Worms Blast (PS2)

Review

posted 11/26/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
Platforms: PS2
Here’s an idea, let’s take an addictive game, remove all of the addictive elements and inject some simplistic puzzles. Crop it up a little bit, spruce up the graphics just a tad bit and BOOM! We’ve got ourselves a new franchise, Worms Blast and it’s a blast all right, a blast right to the bargain bin.

Don’t come here expecting some furious turn-based action because you’re not going to get it. Instead you’ll get a game that has been reduced to what can best be described as a Puzzle Bobble/ Bust-A-Move clone that’s just not much fun to play. You’ll fire different colored rockets in an effort to (you guessed it) destroy like colored blocks. Green rockets will destroy green blocks and red rockets will destroy red bubbl- err I mean blocks. The twist? Your characters move around on boats so that you can move horizontally on two planes as opposed to being stuck in the center. This means that you’ll be able to manually move around to get a better angle on those pesky blocks/bubbles/jewels/animal heads/whatever.

Gameplay is just as you would expect it to be, addictive if you want it to be and bland if you want it to be. It truly is in the eye of the beholder. If you’re like my girlfriend and you have the attention span of a cat then you’ll no doubt be entertained by the meddlesome and repetitive gameplay. If you’ve grown tired of the same cut-and-dry gameplay that has populated similar spin-offs since day one then I suggest you stay as far away from this one as possible. It’s just not fun, really who wants to destroy little colored blocks with a rocket launcher? There are tons of games out there that have a far better grasp of the idea than Worm’s Blast does, Puzzle Fighter and Bust-a-Move 2 come to mind. Here’s a novel concept, how about we use those weapons to blow the hell out of our opponents? Oh wait, that’s already been done before.

The game gets a little better in the multiplayer mode thanks to the weapons that can be picked up. This is the only time where you’ll actually be able to beat the hell out of your opponents, albeit in limited fashion. Periodically the split-screen will open up and mold into one screen. In this time you can rain hell upon your opponents but for some reason, it’s just not as fun. Where’s the sheep? Where are the banana grenades and most importantly, where’s the all-mighty prod? There’s a deathmatch mode but really, how fun is combat between two worms? Oh yea, a little bit of four-player action would have been nice too but then again, I doubt that would be able to break up the monotony.

Everything looks just as you would imagine it to look, colorful yet bland. The backgrounds are pretty well done and contain a sort of cartoony/hand-drawn appeal. The worms are pretty standard fare and feature no distinguishing elements. You’ll be able to select from a handful of characters but I doubt you’d be able to tell the difference. There’s your usual worms, a penguin and a hamburgler-looking thing, all of which are basically the same. There are some nice water effects going on underneath your boat but since it’s not the main focus of the game, you’ll hardly ever notice it’s there.

The audio has usually been a pretty entertaining aspect of the Worms games but this time around, it’s pretty bland and forgettable. The music is of the generic happy go lucky “hey this must be a puzzle game” variety. The sound is what you’d expect from a worms game, but dampened to the 10th power.

Worms Blast might appeal to those who are looking to get the most out of their worms games but that’s about it. Puzzle games have a very niche audience so those who just absolutely need another puzzle game just might want to check this out. Be forewarned though, it’s not nearly as addictive as the other games and it fails to have that “just one more game” quality that most of them retain. It’s a snoozefest in nearly every respect.



F
It’s worms with most of the fundamental elements removed. What you have is a stripped down puzzle game that may appeal to the niche audience but in all honesty, isn’t too much fun to play.


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