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Blast Corps (N64)

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8 Reviews

Developed by Rare Ware published by Nintendo. Blast Corps combines action and puzzles with many vehicles and missions to choose from.

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    8 Reviews
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      09.05.2011 15:40
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      An underrated hidden gem on the N64 but not quite an all time classic

      Blast Corps was the second game released for the N64 and it is one of the more unique titles in the N64 library. Blast Corps is an interesting one of a kind type of game that had no relation to any former game made by Rare, or for that matter anyone else, and there has never been a game quite like it since.

       

      STORY: 5/10


      There is some kind of plot but it's really just more of a premise to set up the action. The background is that there is a nuclear warhead carrier that can't be stopped or steered heading locked pre-programmed on course into a city full of buildings. You have to stop a nuclear-warhead carrier from impacting upon the obstacles in its way and setting of a catastrophic nuclear explosion. Because the carrier can't be stopped or diverted from it's course it is up to you to clear it's way by destroying everything that stands in it's path. At your disposal is a huge variety of construction machines, war machines, mecha cyborg suits, and anything else you can lay your hands on. So all in all the story doesn't play a major role in this game. There isn't as such true developed plot as such, just an intermittent paragraph of information referring to how your actions and the progress you are making. While there isn't much of a story to be had in this game it is not a story driven game, the focus is instead focussed on the building demolishing action.

       
      GAMEPLAY: 8/10


      Essentially there are three types of stages in this game, these include the main nuke carrier levels, bonus stages and racing areas. The carrier stages entail clear a path for you nuke carrier, bonus stages involve having to destroy buildings within a time limit and the racing involves a time trial run around a designated track.


      The carrier stages form the main meat of the game, and you begin with three of these that can be played in any order you wish. Once you complete a carrier stage new stages are made available to you on the level selection globe.


      While you would think a game where you go around smashing up buildings with the odd bonus stage may get boring after a while the game presents enough variation in it's stages and the vehicles which help keeps a game with a relatively simple premise interesting throughout. Each vehicle is unique and has an entirely different control to learn and master. One particularly cool feature is that you have the ability to leave a vehicle at any time and enter into a new vehicle you may find laying around and use that instead. Either previous owners of these vehicles left their keys in the ignition in their rush to escape the incoming nuke truck or the character you play is an expert in hot-wiring. But in any case if see a vehicle you can use it this even includes trains, boats and cranes.


      The sheer variety o vehicle and the different ways they can be used to complete the stages adds a good degree of variety and replayabity to what otherwise could have been a somewhat repetitive game. Not all levels are just about smashing stuff either many stages contain puzzle elements that require a little bit of use of the grey matter. So all in all this game is very nicely put together game with plenty of variety thrown in to avoid it becoming monotonous.


      At the end of each stage you can earn bronze, silver or gold medals and trophies these are earned depending the time in which it takes you to complete a stage. This gives you some incentive to replay previously completed stages in order to beat your own record. So this is a game that potentially can keep you coming back for years to come, if action/arcade style games like are your cup of tea that is you won't be playing this for there is no real plot or characterisation or witty dialogue.



      In order help add even more interest to the game each stage is littered with various secret items that can be uncovered by smashing certain buildings, not always located on the carriers route. You will find satellites, hidden scientists, vehicles and new areas to unlock. This gives you an added incentive to smash everything in sight. But it's often better to go after the bonus stuff after the essential business of clearing the route for the carrier is cleared. If the carrier explodes you will lose your bonus items and have to start over. Among the secret bonus stages that can be unlocked you will find stages based on such things as pool tables and Pac-Man which adds a quirky innovative touch to what was already something of a quirky innovative game

       

      GRAPHICS: 7/10  


      Ok to be fair the graphics aren't really the highpoint of this game but this is don't forget one of Rares very first games for the system. The robots and the vehicles are fairly smooth as well as all the cities and landscapes, however there are still plenty of rigid edges also know as jaggies and the detail is fairly sparse and textures a little blurred. But the graphics are clear, functional and do their job, they don't detract from the core gameplay at all.

      However the graphics do deserve credit when it comes to the explosions which look spectacular and there is no fogging in this game, everything can be seen in full view.

      Another good aspect to mention is the visual damage you can inflict on the buildings which is represented in great detail, you can see every crack and chip your blows make which adds to the satisfaction of the destruction wrought.

      So the graphics may not be outstanding but they more than get the job done, much like the plot, and there are some neat graphical effects on show.

       

      SOUND: 7/10


      Rare are somewhat renowned for the musical scores and here we have yet another excellent of their work. Well ok so it make not be the finest music they ever produced but it is still nonetheless a good solid effort and can stand up to most other N64 games in terms of quality. The music comprises of a catchy selection of techno and off beat tracks that you can happily hum along to and it also captures the tongue and cheek destructive spirit of the game.



      The sound effects are solid enough, the explosions sound like explosions, crumbling buildings sound like crumbling buildings, mecha suits sound like mecha suits and so on. There is a little bit of voice acting to heard in the game, the phrases you will hear most often are "Try something else" and "Get it outta the way or something!". It can grate on your nerves after while but it's always good to have some good quality voice acting in an N64 game.

       
      LONGEVITY: 9/10


      This is one of the better games to play if you're interested in something with replay potential, as you're likely to unlock all the medals, trophies, stages and secrets in your first play through. Stages can also be completed with different vehicles in a number of different ways. The main mission itself also takes some hours to complete and you can always go back to stages you have completed in order to beat your own time. In order to get the most out of title you need to be the kind of gamer who enjoys bettering their own scores in arcade style games. Gamers who just want a straightforward adventure with a story and a clear end objective may find themselves losing interest as the basic premise of this game when all is said and done is to smash buildings.

       

      FINAL WORD


      Blast Corps is a unique game and perhaps something of an acquired taste but once hooked it offers a fun and innovative gaming experience of which there is nothing else quite like it. It may not be quite one of the all time classics that graced the N64 but it is nonetheless something of a sleeper hit and well worth checking out as it is one of the under appreciated hidden gems of the N64. It deserves points for it's sheer originality and novelty value alone, something many games often lack in this current era.

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      29.09.2008 01:03

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      Demolition heaven!

      Blast corps was one of the launch games on the N64 in 1997. To sum up Blast corps = demolition heaven.

      Not that the story is relevant, but a truck loaded with 2 nuclear bombs has suffered a malfunction and is heading towards cities. Cue in Blast corps to save the day by demolishing anything that stands in the way of the truck.

      Graphically, the game looks ok by todays standards but remember back in the day this game was all the rage.

      Sound wise, it gets you in the mood for wanting to be a demolition man. There are a number of vehicles from bulldozers to giant robots and no matter the vehicle, you get the satisfaction of seeing explosions.

      This game is indeed alot of fun but by no means is it senseless. At times you would wish it would be the case due to the difficulty with controlling certain vehicles.

      Nevertheless, it stands tall as one of the only games in its genre. Where else can you just go around destroying things, in order to save the world? and that too with a smile on your face?

      Recommended 8/10

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      08.07.2002 04:52
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      There are some jobs that I would simply love to have. Being supreme dictator of the World is probably the most obvious one but sometimes, when I have a less inflated opinion of myself, I like to picture myself in the job of Blast Corps' designer. I can picture the scene now. Gathered together with the Rare software development team, I attempt to explain the premise of my game: "Well, you see, this nuclear-weapon carrying truck leaks, and so the steering wheel jams, and you have to save the world by preventing any collisions between the truck and buildings." "And how do you prevent these collisions?"asks the manager. "Simple - you destroy the buildings". Perhaps a better job for the designer of Blast Corps would be Supreme Dictator of the World, although on this evidence, I'd hate to see the mess he'd make of it. But regardless of Blast Corps' weak story line, this is one of the finest Nintendo 64 gaming moments around. As I explained in my little story above, the premise of Blast Corps is to prevent a catastrophic nuclear explosion (as opposed to a non-catastrophic one, I guess), thus saving the free world. The method of doing this is to destroy any buildings that stand in the truck's path, which, as the radiation has fused the steering wheel in a straight position and the doors tightly shut, cannot be brought under control. To aid the destruction of the buildings, you are provided with a number of different vehicles, ranging from construction vehicles to huge walking robots, motorbikes (armed with guns, naturally) to the A-Team van. Obviously, Blast Corps is going to be a lot of fun. For such an early game, Blast Corps has brilliantly sharp and realistic graphics. The textures all appear natural, with grass looking like grass, and rock looking like rock - the N64's trademark brightness is not apparent here, and Blast Corps is all the better for it. The graphics appear
      unadventurous when compared to other N64 games - the camera is stuck in an isometric view, with no option for a behind the vehicle view or even an in-car view. However, this is certainly not due to any limitations in Blast Corps' graphics engine - the replay mode is presented from a truck-eye view, and shows off the whole level, with absolutely no pop-up or fogging. The isometric view is perhaps the best view for the game though, as it provides a good sense of the surrounding area - important when locating the next building to be destroyed. The view can also be spun round, to give a better angle when destroying buildings, and also zoomed out, so you can keep tabs on where the nuclear truck is in relation to the building you need to destroy. Blast Corps is an incredibly simple game to play. A radar is provided to help the player locate the building to be destroyed, and arrows point towards it when the buildings comes into view - helpful, in that it would be all too easy to destroy a building, only for the truck to crash into the one next to it. The arrows are also colour coded as to how much time you have before impact - green for safe (plenty of time, relax), yellow for caution (better hurry up), and red for warning (pull your finger out and get that building destroyed). There's also a maroon-coloured warning stage, accompanied by a dramatic change in music and cries from your teammates to "get out of the way, or something". It's at this stage that you heart will leap from your chest and make a run for it - but if you manage to avert danger at this late stage, the satisfaction that is felt is immense (accompanied by a little "Jesus, you're lucky" quip from your team-mates). Blast Corps, then, may be a simple game, but it is not an easy one. Starting at the first level, Simian Acres, everything appears to be a walk in the park - on-screen hints are provided, telling you about all the different aspects of the ga
      me, and you are given the easiest vehicle to use in the game, a bulldozer. Things will continue like this for a few levels, allowing the user to get used to the different vehicles, until all of a sudden, the game gets hard. This could be construed by some to be a fault in the learning curve, and it certainly does make a large leap from easy to hard, but in my opinion this leap is the game starting proper - the previous levels were training modes, did you really expect stopping Armageddon to be a doddle? That said, some of the final levels - Diamond Sands and Oyster Harbour in particular - are extremely difficult, and rely on brains as much as lightning-fast responses. The vehicles within the game provide a huge amount of variety to what could become quite a repetitive game. The bulldozer (called Ramdozer) is perhaps the easiest vehicle to use, as you simply drive it into a building until it falls over. Backlash, a large dumper truck, is very difficult to get the hang of - you need to drive full pelt towards a building, and make the back end swing out so it smashes into the building. Although it takes an age to use Backlash effectively, its destructive power is enormous. The large robots are perhaps the most fun to use - J-Bomb simply jumps on buildings, crushing them under his mighty power, while Thunderfist punches them to oblivion. Cyclone's method of destruction is to roll into buildings - a quick method of destroying them, but not particularly fun. Sideswipe is a large truck with two massive battering rams that shoot from its sides ? again, a bit dull. There's also the afore-mentioned machine-gun toting motorbike, and a little RC Car. There's also a selection of little cars to use - these aren?t used to destroy buildings, but to get from A-to-B as quickly as possible. The variety of cars is nice - there's a police car (with siren!), a Dukes Of Hazard-style car, an American themed car, and the A-Team Van (complete with Mr T shouting &quo
      t;outta my way"!). Finally, there are the level specific vehicles, which include things such as trains, cranes and ferries, which add to the strategic element of the game. Sound-wise, Blast Corps is nice. The explosions are well done, and there are a few speech samples in there for good measure. The music can be a little strange - it varies from Country and Western (complete with banjos) to some quite futuristic music - but it is always suitable for the pace of the game. The fact that the music changes to become more dramatic when the truck nears its target is a very nice touch indeed. Blast Corps is not all about destroying buildings. After a level is completed, you must return to it to destroy every single building, activate RDUs (basically drive over 100 coloured lights), save survivors and find scientists. Once this is done, there are also training missions, which can take the form of races, timed-destruction of buildings, or simply some bizarre mini-games, such as Pool or Pacman, played with Ramdozer. Once the world is saved from the tyranny of the truck, you have to clear a runway for a space shuttle coming in to crash land, and then it's off to some other planets for more destruction-themed action. Once all that's done, it's back to the truck missions again ? this time for Platinum medals, and done to a stricter time limit. Phew! That's a lot of game. It's not all perfect though. Blast Corps predates the Rumble Pak, and so this device is not supported - a crying shame, as there is the opportunity for some serious force feedback here. Blast Corps can also get very hard in places - I was stuck on Diamond Sands for an awful long-time, and this can get annoying. Despite these flaws though, Blast Corps is one of the best games available for the Nintendo 64. It's original, it's simple and it's fast. If you long for a break from all those adventure games and first person shooters, Blast Corps is the
      first place you should look.

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        04.12.2000 02:16

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        This is one of the worst games I have ever played. Not only is the plot of the game mind numbingly dumb. It is also to hard, and uninteresting. Think about the plot of this game. A nuclear truck is on a one way course to some place where it can be fixed. You have to blow up half the world to let it get there unharmed. Well, it's believable so far. Then the "Blast Corp." a company that specializes in this sort of thing send out the machines. A dump truck, a bull dozer, and a few robots. What a terrible reason to even play the game. The game play itself is not so much hard as it is annoying. You are always 2 seconds, or one building away form your goal. You have to do the same level 10 times to figure out the best path to take ect... The game never ever gives you the best car for the job. I know blowing stuff up is fun. After 15 level of mindless explosions it can and does get old, trust me.

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        25.11.2000 10:05

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        This is an appauling game in my opinion. It`s got a good basic idea - using a variety of demolition vehicles demolish buildings in the way of a run away nuclear missile carrier. If the carrier hits a building then the missile blows up and you die - not a nice thought is it? The problem is that the game is just too hard - some levels are impossibe to do because they don`t give you enough time to figure out what you need to do and then do it. You need to be an expert to do them, but you can`t become an expert until you`ve done the missions to get practise - not a good way to design a game! The graphics are OK - bearable but certainly not anything to get excited about. the sound is the same, but the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. Even though the game might be cheap, I`d suggest you avaoid it and try one of the other game I`ve reviewed for the N64 like Turok or Mario - you`ll get more fun for your cash there!

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        17.11.2000 15:07
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        Let me put it this way. How would you like it if a giant robot did a seat-drop on your home? The sound has two basic elements boom and ahhhh. the story is piontless since it might be a good idea to not kill eveything along the way to a safe place to detonate. They probably killed more people and ruined more structures than they saved. the graphics are the strong piont. That leaves very little credit for any thing else. The satisfaction is poor because of the concept of doing the same old thing over and over over over over over over over and over again and again again and again the control is very very very very very very very very stupid and difficult. The dump truck sucks it cant move correctly skid wobble crash boom and the dump truck kills everybody by crashing into the nuculear missile. The music sucks. IThe multi-player sucked so bad they had to remove it. I still like Rare Ware

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          03.11.2000 00:07
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          Blast Corps was one of the games released for the launch of the N64 and it was completely over shadowed by the likes of Mario 64. To be honest I only bought the game because it was the cheapest one in the shop but I quickly relised it was great. The game in volves clearing the path for a truck with a nuclear bomb opn the back of it. This is done by the player who has the control of a bulldozer for the majority of the game but other vehicles are available during the game. You must slide you vehicle into buildings bringing them crashing to the ground and allowing the truck safely through the area. Doind this requires a good technique as well as being fast fingered too. You may find yourself failing missions hoplessly when you begin to play Blast Corps but soon you'll get the hang of it. The gameply is the major strength of Blast Corps and while the game does have good graphics and sound these don't rally matter because its so fun to play. Smashing down buildings is a satisfying act. Its a shame that this game is aging and but it is showing this when compared to the likes of Turok 2 and more recent N64 releases but for fun and playability this is brilliant. It may not be the most well known game ever but it sure is original and its a classic.

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            18.08.2000 05:29

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            Well it’s from Rare ware and it’s got a good theme. What you’ve got to do in this game is you’ve been set the task of various missions which involve you destroying building, which is really fun. You’ve got to do, for example clear the path way for a important vehicle by smashing a load of buildings. The graphics aren’t that good and the sound track won’t make you want to jump up and burst into song but the game play is fantastic. It’s worth a go, it will keep you playing for a few weeks. But if you don’t want to actually own it because you know you would probably just exchange or sell it soon, just rent it and enjoy.

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