Blaster Master Zero

Having played the original Blaster Master, I can say that the remake or remaster of this game reminded me of how tough the original one was. The game itself is fun, and it's the game responsible for putting Sunsoft over as a developer with gamers in the western side of the world. Reminiscing back to the NES era, we fans in the U.S. got a game that was tough, just like most NES titles. This game lightens up the difficulty a bit but still focuses on the same overall gameplay mechanics as the original. There are a few tweaks that help out a lot, though. For one example, you can change blaster types by a simple tap of the L button. Tap the R button to change weapons on the vehicle.

If you didn't have a chance to play the retro version, the gameplay starts with your vehicle, Sophia, moving in a side scrolling map. You can go backwards and forwards. You're now able to also position your gun better on the vehicle, for angled shots. No more jumping up to shoot at flying enemies. Yes, the visuals have improved, but so has the soundtrack and the story. The original story was a bit uninspired, but it still allowed Squaresoft a place on the map. Yet, this game changes some elements of the story to create an actual plot.

The fun of this game is being able to open up the map, find new enemies and doors, go through them and then defeat the bosses. Each level seems to have more than one boss. Each boss defeated adds an extra power up to your vehicle and gun. If you defeat all the bosses in each level within the world, you face the final enemy fully powered up and can get the true ending. If you do find the game frustrating, it's meant to be. Just like in Megaman, each boss requires a certain gun or upgrade to defeat them.

This game's first release was on Nintendo 3DS, and is now on the Switch. A physical copy of both this and Blaster Master Zero will release this fall from Limited Run Games. I give this game a 5/5 for both retro feeling and gameplay. The story keeps me entertained, as well as the graphics and sound. I am glad to see this game as a true remaster.

Brian Eckels