Years ago, Blaster Master created quite a stir with its NES debut, becoming one of the system’s more popular titles between its side-scrolling vehicular action and its top-down action sequences. But then, after just a few short years, the series went dormant, save for a PlayStation 1 “modern” release that left some of us scratching our heads.
But now, Inti Creates has revived the series – wonderfully – with the Blaster Master Zero saga, titles that stayed true to the style of the original release, but with better level design, an intricate story, and a whole lot of fun. It’s just the return we needed, really.
Now the current saga wraps up with Blaster Master Zero 3, and it hits with all the impact we’d expect and more. It’s a whole lot of fun and shows just how much Inti Creates really loves this franchise. So we should love it too, just for the sake of egging on the dev to give us some more down the road. Please?
With the help of his G-SOPHIA SV tank, Jason once again makes his return, asked to save the world from alien creatures while helping his team deal with their own troubles. To go into further detail may foray into spoiler territory, so let me just say you should play the game for yourself because it’s an enjoyable tale.
Let’s get to the gameplay, where Blaster Master really delivers. Inti Creates continues to dial in that old-school Sunsoft-esque goodness, with controls that feel excellent both inside the tank and out. The tank sequences are good fun and even challenge you in some places when it comes to wiping out enemies; and the top-down action sequences are good, with a sense of puzzles throughout, some good old-fashioned shooting, and some amazing boss sequences that will keep you on your toes. There are also some terrific weapons you can snag along the way, which can really help you out when needed. And, yes, they are needed.
There’s also longevity to the game, thanks to alternate versions of dungeons that you’ll need to visit. Each one is unique in its own way, and while it may feel like you’re treading familiar territory for some, it’s an innovative design that’ll keep you more involved within the game. You can also switch if one enemy gives you too hard of a time, though eventually, you’ll want to work up your strength and take them out.
As for presentation, Inti Creates continues to make things work with its classic formula. The NES style visuals are truly charming, even if the game doesn’t quite go leaps and bounds over the previous efforts (hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?); and the music and sound effects are vintage 8-bit through and through, and a real delight to listen to. You may even find yourself downloading a few tunes for good measure.
It’ll be interesting to see where Blaster Master goes from here now that Zero 3 kind of wraps up the current storyline, but what a trip it’s been. The third game saves the best for last and takes the route of telling a great story in a world (two, kind of) worth exploring. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and looks and sounds just like the great games of old. If you’re a fan of this sort of thing, you’ll definitely want to jump in. Gotta serve that Master, after all.
Streamer and Cosplay Enthusiast