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Road Blasters - The Atari Times

Road Blasters


Even more illegal than Road Rash
by Darryl Brundage

March 11, 2004
Heh, remember the Road Rash games on the Sega Genesis? (...and the 3D0...and the Playstation [probably]...and the Game Gear...and...) Even though I don't like racing games that much -- I'm not very good at them, and especially suck when it comes to negotiating (or not) curves on the road -- I have to try 'em out at least *once* (especially with the incredible graphics you can get on the arcade games nowadays...if you can even FIND an arcade in this day and age; sigh), and Road Rash combined an "illegal race" (as it said in the promos) with weapons and knocking people off their motorcycles (which I'm sure ALL of us have wished we could do over the years, when we see them double-riding in one lane in real life, grrrr), which was fun as anything.

In Road Blasters, though, you get power-up weapons to blow things up on the road and all, which is an even much bigger no no, but oh well, *I* enjoyed the heck out of it.

This late 80s game combined really good graphics, different courses, power-ups and enemies as you cruise through a kind of Pole Position in Hell-type game for a pretty different arcade experience, all right.

It starts off easy, with letting you get the feel of the track and being able to make it through a course without running out of gas, or else the game will end. You will also get the chance to become familiar with certain power-ups and all, plus giant green balls that appear on the road, which will give you extra gas (o...k, and no Rolaids jokes here, in regards to getting that *other* kind of gas...and besides, those are for your reserve tank anyway). Road Blasters also came with the Star Wars-type grip controller, complete with buttons for regular and special weapons (which you would receive in later stages of the game) and a gas pedal to crank up the speed in this futuristic game.

Soon, though, enemies start appearing on the road along with your vehicle, but sometimes a ship would fly overhead and drop down a special weapon, and if you catch it, you could use it to your [evil, muhahhahaha] heart's content until you used it up (some weapons only have a certain number of times you could use them) or crashed, which you would lose whatever power-ups you had then. Add-ons included a rapid-fire laser and a nuke, which would blow up everything on the road for several seconds (making a pretty cool ghostly-type graphic of "dead" objects), and other goodies you could acquire would include a turbo boost to hopefully get you through a tough level before you ran out of fuel...until you got to the NEXT harder level...heh. All kinds of fun stuff would appear from level to level, like some blasted mines that would appear and blow you to bits if you ran over one; hmmm, I wonder if my insurance is going to cover *this* under the "road hazard" provision of my contract...

This was a pretty fun, cool, fairly popular game, and it's pretty obvious why: combining driving like a maniac AND blowing up stuff -- and not even getting pulled over by a cop, much less a ticket, nor arrested for anything -- especially when it's topped off with good control and sound effects (especially the sound when you activate that nuke...BOOM! Plus the hard rock music when you complete a level -- along with getting a bonus for remaining fuel -- is also worth mentioning), is pretty much any guy's dream come true. (Even for those of us who don't participate in racing games that much in the first place.)

Hmmm... wish I had a steering wheel on my computer...
Catch the fuel pods but don't hit the enemy cars.
The blue guys are impenetrable while the motorcycles are hard to hit.
Definitely the best weapon in the game is the cruise missile!
Road Blasters
System: Arcade
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Driving
Graphics Score: 90%
Sound & Music Score: 95%
Gameplay Score: 95%
Control Score: 100%

Final Score: 88%



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