||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (May 2015)|
European cover for the Sega Mega-CD version
|Developer(s)||Data East (arcade)
Telenet, Wolf Team (Mega-CD)
Revolutionary Concepts (iOS)
|Publisher(s)||Data East (arcade)
Wolf Team, Renovation, Sega (Mega-CD)
|Composer(s)||Michael K. Nakamura|
January 15, 2011
|Mode(s)||1 or 2 players (alternating turns)|
As with other laserdisc-based arcade games from the same time, the gameplay consists of on-screen instructions overlaid over pre-recorded full motion video animated footage of high-speed chases and vehicular combat. 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.
The game has nine stages. Upon successfully completing a level, the player is graded on the reaction time. Different difficulty levels can be selected. In Normal Mode, pop-up icons and audio tones signal when to turn left or right, brake, hit turbo, or hit other cars. In Hard Mode, there are no on-screen icons to guide the player.
The story of Road Blaster is inspired by revenge thriller films such as Mad Max, and takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in the late 1990s United States (a future at the time of the game's release). The player assumes the role of an ex police officer with the SCP force turned a vigilante who drives a customized sports car in order to get revenge on a biker gang responsible for his wife's death on their honeymoon. After recovering from his own injuries, he upgrades his car and goes on a rampage through nine areas. His goal is to find the gang's female boss and complete his vengeance.
Development and release
Road Blaster uses animation provided by the anime studio Toei Animation. It was animated under the guidance of Yoshinobu Inano, who also directed or key-animated such films such as Gundam: Char's Counter Attack, Macross: Do You Remember Love?, and Transformers: The Movie. It was animated using 15,000 hand-painted cels to produce over 30 minutes of animation.
The game was originally released for the arcades in 1985, using a laserdisc system. 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.
Various ports were released for consoles and computers between 1986 and 1997, including versions for the MSX, Mega-CD/Sega CD, Pioneer LaserActive, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, 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 Prosecutor, respectively. The titles were possibly 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. Road Blaster was also released for the Sharp X68000 and for and Windows in 2011, only in Japan.
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 Thunder Storm (known outside of Japan as Cobra Command). Yoshihisa Kishimoto, the director of both Cobra Command and Road Blaster, later directed the arcade version of Double Dragon, where 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 in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
An expanded universe novelization of the game was announced in 2009. The project was officially authorized by G-Mode of Japan (the rights holder to most of Data East's catalog) to be written by Mary Margaret Park. An unofficial SNES port was also released in 2011. However, the game does not run on a stock SNES. It relies heavily on the MSU1 Media Enhancement Chip, a somewhat new chip which allows 4GB of additional storage space, full motion video playback and stereo PCM audio.
Dragon reviewers gave the Sega CD version of the game 4 out of 5 stars in 1993. GameFan noted it has greater interaction compared to Time Gal and Thunderstorm, and praised the "non-stop control of the vehicle," graphics, smooth animation, and "andrenaline rush" experience. GamePro praised the highly detailed animation and stereo CD sound, and called it a "masterpiece" that is "like participating in an intense, action-packed, animated movie."
- "Yoshihisa Kishimoto's website (熱血硬派！)". Yoshihisa Kishimoto. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- Road Blaster at Arcade-History
- GameFan, volume 1, issue 3 (January 1993), pages 11 & 26-27
- "― X68対応ゲームが新発売？「ロードブラスター」（1985年発売）をWindows/X68kに移植した同梱版を5月4日発売". 4gamer.net. 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
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- GamePro, issue 45 (April 1993), pages 52-53
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- "The Road Avenger Novel, First Public Demo Debut". Reuters.com. 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "Green-Light Received for 'The Road Avenger' Novel; 'Road Blaster' Roars Into 2009 in MMP Publishing's Novelization of". Reuters .com. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- "FMV Support Comes To The Super Nintendo With An Unofficial Playable Port Of Laserdisc's Road Blaster". RetroCollect.com. 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia & Lesser, Kirk (July 1993). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (195): 5764.
- NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: サンダーストーム&ロードブラスター. Weekly Famicom TsNo.358. Pg.31. 27 October 1995.
- "Road Blaster iPhone Review - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- Electronic Games, volume 1, issue 9 (June 1993), page 84
- "Road Blaster review - iPhone reviews". Pocketgamer.co.uk. 2011-01-18. Retrieved 2015-05-21.