Blaster Master Zero 2 Review & Rating For Nintendo Switch 2022!

Inti Creates developed and published Blaster Master Zero 2, a platform video game. March 2019 for Nintendo Switch, November 2019 for Microsoft Windows, and June 2020 for PlayStation 4 were the release dates. On July 15th, 2021, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S versions were made available. The Blaster Master Zero was a reimagining of Sunsoft’s Blaster Master for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and this is the follow-up to that title. Blaster Master Zero 3 was the title of the 2021 sequel.

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Gameplay

Like the previous game, this one is a lot of fun. Through side-scrolling levels, the SOPHIA tank is driven by the player, who must explore the environment and defeat enemies with the tank’s arsenal. When Jason gets out of the tank, he can enter various passageways and doors from an overhead perspective. Access to previously inaccessible areas may be made possible through the use of tank upgrades. Each level has a boss character that must be defeated in order to move on to the next. The world map in Blaster Master Zero 2 serves as a new way to organize the game’s levels. There is only one planet in each sector, which is connected to the previous game’s overworld via a network of smaller, interconnected tunnels. It’s possible to unlock a number of planetoids in the game by collecting map items. The planetoids contain small levels where Jason can acquire new upgrades for G-SOPHIA and himself, despite the fact that they’re completely optional.

SOPHIA III’s successor the G-SOPHIA is functionally identical to its predecessor but has a new feature that allows the vehicle to recharge its sub-weapon energy from concussive impacts, like those of long falls or enemy attacks. When the sub-energy weapon runs out, it loses a lot of its punch until it can be recharged. When Jason is in the overhead areas, he gains access to a new Blast Counter technique that allows him to shoot or dash into enemies as soon as their crosshairs appear before they attack. The weapons given to Jason and G-SOPHIA in this game are significantly different from those given to them in the previous game.

Blaster Master Zero 2

Plot

After the events of Blaster Master Zero, a young inventor on Earth named Jason Frudnick encountered a frog-like creature named Fred, whose existence was revealed in a flashback. As a Metal Attacker, SOPHIA III is an armored tank. Fred took him to it. Eve, an android from the planet Sophia, had taken possession of it after traveling there to combat the Mutants, alien invaders intent on consuming planets and assimilating their native life. Overlord’s core had contaminated Eve and SOPHIA III and forced Jason to destroy the contaminated vehicle so that she would not be infected.

However, the remaining Mutant cells in Eve’s body have multiplied and are threatening to kill her in the months that follow Jason’s creation of G-SOPHIA (a new and improved version of SOPHIA III). Jason, Eve, and Fred travel to Sophia in search of medical treatment after being unable to do so on this planet. They pass through several planets on their way to Sophia, each guarded by a Metal Attacker, a pilot, and an android support system. To commemorate their meeting, Jason is given a set of special emblems. After losing his partner Lucia in battle, Leibniz, a vengeful Metal Attacker pilot who sees the androids as “useless dolls,” attempts to convince him that Eve should be left to die.

As they near the final sector, Jason and Eve come across a gigantic planet-sized Mutant guarding the dimensional tunnel to Sophia beneath its surface. Jason is able to use G-SOPHIA to drain the mutant’s energy and destroy it. As a result of this, the G-SOPHIA and its crew are sucked into a rift in space, where they are dispersed. At this point, if all of the emblems are not collected, the game is over before it has even begun. In the event that all of the emblems are collected, Eve is revived and sets out on her own to find Jason in the barren landscape. While searching for Leibniz, she encounters an abandoned Metal Attacker dubbed ANDREIA and ignores him. When Leibniz blames Eve for Lucia’s death, the ghost of its support android, Elfie, appears and tells him that he should not. Leibniz reveals to Eve that the emblems are tracking beacons and leaves, and Elfie gives Eve control of ANDREIA to help her find Jason.

Jason and G-SOPHIA, who were turned to stone by a giant Mutant in a cocoon named Drolrevo, are found by Eve, who assigns Fred the mission of tracking them down. While ANDREIA charges up and fires her Acceleration Blast at the Mutant’s cocoon, Eve activates the emblems, bringing back the other Metal Attackers from earlier in the journey. By destroying the cocoon and freeing Jason and G-SOPHIA, the blast kills Drolrevo in his true form and heals Eve of her infection. Jason and Eve finally make it to Sophia, where they confess their feelings for one another after saying their final goodbyes to their friends across the chasm. When Leibniz discovers that the Mutants have taken over Earth without Jason, he laughs hysterically and takes off into battle.

Blaster Master Zero 2

A Masterclass In Retro Game Design

A remastered NES classic, Blaster Master Zero was one of the first indie darlings to catch on in the early days of the Switch eShop. Inti Creates had a vested interest in cultivating a new fanbase around the long-dormant IP by releasing a series of paid content drops and free updates that expanded the scope of the game significantly with the addition of new modes and playable characters.

Nobody expected Blaster Master Zero 2 to be released so quickly after its initial reveal on a Nintendo Direct, but fans were understandably overjoyed at the prospect of seeing Jason and Eve’s story continue. Because Inti Creates went all out, Blaster Master Zero 2 rises to meet and even surpass the lofty standards set by its predecessor. Retro platforming at its best.

Eve’s body is slowly being corrupted by mutant cells that will eventually kill her in Blaster Master Zero 2’s ‘true ending.’ A cure for this alien illness appears to be located on Planet Sophia, which is where Eve and the Sophia tank were originally brought from. To save his friend, Jason must cross the universe in a race against time, encountering a variety of obstacles and turmoil while learning that Eve and he are not the only android-and-pilot combo flying super tanks.

Blaster Master Zero 2

Review

When compared to Blaster Master Zero’s focus on gameplay, there’s a bit more emphasis on the story here, with each new sector of the stars serving as its own chapter. The storytelling here isn’t exactly stellar, but it’s a step up from the usual retro platformer fare. The story touches on some heavy themes, but only on a superficial level, and it’s a welcome addition to the narrative. As the story progresses, the world-building gradually reveals the scope of the much larger universe in which this adventure is set, setting the stage for many possible sequels if Inti Creates chooses that route.

After a brief hiatus, both the story and gameplay pick up where the original left off, with new challenges, gameplay tweaks, and additions that keep things fresh while also ratcheting things up a notch. This time around, Blaster Master Zero 2 takes things to the next level by introducing a quasi-open world that places greater emphasis on player choice. A wormhole separates the world into ‘areas’, each of which has a’main’ world and a slew of smaller, side worlds.

Side-scrolling run ‘n’ gun sections resembling Mega Man’s run ‘n’ gun sections await you once you land on one of the planets or ships you’ve chosen. At times the tank won’t go where it needs to and Jason will have to go it alone in platforming sections that usually revolve around climbing ladders and activating switches that can open new paths forward. These side-scrolling sections really help to convey Jason’s raw power and Sophia’s relative invulnerability by highlighting the disparity between Jason and the tank. Even from a seemingly low height, enemies can easily kill Jason, so getting back into the tank feels like an enormous relief when you’re surrounded by an unstoppable death machine.

Blaster Master Zero 2

While side-scrolling isn’t the only mode of play in Blaster Master Zero 2, a large portion is spent in Jason-only areas that switch to a top-down cover-based shooter mode for about 40% of gameplay. Compared to the original, there are numerous improvements to be found in these sections, most notably Jason’s flashy counterattack, which rewards risky play. A reticle appears above the heads of enemies when they attack, and by pressing the ‘X’ button during this time period, Jason will leap out of harm’s way and fire a powerful retaliatory shot. As a result, shootouts feel a little more skill-based, while also allowing for a much higher level of difficulty to be achieved while still being considered ‘fair’.

This is good because the dungeon layouts feature interesting puzzles and lock-and-key situations that require a little more sleuthing. Even though these dungeons aren’t as challenging as the classic Zelda dungeons, we appreciated the fact that the rewards at the end of each one were often well worth the effort it took to get there.

This game has a wide variety of environments and gameplay mechanics to keep things interesting, whether you’re playing as Jason, Sophia, or any other character in the game. There are a number of dimensional rifts that divide one planet into two, resulting in a desert wasteland on one side and a frozen tundra on the other; not only must you avoid touching any of these rifts, which will kill you instantly, tank or not, but navigating the two vastly different terrain types can prove to be an interesting challenge. There’s another planet where bamboo has taken over and is actively obstructing progress in some places. This creates an interesting maze-like environment that necessitates a great deal of trial-and-error exploration. In Blaster Master Zero 2, it’s a credit to the game’s design that it’s able to keep the tank and on-foot sections fresh with new gameplay every few hours of play.

Blaster Master Zero 2 does an excellent job of rewarding the player for going off the beaten path while also encouraging the player to frequently return to old areas, making exploration an integral part of the gameplay. When you leave your current planet, you’ll come across small maps that unlock new planetoids on the world map, which you’ll find if you return. As mini-dungeons for Jason and Sophia, these extra planetoids usually provide a small but focused set of challenges that usually end in you getting a health or SP upgrade or, more rarely (and more rarely) a new special weapon for one of them to make combat sections a little spicier.

Blaster Master Zero 2

With this new map system, you can explore in any order you like, and the benefits of deviating from the main story are almost always worth it. You aren’t required to visit any of these side areas unless you want to, but doing so can provide a satisfying diversion. In addition, there is a real sense of progression in gradually increasing your survivability and arsenal; many of the pickups along the way prove to be functional in more ways than one would expect, often subtly changing the gameplay.

It’s a surprise and delight to see how well Blaster Master Zero 2 presents itself; it manages to keep the retro charm of the NES original while adding some subtle tweaks to it. Unlike its predecessor, which was limited by the limitations of a console that was more than a decade old, this one isn’t. The worlds in this game are much more detailed and full of small details, and the pixel art, particularly when it comes to boss battles, is absolutely stunning. Nearly the entire level is taken up by a memorable boss, whose attacks and appearance are both bombastic and colorful, stealing the show as you expertly navigate the environment.

It’s hard to think of many other retro-style games on the eShop that demonstrate a stronger grasp of the art direction, even if this doesn’t necessarily push the boundaries of pixel art. The chiptune soundtrack could be described in the same way, though the music tends to be more forgettable. Aside from the main theme, this soundtrack lacks a distinct identity; it’s a generic chiptune track that doesn’t stand out as much as its predecessor.

Conclusion

At its core, Blaster Master Zero 2 is an improvement over its predecessor in nearly every way, while also laying the groundwork for what could become the company’s flagship series. We strongly encourage you to get this game as soon as you can because of its tight platforming action, memorable boss battles, plenty of extra side content, and beautiful pixel art. From start to finish, Blaster Master Zero 2 is one of the best and most enjoyable retro gaming experiences ever, cementing Inti Creates’ reputation as one of the best retro developers in the industry.

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