67: Blaster Master

Genre: Platformer

Developer: Tokai
Publisher: Sun Corporation
Year: 1988

Basic Idea:  Jump in a hole to save your radioactive pet frog.  Or, more accurately, blow up a bunch of stuff in your tank.

Review: I’m tempted to call this game overrated, but being as that I have it in my Top 100, that would be a bit whiny.  It’s a very creative game, with mostly excellent play control, which is usually a slam dunk.  Traversing the overworld in your tank, jumping and shooting all the way is pretty fun.  And I love that there’s overhead adventuring a la Zelda in some sections and the boss battles.  I have no complaints about the way the game plays.

But there’s two major problems that keeps this game out of the top fifty for me.  First, the game seems like an endless maze after a while, requiring extensive backtracking which I don’t think any gamer has ever leapt for joy about.  But the worst crime of the game is the inability to save or get a password.  If I was blown away by the game, I think I could forgive these things and plow through.  But since I wasn’t, I never had any desire to complete this.

2 thoughts on “67: Blaster Master”

  1. I friggin’ loved this game, but ugh. Lack of gamesaves. WHY?! For that reason, although this is probably my favorite game you’ve named, I wouldn’t be much kinder on a list.

    I too don’t think I ever beat this. If you’re going to give me a game with tons of backtracking, let me save. If you give me a very straightforward actioner built for speed, I can live without one (given the length of games in those days). But here, it’s unacceptable.

    I played this so much with my friend Bryan that I almost feel like we had to have beaten it at some point, but if I did, I have no recollection of it.

    1. It doesn’t even seem like a game that would be easy to beat in one sitting even if you knew where everything was and just had to plow through. The quickest “speed run” on the internet is 41 minutes, which I think roughly translates to 3 hours for a regular gamer who knows where to go. There were times where we had a “one hour a day” limit on the Nintendo. How would we have ever gotten anywhere in this game, let alone get far? I must admit, though, there’s a game similar to this that’s higher in the countdown.

      Can you imagine if Metroid didn’t have a password system?

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