Nathan over at Mindrec was kind enough to send me some of their latest games! I am always thrilled to see new games being developed for old systems. It keeps them alive and kicking ^_^
I got this awesome package with both Hypernova Blast and Meteor Blaster DX! Apart from the games I also got an HNB sticker and a cool little dome ^_^
I have tried them both out, and both are CD games for the PC Engine ^_^ I started with Meteor Blaster DX since this was the first game to be released of the two, and damn this game was hard! I don’t know if I was just really sucky at it or if it was just extremely-super-mega-hard! Anyway, there was supposed to be boss fights on every 10th level, but I never managed to get to even the first one ;D hahaha! I did try every ship there was to offer though, 5 different ships in total which all worked a bit differently. My favorite was the blue one ^_^ It just felt easier to control. All the ships are very slow though, compared to what you’re used to with similar games like Asteroids and other shmups where you usually can get speed-ups pretty quick or just thrust around the screen and control your speed. The lack of speed really added to the difficulty, it made it hard to avoid all the meteors and also to reach powerups in time. I bet there were power-ups for speed in the game, but I hardly ever managed to catch those darn power-ups ;D haha! You did have a few hyperspace warps, but they ran out fast, and could potentially teleport you into even more danger ;D
Meteor Blaster DX for PC Engine
Meteor Blaster DX back
Meteor Blaster DX inside
I played the game for quite a few hours and really tried to get further but it was just too hard for me. You were supposed to have some kind of shield as well, but I don’t think I managed to figure out how to use it.. :/ I guess I’m gonna have to give it a few more tries some other day.
Here’s a gameplay video of me sucking at Meteor Blaster DX!! haha xD
What was really annoying though was that the highscore table was not functioning! I got scores higher than those on the board, and I got to sign my name every time, but it didn’t show up on the board. It was like it wasn’t fully programmed to record new scores over the old ones.. :(
When you start up the game you can choose two special games as well, apart from the Meteor Blaster DX there’s also a game called Implode and Implode Caravan. These are a type of puzzle game that I enjoyed quite a lot ^^ It was a bit easy though and I didn’t quite understand what happened when the game ended.. maybe there was a time limit or something. Anyway, there were different colored blocks coming up from below and you just had to click on them when three or more of the same color were touching and they would disappear. Here’s a gameplay video that better explains it ^_^
Both PC Engine games have been made with a lot of attention to detail in the packaging though. I love the covers, especially Hypernova Blast ^_^ Even the CD’s are printed and it looks really nice!
Hypernova Blast for the PC Engine
Hypernova Blast back
Hypernova Blast inside
Now onto Hypernova Blast, which is a re-imagining of the classic Nova Blast on Colecovision. This was also a shmup but a completely different one from Meteor Blaster DX. This one was more similar to the old Defender game. There were also different ships to choose from in this game, and its a horizontally sidescrolling shoot ’em up. You had cities to protect and aliens were trying to destroy them. Below you see a map of where the enemies and cities are at. The game has support for up to 5 people in co-op play :) Unfortunately I haven’t found anyone to play it with me yet :(
I did quite shitty in the first round which I put on Normal difficulty. I then got bold and went straight to Suicide difficulty and all of a sudden it was much easier, or maybe I just got better ;D but I managed to survive for 25 rounds ^_^ The only difference between difficulties are the amount of health your cities get. It’s either 300, 600, 900 or 1200, so on Suicide difficulty your cities start with the low health of only 300. Each enemy attack removes 100 from the city. I was hoping the enemies would get smarter or at least come in larger numbers but it seemed as though it was pretty much the same between the difficulty levels. The only thing that can potentially give you a game over is if you hurt yourself enough to die. I tried just staying on a stage, not killing anything, and none of my cities got killed.. so the enemies seem to be more after you than the cities. You can spend your own health to upgrade the cities health as well.
I big thumbs up goes to the music though! And the fact that you can choose what to listen too! There were about 15 (I think) different tracks that you could just pause and switch between, so you could choose to listen to your favorites over and over again ^_^ If you didn’t pick one it just played the list one by one for each new stage you reached.
All in all I think it’s a decent game. There are a few things I was lacking, like maybe a boss battle, some more variation in the sceneries between levels, a bit more detail in the menu bar below and an increasing difficulty level, because after a while the enemies from before just come back. At least my highscores got saved in this game :D
Here’s a gameplay video of Hypernova Blast.
Thanks a lot Nathan for sending me these games! I had a lot of fun with them and I will keep practicing to get good at them ;D