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 Post subject: Blastful (PlayStation 4 - Nintendo Switch)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:32 am 


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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 352
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Apparently, this world of Indie shmups is indeed the "Terra Pericolosa" for any shmupper. We've already saw abominations like Void Gore, Aircraft Evolution, and Null Drifter, but nothing like the shmup I'll be reviewing right now. Just when anyone could think game designers can't go any lower than any of the trash shmups from Panda Indie Studio or Satur Entertainment, suddenly you find a game that breaks the level into a new lower grade.
So, without further adeu, here's Blastful by Playstige Interactive for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.


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Not even an opening cutscene.

The first signal of "Something's Wrong" about this game comes from the very start. Right after the game is installed on your PS4 or Switch you'll be already on this "Title-Stage Select" screen where you start the game. That's right, no opening, no story, no prologue, no nothing. Just this craptastic main menu that doesn't have nothing impressive to offer and it looks more like the selection screen of those PlayStation discs that featured playable demos like RayStorm, MediEvil and Metal Gear Solid, but more ugly, dull and boring.



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Blastful brings out the absolute worst in space combat.

The gameplay of Blastful is based on Twin-Stick shooter, as we can aim the ship, but for some reason, it's not full 360°, just vertical, horizontal and diagonals. However, you don't need to make complex angled aiming in this game since it behaves more like the basic vertical shmup rather than an arena shooter. One of the most interesting features is the radar system, since we can shoot enemies once they've left the screen for a short while, preventing any potential unfair hits from stray bullets. You can use this on your favor to cause early damage to the boss turrents before the boss fully appears on screen. Every 3 or 4 stages you'll be given a secondary weapon which can be selected by pressing the R1 button since Triangle, Square, X and Circle are firing buttons. Among the items you can get ammo to refill the ammunition for your unlocked special weapons and a force field which lasts for a few seconds as your temporary invincibility item.

However, this game suffers from some irritating problems: First of all, the enemy size. Most of the popcorn enemies are much smaller than your ship, making the already basic aiming difficult, not to mention, their projectiles are even smaller, making targeting a waste of time at the point of being more convenient to dodge all the enemy fire rather than countering it and destroying enemies.
Another weird issue with this game is that the enemies sometimes they pop out of nowhere on the middle of the screen, as if the game was broken or something like that.

The unlockable special weapons, which they're supposed to provide additional help, they're almost useless, the worst example is the homing missile, which is slow to lock and hit the targets. Think about it as the level 1 Homing from the first Raiden games, but in Raiden, their response and speed improved as long as you leveled the Homing up. In Blastful, is stucked on a single power level, rendering the homing function as virtually useless. The Vulcan comes quite in handy if you want to rely on auto-fire, the others didn't cared to test them.



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Is easy to take down the boss by desarming its cannons.
Is quick.
Is fast.
Is trash.


Multipart bosses can be fun even when they've lost their weaponry. Examples are everywhere: From R-Type and Carrier Air Wing to Blazing Star and Ginga Force, unfortunately, that's not Blastful's case.
Boss battles are way too easy: Destroy the cannons, then the boss is reduced to a simple sitting duck hopelessly exposed to your attacks.



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Original, Champion Edition, Turbo and Super Turbo.

With 20 stages, you expect an array of unique bosses that bring you at least some challenge, right?, The game shows its laziness in this aspect by throwing recolors of a same boss, this applies for the three bosses you'll face throughout the game.



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THEY'VE...GOTTA BE...[EXPLETIVE]...KIDDING ME.

After clearing the final stage you expect (at least) an ending for playing this sorry excuse for a shmup. But guess what?, the game doesn't give you nothing!, not even a congratulations. Just a send-back to the Title-Stage Select screen inviting you to replay the stages so they'll change the backgrounds (the same hint when you've started to play for the first and last time). That's right, around 1 hour of your life wasted in this game, there's not even a single ending to reward your efforts, just the fact that you've unlocked all the Trohpies this game has to offer. Even the atrocious Aircraft Evolution bothered to congratulate you with a simple message on the mission select screen, yeah, I've threw [EXPLETIVE] to it before and poked fun about it, but right now I'm starting to appreciate that congratulatory message.



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Looks like the original PlayStation puked on my PlayStation 4.

The graphics....ARGH, my eyes!! This is the worst example of digitzed renders, as the ships look terrible. Starting off with your ship, which has a strange blue outline like a cheap cut-out taken from somewhere else, well is not just your ship, it's ALL the ships in the game. The player life and shield bars are as lazy as possible, a single colored bars that show the gauge outline as they're depleted. I mean, even the lifebars of NES games like Megaman and Journey to Silius were far more detailed than that. As for the bosses life gauge, there's cases where you can't see how much it has left because sometimes they have almost identical colors and that damned chromatic effect makes things even more invisible. Speaking of invisible, the majority of enemies are smaller than your ship, and like I've said before, it makes the aiming a frustrating chore, and if that wasn't bad enough, the bullets and the enemy missiles are way too small for notice them as they can be confused with cosmic debris extremely easy. It's basically Aircraft Evolution's small graphics problem, multiplied by thousands.
The space background suffers a problem of overpixelation most of the times, combined with eye hurting color combinations that makes you wonder "¿How does this game made it to the PlayStation and Switch stores?". This is even worse than Project Starship in terms of visual garbage.



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Triangular anomalies on Australia's skies.
NASA and the Australian Government deny all the nationwide UFO sighting claims.


Just when I've tought they were lazy to render a planet, I've noticed graphic errors on the textures, that's what those weird triangular-like shadows on the planet's surface look like, as if the 3D artist made a both horrible and lazy job on making a planet.
There's a very thin line between retro-like digitzed graphics and horrible rendering and in this case, it has to be the absolute example of how not to make a 3D planet as far as I can imagine.



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Atmospheric Failure in planet Basura.

If the graphic designer failed on making a planet texture, it made an even worse job on rendering an atmosphere, just take a look at the rectangular gap on the screenshot to see what I'm talking about. I know doing a CGI planet is no easy task, but this is just the epithome of zero effort, no-budget computer design made by people who wants to make something without any effort.
Including me a radar was quite useful sometimes, and its nice to have something that at least is useful for the game and doesn't look bad like the rest of the whole product.

The music is the usual techno-like beat that we're used to hear on Indie shmups. But this time is very dull and forgettable at the point that doesn't offer nothing suprising, just a generic, mindless electronic pace for a mediocre game which later changes to an also generic, fast street racing-esque styled rhythm. From my perspective I can only describe the music as "Kraftwerk gone wrong" and "I wanna be like Need For Speed".


BLASTFUL CURIOSITIES
- The word "Regenerate" is mispelled as "Regenarete".
- The Homing missile resembles the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile.




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The Navy seem to have vanished.
There was nothing but Cronus and hundreds of voices clamoring all at once. I couldn't breathe.
Kron is dead. Dead. The League says he was a war criminal, and had to die.
Our defense is so weak, they say they mean no harm... But we know we'll be in prison for the rest of our lives...


In all my years as a shmupper I've never saw something as putrid and disgraceful as Blastful; horrible. Not just visually horrible, but horrible in sound and even gameplay. In conclusion, this game is not just a Throphy Milker for those who want easy and quick trophies, its garbage for PlayStation and Switch that serves as an ideal example of how not to do a retro shmup. Seriously, what was Playstige Interactive thinking about when they've made this? And how could Sony and Nintendo allowed this game to be included on their digital stores?
Stay with Fast Striker, Takotan: Hoshi no Tako, ACA Aero Fighters 2 and Super Hydorah if you're looking for some retro-styled shooting action, just stay away from Blastful unless you're only looking for 21 quick trophies. Hell, even ACA Neogeo Alpha Mission II was much better than this.


*Sing "Entire Disgrace" to the tune of "Eternal Flame" by Bangles*

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Not again, another crap game, damn it.
Do you think am I kidding?
You don't understand.
You've must be insane.
I just can't believe it.
This is stupid.
An Entire Disgrace.



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I believed this was a good game, damn it.
But not even the trophies
Justify the pick.
Don't make my mistake.
I just can't believe it.
But this is stupid (Stupid!).
An Entire Disgrace.



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Not again
Money to the drain
On a bad, trash shooter
That became a money waste.
I've just wasted my time and money.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


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Not again
Money to the drain
On a bad, trash shooter
That became a money waste.
I've just wasted my time and money.
Nooooooo.



Image
Another game to play and forget.
Do you think am I kidding?
You don't understand.
You've must be insane.
I just can't believe it.
But this is stupid.
An Entire Disgrace.



Image
Not again, another crap game, damn it.
Do you think am I kidding?
You don't understand.
You've must be insane.
I just can't believe it.
This is stupid.
An Entire Disgrace.



Image
Another game to play and forget, damn it.
Do you think am I kidding?
You don't understand.
You've must be insane.
I just can't believe it.
Noooooooooo.
An Entire Disgrace.
_________________
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Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

STG Wikias: Thunder Force Wiki - Wikiheart Exelica - Ginga Force Wiki


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