked the hover mode for Sophia (the tank), platforming became infinitely more tolerable, but for a core part of your gameplay becoming less than total garbage about 6/8th of the way through is just imbecilic.

Even worse though, is the loading. Granted each load isn’t abrasive in its length, the sheer number of loading screens in this game is downright offensive. Enter a room, move to the next room, load, enter that room, find another pathway out within 15 seconds, load, get attacked while zoning into that new area, hop backwards and accidentally zone backwards, load, move forward back to where you accidentally left, load, rinse and repeat. I’m not pulling your leg when I say that at least 50% of this game has been loading to different areas, or reloading after a death. It’s absolute misery dealing with the frequency of load times.

This doesn’t bode well for the prospects of 8 bit and under titles receiving 32 bit incarnations. I have never wanted a game to end so badly than I have with Blaster Master Blasting Again. Don’t bother with it. Don’t even acknowledge its existence by playing Frisbee with the disc. If it weren’t for that one boss fight, this would have easily gotten a 0.

Quick note: Due to my internet being as trash as this game, it dropped seconds after the final boss was defeated, so 95% of the ending is missing in the VOD. I am not replaying any of that ever again, and the ending was just as mind-numbing as the game its self, so I unintentionally saved you the headache when watching the VOD’s back.

Rating: 1

Twitch VOD:
Part 1: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/948949284
Part 2: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/950162290
Part 2.5: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/950162707
Part 3.1: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/951343145
Part 3.2: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/951344422
Part 3.3: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/951344981
Part 3.4: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/951345217
Part 4.1: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/952561001
Part 4.2: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/952562534
Part 4.3 END: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/952566713

YouTube video: X


3 thoughts on “PSX Mania – 011 – Blaster Master: Blasting Again (2000)

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