Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Retro Dude Review: Power Blade

Lets go back in time. This time we are counting 1991, only one year prior to the great SNES release in Europe. There was a game developed by Natsume, published by Taito, known in Japan only as Power Blazer, but to many others around the world as Power Blade. It had action, it had a super master computer, it had explosions everywhere, boomerangs, powerups, burgers and a kickass soundtrack that still to this day amazes me with its pure awsomeness. ( The graphics where almost unheard of and my little six year old mind was blown to pieces.

(Insert corney picture with sister below)

The game starts you out at the introscreen (Duh) where you get the options to either start the game in either normal or Expert mode, or continue using a code gotten from previous levels. But you gotta pick fast, and I do mean fast because it takes the intro sequence literally two seconds to start.

During the intro you get the backstory of the game.

In the year 2191 the earth has left all of its power in the hands of the infamous Master Computer and is now living under a Terminator, Skynet like control, and like in the not so related movie the machines decides that there is no longer any need for humans and goes haywire and tries to take over the world. 

It's now up to you. Nova the security-chief to set things right. You are told, by your boss. To go out and search the 6 sectors to find agents that are holding security-keys (one agent and key per sector) to unlock the doors that holds the defence robot that protects the Master Computer located in Sector 7, all while you watch your ass or backside, since this is a nes relase and we don't want any swearing.

You push start and then you get to the sector select screen. luckily they made this game like megaman so you get to choose which sector you want to start out in. The only one locked is Sector 7 since that is the one you are trying to get acces to. So lets talk about stages. The first stage starts you of at the bottom of a spacerocket that you have to climb to get to the boss and agent. It's pretty straight forward actually. Word of advice at the beginning of the stage. When you climb up the first ladder you can jump down on the platform to your right to get the awsome powerup. It will give you an android like appearance and a super weapon. Like I said when you get to the top you reach the first Defence robot or the Boss, if you prefer that term.

Now let it be said that even though the graphics is awsome, the sound is epic 8 bit art and the stages are extremely well thought out its all just to easy and you wont get to many problems anywhere in the game especially with the first boss. It's this white robot with a big gun that dosent do much of anything. He shoots his gun goes right, left and jumps over you. That might sound hard but everything he does is like in slow motion and it's way to easy to predict his moves. Besides by the time you reach him you got all the powerups and as long as you remember to dodge his slowmotion, small, wanna be bullets you will be just fine. You win the stage, get to the mainframe, turn it off and you continue to the level select screen.

The second stage is windmill heaven for some reason, but as a Dane I can't stop smiling about that one. And here is where the whole maze like stages sets in. If you got a little jump skill the stage is rather easy but I don't wanna spoil the game to much it's better you play it yourself. Just let me tell you this. There will be waterfalls, gears, the windmills, slugs and frogs that explodes for some odd reason I still need to figure out. The boss is a Dragon-robot that transforms into a fire spiral and it puts up some challenge until you figure out its pattern. It also shoots fireballs but just dodge those and you will be fine.

That gets us to Sector 3. How to explain this one I got no idea since it's bagground changes to everything from a futuristic look, a swamp like appereance to some sort of lava melting, moss thingy. It is all basicly just a little disturbing to say the least, and to top it all of the boss is a freaking robot bee hive. I mean what the fuck where they thinking here? I don't even know. It puzzles my mind even to this day.

Now Sector 4 is a half build skyscraper if anything and it can be tricky to get the hang of. Just make sure you get to the freezer room before you atemp the high climb towards the top of the building and you should be fine. The only real though spot to speak of is where you gotta jump from these moving platforms, where one mistake will send you hurling down to the ground, and nobody wants to clean up after that mess. The boss is this wanna be Thor the thunder robot god, and it is hard to tell the difference  right?

Well maybe not that much, and what is with the finger is he an E.T. or a thunder god? Either way aouch.

And that brings us up to Sector 5. Sector 5 has always for some reason been my favorite level in the game. The maze effect isnt really an issue here and almost the entire level is played out on an orange ship. The boss is this genie (and I don't mean the cute disney kind) like robot that disappears and pops up again at random while shooting bullets in all directions, and even though it's my favorite level there isn't really much else to say about it.

Sector 6 Takes place in a straight line with the city in the bagground. You can get into the sewers bellow by the ladders spread out on the road. Then you reach the main building that just reminds you once again of the mazes that's in this game. The boss is this huge android guy surrounded by platforms that appears and disappears like in Megaman. 

And then we got Sector 7 the last and final stage in the game. Now since this is the final game I won't tell you anything about it since I dont like to many spoilers in my everyday life so why should you? That is also the reason I have left out many things yet to be said about this game. All I will say is this.

If there ever where an all time favorite for the NES in my heart it will always be and always has been Power Blade. The Graphics is awsome the soundtrack I can still listen to with great joy in my heart, and the gameplay is solid. The only bad thing to say about this game is that it is to easy! You can complete it in 30 minutes or less if you have done it before. Even the expert mode dosen't leave you with much since the difficulty is the same, the only difference is that, the time you have to complete the stages is 350 seconds instead of 999 seconds. But that is all I'm going to say about this game. I'm going back to my controller to enjoy my childhood one more time.

Retro Dude saying goodbye and I do hope you get a chance on playing an instant classic!

Sadly this time alone  ;)

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