Blast Corps Review

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Blast Corps is awesome, developed by rare in 1997, I feel that it hasn’t received the attention it deserves as it is often overshadowed by Banjo Kazooie, Goldeneye or Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Which is a shame because its one of the better games on the n64

The concept behind blast corps is simple, you destroy buildings to prevent a truck carrying nuclear missiles from crashing. To do so, you command a variety of demolition machines that range from a simple dump truck to a combat rolling robot. All of these machines behave differently, the bulldozer, for example, can level small buildings but will need to push TNT crates to destroy larger ones. On top of destroying these buildings to keep the world safe (which you get paid in game currency to do) you will be saving people (by destroying buildings?!?) crashing into radio beacons to open secret levels, collecting RDU’s (not sure what that means exactly) and going through time attack missions. Now, the simple act of driving into a building would get old fast, fortunately, the later stages of Blast Corps function like fast paced puzzles, you have to think quickly and have good reflexes in order to obliterate the buildings in time, which is what makes the game so much fun.

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Don’t let it crash!

Sadly, all is not perfect in the world, the game is fairly short, getting all the collectibles in a level does add some replay value but for many, there isn’t much to hold their attention after every level has been completed. I also have to complain about the controls a bit, while they work quite well, I have tremendous difficulty using the dump truck, controlling that thing properly is a monumental challenge and one of the robots seems to only do its attack when it feels like it, there is no indication that there is a cooldown on it either, which is a bit of a letdown.

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I despise you backlash

Unfortunatly, thats about all there is to say about the gameplay, it really is that simple, however, as with all rare games, I feel that I must comment on the music and graphics. The graphics are alright for the system and get the job done, however, its not nearly as pretty as Banjo Kazooie. But that is all supplemented by the music. Its chaotic, funny and energizing. Also, the explosion sounds are satisfying as heck. By the way, if you have played Goldeneye, you will notice that one of the explosion sounds is similar to that of the D5K Deutsche.

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Blast Corps is a fantastic game that seems to have gone overlooked, which is a shame because it is another classic game from Rare, despite a couple of minor flaws! Play it!

8.5/10

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Guardian Wars Review

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Guardian War, also known as powers kingdom is a game for the 3do system. Before I go forward, a little history lesson. The 3DO was released in 1993 and was a very powerful system for the time, however, due to the high price of the console, poor design choices and a lack of game support to draw in a crowd, the system quickly faded away. Considered a failure, the system has some good things going for it, some of the best console ports of games are on 3DO and then there are more obscure games such as Guardian War.

The story of Guardian War is simple, an evil being known as Azrael has unleashed Chaos and destruction onto the world of Power’s Kingdom. Monsters now infest the planet and all the plants and trees are losing their, “vital energy,” due to the destruction and carnage that chaos has wrought. Finally, the Goddess Erald had enough of that and decided to create a golem to kill Azrael. This golem must travel through Powers Kingdom and awaken his/her/its followers from their shrines and slay all the evil in the world.

Guardian War will feel extremely familiar to anyone who has played the Final Fantasy Tactics games. However, there are some slight differences. For starters, you begin with 2 golem’s and have an overworld with a bunch of levels. However, you need to complete each level before you can move on to the next one, it should be noted that you cannot go to levels you have previously completed. Once you pick a level, you are transported to a map that your characters move around on. The goal of each map is to destroy all the monsters and to find the treasures within them.

Once you come upon some enemies, then the gameplay changes. All of your warriors come out and combat is handled in a turn based manner. And, as with all turn based games, you get a variety of options on each of your warriors turns. You can attack, use spells (if you have them), go into a defensive position and take a lot less damage or use items or potions. All of this can be done after moving a select difference. Early on, this system is extremely simple, but as the game progresses, it becomes fairly complex. But don’t let that scare you, the complexity isn’t overwhelming like some games tend to be.

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On the subject of difficulty, you will notice that some area’s are just plain unbeatable with your current party. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to make life easier. For starters, each golem can be equiped with a variety of equipment based on what body they use. The body’s range from knights to wizards to ninjas. These bodies give different abilities such as healing or a basic slash attack. Another mechanic that I simply love is the ability to use 3 bodies worth of abilities on any golem. Another great thing the game gives you is what I call, “Grinding Zones.” These are areas that stay open the entire game and allow you to go back to them as much as you want. These are great for leveling up underdeveloped heroes or to sharpen the skills of others. For some, the idea of grinding is a terrible thing, but I can safely say that I have only spent about an hour of grinding on my playthrough, so it isn’t that bad.

Next I feel that I should at least comment on the graphics and sound. I personally love the look of the game, there is a charm to it that you don’t see in games today. The enemies are scary and cute in equal measure, which makes me almost feel bad for slaying them….almost. The environments are simple but have enough detail as to not hurt the eyes during gameplay, I love the temple environments. Finally the music is actually pretty good. The overworld theme is full on heavy metal, perfect for getting you in the mood for some action, while the level themes range from chaotic to soft and smooth. Great stuff. Now unfortunatly, the sounds the combatants make during the fights and the spell sounds are rather lackluster. Not a one of them blew me away, Thankfully the graphics on the high level spells are awe inspiring.

Finally, I have to note that for a strategy game, it is father simple. Once you understand how to mix and match bodies and equipment, you pretty much have the hardest part of the game down. And because the game disperses shops that sell you the best equipment you can get at that time, there really is no excuse not to have the best gear. Sadly, this is the games biggest flaw, its a bit too forgiving for my taste.

In conclusion, Guardian Wars is a fairly deep and complex strategy game (at first) that has gone rather unnoticed. Which is a shame because it offers up some fantastic gameplay that allows for a good amount of experimentation. Though it is repetitive, especially when you have to grind, Guardian Wars throws enough new enemies, abilities and Items in your direction that you won’t be thinking about the flaws for too long. A solid game!

7.5/10