Blast Corps (N64)
Genre: Action/Adventure - Publisher: Nintendo - Release Year: 1997 - For: Nintendo 64 (N64)
15 reviews from the community
Review of "Blast Corps (N64)"
Today is Linkin Park day. That's a part of my childhood gone and an artist who got me through some really rough times.
Blast Corp was a game that my cousin had way back in the day for the N64. Me and my brother played it during a holiday on his console and from that moment on we badgered mum to get us our own copy. We failed miserably but thankfully as an adult I can make my own flawed choices and having lugged the old gem of a console down the stairs, this was one of my impulse purchases almost immediately after. I had more than fond memories of this particular game but in reality hadn’t played a huge amount of it as it was a holiday experience. Coming back to it with a split of excitement and trepidation I set forth upon my blasting career!The background to the game is quirky and utterly insane; a nuclear missile carrier is leaking and rolling forward and to make things more complex, automatically locking onto targets. If it hits a target it goes kaboom, the world goes kaboom and any survivors are left with nasty radiation poisoning (the game doesn’t go into that side of it mind you, you start again when you go kaboom!). Your job is therefore to plough through the levels in a series of weird, wonderful and downright wacky vehicles (or vague excuses for vehicles) destroying all of the buildings in the level that this nuclear carrier is heading for before it gets there. Yeah. The whole point of the game is just to create as much carnage as possible, providing you don’t hit the big nuclear thing as you go.
That’s more or less it for background; there are no complex storylines or character development here. Your job is very simply to blow things up with different vehicles and have great fun whilst doing so. The vehicles themselves are weird and wacky and I have learnt more recently that they came up with ideas first and then found a way to make them work in the gameplay… So you have the basic bulldozer and then you have Thunderfist who is a huge silver robot who somersaults into buildings and Backlash a truck that slides sideways into buildings and Ballista which is a motorbike with ballistic missiles!All of these vehicles control differently and you don’t get a choice as to which ones you may get command of in any given level. In many levels you will have to switch out of a vehicle and leg it into something else part way through, in others you will end up controlling boats or trains in order to move something into place, before legging it back to your destructive mechanism of choice to get to the next section before the big kaboom. The game requires an interesting combination of crazy destructiveness and careful puzzle solving and decision making; a combination that probably shouldn’t work and yet does.
All in all, it’s scarily brilliant and such good fun to play it’s a wonder no one else has tried to do anything similar. As the Blast Corp in charge of saving the world from a nuclear holocaust you have leave to destroy anything and everything in your path that you deem fit to destroy. They could have made it a precision game where you are penalised for destroying anything but the required buildings in the missiles pathway, but that would be a lot less fun. And so part of the game is actively trying to destroy absolutely everything within the game; destruction is fun and you have permission to do anything you want!The levels get insanely difficult though and the vehicles take some practice to learn top control. But whilst you have simple early levels to let you get to grips with your new motors, later levels ramp up the difficulty quickly and require you to solve puzzles quickly and manoeuvre vehicles just as quickly before realising there’s another puzzle to solve immediately after and everything goes kaboom and you start again. KABOOM! It’s frustrating but great fun and if you simply want to revel in the joy of knocking stuff down you can always go back to the early levels and do exactly that!! To quote Eurogamer:
Suffice to say, to pass the nuclear carrier across the first of the Harbour's three major sections, players must judge the arc necessary to fire rockets into a mass of stacked crates, negotiate a cliffside path, jump in a bulldozer to mop up remaining obstacles, use said bulldozer to load crates of TNT (on a timed fuse) onto a crane, then finally, before detonation, operate the crane, dropping several explosive boxes onto an inconveniently placed wharf. That's before you've got the canal boats involved.
There are scoring systems to add yet more challenge to the game however; once you have saved the area from the nuclear missile, you then get to go back untimed and destroy everything in your pathway to get 100% destruction scores. You also need to light up all of the little guidance lights for another 100%. And then, the real biggy, once you have learned the routes you go back on to try and beat the platinum time set by the game. It says a lot that I think I have managed one platinum time in my entire game. One. Apparently the punishing difficulty came from an intercontinental QA team competitive spirit where the people with the most thorough knowledge of the levels were competing with each other to get crazy high scores.All in all, the game was geniusly made and it’s no surprise that it is still on many people’s lists of favourite games. Even supposedly small things like landscape surfaces have been taken into account; some surfaces slow you down so you can’t build quite the right speed to knock the building down, some objects need timed explosives to explode them and then you have the additional challenges of rivers and cargo ships and railways to contend with. With all of these aspects to contend with, this becomes a manic race against time to get ahead of the nuclear missile and clear the space safely!
There are even ‘break’ levels where the team of Blast Corp takes time off from all the saving the world bit and goes racing around courts in utterly inappropriate and insane vehicles to get record times. Or the same kind of just for fun idea where you have to destroy a set amount of buildings in a time limit… just for the sheer hell of it. Because why not?? It just takes you out of what has the potential to get samey, despite the number of vehicles to get to grips with and puzzle base of the levels and gives you a breather. Clever indeed.Blast Corp is most definitely a game of the past and there are huge niggles that just aren’t seen in modern day gaming. The camera control is the huge aspect that is exceptionally grating from a modern day perspective. I am used to having more or less complete control over a games camera but this is exceptionally frustrating in that respect. You are severely limited in how you can control the camera as well, so getting it to do what you want is more than annoying.
In terms of graphics and sound, this is a game from 1997; you cannot expect miracles. It is more than good enough to play, but if you are going to get annoyed at blocky graphics then perhaps nostalgia gaming is not for you. For the time it was released there would have been some nice effects like skid marks and loud booming explosions but these are far less impressive in modern day gaming where we are used to cinematic effects.You can pick up a copy of this unboxed for £8 and a boxed copy of it for £20 odd on ebay and Amazon which isn’t too bad. I wouldn’t pay the £20 mind you unless you are planning on keeping it in perfect nick to resell. Of course, you do need a dinosaur console to play it on which might be a downside to some. You can get it on emulator free of charge with a small amount of internet searching mind you; although getting the control scheme to work off a keyboard is a nightmare to put it mildly. It isn’t the longest game in the world but the replay value is immense and it is just so much fun!
Do I Recommend
If you don’t mind retro gaming, then yet give this a blast!! It’s a really fun game that is an absolute blast to play. It is, in many ways, a product of its time and there are significant niggles particularly to do with the camera and convoluted control scheme, however that doesn’t stop it from being an excellent game to play. You don’t need to spend hours on it to put a smile on your face; just a half hour of smashing up buildings usually does it for me!
Product Information : Blast Corps (N64)
Manufacturer's product descriptionGenre: Action/Adventure - Publisher: Nintendo - Release Year: 1997 - For: Nintendo 64 (N64)
Release Year: 1997
Platform: Nintendo 64 (N64)
Listed on Ciao since: 12/07/2000