I was hoping to have my set up for capturing game footage done by this week, but it’s not quite there yet. So, for the sake of easy screenshots, I once again decided to take a look at Rare Replay. This time, the random number generator gave me a game that I rented as a kid, but didn’t really play a whole lot of. In fact, the only thing I clearly remembered was the map screen music, with the words “time to get moving” repeating over and over. So, what kind of first impression (or, technically second impression) does Blast Corps give in 2016?Honestly, it’s a very strange game. Not a bad one by any means, but after thinking about it for awhile, I only could come up with one other game that it reminded me of. That game, was last week’s Random Game Wednesdays subject, Cobra Triangle. Both games can boiled down to timed, vehicle based challenges, that are often very different from level to level.
Blast Corps has a little bit more consistency than Cobra Triangle, however. Every level revolves around destroying buildings, in some way or another. The variety comes from the various vehicles you drive. You start out with a simple bulldozer, and just ram into all the buildings in your path. But very quickly, you’re thrown into missions that use crazier vehicles, like a giant robot with a jetpack that butt-stomps buildings.
In the early parts of the game, I came across two different types of levels. One was simply to destroy all the buildings with a set amount of time. These seemed to be primarily for the sake of teaching how each vehicle handled. The other, and more common type of level, involved you destroying buildings that were in the path of a truck that was carrying an explosive. If the truck hits a building, or if you accidentally hit the truck, it explodes and you fail the mission. Why is there a truck with a bomb on it driving through the area? And if it’s just going to blow up the buildings anyway, are we preventing anything from knocking the buildings over? I’m sure these questions are answered in the instruction manual, but I’ve got nothing to go off of.
Control-wise, the game is very solid for the most part. Steering your vehicle feels good, and handles similarly to Cobra Triangle. By that I mean, left always turns your vehicle left based on the vehicle’s perspective, not based on the way the player is looking at it. There was one vehicle that I could really get a handle on however. It’s a dump truck called “Backlash”. The gimmick with Backlash is that it’s back end is much stronger than it’s front, so you have to hold down the X button to swing the truck violently around and smash it into buildings. Most of the time, I just kind of circled around the building, missing it entirely. I’m sure with some practice I’d be able to get it down, but this was pretty frustrating.
All things considered, Blast Corps looks really nice. All the vehicles look convincingly like the vehicles and the buildings are well detailed and blow up satisfyingly. I’m sure some people would get turned off by the simpler graphics style of the Nintendo 64, but personally, I think that they look surprisingly sharp when running in full 1080p. Everything looks really clean and the fog that was present in many N64 titles is no where to be seen. The one area where the graphics fall kind of flat though are the human characters. They’re super tiny, and I wasn’t even sure if they were fully polygonal. But there’s almost no detail on them, and their running animations are super over the top, probably just to make sure that you could tell what they were doing despite being so small.
Overall, Blast Corps is a cool little game that, other than some similarities to Cobra Triangle, really stands out as something unique. Does the concept hold up for the length of a full video game? Well, I’m not really able to answer that, but I think if you can find it cheap on the Nintendo 64 or have a copy of Rare Replay, it’s more than worth your time to boot it up and see what it’s all about.