Blaster Master Zero 3 - Switch Review


Blaster Master Zero 3
by developer and publisher Inti CreatesNintendo Switch review written by Pierre-Yves.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


After having originally saved the Earth from the Mutant invasion in the original Blaster Master Zero, the SOPHIA's support android Eve was infected by their virus. Heading towards Eve's home planet of Sophia, plans didn't quite go according to plan in Blaster Master Zero 2. Having finally made it though, things took a turn for the worst, Jason must now turn rogue and escape from a wrongful imprisonment during a mutant attack on the planet Sophia to save Eve who's he's been separated from before things are too late as the whole planet is out to get them.

Now while I would readily recommend playing through the first two entries in the series to know exactly what's going on and who's who as there are a couple of people to keep track of including a previous adversary now warming your support chair, you can still easily drop into the new adventure without it. Will some points be lost? Sure, but, BMZ3 does a good job at telling you what you need to know for the adventure ahead including some of what's already been said and done.

Otherwise fans of multiple genres are in for a treat. Blaster Master Zero 3 continues the twists on classics by combining 2D Metroidvania platformers with 3D action adventure styles through a variety of environments both in the "real-world" and what is known as the super-dimensional space. Having previously thought of this as a really neat concept and having enjoyed it, the latest entry has upped its game adding in extra elements to both challenge and confuse you as the adventure moves on.

Starting off on a point that can either make or break the experience, the start of BMZ3 sees Jason starting from scratch as all of his equipment has been taken away and the Metal Attacker that he pilots has been stripped bare. Starting from nothing especially in a series can be tough especially when it's the same character as before and you have been loaded up to the nines with all of your gear. Some do this well, some others miss the mark completely, but BMZ3 does a decent job as it integrates it into the story and it makes the premise of this loss make sense.

So with nothing more than a voice at the other end of a comm, Jason breaks out of jail, grabs his weapons and the SOPHIA and moves to find both Eve and the dimension frog Fred that’s pulled them both out of a few jams with his portals. From there, the rest is a blast and I mean that literally as you’ll be jumping, running, dodging and shooting your way through a variety of mutants and planet Sophia security forces and it’s brilliant in how you go about it.

It’s really an interesting style that can take some time to adjust to as you have to constantly think about two separate styles and gameplays. While exploring in the SOPHIA, you’ll be in a 2D side scrolling view driving, wall jumping, thruster packing and eventually even driving on the walls and flying through water to reach your goals. Helping you out are a variety of weapons from the main cannon to missiles, guiding lasers, incendiary shells and more. As the controls only really allow you to move, jump, and use two weapon systems, there’s the ability to map other weapons systems, or exploration systems like dashing through things, to your triggers making things much more interesting once the giant bosses come out to play.

Being a tank though, the SOPHIA can’t go everywhere and often Jason is going to have to leave the safety of the tank to go out on foot. Like the tank though, Jason has plenty of gear to help him fight on the ground such as blasters, laser whips and other fun blaster type weapons, bombs and spiral blades. Upping his prowess, Jason also has the ability to counter enemy attacks from both ranged and melee which can turn even the most helpless of situations into manageable ones. It’s fun and the switch between the two styles helps keep things fresh as there’s a flow and it’s not always just more of the same.

New to Blaster Master Zero 3 is the integration of what is known as the super-dimensional space which acts as an added layer of puzzling and exploration for Jason both inside and outside of the SOPHIA. Inside, he’s safe but there can be some pretty crazy things that happen such as the reversal of gravity meaning that if you were trying to go down, you now have your work cut out for you as your tank is only ever trying to go up. On foot though, things are much more dangerous as it adds in a time limit to how long Jason can actually be there as there’s only so much of the added pressure that his suit can handle at a time before it collapses on him.

Where things can get really tricky, and this falls into a love it or hate it, are the boss fights. They are big, they are bad, but once you master their move sets, they are easy but some may take some time in order to get there. The love it or hate it though is that some boss fights will start in the super-dimensional realm and then move to the real realm, or, the other way around. In either of these cases, one phase will be in 2D and the other in a 3D format and if you fail in either stage, you’re going to have to restart from scratch. If I were to have had any issue, that would have been it.

So between the real and the super-dimensional worlds, the 2D platforming and the 3D action adventure sequences, there’s plenty to keep you on your toes as you move forwards in order to try to find Eve. Bringing back some of the previous cast both full time and as subplots was also neat as there are some things that you wouldn't have expected that work out great, and in other moments, the dialog is just gold as not everyone who’s made a comeback is a friend. BMZ3 has great gameplay, well written dialog, and some puzzles that will really make you think about how the hell you’re going to pull it all off.

Summary

Overall, fans of metroidvanias, 2D platformers and 3D action adventures will have plenty to look forward to even if you’ve never dipped your toes into the world of Blaster Master Zero. For returning fans? The finale is worth it and the upgrades to previous systems and the addition of new ones was just simply fun.

Score: 8.25 / 10


 






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