Well, Im not quite sure that I agree with Matt when he says that Blaster Master is a stupid game. After all, the notion of a subterranean adventure featuring a jumping, transforming tank is no sillier than about a million other games with plots even weaker than this one. However, besides my question regarding the "stupid" factor, Matt has pretty much nailed the game dead-on.

Being a fan of the original Blaster Master on the NES, I was surprised that the ancient series would even receive a sequel. While the games first incarnation was very well known, the Genesis version never seemed to make an impact, and the franchise soon disappeared into oblivion. Still, having such fond memories of the first game and knowing that the original company was behind the update, I was hopeful that it might be decent. With my low expectations, Sunsoft didnt completely disappoint me. Blaster Master: Blasting Again isnt really the greatest piece of software Ive ever spent time with, but its not the worst, either. Factor in that it only costs a lightweight $9.99, and its not that bad if youre jonesing for some action and all you have is a tenspot. The game scored an extra .5 on the affordability factor alone.

Since Im basically in 100 percent agreement with Matts points, he hasnt left me with a whole heck of a lot to say. In light of this, the only significant thing Id mention is that the save system was tedious, and really turned me off. The special "safe zones" for saving were too few and far between for my taste, and I lost a lot of motivation after getting munched and losing my progress a few times. However, if memory serves, the original Blaster Master didnt even HAVE a save function. Its been a long, long while since developers had the gall to force people to beat a game in one sitting, so I suppose the sporadic saves are actually a step up for the series. Better late than never, I guess.

All in all, the game is really a heck of a lot better than almost all of the other "budget" PlayStation titles on shelves, though thats kind of like saying that a week-old donut is better than one you fished out of a dumpster. The effort wouldnt have been half bad if it had come out five or six years ago. Its pretty obvious that the core of the game has merit, but the disc is badly in need of a smoother, flashier, and generally more powerful console along with a bit more time in development. Theres a small amount of fun to be had behind the wheel of this crazy jumping tank, but be prepared to look past the rusted-out paint job and lousy mileage. Rating: 5.5

Brad Gallaway
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