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Friday, April 14, 2017


Have you got a Switch yet?
(I hear they're pretty hard to come by at the moment...)

If you have, and if you're a retro game lover like me, you've no doubt bought Blaster Master Zero, the remake of the original N.E.S. game that I played way back when...
I just finished it today (it took a while, since it was directly competing with Zelda in the early days...) and I can say that this is a great example of how to do a retro remake. It certainly FEELS like the old game, but if you look at the two side-by-side, you can see how much of a facelift it actually had.

Now, the game's not perfect. By modern standards, there are still a number of old-school annoyances. For example, why are there a heap of on-foot levels that serve no purpose whatsoever, and just leave you at a dead-end? That's not good game design, that's just padding with no purpose.

I also found the game pretty darn easy, until I hit Area 7 near the end of the game, then the difficulty suddenly ramped RIGHT up, in frustrating ways. But not impossible. (I recently played through all three Shovel Knight games, and they're much more difficult and frustrating than this...)

But Blaster Master Zero is fully, legitimately a replacement for the original game. I know it might sound sacrilegious, but there's really no point in going back to play the N.E.S. version anymore, except for nostalgia's sake. I kinda wish companies would do more remakes like this. I'm still waiting on that Duck Tales 2 remaster, WayForward!

But I was thrilled to discover that that stupid crab boss that caused me so much pain and grief on my first run through the game was an absolute cakewalk in the remake. As long as you have good enough weapons and bombs, most of the bosses are a bit of a doddle.

In other news, Nintendo has apparently stopped manufacturing the N.E.S. Mini, even though it never actually caught up with demand. Meaning that the machine was theoretically never on actual store shelves. So strange. I just don't get it. But at least I've got mine. So all is well. ^_^

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