Shoot-em-ups have found a good home on the Nintendo Switch through games like Sine Mora EX and the many re-releases of arcade titles developed by Psikyo. FullBlast enters the foray with its own barrage of enemies and bullets flying. Unfortunately, it kind of stumbles when compared to its neighbors.
There is an alien attack. As a lone pilot, you must go and destroy them all. That’s the gist of it, albeit the game feels the need to have dialogue exchanges that are absolutely plagued with punctuation errors. Come to think of it, the tone is simply bonkers. Despite the serious situations going on, everyone seems to be pretty lax on it. Death is shrugged off pretty quickly and the pilot even says “Oki doki!” as the final line in the game.
Well, the game at least looks the part. FullBlast emulates the look of games before it but with 3D models and textures; it even has a border for the HUD to occupy. The game can also look as dazzling as par for the genre’s course when it acts at its best. With multicolored bullets flying gracefully across the screen, enemies blowing up and moving, and the framerate moving at sixty frames per second, FullBlast knows how to visually simulate. Well, until you realize it lacks any special set pieces. Levels also tend to share the same environments as each other.
Oh my God, I hate this soundtrack. Of all the things for an arcade shooter to play throughout the game, why a guitar riff so generic and bland that I can’t tell if it ever changed between levels?! It feels alright at first, but then it just drags on and on. No matter how far you get into the game, this same boring melody continues to play. This is easily the worst aspect of FullBlast.
Through a series of twelve levels, you take control of your ship and hold down the fire button to your heart’s content. There are enemies to kill, bosses to overcome, and power-ups to collect. At its core, it’s the kind of thing you could expect from a shoot ’em up. However, FullBlast has the unfortunate ability to make it all meander. The big problem with the game is that it doesn’t offer enough variety. Levels last way longer than they should as a result of the lack of change-ups in enemy and layout designs. Bosses are usually just giant versions of common enemies, and even then, they get recycled for later stages.
FullBlast is also one of the easier shooters on the market as of late. This is thanks to the generously sizable health bar provided for each life you have. The projectiles and enemies alike are also slow enough for you to react to in time no matter the circumstance. The only parts that gave me any trouble are the airplane bosses’ ram attacks (which oddly instant-kill) and the final boss’s tentacle swings (which have weird hitboxes). Other than that, it’s smooth sailing especially with the power-ups that increase the rate of your firepower.
FullBlast can be fun for those that are relatively new to the genre, but those already familiar with it are better off elsewhere. The fundamentals are there, but the game’s potential is neutered by its repetition and presentation. As a result, it doesn’t hold much of a candle to games like Gunbird.
Review copy provided by Ratalaika Games