Sunday, July 21, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 21 - Blast Corps

On day 21 of Eric Vs. 365 we're revisiting one of the best games to never get a sequel, Blast Corps. It was amazing in 1997 on N64 and is still pretty darn solid even today on Xbox One via Rare Replay. Well, the Backlash (dump truck) controls have aged like fine sludge, but everything else is fun. Continue reading for more.

Blast Corps was released in February of 1997, which means it was one of the first handful of games released for the N64 after its September 1996 release. The concept of using a unique collection of demolition equipment to clear a path for a runaway nuclear carrier was absolutely amazing and the game was executed about as well as you could have hoped. 

Back when the N64 launched it was the hot holiday item that year so they were very, very hard to find in 1996. On New Years Eve of '96, however, I got a call from my brother who found them in stock at a Wal-Mart so he asked if he should pick one up for me and the rest was history. I paid him for it, of course, as I had saved up my money all of 1996 so I could get an N64.  

I didn't own any games right away after I got the system, though. We had two great rental stores in our small town at the time so I was able to rent pretty much any and every N64 game as soon as they released. Remember video rental stores kids? Of course you don't. But my teenage years were spent renting movies and games practically every weekend. Those were the days. We played Killer Instinct Gold, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, and PilotWings 64 for hours on end.

It wasn't until well into Spring of '97 that I actually owned an N64 game. I want to say that Blast Corps was the second N64 game I ever owned, but maybe it was the first. For some reason I have distinct memories of owning Cruis'n USA first because it dropped in price fast, or something. Blast Corps was definitely the first "real" (as in not crap) game I owned for N64, though.

Back in the day I actually unlocked almost everything in Blast Corps. I don't think I got very many platinum medals on any of the missions, because they are ridiculous, but I did get gold on all of the missions and unlocked the outer space stuff, which was mind-blowing at the time. Part of why I was able to actually beat everything was because the NTSC (America, Japan) version of Blast Corps had a glitch where you could instantly blow up obstacles by pressing the button to get out of your vehicle while you were next to stuff. You could trivialize certain missions by totally ignoring having to move TNT around. The PAL (Europe) version does not have this glitch and, unfortunately, the PAL version is the one used in Rare Replay so there is just some stuff I'm probably never going to see again. 

Of course, I'd rather have a remake or a new reboot of Blast Corps over doing that stuff again anyway. It seems like such an obviously good idea to keep building on, but a sequel never happened. I have to admit that today, in 2019, I'm not sure Microsoft and Rare could actually pull off a new Blast Corps because they would probably try to make it too realistic and not fun and screw it up. It needs to be simple and arcadey, but with modern visuals and physics. That would be amazing. We can only hope.