Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy (Wii) Review

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 01.05.2009

Review for Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy on Wii

Blast Works is a side-scrolling shooter that allows players to do just what is promised on the tin - build, trade, and destroy. Based on Kenta Cho's (ABA Games) TUMIKI Fighters, Blast Works goes well beyond the foundations laid by its free-to-download predecessor. In addition to its uniquely addictive core gameplay mechanic, which will be discussed shortly, developer Budcast Creations has included an extensive editor mode that dramatically increases the game's potential for long-lasting appeal.

The aforementioned mechanic is deceptively simple in that it's immediately understandable but opens the way for increasingly complex gameplay alterations. It works like so: each enemy you successfully gun down will spiral out of control for a brief time, allowing you to ram into it and 'meld' it to your own ship in the process. Each collected ship automatically fires in the direction it was facing when the collision occurred, so careful timing is important to make the most of each recruit. New ships can be connected to both your core vessel as well as any other acquired extremities, thus allowing for the creation of immense battleships that can easily fill the entire screen and beyond.

This screen filling can be both a blessing and a curse, however. While the amalgamation of different ships is both intuitive and satisfying, things can quickly become overwhelmingly hectic. Keeping track of large amounts of ships - even if they're connected to your own ship - is tricky, and eventually the best strategy for success is to simply hold down the fire button and see what happens. Indeed, the campaign and arcade modes are somewhat disappointing in this respect. Most levels aren't designed in a particularly rewarding way, simply sending waves of foes at you with little rhyme or reason. Boss encounters are equally finicky, though more impressive on the whole.

Screenshot for Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy on Wii

Thankfully, Blast Works offers a solution to this problem by letting you build your own levels! In fact, you can customise everything from backdrops to enemy ships and the bullets they fire. All of this is accomplished through the use of numerous editors, each of which share similar aspects but also vary in complexity. The shape editor provides the basis for most other editors, allowing you to create, colour, stretch, rotate, and combine basic geometric shapes into anything you can conceive. Other editors can then be used to combine these shapes into fully functional in-game objects that can be placed in custom levels which can even shared with friends.

While the editors remain fairly easy to use (despite the wealth of options on offer) there is a steep learning curve required to create more complicated objects. Unfortunately, this difficulty is further exasperated by troublesome controls. Selecting and editing objects is handled using the Wii Remote as a pointer, and while this is certainly more user friendly than an analogue stick would be, it still pales in comparison to a mouse. Attempting to make subtle changes, or grab tiny vertices on a shape requires an extremely steady hand and a fair amount of patience. If you're in this for the long haul, though, it does get easier with time, but casual creators may become frustrated.

If you'd rather not worry about the more minute details yourself, however, you can still draw from an extensive library of user-created content courtesy of the Blast Works Depot. This website is an extension of the game's impressive online sharing features, which allow you to not only can you share content with friends, but also download new content from anyone in the world. After accessing the website, registering your Wii number, and selecting which objects you would like to download (or upload, if you feel like sharing), you can use the game's online menu to save objects to your own system (not SD cards, though, unfortunately) before placing them in your own levels, or even tweaking them to your liking.

Screenshot for Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

If you ignore its editor functionality, Blast Works is an entirely average shooter whose only saving grace - a mechanic that allows defeated enemy ships to be combined with your own - would be hard pressed to embellish the experience enough to warrant a recommendation. As it stands, the extensive custom content creation tools and sharing functionality are well implemented and allow for the creation of experiences far more rewarding than those available out of the box. If you're creatively inclined, and willing to put in some real time and effort, this could be a very worthwhile purchase indeed.

Developer

Budcat Creations

Publisher

Majesco

Genre

Shooter

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (12 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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