FullBlast (PS4) Review

I’m more of a puzzle and adventure fan than shooters, but I do have a guilty pleasure of playing one every now and again for some mindless carnage. FullBlast is a surprisingly solid shooter with full 3D rendered environments and even an old-school feel to it with its portrait orientation and border. Published by Ratalaika Games and developed by Eskema Games (formally known as UFO Crash Games), I was actually surprised at how much fun I was having with this game due to its low price and Cross-buy functionality. I was equally as surprised when the Platinum trophy popped within less than half an hour…

That’s right, this is another game which trophy hunters will swarm to for the easy platinum and get overlooked by the general gamer – even though it’s a really fun game with some cool visuals and mechanics. Let’s take a look.

FullBlast 1

It’s all up to you now!

As with most small indie shooters, the story is simple – aliens have invaded and it’s up to you to get out there and take them out! That’s about it, you’ll be in control of a well armoured and equipped plane, flying above the rather neat looking 3D environments, shooting down hundreds of alien lifeforms and bosses as they mercilessly come at you in search for blood! The combat mechanics are solid, with the ability to auto fire by just holding down Cross and a ‘bomb’ attack which is basically a line of other ships which comes in from the rear and takes out everything on the screen. Also, unlike a few other shooters we’ve reviewed recently like Shikhondo – Soul Eater, FullBlast is more forgiving like an old-school arcade title rather than a modern-day bullet-hell game.

Also, you don’t have to go into this fight alone as two players can join together and take on the evil alien threat in local couch co-op mode. This is another game where you can only select the two player option if you have two controllers turned on and logged into a profile – I had the same situation with Super Destronaut DX as well. It’s a lot of fun playing with another person if you have one to hand as you both have your own scores which allow you to see who can rack up the most points. 

Whichever mode you opt for, you can switch between easy, normal and hard mode within the options (something I didn’t even realise until just now) and post your high score online for each difficulty. However, I played through the game on normal and I managed to get quite far before I died as you’re given quite a lot of health in-game. I imagine easy would be far to easy for the average gamer, as such, I recommend playing on normal or hard.

FullBlast 2

If you get in trouble, call on your squad to come in and take down your foes.

If you’ve read my Jack n’ Jill review, which I posted earlier, I made reference to an issue I have with recent Ratalaika games and briefly mentioned that there was a second game I was going to bring this issue up in – this is that second game. Whereas Jack n’ Jill took around 20 minutes to obtain the platinum trophy, FullBlast took me just under 30 minutes. Super Destronaut DX, which I mentioned above, took me around 15-20 minutes. As I said in the other review, I don’t mind easy platinums, but all of these games, including Tetra’s Escape as well, don’t even require you to finish the game in order to achieve the platinum. It’s a trait which is devaluing the games and making them look like cheap terrible games which trophy hunters use to obtain easy platinums – thus leaving a poor impression to the general gamer.

Just look at how many times people have said they refuse to buy games like My name is Mayo, Mr. Massagey, 36 Fragments and others, just because they are seen as cheap platinums without any gameplay – even though some of those games, like 36 fragments, are actually really good. As such, Ratalaika Games published titles have become known, in forums over on PSNProfiles and other places, as piss-easy platinum games, thus creating a stigma around owning them.

It’s a shame because, just like Jack n’ Jill, I really enjoyed playing FullBlast and it’s actually a lot better than some of the bigger shooter-based games I’ve played, yet it will fly under a lot of peoples radars (no pun intended). The game has an 89.9% platinum percentage rate on PSN. This is, once again, because it has its own set of trophies, different from those which are present in-game, which only requires you to complete three out of the 12 levels. So, it’s not as bad as 1/7th of the game, like in Jack n’ Jill, but considering FullBlast has 12 levels, that’s only 1/4 of the game required to be played before the vast majority of people will just stop…

FullBlast 3

I love the comical ‘Boom’ every time something is killed.

Personal opinion:
I’m not going to go on about the platinum anymore in this review as I’m not sure if it’s the developers or the publisher who pushes these trophies and picks what constitutes a platinum, but I feel more satisfying trophies and a reason to finish the game in its entirety is better than a cheap notch on someone’s trophy list. 

Regardless, I actually really enjoyed FullBlast. I thought the use of 3D rendered environments worked really well as it mixed an old-school arcade shmup with modern 3D graphics. At times, the screen will stop as you hover and will start slowly spinning clockwise as you attack a boss or an onslaught of enemies whilst the buildings below are spinning around – I thought that was pretty cool as it adds an extra layer of depth to the visuals. Also, there isn’t much variety in terms of attacks, as you only have one weapon, but you can pick up upgrades which double or even triples your bullet output as well as beefs up the damage and spread.

I played a large chunk of the 12 missions on offer and I can happily say that on normal, they get pretty hard! It’s not as intense as bullet hell games, but there were times where I was frantically moving around trying to dodge all the bullets whilst furiously blasting the S.O.Bs out of the sky! This is another title where I would actually strongly recommend you play it without focusing on the trophies – continue playing after you get the platinum and you’ll get a lot more out of the game rather than stopping once your unlock it.

Official Trailer:

Final Conclusion:
FullBlast is a cool vertical shooter which offers a decent amount of content if you opt to play all the levels. The 3D environments make for an interesting battlefield, especially when the screen begins to rotate and you see all the buildings below spin around as you’re taking out the alien invasion. The music is almost a Rock compilation and fits the mood perfectly, it really gets you pumped for showing these E.T.s who’s boss! Just like other Ratalaika Games titles, I would advise you to carry on playing after the 30 minute platinum as the game only gets better as you progress through all 12 levels.

Fans of shooter games, or even casual gaming fans, will enjoy this title. It isn’t feature-rich in terms of mechanics but it’s a nice thrown back to old-school arcade vertical shooters with modernised graphics. It’s also Cross-buy on the PS Vita and PS4, so two platinums for the price of one.

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A copy of the game was kindly provided for review purposes

FullBlast

£4.99
7.5

Final Score

7.5/10

The Good:

  • Nice, clean and sharp 3d visuals
  • Runs really well on the PS4 (Vita had a few framerate issues but there have been patches)
  • Quite addictive and fun to play through
  • Local co-op mode
  • Accessible to people of all ages and skill levels

The Bad:

  • The platinum pops up too early - ater 30 mins and only 1/4 of the game completed
  • Not much variety in terms of weapons with only one plane on offer
  • May be a bit too simple for hard-core fans of shmups

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