BlaZeon

Shmups and I have a bit of a rocky relationship. I like them, when they’re nice and good. When they’re stupid-hard and irritating, I don’t get along with them so well. When they’ve got slow-moving bullet lattices which I need to duck and weave through like a pickpocket through marks at an agora of some sort, I’m pleased. When it hits you with dumb tricks that require you to hyperfocus your attention on the game and memorize it, I am irritated. When it introduces great gimmicks, I’m thrilled. When the entirety of its depth is “hey, we gave you a gun but also, A BOMB!”, I grow quickly bored.

Now that my taste has been explained, those readers whose interests include shmups should ahve some idea what kind of shmup fan I am. They should now be ready to dismiss or appreciate this game based on whether or not they find me agreeable or deplorable. That said:

BlaZeon is wonderful.

This game’s core gimmick is that you have a dumpy little ship that can shoot larger ships, and disable them, and USE THEM AS A SHELL. This means that if an enemy is particularly badass, you can shoot him with your B button attack (whatever it is, it makes a frustrating noise) and he turns blue. Then you move on top of it and a black box surrounds you and thne you are it. I don’t know if there’s an explanation for this; perhaps there’s a manual somewhere out there. Regardless, after playing as a few totally awesometown dudes, I was pretty amped on this game.

The best part, though, is that one of the ships I took over moved UNCOMFORTABLY fast. Have you ever picked up a controller and moved something in 2d space, and it just moved TOO fast? And it felt just really sloppy and unresponsive, but it was because YOUR muscle twitch wasn’t good enough? This game has a ship that moves that fast. I reckon it could move the height of the screen three times in a second. That’s right: if you did up-down-up at just the right time, it’d move from the bottom to the top to the bottom to the top again in ONE SECOND. The out-of-control-ness is something I like to feel in small doses when I play these games. And, since in BlaZeon you can lose a ship simply by getting it hit a couple of times (you don’t lose a life, jsut your shell guy), it’s the perfect excuse.

If you dig fun, don’t be a stranger to BlaZeon.

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