The Mega Drive isn’t a stranger to side-scrolling shoot-em ups. Um, even space themed shoot-em ups (R-Type springs to mind). So why should anyone bother giving Aero Blasters a shot? Bad puns aside, cos it’s bloody entertaining! The arcade game was well received and deserved to be ported to the home consoles. The plot? I believe it’s up to you as the last remaining whoever to blow up the bad guy and return peace to a planet?
Graphically it’s lovely to look at, the backdrops are well drawn and coloured, the enemies are detailed and look menacing. Some of the bosses are so huge they take up more than half the screen. Missiles and gunshots fly through the air, exploding everything and anything with aplomb. It’s just a shame that your fighter looks like it was imported from the GameBoy version of R-Type dashed with a bit of colour. The sound effects are good, explosions sound convincing enough although they were never going to be as good as the arcade version.
The music is up tempo, keeps the adrenalin pumping and importantly for a game of this genre, is in no way annoyingly repetitive. How does it play? It plays rather fantastically. There are several levels all with assorted baddies who can be destroyed in several ways. Along with standard gunfire, power-ups can be obtained allowing extra guns, guns that shoot 360 degrees and missiles. You can also charge up your ship and let the blast go to kill all small enemies in range. It’s a nice touch and gets you out of many a spot of bother.
A few tiny gripes concerning the power ups, in order to get them you must blast open these yellow bin-type things that scatter the icons all over the place. One, they can really get in the way of a dogfight and two, you’ll pick up the power up you need (extra guns, baby!) and then accidentally fly over the icon for the crappy 360 degree shot = no extra guns baby 🙁 .
So just as soon as you’ve got your teeth into Aero Blasters, it’s gone. I can’t work out whether it’s just too easy or not long enough? Actually I have, the levels are too bloody short. Someone write a game genie code to loop the levels and we’ll all be happy.