More Blasting Again Stupidity

Here's the last thing said in the game before the credits roll, by Eve, and while it seems kind of touching at first, the more I think about it the more it pisses me off. First, I don't know how anybody would know who Eve is referring to if they missed the history lesson (again, it's really hard to miss, but it's still possible). Hell, I know who's she's talking about, and it still takes a moment to click. I hate that.

But I could have forgiven that if they had simply ended at "him". What does "at last" mean? Okay, yes, I've already established the game's dialogue is totally insane, but wasn't she also dead until Roddy's temper tantrum provoked her to appear and tell him to take a chill pill (on a side note, the only reason I haven't gone off a tangent about Eve coming back from the dead is because I think it's so retarded I can't even criticize it)? Or was she actually in the pendant for the past five years, perfectly capable of popping up any time something went wrong?


Come to think of it, he probably didn't have the pendant, because if he had it when he was killed it would have been lost and Roddy wouldn't have had it. But then if he did have it, maybe he wouldn't have died. And why didn't Eve pop up and tell him to take her with if he was walking out the door without it? But fuck, that combined with her leaving Jason all alone on the other side for the few years he's been dead when he was expecting to see her again just leaves me thinking "What the hell, bitch!"

Two more problems I've noticed with the Elfie's Confession movie. First, is it just me, or does Elfie seem more upset that "she wasn't as good as Eve" than she was that she was responsible for her father's death? And second, what does Roddy mean by "There's only one step to go"? Heck, even after Elfie gets captured and Roddy finishes up business in Cave 2, has to go through the lava area again, refight all the bosses to take down the Kaiser's barrier, then tear the Kaiser a new one, which is at least three more steps. Might help if I actually knew what the two of them were trying to do in the game.

Okay, I had to take a screenshot from YouTube because the original videos are on my other computer, but where is Roddy's headband when he's wearing the helmet?

You can see here that it comes to just above his eyebrows. Did he take it off? Then where's his hair? That's like the reverse of Kane's hood in Alien.

Maybe now's as good a time as any to say that on reflection, the terrible voice acting might have had more to do with the actors struggling with the dross they were given to work with than the actors themselves. Okay, most of Manning's deliveries are pretty wooden, and Slater sounds like English isn't her native language. But at least she has some emotion, Varnes is fine, and while there are some moments I want to slap Storms upside the head and tell him to wake up ("Wow. This-thing-can-talk."), for his first acting job he didn't do that bad.

Yeah, I don't know where this came from myself, but did anyone else think it a little odd that Roddy and Elfie would put a cross out for Jason? "Frudnick" sounds Jewish to me.

The Enemy Below Intro Is Hilarious

A manta ray and a lizard...

... fuse into a badly drawn monster thing!


You've also gotta love how the monster never looks the same twice. Hell, by the end of the game, it's somehow turned into a giant green blob.


This image just cracks me up. Maybe it's the idea that Jason spends his free time just chilling on his front porch. Maybe it's the soda can with the straw sticking out of it. Or maybe it's the fact that they could only use four colors in this picture, and that it was more important to give Jason a radioactive neon-green lawn than a shirt.

"Who are you, what happened to your hands, and why do I still look like I'm fifteen?"

"Did you come to see my stuff? Well, this is it."

"Why's my tank floating?"

Seriously, how are you even supposed to tell what's going on here without the manual? Hell, I've read the Story in the manual and it still baffles and amuses me.

The Tale of Two Jasons

So yeah, I like Jason. He's one of those characters like Adol Christin who's mostly mute (seriously, he speaks one time in all four games. Well, twice if you count game packaging where he says the coolest thing in the series, funnily enough for the same game, and he runs his mouth quite a bit in the book, like Adol in the anime), yet his actions become his personality and I fell in love with him. And because Blaster Master has been a favorite of mine since I was a child although I didn't have the manual and thus didn't know his name until I was about thirteen, he's quite dear to me. I even based my fucking Phantasy Star Online character on him, and only played the game as long as I did because I somehow convinced myself it was him.

Yes, he has a ponytail, but shut up, I didn't even realize that hair style was one until I finished creating him and saw the back of him for the first time, because from the front it looks like a "slicked back with a few bangs hanging out" style. And don't email me telling me Hunters are supposed to use melee weapons, they can use guns and I don't care.

As I said before, Blasting Again is really different from the previous games. Instead of saving the world alone with only your tank to assist you, you now have a navigator, and supposedly always did. The enemies are robotic and bionic space aliens instead of radioactive mutants. The upgrades come from your navigator, not from the bosses. It has a freaking ghost in it and there's all that baloney about SOPHIA turning people evil. Hell, SOPHIA's architecture is way different; her main body doesn't swivel on her wheels like it used to, and she can't even fire upwards anymore. It's like it's not even going on in the same universe as the other games, like how - and I hate to keep beating this horse but it's the only analogy I have - the NES and Game Boy Bionic Commandos may have been about guy named Ladd/Rad Spencer saving a guy named Super Joe, who went into enemy lines first and got captured, then teaming up with him to blow up a superweapon called the Albatross, but they're two completely different sets of characters.

By the way, did you know Generalissimo Killt was called Wiseman in Japan? Like that mystical-looking dude in the Game Boy game? It's true!

Which brings me to my suggestion; the Jason of the first four games and the book, and the Jason of Blasting Again are two different people. Maybe I'm just trying to weasel out of having to accept one of my gaming icons is dead, but hear me out. Jason A was a teenager who befriended a red-haired human-alien while chasing his radioactive frog, and went on to have a couple more adventures against other radioactive mutants before retiring from the gaming scene. He's alive and doing whatever video game characters do when their games end, maybe still lounging on his front porch with his soda. Jason B was a grown man who met a blonde human-alien while... doing something that's never quite explained. He took up arms and joined her fight, fathered a couple of kids with her, and died on his last mission. But that leaves me a bit bummed out that I didn't get to know Jason B. Okay, he seemed rather hasty in getting horizontal with an alien he'd just met, but the way everyone remembers him, he seems like he was a pretty decent chap, too.

But I keep waffling between them being two different characters and them being the same, and it just donned on me why. The *only* reason I don't jump on the two Jasons thing without looking back is because part of me wants to believe Jason A fathered a sweetheart like Roddy, which is clearly me trying to have my cake and eat it too. But that would mean rewriting Blasting Again to take place much later than it says it does, because I'm not having any of that teen pregnancy bullcrap, and there's also all that navigator and radioactive mutants vs. mechanical aliens stuff to sort out. Either way, I'm not accepting Blasting Again into the established canon the way it is.

And anyone who's thinking "He's a fictional character, get over it!" can go jump naked on a huge pile of thumbtacks.

Everything Else

I noticed after I posted the review that in Overdrive, when Alex is outside SOPHIA and a dungeon, the life meter flashes and depletes slowly like it does with the final boss. Except I don't think anyone was ever really out of SOPHIA long enough to notice what the flashing meter meant. And I was so occupied with the fight that I initially didn't notice the meter was flashing in the final boss fight, anyway.

In BM2, when bosses 4.1 and 6.2 drop the items that let Jason use the three-way missiles and the eight-way lightning they drop an actual gun. But when boss 5.1 drops the item that lets Jason use the homing missiles it's just a missile. I take that to mean Jason can send them off simply by throwing them really hard.

For years and years, I puzzled over what the F on the Gun powerup meant. Well, in my last replay, I finally realized it's not an F, but the bullet chamber of the gun. Although I still initially see it as an F.

And in Blaster Master 2, I always thought the images for the Hover toggle (top two icons in the middle row) were three pipes with a whisp of smoke coming out the middle one, and wondered how that illustrated Hover. And again in my last replay, I finally realized it's SOPHIA, angled funny with jets of fire coming out of her wheels.

The Wall function in Blasting Again works pretty different from how it does in Blaster Master and Enemy Below. You drive SOPHIA between two sideways bracket-shaped rock formations and press Triangle to make SOPHIA's wheels turn into spikes and crawl between the two rock formations. It's slow and looks dopey. There's only two of these formations in the whole game, both in the same room, but even worse is that when you get the part and it demonstrates itself on the ground, it makes SOPHIA look like a dying animal.

Then in Overdrive, SOPHIA's wheels turn into claws that dig into the wall as she climbs it which looks less lame, but since you have to see it more often, it just seems stupider than in Blasting Again.

Was there anyone out there who had a problem with SOPHIA simply sticking to the damn wall? Hell, was there anyone out there who thought that was anything less than cool?

Speaking of, the back of the Blaster Master 2 box is hilarious. First, it makes reference to SOPHIA's ability to climb walls (just above the Sunsoft logo)...

... but you never get that ability in Blaster Master 2. Hell, you get so much Hover power you don't even need it. Also, in Blaster Master 2 Jason exits SOPHIA through the bottom of the vehicle (by the way, never exit SOPHIA at the top of a ladder). And why does SOPHIA have two turrets and six wheels??? She doesn't even have either in the actual game!

Having recently replayed all the games, here's my personal order from favorite to least favorite, though keep in mind the only one of these I actively dislike is Boy:

Blaster Master
Enemy Below
Blasting Again
Blaster Master 2