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  1. #1

    [NSW] Blaster Master Zero 2

    I wanted to start this thread while I was playing the game, but alas it comes a couple of weeks after I've completed it.
    Blaster Master Zero 2 is the direct sequel to BMZ, a nifty little game that came out when the Switch was in its infancy: nothing special, but it was fun to play and an excellent remaster of a NES game.
    BMZ2 expands on almost everything BMZ1 had: now your vehicle, the G-Sophia, is able to fly through space, with big and small planets serving as background for levels. Small planets often have only a boss and a couple of screens with self-contained challenges, while big planets offer more sprawling labyrinths with multiple bosses and bonuses. I haven't replayed BMZ1 in a while, but as levels in BMZ2 are now divided between different locations, none is as complex or interconnected as in the previous title; I would also say that with the exception of two planets, dungeons are also a little bit more linear, but I might be mistaken due to bad memory. Every planet, however, has its own gimmick and while I've never felt in danger due to environmental hazards, this does create a lot of variety and every single stage is fun to go through.
    Well, maybe not every one but more on this later.

    Even if stages feel more linear, they still offer a good degree of exploration and problem solving, although the game focuses on health and energy expansions, and for a game called "Blaster Master" the number of weapons isn't particularly high. G-Sophia can equip three main weapons and several subweapons, but of those subweapons a handful are used to solve environmental puzzles.
    The game is closer to its monicker when Jason, your character, exits G-Sophia to explore overhead levels on foot. Here you have a good selection of weapons at your disposal, but only if you have enough energy for them. Getting damaged will reduce your energy and therefore block more powerful weapons. The game is kind enough to give you an energy guard powerup quite early, although you can bypass the dungeon holding that item. However, as all powerups appear on the map as blinking icons, getting to it isn't particularly tough...also, blinking things are annoying so you'll want to collect everything. Fun fact: for quite some time the game had a bug that wouldn't register a powerup as collected, and its blinking icon would remain on the map; had to search around the net to confirm that.
    In overhead stages all enemies, bosses included, have a weakness to a particular weapon, and part of the fun is finding out which weapon works best against enemies. The answer is to always use the spread shot, not all enemies might be weak to it but it's the most versatile and powerful weapon Jason can wield. Only one boss required me switching to a specific weapon.

    There are three hidden items that you might miss, and those are required for the perfect ending. Just like every other powerup, they aren't particularly hard to get a hold off (you aren't told on which planet they are, but if you are on the right one, they are shown on the map) and are mostly kinda boring fetch quests.
    I've played the game in normal, and while I've died a few times against bosses and to environmental hazards while exploring, the game never felt too difficult. In fact, I'd say it was a tad too easy, especially after I collected all powerups. The only difficult part was the final part, but then again I found it more tedious than challenging. I won't spoil what happens, but it's a good twist to the story and, despite the gripes I have against this part, to the game structure. Plus it was cool seeing that all the powerups I collected weren't simple upgrades for G-Sophia or Jason. In fact, the level you play during the final part is the most complex yet, and once I've got used to the rules, it was fun going around and explore it.

    Blaster Master Zero 2 is a fun game, more or less on the same level as the first game. But as with all of Inti Creates' sidescroller, it lacks that "something" to make it shine. I think BMZ2's fault in this case is that it's not as expansive as you think it would be, and the challenge level, at least at normal difficulty level, isn't particularly high. It's still a well put together sidescroller that won't overburden you (slightly less than 10 hours from start to finish with 100% items), but it's not the greatest either. As with many Inti Creates games, BMZ2 is receiving a good support, right now focused on improving controls (they work perfectly, with getting onto ladders in mid jump being to only sore spot) and correcting a few bugs here and there.

  2. #2
    Hi. Would you be happy for me to convert this into an article review? I (or you) could add a few words for people that haven't played the first one, so it's more obvious what style of game it is

  3. #3
    I was jonesing on the idea of doing a full-blown review, maybe I'll cook something up the following days, with screenshots and everything.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by briareos_kerensky View Post
    I was jonesing on the idea of doing a full-blown review, maybe I'll cook something up the following days, with screenshots and everything.
    That would be great! It's almost there already.

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