Approximate Release Date: October 27, 1992
Genre: Side-scrolling shooter
Atlus’ first Super Nintendo game, BlaZeon: The Bio-Cyborg Challenge, is another by-the-numbers side-scrolling shooter.
Let’s get the interesting part of BlaZeon out of the way first: by killing certain enemies with your secondary bomb attack, you can gain the ability to change into them for increased firepower and armor. There doesn’t seem to be a ton of different forms to turn into in each level, but each one has been different enough to make experimentation worth it. But these forms have just replaced the standard powerups that are in every other shooter, so it doesn’t end up being too big of a difference. And that’s too bad. It’s a great idea.
But great ideas don’t make great games by themselves. BlaZeon plays just like any other scrolling shooter that has been featured here on SNES A Day. There are weird moments in the game where you just fly forward for a while without any enemies or obstacles in your way. I assume the game is doing that to give you a breather or something, but it just makes it look like the game has glitched out and forgot to load a few waves of hostile ships.
BlaZeon looks and sounds like it isn’t taking advantage of the SNES’ power. I’m not saying it looks as bad as an NES game, but there’s something about the way BlaZeon looks and sounds like that feels … old, even by 1992 standards. It doesn’t look bad necessarily, and I’m having a hard time nailing down exactly what is making me feel this way. It’s more impressive than yesterday’s game, but can’t really compare to juggernauts like Axelay or even Earth Defense Force.
Everything about this game feels like development started with the great core concept of turning into enemies, and never really capitalized on that great idea. No matter how different BlaZeon: The Bio-Cyborg Challenge wants or aims to be, it just doesn’t go far enough.
Tomorrow: I hope you aren’t tired of scrolling shooters, because Space Megaforce is next!