I’ll be honest, the ‘bullet hell’, shoot-em-up genre isn’t exactly my cup of tea – but I was looking forward to getting into UFO Games’ Fullblast.
Fullblast aims to replicate the retro classics of the past, but with a more modern twist – updated graphics, improved graphics and smoother controls are some of the things UFO Games set out to achieve, and in some areas, they do succeed.
You play as an ace “only you can save us” pilot – the plot of this game isn’t exactly important, it’s more ‘here’s some enemies, just shoot them’, which honestly is something I expected and didn’t mind too much. If you’re expecting a hard-hitting drama, then you’ve come to the wrong game.
Let’s start with the graphics, perhaps the best part of this title.
Perhaps the best element of this game is its updated graphics. The best comparison I can make is that it follows the style of the Crackdown series. Cartoony, yet gritty. Which works incredibly well here – every enemy you beat is met with a cartoony ‘BOOM’ effect, the buildings and environments have that iconic bold outline which makes them stick out and ultimately makes the game visually appealing.
If only they had MORE environments. The game has 12, fairly long-winded levels, which means that including a variety of environments should have been at the top of UFO Games’ priorities, but unfortunately, you end up flying through the same looping backdrop continually (with the occasional crater, river or jungle thrown in). The art style is good, but after looking at the same backdrop for a long amount of time, it soon loses its charm.
And that’s how I can describe Fullblast up best: It’s great at the beginning – everything is new and shiny. The enemies all seem to be unique, the bosses are challenging, and the power-ups are all interesting. But this soon falls down once you’ve made your way through maybe three or four acts. The game just doesn’t have enough to keep itself afloat.
You soon notice how little enemies there actually are, you learn their repetitive formations and you begin to notice that each boss is simply a reskin of another.
The game is inherently enjoyable, but only for a short amount of time. I played the PS4 version, but I do know that it has been ported to the Nintendo Switch which seems like a much more suitable platform. Fullblast is definitely more suited towards shorter game sessions and sadly doesn’t do much to encourage players to stay in-game for longer.
I don’t know if I can fully recommend this game – it’s enjoyable, sure, but for how long? If you’ve got a hankering for some retro, shoot-em-up style gameplay, then go for it, but otherwise, I’d give this one a miss.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*