Blaster Master: Overdrive
|Blaster Master: Overdrive|
|Genre(s)||Run and gun, Platform game|
Blaster Master: Overdrive is a platforming and run and gun video game released by Sunsoft and Gaijinworks as a WiiWare title for the Wii game console. It is an update of the formula and soundtrack of the original Blaster Master game, also produced by Sunsoft, in 1988.
The game's plot is based on an Earth that has become infected with a virus that has caused animals to be transformed into monsters that threaten humanity. Alex, a world-leading biologist, takes the fight to the mutations to find the source of the virus, using an armored vehicle called S.O.P.H.I.A. to battle against the creatures.
The gameplay reuses much of the same concepts of the original Blaster Master title. In side-scrolling sections, the players controls S.O.P.H.I.A. to progress through terrain spaces, gaining power-ups needed to face tougher monsters and progress to new areas. At times, the player can have Alex leave S.O.P.H.I.A. and enter smaller caves, at which point the perspective is turned to a top-down run-and-gun game, where the player controls Alex directly, using weapons and gaining upgrades to explore the caves and defeat boss characters.
In December 2009, Sunsoft announced that they wanted to rebuild the Sunsoft brand in North America, and teamed with United States publisher Gaijinworks to bring the original Blaster Master as a Virtual Console title for the Wii on December 14, 2009. At the time, Vic Ireland, owner of Gaijinworks, stated that:
This first Wii release is a great start, but there is one upcoming announcement in particular that will demonstrate just how serious Yoshida-san is about rebuilding the Sunsoft console gaming brand here. Game fans are going to be pretty happy when they hear about it -– I know I was.— Vic Ireland, Gamasutra, December 2009.
Blaster Master: Overdrive was announced on February 6, 2010, only 2 days before its North America release on WiiWare. On release, the game was criticized only to support one controller configuration (using the Wii Remote in a horizontal alignment in the same manner as the original Nintendo Entertainment System controllers; Ireland stated that he was working with Sunsoft to help implement a patch to include alternative control schemes, including through use of the Classic Controller.
Blaster Master: Overdrive was well received by game critics, praising the title as a modern upgrade to a classic Nintendo Entertainment System game, but identifying faults with its controls and lack of progressive scan support that limited the graphics quality. John Meyer of Wired identified the game as the "most faithful to the original" of the other attempts to recapture the Blaster Master gameplay, improving on the original game by adding a map screen and tweaking the gameplay in the top-down sections, but noted the default, uncustomized controls, placing the strafing action button on the backside of the remote would lead to hand cramping. Bob Mackey of 1UP.com noted the game, while still remaining challenging, "manages to iron out a few unforgivable aspects" of the original Blaster Master, but also lamented that the improved gameplay in the top-down sections suffered from the choice of controls.
- "Blaster Master Overdrive Headed to WiiWare This Monday". Sunsoft. 2010-02-06. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- Canolli, Eric (2009-12-07). "Victor Ireland's Gaijinworks Helping Rebuild Sunsoft Brand In U.S.". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Bailey, Kat (2009-12-14). "Virtual Console Picks Up Blaster Master, Earthworm Jim 2". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Ireland, Vic (2010-02-10). "Blaster Master: Overdrive (WiiWare - Feb 8th/1000pts)". NeoGAF. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
- Meyer, John Mix (2010-02-10). "Review: Old-School Blaster Master Overdrive Is Blast From the Past". Wired. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- Mackey, Bob (2010-02-10). "Review: Blaster Master: Overdrive". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13.