Originally posted January 10th 2016
Thanks to Enjoyup Games for the review code.
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 8/27/2015
The main game/story
Alien invaders have attacked the planet Earth, and it’s up to you to destroy them before they completely take over major cities! It’s as simple of a story as to be expected for this type of game, which is a vertical shooter similar to titles like Recca and Star Soldier.
Pretty average for the most part, with a focus on 2.5D gameplay, meaning that you have 3D models being used in a 2D game, and while the two main ships look decent enough, the animations of the enemies and some of the powerups leave a lot to be desired.
Music and Sound:
The music mostly consists of heavy metal and rock music, which gets very repetitive after a short amount of time. The stages are rather long, which means that sooner or later the music tracks will get on your nerves. The sound effects aren’t that much better, with generic explosions and shooting sound effects galore.
Considering how this game is clearly inspired by the vertical scrolling shooter, that’s exactly what it plays like, which means that if you played any games similar to this, then you know exactly what to expect. You take control of a plane, flying through the numerous alien infested cities in an attempt to destroy them all, getting powerups along the way. Unfortunately, Fullblast feels just like that, a stereotypical shooter with little variety. The powerups are uninteresting, with each of them adding another bullet to your ship that you can fire at one time (similar to the NES Star Soldier), or a screen clearing bomb that can destroy bosses (though there’s an achievement which encourages you to go throughout a whole stage without using a single one, which is nice that you can’t rely on them entirely for completion)
While there are a lot of stages, there’s no point in replaying them outside of getting higher scores on the online leaderboard. There is two player Co-Op, which is nice to see, but even with that included there’s not much that sets this game apart from the wide variety of similar titles on the Virtual Console.
Fullblast plays it safe when it comes to the vertical scrolling genre. In fact, it plays it way too safe, with the entire game feeling like a mix of elements from the majority of vertical shooters that we’ve seen done to death many times before, with very little variety. I’ll be brutally honest, I found this game to be completely boring even with the little extras added to try and increase the replay value. For example, there are a small handful of achievements to unlock, but I found that when going through the game normally I unlocked most of them on my first playthrough. There are three difficulty modes, but none of them offered anything that kept me on the edge of my seat. The online leaderboards are surprisingly empty, so there wasn’t much of an incentive for me to try my best (though the last reason isn’t the game’s fault, there just weren’t many folks interested in the game).
All in all, Fullblast is pretty much the perfect definition of a game playing things way too safe, and I honestly can’t recommend it over the wide variety of other games in the genre. If you absolutely must have a vertical shooter on your Wii U, then pick up the cheaper and more addicting Xtype Plus instead.
I give Fullblast a 3 out of 10, and can honestly only recommend this title to folks who absolutely must have every single vertical shooting game in existence. It’s that boring, unfortunately, and even then I only encourage that you pick the game up when it goes on sale.