Welcome to another exciting episode of This Week in Defunct Games! Every Tuesday join Cyril as he reviews the best (and worst) retro releases for the week.
Last week we only had one single PlayStation 1 game to review. This week we only have one 3DS Virtual Console game to review. Things are slowing down as we near Christmas. Nevertheless, we're here to review Blaster Master: Enemy Below, a completely misunderstood Game Boy Advance platformer from 2000. Is this the Blaster Master game you've been waiting for?
Blaster Master: Enemy Below (SunSoft)
[ Release: Dec. 15 | Price: $5 | Console: Game Boy Color | Year: 2000 ]
What Is It?
Released a dozen years after the original 8-bit NES game, Blaster Master: Enemy Below marked a return to form for SunSoft's misunderstood platformer. Part remake and part sequel, this Game Boy Color game managed to take the best elements and turn them into the game SunSoft wanted to make all along. The game's eight stages are remixed versions of the original, complete with different bosses and a brand new story set years after the first game.
Enemy Below puts players behind the wheel of a futuristic jumping car. Here players will need to explore large levels to find keys and bosses. In order to complete each stage, players will be forced to exit the car and explore a series of overhead mazes. Successfully find the keys and it's off to beat one of the large bosses. Along the way you can pick up modifications for your car and bigger weapons to defeat the big boss.
Does It Still Hold Up?
While the gameplay is largely the same as the original NES game, Enemy Below tightens the control up a bit. I didn't suffer as many cheap deaths and the floatiness of the original is completely absent. The graphics are also sharp, especially compared to the console counterpart. Unfortunately the music is nothing to brag about, but the rest of the presentation more than makes up for that inconvenience.
Is It Worth The Money?
Writing Blaster Master: Enemy Below off as a remake is to completely miss the point. While there is content taken directly from the NES original, there's a lot more at play here. This Game Boy Color game offers enough changes to warrant the five dollar asking price. Of the Blaster Master games currently available for download, Enemy Below is the best.