Blaster Master, known in Japan as 超惑星戦記メタファイト [Cho Wakusei Senki: Metafight], Super Planetary War Records: Metafight, is an action-adventure game developed by Tokai Engineering and published by Sunsoft for the NES in 1988-06-17. In the game, the player pilots a tank-like vehicle that can be upgraded with various power-ups like homing missiles, a hover drive, and the ability to drive along the walls.
The Japanese version has an adult theme where the prosperous planet Sophia the 3rd is attacked by a barbaric race who wipe out the people leaving only an overlooked science outpost. The outpost builds a fighting machine called the "Metal Attacker." Kane Gardner pilots the Metal Attacker to defeat the tyrant Goez, and his minions. In the American version, the pet frog of a boy named Jason escapes his terrarium and jumps on a radioactive box to mutate into a large monster who sinks into the ground. Jason chases after his frog and finds an underground abandoned tank named Sophia the 3rd, along with a suit of armor that fits him perfectly. He dons the suit in search of his lost mutant frog. Just slightly different!
Even before I played the game Blaster Master, I read the pre-teen Worlds of Power book loosely based on the game. As a child around 10 years old, I thought the book was pretty good, but as an adult, there's not much to like. It was more than enough to get me interested in the game, and a friend of mine from school had it, and I played it at his house. I enjoyed the game, but didn't get very far. Later, I remember playing it again at home with my brother and getting much further (maybe to area 3?). Using cheats I have seen the entire game, but, having seen how difficult it is, I have little desire to try and beat it properly.
I own Blaster Master, but I have not beaten it.
- Overall: 5/10
- Best Version: NES.
- The game has really nice graphics and music.
- The environment of each stage is unique and attractive.
- The idea of hopping in and out of your tank to go into rooms is a nice mechanic.
- The various power-ups that you get throughout the game are pretty cool.
- The large bosses are great looking and make for interesting battles.
- The intro is well-drawn and utterly ridiculous.
- The gun system is wretched. I like the idea of powering up your weapon and losing power as you take hits, but several of the gun upgrades are very erratic and hard to target. A similar mechanic was used in Fester's Quest, and it's just as awful there too.
- For a game this long, and with levels so winding, a save slot or at least a password system really should have been made available.
- I don't like how monsters stop moving the moment they leave the screen, and begin moving again when to move toward them again.
- It becomes very difficult to control Sophia when you get the walking on walls and ceiling power-ups.
- A large amount of the same monsters are used throughout the entire game.
- Having infinite grenades is a bit unusual. It seems like maybe they should have been a limited resource, but considering how unreliable the gun is, it's nice to have them.
- By looking at the top-down cave layouts, it kind of seems like the designers originally intended for the player to be able to jump, and then removed the ability before properly fixing all the levels.
- It's very difficult to maneuver between spikes in the top-down caves.
- In the later levels, the game becomes insanely difficult.
Nintendo Power, June, blurb.
- youtube.com/watch?v=2STUx_9bkB4 - Longplay.
- mobygames.com/game/nes/blaster-master - MobyGames.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaster_Master - Wikipedia.
- vgmpf.com/Wiki/index.php/Blaster_Master_(NES) - Music.
- thealmightyguru.com/Games/Hacking/Wiki/index.php/Blaster_Master - NES Hacker Database.