Road Blaster

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This article is about the laserdisc arcade game by Data East. For the racing game by Atari Games, see RoadBlasters.
Road Blaster (Road Avenger)
European cover for the Sega Mega-CD version.
European cover for the Sega Mega-CD version.
Developer(s) Data East (arcade version)
Victor (MSX version)
Telenet (Japan), Wolf Team (Mega-CD version)
Ecseco (Saturn/PS1 versions), Revolutionary Concepts (iOS version)
Publisher(s) Data East (arcade version)
Wolf Team, Renovation, Sega (Mega-CD version)
Ecseco (Saturn/PS1 versions)
Designer(s) Yoshihisa Kishimoto (director)[1]
Platform(s) Arcade, MSX, Sega Mega-CD, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, LaserActive, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, VHS, iOS, Sharp X68000
Release date(s) Arcade
Genre(s) Interactive Movie
Mode(s) 1 or 2 players, alternating turns
Distribution LaserDisc, CD-ROM

Road Blaster (ロードブラスター?) is a 1985 interactive movie arcade game developed and published by Data East, with the help from Toei Animation in illustrating the animation. After Data East became defunct due to their 2003 bankruptcy, G-Mode bought the intellectual rights to the arcade game as well as most other Data East games.

Gameplay[edit]

The player assumes the role of a vigilante who drives a customized sports car in order to bring the biker gang responsible for his wife's death to justice. As with other laserdisc-based arcade games from the same time, the gameplay consists of on-screen instructions overlaid over pre-recorded animated footage. The player enters a series of high-speed chases in which they must squeeze between trucks, fend off the gang members, perform dangerous stunts, commit acts of vehicular homicide, and narrowly escapes death before facing off against the gang's female leader. The player controls the cross-hair to steer their car toward the correct directions according to the green arrows flashing and beeping beside it, while controlling the gas pedal, brake and booster whenever they light up.

Ports and related releases[edit]

Various ports were released for consoles between 1989 and 1997 including versions for the MSX, Mega-CD/Sega CD, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, LaserActive, and 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (prototyped as Turbo Blaster). However, only the Mega-CD and LaserActive versions were released internationally under the titles Road Avenger, and Road Prosecuter respectively. The titles were presumably changed to avoid confusion with the similarly titled arcade game Roadblasters by Atari Games (which was ported to the Sega Mega Drive around the same time). Other variations included one-shot reproductions for VHS cassette players such as Takara’s Video Challenger which was a limited interactive port of the Road Blaster arcade game. The Sega Saturn and PlayStation ports were compilations of Road Blaster and another laserdisc arcade game developed by the same team titled as Thunder Storm (known outside of Japan as Cobra Command).

In 2009 Road Blaster was released for the Sharp X68000 system.

Yoshihisa Kishimoto, the director of Cobra Command and Road Blaster, later directed the arcade version of Double Dragon. The car from Road Blaster can be seen inside Billy and Jimmy's garage at the start of the game.

Cobra Command and Road Blaster were ported to iOS by Revolutionary Concepts on June 29, 2010, and January 13, 2011, respectively.

Apart from that, an unlicensed port titled Super Road Blaster for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released on May 13, 2012.

Novelization[edit]

A novel based on the game is planned to be released between 2009 and 2012.[2][3] The project is officially authorized by G-Mode of Japan (the current rights holder to most of Data East's catalog) and is being written by Mary Margaret Park and co-produced by Sekrett Scilensce.

Reception[edit]

Road Avenger was reviewed in 1993 in Dragon #195 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4 out of 5 stars.[4] On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Sega Saturn version of the game a 25 out of 40, giving the PlayStation version a 23 out of 40.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Yoshihisa Kishimoto's website (熱血硬派!)". Yoshihisa Kishimoto. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  2. ^ Reuters, "The Road Avenger" Novel, First Public Demo Debut
  3. ^ Reuters, Green-Light Received for 'The Road Avenger' Novel...
  4. ^ Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia & Lesser, Kirk (July 1993). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (195): 57–64. 
  5. ^ NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: サンダーストーム&ロードブラスター. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.358. Pg.31. 27 October 1995.

External links[edit]

Arcade version
Home console versions