Fullblast review

FullBlast

Developer: UFO Crash Games
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
An alien invasion game shouldn’t be a surprise by a Spanish developer called UFO Crash games, as a huge shmup-fan I was pretty excited to play Fullblast. Aiming for a nostalgic retro blast that you could play years ago in the arcade houses. Is this a positive or negative blast, find out in this review! 

What do you do?

Earth has been invaded by insect-like aliens and you are the last hope for a near annihilated humanity. So your task is shooting hundreds of enemies while dodging what they unleash towards you. Typical Shmup gameplay in other words, despite the inadequate difficulty.

What is good?

  • Environments: A nice detail I noticed in playing the  levels is that the environments get more destroyed by aliens. While the surroundings always have the same general representation it is a dandy detail and makes the war against the aliens much more believable.
  • Inviting retro-feel: I have a weakness for little retro games, with “improved” visuals it still manages to give you that accustomed arcade cabinet feeling from the good old days. Controls are easy to pick up and playing with your friend is fun for a while.

Mixed feelings

  • Achievements (no score influence): I will leave it in the middle if this is done on purpose but you can earn the full 1000 Gamerscore in less than twenty minutes. Personally I dislike that you earn it this fast but for Achievement hunters it is a perfect opportunity for raising their Gamerscore.  An Achievement for reaching the final stage for example would have been welcome…
  • Soundtrack: I am what they call a metalhead, so a part of me loves the strong sounds that the developer let loose to the player but it just doesn’t fit the overall theme of the game. The music is the exact opposite of the sluggish gameplay.
  • Visuals:  While the 3D graphics are decent and really respect the 80’s or 90’s vibe I do wished it was a little bit more complex. With only three level themes (city – forest – water) things never reach a higher quality than mediocre.

What is bad?

  • Very wishy-washy: What totally eliminates all excitement for the game is the very slow pace of the game, if I’m honest it doesn’t make sense either. You are controlling this super durable fighting jet but it seemingly isn’t capable of reaching high speeds to defend Earth against the alien invasion. I guess future wars will be fought 3 miles per hour?
  • Everything is repetitive: From enemy designs, enemy diversity, visuals, shooting gameplay, sound and boss fights everything feels really repetitive. It is a gameplay of wave after wave of always the same things.
  • Isn’t a Shmup suppose to be hard? With easy, normal and hard Fullblast has three different difficulty settings and all of them are a child’s play. I’m aware not every game in this genre needs to be almost impossible but if even hard can be finished without losing much health you do have to wonder what the developer was thinking. Taking into consideration that I am a skilled shmup player I can still imagine that even newcomers in the genre will miss any sort of challenge, something this genre really needs to be fun to play.

Fullblast [Score: 46/100] Old school gameplay clearly doesn’t mean that the experience can be called good, Fullblast is a repetitive and rather easy game to play. 

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