Monday, August 22, 2011

Blast Corps: Not A Crappy Metal Subgenre

It's strange. I had remembered playing Blast Corps back when the N64 was new, but I didn't remember anything about it other than it was about breaking stuff. As it turns out, that was pretty much the whole game. It is one of Rare's earlier N64 titles, and it was mainly made by a small group of young developers in the company. It wasn't a launch title, but it came out early enough in the system's life cycle that it was probably played by most people simple because they were looking for games to play on it. It is a decent game, considering the situation, but it's not a brilliant game either.


Blast Corps is a simple game. It takes a simple concept, breaking stuff, and forms a video game around it in a logical fashion. In most levels, a truck holding volatile nuclear missiles is driving through a town or city, and it is the player's job to destroy everything in its path to prevent the a nuclear explosion. There are other stages that are missions to destroy a bunch of stuff in a limited amount of time, which really aren't all that different than the other stages. Essentially, the whole game is about blowing up a bunch of crap using a variety of eccentric vehicles.


Destruction is definitely a fun concept for a game, and it is the thing that has made the Burnout  series fun. It would soon get boring to just drive into a building with a bulldozer to take them down, so the game offers a good selection of vehicles, all of which have different mechanics for destroying different types of structures. Some trucks can only attack by sideswiping, while others can fire missiles, though only with a limited amount of ammunition. There are even a few mechs, some of which punch buildings and others that stomp on them. The controls work well, and it isn't hard to figure out how to cause damage with any of the vehicles with only a few moments of practice, though mastering the techniques may take a bit more time.


Like many N64 games, in retrospect the graphics are pretty damn ugly. The music is kind of odd as well. It doesn't really affect the fun of playing the game, but it is something to consider when going back to it. It is still fun to blow stuff up, and there was never a sequel or update to the game, so if you enjoy this type of game there aren't a lot of options. It is simple concept that has been dragged out over a whole game, so I could see how the game might be disappointing, but for the price it can picked up now I can't really complain. A game like this would actually work well on XBLA, and Microsoft does own Rare, so it could potentially happen, though I don't know if Rare holds the license the Blast Corps name, and the lead designer of the game is one of the many that have since moved on to Free Radical.

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