Ah, it was twenty years ago this month that Blaster Master hit the NES scene. My gaming circle never held it in the same light as the MegaMans [MegaMen? -Ed.] or Double Dragons of the world, but it was right there. There was something about it... something different, and in a good way. It definitely earned a cult-like status within our gaming group back in good ol' 1988. Besides, we kids couldn't get enough of the title itself: Blaster Master. It was cool, yet cheesy. Charming, yet campy. Sophisticated, yet sophomoric. [And I've fired you many times, yet you're still here. What did I do in my past life? -Ed.]. The point is, we really liked this blasted game, pardon the pun [*sighs* -Ed.]. This past week, I randomly plucked out a game from my NES storage bin. Out came Blaster Master, and a wave of memories two decades old knocked me over. I hadn't played it in prob'ly 20 years. So, what better time than now to see how it's held up over the years, I thought to myself. Thus, here we are. And heck, you gotta love the timeless plot. We've all heard of it before... Nothing like a little Blaster MASTURBA -- [SNIP! -Ed.]
Boy loves Frog
Frog licks radioactive tin
Boy follows Frog underground
Boy finds tank
Boy saves world And who said Jason and Freddy couldn't be pals?
THE STORY GOES...
"Would ya like FLIES with that? HAHAHA" [*slaps forehead* -Ed.]
No lid huh? Way to go, Einstein...
Where the HELL is this kid living anyhow... AREA 51?!
"Yum yum YUM... Freddy like!" And as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles taught us...
Ahh you gotta love the nonsensical plot
[Are you still on the payroll? -Ed.]
Don't cha just love it when this happens?
What a top chap that Jason
And so the adventure begins
The tank was quite a blast to maneuver around. You had to watch out for the momentum that might take you off a cliff, and that was a fun thing to wrestle with, actually
Of course, part of the fun was leaping out of the tank and patrolling around as Jason himself. He has his own health bar and there are certain locations only Jason can go to
"I'll be right back!"
The tank is useless underwater, so Jason hops off and takes a quick swim. Well, at least you needn't look for water bubbles here, coz Sonic he ain't
"God I love this suit"
Zap the killer jellyfish or swim around them. At the end of this bit here, you'll find a ladder that takes you to our first overhead section, where you play exclusively as Jason
"Oh the things I do for that darn frog..."
FRY 'EM, BOMBERMAN!
Keep moving, and shoot when you can
After defeating the boss, you receive a power-up item for your tank. Head back and NOW you can destroy the wall guardian with your new gun
DO NOT OPEN UNTIL DOOMSDAY!
Almost expect to see her dashing 'round the corner
Most people tend to prefer the SOPHIA bits, as do I
Just as there was with level one, in level two there are sections where you must hop off and explore as Jason
Keep an eye out for jolly ol Santa
These caped baddies disappear and reappear at will
Yeah, like I'm really gonna grab that power-up there..
The quest continues... will Jason ever save Freddy?
I enjoyed rediscovering Blaster Master. It is a rather tough game though, and a long one at that, with no password or save option. Ouch. But there's something really cool and gratifying about controlling Sophia the rumbling tank. The lone Jason overhead sections, however, leave something to be desired in my opinion. The control for those parts feel clunky and "off" a bit. It's too bad they didn't polish those areas up a bit more, but then, that could just be me... as LEGIONS of diehard fans love Blaster Master through and through. Me... I really had a blast with the Sophia bits, but didn't really care for the clunky Jason parts. It's still a cool game, but not as awesome as I remember it being. I can't say that I'm compelled to pick it up a lot in the future, but for the hour or two I spent with it, it was a nice trip down memory lane. I just wish the balance was more even in terms of the Sophia-Jason sections. It also couldn't have hurt if there were some nasty bosses for you to tackle in Sophia form, either. Oh well, the game remains a pretty neat title despite its warts [I resent that -Fred the Frog] [I've been saying the same thing for years, Fred -Ed.]