Full Blast is a top-down shmup that is an ode to classic SNES and Genesis shooters. It feels at home on the Switch and looks great, let’s talk about the reasons why it’s so awesome.
There are 12 levels of action with cutscenes and bosses at the end. There are no checkpoints so once you lose all your guys, you must restart the level with your stock weapon. If you’re not interested in taking the long road, the main menu will allow you to start from any level that you’ve unlocked.
Boss fights are great and feel pretty satisfying to win. The world may spin during combat which is a great change to the typical forward motion. I won’t give away details, but the bosses change and get more interesting as the game progresses.
The art style reminds me of an old favourite Raiden Trad, but with updated graphics. The background is alive with insect and crustaceous enemies including butterflies, lobsters, scorpions, dragonflies, and horseshoe crabs. Cars are still driving the streets and can fill the screen with movement. Pair that with robot monsters in the sky, turrets, boats, and tanks, and you have a very busy screen. I love that the boss from the previous level can be seen on the ground in shreds on your current stage. Environments gradually change from one portion of a level to the next, and can drastically change from level to level.
During your bullet filled stages, you’ll encounter a number of power-ups and upgrades. Some include: slow fire, fast fire, shield, 1UP, mega bomb, double shot, and spread shot. Your regular shot needs to be upgraded to keep up with enemies growing in strength each level, so it’s important not to miss them. Mega bombs are a screen sweep for minions and can do a decent amount of damage to bosses.
Controls are simple and straightforward, A to shoot and B for mega bomb. Left joystick is to move your ship. They are responsive and feel good. I like that your ship tilts in the direction you move, that was a good touch to add depth to movement.
The best and most fun part of this game is two player mode. Grab a friend to play and mow down enemies together. If you’re both decent, you will fly through each level and destroy everything in your path. It’s easy to get confused with each other’s ships in the midst of all the bullets flying, but it adds a level of difficulty to what could be an easier way to play.
There are three modes of difficulty, leaderboards, and achievement type missions to complete. So where does this game falter? The only things I could see improving is the music and adding more content. Music fades to background noise the further into the game you get so it’s not a big deal. More content would be great, either more levels or a sequel (hint, hint).
Full Blast is a great game with medium replayability. It is a great pick up and play title perfect for short bursts of play. Test your shmup skills from the first stage and try to conquer all twelve without resorting to stage select, or try with a second player. This game is $5.99 on the eShop and I highly recommend you pick it up. It’s a great addition to the Switch and my favourite shmup so far.
Beard Score: 9/10
Genre: Shmup, Arcade
Release Date: 09/07/18
Publisher Ratalaika Games
Developer UFO Crash Games
Platform: Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch