There’s always room for one more when it comes to Metroidvania games, right? Sure, we’ve got brilliant ones like Axiom Verge and the Guacamelee! titles to choose from, along with countless others trying to leave their mark. However, for our money, Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread is worth a go. The reason being? Well, it’s fun straight out of the 80s, with a lot of cheese and challenging boss fights to spare.
It’s all about run and gun action here, along the lines, of what you’d find in Contra and Metal Slug. That said, Blast Brigade (we’ll call it that for convenience purposes) does pack a great world to explore, along with great weapons and lots of fun moments. Its difficulty can be off at times, as can some of its jokes. (Here, I was thinking that I was a dated product, heh.) That said, the developers at Allods Team Arcade pack in enough goodness to keep you coming back for more.
Go, Blast Brigade, Go!
The game puts you in the shoes of the aptly named Jeff Jefferson. His mission is simple: pursue the nefarious Dr. Cread and all those that he leads into battle. That’s easier said than done, since he has an armada and diabolical plans to go along with them.
As you go along, you’ll unlock new soldiers with new abilities, which you can use to access areas you couldn’t before. That’s part of the Metroidvania mantra, and it’s exquisitely well done here.
You’re ready though, right? What follows is entertaining, stylish gameplay that lets you blast like a champ. The controls are very tight, allowing you to aim with precision (thanks to a secondary analog stick). What’s more, you can line up some good shots, though you may still want to watch out for cheap enemies. Just make sure you keep a close eye on your ammunition.
Blast Brigade also gives you room to explore and find hidden goodies, which is cool in its own right. With its open design, it’s really cool what all you can come across and adds to the overall replay value.
Then there are the boss fights. These are a handful. There’s no getting around that. Live and learn though, right? Fortunately, you can eventually beat them and move on to the next round. The more you practice, the better you get. That’s usually the mantra for these things.
Overall, the gameplay feels just right, there’s a lot to find here, and the challenge, while grating, is worthwhile for anyone that grew up with a Mega Man game.
That said, I do wish the bonfire save points were a little closer to each other. Sigh.
A Solid Looking Shooter, But Too Many Jokes?
Blast Brigade is also packed with some fine visuals, with a cartoony touch that looks like something from an 80s cartoon. That’s kind of the point, but still very well done. The animations are sharp, and the enemies are a bit creative, especially those damn bosses. The levels themselves look outstanding as well, and they are well worth looking around in.
As for the audio, there’s fun music to listen to, along with meaty sound effects. That said, the jokes tend to wear down a little. Some are great, but others may be groaners that might even put the MST3K crew on patrol. They still fit the tone of the game, though, so it’s not the end of the world.
The Blast From the Past
Sure, more could’ve been added to this game, like a multiplayer mode or maybe an easier setting for newcomers. In all, though, Blast Brigade is a fun reminder of an era gone by, when Metroidvania games ruled the world, and we’re perfectly fine with that. The jokes may be a bit much at times, but just roll with it and you’ll find this game to be a joyous…blast? We’re allowed to say that.
VIBE RATING: 8/10
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