BlazeRush Review

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Posted December 9, 2014 by Bryan Boshart in Video Games

BlazeRush

Developed By: Targem Games

Produced By: Targem Games

Available on: PC and PS3 (reviewed)

Release Date: October 29th 2014

 

BlazeRush hearkens back to the racing games I grew up on, like Micro Machines and Rock N’ Roll Racing. BlazeRush’s top down racing is quite entertaining in groups, but a few things, chiefly an iffy camera prevent it from being great..

The game plays a lot like a top-down kart racer. The d-pad or analog stick propels your car along the path and two other buttons are used for shooting and boosting. The simple controls never get and the way and help the game stay straight-forward and fun. The game does its best to keep all the cars close together. Any cars that are drag too far behind get teleported up to the back of the pack. This catch-up mechanic generally helps races remain close, but occasionally it gets frustrating. For example, when your car is teleported up, you can end up with your speed reduced, which just ends up with you being teleported again. BlazeRush’s focus on close races and its choice of camera also cause issues for the leader. Because the camera tends to focus on the center of the pack, any car too far ahead will not be able to see anything in front of them, forcing them to rely on the map for directions.

There are three core types of gameplay. First is the standard race, three times around the track and see who wins. Next up is King of the Hill, which counts the amount of time your car is leading the race and the first to fifty seconds wins. Finally, and probably the most entertaining of all is the Death Race. Death Races send you around the track trying not to die while a spiked grinder thing tries to run you down. Each car that gets crushed, or dies in some other way gives every survivor a point, and the first to fifteen wins.

BlazeRush features sixteen vehicles to choose from. These vehicles have three basic styles car, flyer, and tank. Cars control like you would expect and take turns normally. Jets hover slightly off the ground and steer a bit differently. Tanks are often heavy and knock other vehicles out of the way easily, but handle like a car before power steering and even worse when boosting. Targem Games did a solid job at making all of the vehicles look and feel different despite having them all having the same natural speed.

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Action often stays close and frenetic in BlazeRush

There are quite a few weapons in BlazeRush, which all serve vastly different purposes. The machine gun shoots a hail of bullets in front of your car, causing impacted racers to spin out of control. The buzzsaw blade can ricochet off walls and can be effective against targets while turning. Heat-seeking missiles track opponents and force them to swerve, slowing them down if they do manage to evade the missile. Slime slows down any impacted racers and a missed shot stays on the field to try to hit other racers, while the force blast item is great for knocking foes off track during curves. BlazeRush also throws out a large number of boosts as well that vary in length and power.

All of the items have some use and are never worth just throwing away as some items are in racing games, but they do have a few issues. First of all, because the items fall from the sky, you’ll often have to change course drastically to get an item causing you to lose even more ground to the leader. It’s also harder to get items in the back of a group because they’ll get pushed out of the way by the cars ahead. I also found it strange that some items actually speed up the target when they’re hit. As an example, missiles send cars flying through the air when hit, but on straight track cars will just land far ahead of where they would have been if they weren’t hit.

The career mode has a lot of different things to do, adding time trials, and tutorials on weapons and boosts as you unlock them. Gaining cups by winning races or accomplishing special objectives unlocks more races and characters to play. Medals are also doled out for doing cool things in-game like knocking a car off track or hitting yourself with a weapon. The cup and medal systems always made me feel rewarded for playing through career mode. The difficulty definitely cranks it up to eleven in the final couple worlds too, making those last few cups nightmares to get.

Online play supports up to eight racers

Online play supports up to eight racers

Offline, BlazeRush supports four player couch co-op, and that is where it shines. Games are heated and tense down to the final turn and BlazeRush is one of those games that you should definitely play at a party. The online games I played were equally addicting as well; however, occasionally I would find myself skipping small parts of the track.

Graphically, BlazeRush manages to keep up with all the wild action going on without any slowdown. Items drop from the sky and get moved around by cars, but never glitch out or worse, cause wrecks like I expected them to. Any picked up item also modifies your vehicles appearance to help you and your foes quickly know what item you have. My only qualm with the game is that the action on screen sometimes gets so hectic that you can lose track of your car. It doesn’t happen particularly often, but it happens enough to notice. The sounds and music are all solid as well and never feel out of place.

BlazeRush as a whole is definitely flawed, but it’s ultimately fun. Its simplicity makes it easy for anyone to pick up and enjoy, especially when playing with others.Simply put, BlazeRush takes all the fun of old-school racing and brings it back to life.


About the Author

Bryan Boshart

Hey, I'm Bryan. I write video game reviews here at We The Nerdy. In my spare time I mostly play fighting games, but play almost anything.

 
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