Analysis of versions Switch, Xbox Series X / S, PS4, PC, Xbox One .
Many of us love certain niche sagas for one reason or another in particular. In the case of the franchise at hand, Blaster Master Zero , the two main reasons for its appeal lie, on the one hand, in its metroidvania-like game formula and, on the other hand, because it has roots that go back to the days of the revered NES during the 1980s no less. A series that has recently managed to squeeze the growing retro fashion and has left us two previous installments (appeared in 2017 and 2019), that is, one every two years, a rhythm that seems perfect for a work of these characteristics.
The story of Blaster Master Zero 3 once again has the same protagonists we previously met, a narrative that apparently ends the trilogy . In this case Jason Frudnick, Eve and Fred are on the planet Sophia after having a hard time … and the situation worsens. As soon as they set foot on said world, the troops from said planet (the Sophia Force) capture the trio of characters and are captured. As soon as the adventure begins, due to an “incident” Jason manages to escape from his prison, so he has to go through the mapped labyrinths in search of his allies. And as all those who know this saga may have already suspected, Jason has the help of his beloved multidisciplinary vehicle, this time the G-Sophia SV variant. An armored machine on wheels that gives a lot of play and that is capable of carrying out numerous tasks and actions, from jumping to taking shots of several different types or even recharging its batteries.
This adventure has many parallels with the Metroid series, although it has some particular characteristics that differentiate it and give it personality.
Platforms and adventures on wheels … or on foot
Being a metroidvania- style game , you already know what to expect from it, at least roughly. One of its main assets has to do with the exploration of various scenarios , which have a rather labyrinthine design (although not as much as that embodied in other similar proposals). With the help of a map, essential in these cases, we must advance through different areas that are connected to each other but that are well differentiated, being able to go from one to another through certain points that we will talk about later. . An element that from our point of view, is one of the main bastions of the game, being a very entertaining activity.
The G-Sophia SV vehicle is the main character, a kind of tank with wheels that allows us to shoot, jump, use special ammunition or hit the walls.
But if there is one aspect that has always differentiated this franchise from other similar titles, it is the possibility of exploring these funds both on board the armored vehicle and also on foot. The latter is not usually highly recommended since in this way we lose attack power and resistance, but for the record, we can do it at any time by pressing a button. This characteristic becomes even more relevant when we reach certain points in the mapping (dungeons and similar places) where, in a mandatory way, we have to abandon the (relative) security provided by the aforementioned G-Sophia SV wheeled tank. In these situations, the perspective and the lateral scroll that accompany us at all times give way to an isometric view and scrollmultidirectional to host special levels where action is the predominant element, being able to use different weapons to get rid of different rivals, including final bosses. And to this are added certain simple puzzles that somewhat dynamize the development of these levels.
On this occasion it is possible to go from one dimension to another at certain points, this being the main innovation that this delivery boasts.
It is quite noticeable that this time the developers have tried to polish as much as possible the gameplay contained in these phases, which have always been behind the rest of the elements that make up the adventure. They continue to lag behind in our opinion as the gameplay becomes more basic in general, but an evolution is noticeable. However, the change and the most innovative element that has been included in this third installment of the series has to do with the possibility of dimension jumping. Thanks to the VRV (Vision Reversal Visor System), it is possible to go from one dimension to another at specific points that are scattered throughout the mapping, which opens a new layer of depth to everything related to the exploration of the sets. A well-balanced gameplay that, on the other hand, poses a fairly demanding level of challenge within an order, something that the most veteran users will appreciate.
The zenith perspective shooter phases have improved somewhat compared to what was established in the past, but in our opinion they are still weaker than the normal levels.
Entering graphics, we are still facing a work that has a very retro look , with a simple but attractive aesthetic halfway between 8 and 16 bits. The animations are quite successful, the design of the scenarios is successful and the enemies are very varied … although the design of many of them has seemed uninspired. The spatial setting, on the other hand, has fully convinced us, as well as the illustrations of the characters that can be seen during the static screens that show the narrative (texts in English, by the way). A simple but apparent appearance to which a more than decorous sound finish is added, although for us the melodies go somewhat unnoticed on too many occasions.
The setting is quite good and technically not bad, although we have missed a bit more personality in the recreation of most of the opponents.
A good exponent of the genre
More and more works follow in the footsteps of Samus Aran’s adventures, a genre that, although still quite niche in general, is becoming increasingly relevant. Blaster Master Zero 3 belongs to this type of proposal, an adventure that also has a space / futuristic setting and most of the elements inherent to the genre. Of course, the already classic phases on foot in action plan that take place from an overhead perspective are still present, bringing some freshness to the whole. And the fact of being able to jump between dimensions is also something that somewhat renews the experience of juice, as well as its new disposition of weapons. In short, it is a fairly enjoyable title, although it does not stand out in any particular aspect .