Blast away while you can.
Review written by
February 4th, 2014
The original Wii is on its way out. The Wii U can do virtually everything that its predecessor can, save play GameCube games. I suppose the only other major exception is the availability of overlooked gems on WiiWare and Virtual Console that could potentially make it to Wii U.
One of these "gems" I am referring to is Blaster Master Overdrive, which as of the time of writing this, can still be downloaded to the Wii online shop. I recommend you do so before it is removed from the service altogether.
In terms of gameplay, this one takes its cues from the original on NES. It's a near-perfect mix of Metroid and Zelda crossed with Mega Man. There are huge labyrinths to explore, many of them optional. There are also two different modes of play: The first occurs in the armored, upgradeable vehicle named "Sophia". The other mode of play occurs outside of vehicle, with your character on his own feet.
See, Sophia, aka "the tank", is in charge of exploring, traveling and handling large monsters. In smaller areas, and for all boss battles, you are forced to exit the vehicle and handle enemies in various caverns. Most caverns are optional, providing power-ups for both your suit and Sophia.
The mandatory ones will get the best of you. The bosses are relentless. They take many hits to kill, but each one also provides the next major upgrade to Sophia. After receiving your upgrade, you can explore new areas. There are grappling hooks, air-rockets to expand your mobility, even a power drill that destroys enemies instantly and breaks through walls.
Sound and music? Most of the themes are all remixes of the original, and that's not a bad thing. The soundtrack stomps. Graphics? They look great for what the Wii was able to do. Environments are varied - snow, fire, underwater - it has it all. Best of all, the music and stages mesh together so well you might think you're in the front seat.
I suppose the major gripe with this game is its controls. You can only use the Wii remote in "NES" style, and there is no classic-control support, leaving you to use the "B" on the back of the controller at inconvenient times. This is still a minor gripe, as the controls are otherwise excellent.
This is a sequel to an NES masterpiece, and it does the original justice in every way. It's still pretty cheap too. If you're a seasoned gamer who loves an old-school-style challenge, then blast away.
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Waheeey, more interviews for the website! ... An Interview with the developers of The Letter later today
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