BlastoIf you need to play Blasto, wait and see if Sony puts out a sequel.
Genre: Adventure/ Platform
Despite the unbridled success of the PlayStation, its mindshare is still less than that of Nintendo, and even that of Sega. To most of the people in the US, Mario and Sonic are still the only games in town. Crash didn't quite cut it, so to combat those two platforming giants, Sony decided to whip up Blasto, a totally generic hero that's been overhyped into an event.
Next Generation covers aside, the Blasto design team has created a game that isn't entirely bad, but one which is too clever for its own good. It's like they wanted to have Earthworm Jim's zaniness, Tomb Raider's puzzle solving, and Mario's level design, but with a Looney Tunes twist. The end result is somewhat different.
As Blasto, you control like an inflatable doll instead of a platform character. Where other platform mascots have a variety of abilities, Blasto moves stiffly, with or without analog. He can barely run, and it's all too easy to walk him off an edge -- he has no survival instinct whatsoever. His microcephalic body can only perform four other functions: sidestep, fire weapon, jump, and press buttons. There won't be many opportunities to learn new skills. It'll be very rare for you to even use more than one of those abilities at the same time.
While the control's a bit simplistic, it's as complex as a fighter jet compared to the level design. Every stage is depressingly simplistic. Levels are separated into various two-dimensional planes, and forays into the mysterious z-axis are brief and largely superficial. This is good, because unless you're into using the camera control a lot (which isn't bad), you'll have a hard time judging distances and height.
Still, the control is playable after you get used to it, and some of the obstacles and scenery are actually fun to figure out. Blasto wouldn't be that bad of a platformer if it wasn't so lethargic. Although the team has capture that Bugs Bunny vs. the Martians ambiance, there's none of the frantic energy that made such empty space environments fun to watch in the cartoons. Neither the enemies nor Blasto move that fast. The levels don't have any sense of pacing -- the end of the stage feels like the beginning, with no sense of accomplishment. The worst is getting no feedback from the game. Every time you flip a switch, you don't know what you're opening or activating until you search through the level again. Even Phil Hartman, one of the most caustic-sounding comedians of our time, sounds like he's phoning in his performance. It all makes Blasto tiring to play.
If you're looking for a great platforming game, wait for Tail Concerto or Crash Bandicoot 3. If you need to play Blasto, wait and see if Sony puts out a sequel.