FullBlast Review

Ratalaika Games are well versed in porting games from the past onto current consoles. This time around, it’s FullBlast that’s gets the treatment. I’m not a huge fan of replaying older titles on newer hardware, because it rarely makes the experience any better and generally those titles show their age on HD screens, as well as the available controls are quite limiting in this day and age. Maybe FullBlast will be the exception…..maybe not.
FullBlast is a vertical scrolling shoot-em-up where you can move up, down, left and right. Unfortunately, you can only shoot in one direction, which is up, which can be a tad restrictive when you move your ship above an enemy, I would expect to be able to use both directional sticks for moving your ship and where your weapon is able to aim. You will spend most of your time in the lower part of the screen because most of the enemies will fly into view from the top or upper left/right reaches. Just from a tactical point of view and also the fact you can only shoot up, it’s wise to stay in this area.
Enemies will generally appear from off-screen and resemble a variety of insects that include scorpions, butterflies, mosquitoes, and spiders. They all have slightly different tactics which don’t take long to get used to. There are enemies which appear in later stages that are part of the background, such as worms and plants which add a little variety, but they’re just as easy to destroy. There are also brain enemies (which resemble the brain aliens in Starship Troopers) that take over army vehicles, which spices things up; destroy the brain then you blow up whatever it was controlling.
There are power ups that improve your weapons capabilities, basically  increasing how many shots are coming out of your ship. You can also increase the rate of fire for short periods. Intriguingly, there are power-ups that power you down such as slowing your rate of fire which need to be avoided. You also have a super bomb that can be deployed that will clear the screen of most enemies; it’s rare to find, so you need to use it sparingly. The usual boss enemies appear, they’re not that difficult to take down, they just have a large amount of health. Once you have the stronger weapons then these can be dealt with very quickly. These boss enemies then appear in later stages as weaker versions of themselves.
There are 12 stages to get through, if you are reasonably good at shoot-em-ups then you won’t lose any more than 2 lives, so the chances are that you’ll complete FullBlast in one go. The 12 stages are split into 3 areas including Ice, Forest and City. They come across quite detailed, but then they don’t change much as you move through a stage. There are some banners down each side of FullBlast, making the playable screen smaller, not sure why they’re there as they don’t really add much to the experience. Musically FullBlast goes down the rock route and suits what’s happening on-screen. When you blow up an enemy a tiny ‘Boom’ text appear which adds a little charm to FullBlast. Between each stage there’s a little dialogue, which at first is charming but then you discover there’s nothing more to it and just gets repeated with slight changes as you progress. In a game like FullBlast where there isn’t much going on in terms of plot, this is an area which could be expanded on to give it a more engaging and humorous experience.

FullBlast is a very simple & very easy game to play and subsequently complete. If you’re looking for a quick platinum then this is the game for you. Unfortunately it’s highly likely you’ll complete FullBlast within the hour and once you’ve completed it, there isn’t much else to do so besides trying to improve your high score. Sometimes a game can be short and still be entertaining, but this isn’t the case with FullBlast.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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