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Blast Corps

aka: Blast Dozer
Moby ID: 3623
Nintendo 64 Specs
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Description official descriptions

Get out of the way! A nuclear missile carrier is out of control on a one way-set path, and unless that path is cleared, it will explode as soon as it makes contact with anything, destroying the world. It is up to you to clear the path so that nothing gets in the way of the Carrier.

Blast Corps is a mix of an action and a puzzle game where destruction is key. At the start of each level the player is given a certain vehicle (ranging from robotic suits to trucks or bulldozers), and are told to clear the path for the Carrier. Players need to use their heavy-duty equipment to destroy any buildings, structures, or monuments that stand in the path of the Carrier. The difficulty increases as progress is made, though. Smaller vehicles don't affect certain buildings, and sometimes it's not even a building that's in the way. The player must use the resources around them to clear the path. Players may need a train flatbed to fill a gap, or a crane to move boxes out of the way. The Carrier is always moving, so once the player is done destroying one obstruction, they must get to the next one quickly. While players pursue their mission they must also find six scientists scattered throughout the globe to form a think-tank to solve the problem. The Carrier has to leave Earth, and it's your job to ensure that it will!

Blast Corps features secrets to find. Besides clearing each path for the Carrier, players can go back to a level once it has been completed to take their time and explore. To fully complete a level, players must also find RDUs (Radiation Dispersal Units), which light up on the ground when the player is in close proximity to them, as well as destroy all of the buildings, rescue all of the homeless civilians, which is done by the T-chopper that accompanies the player on every mission. There are also dozens of secret time trial levels that can be found by activating special satellite dishes hidden throughout the levels. If the player manages to get all of the secrets in a level they receive a second medal, and once all of the gold medals are found the developers have a tiny message for them...

Spellings

  • ブラストドーザー - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Nintendo 64 version)

56 People (51 developers, 5 thanks) · View all

Music and SFX
Executive Producer
Game Design
Nintendo Producers
Lead Programmer
Additional Programming
Lead Artist
Additional Artists
Story and Text
Project Manager
Product Test
Original Concept
Emulator Programming
Additional Compression
Additional Artwork
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 87% (based on 34 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 57 ratings with 4 reviews)

Who doesn't like knocking down buildings

The Good
I really enjoyed this game. It let you command many different vehicles. I liked the explosions. I liked the races and the horns.

The Bad
This game had sub-par graphics. The Backlash was probably the worst use of a dump truck. Some levels were extremely difficult.

The Bottom Line
The best demolition game ever

Nintendo 64 · by gamewarrior (5039) · 2004

Is This Such a Good Idea!?

The Good
At one point in my life, Rare was my favourite game developer. Goldeneye, Banjo-Kazooie, Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country, Perfect Dark; they were all extremely quality titles that I enjoyed thoroughly. It’s probably because of Rare that I became more aware of the developers that make the games I play. For some reason, though, I never really got into Blast Corps. I played it during the software starvation that usually comes with a newly released console, but it didn’t set my world on fire. It wasn’t until I finished college when my roommate cited it as one of his favourite games on the Nintendo 64 that I finally gave it some attention.

What really struck me about Blast Corps is how original it is. I can’t think of another game quite like it. The game’s premise is paper thin, but it works well. Basically, a truck carrying a pair of experimental nuclear warheads (that look like hot dogs) is headed towards a safe detonation site. Along the way, however, the hot dogs start leaking, and the driver is forced to lock the carrier onto its course and bail out. Unfortunately, there are a lot of buildings and other obstacles between the carrier and the detonation point, and it’s up to you, a member of an elite demolitions team, to clear everything out of the way before the carrier collides with something and explodes.

To do this, you’re provided with a large number of demolition vehicles which range from straightforward (like a bulldozer) to bizarre (like a car that destroys buildings by ramping into them). Most of the vehicles are very unique and require a different strategy to get the most out of them. Some of them are very easy to use, while others require a lot of practice. Although many of the levels force you to use a specific vehicle, every now and then you’ll be required to switch between a few of them to accomplish your goal. Other times, you can find a simpler vehicle stashed away somewhere on a particularly difficult level, which will make things easier for you, if you can find them.

The game’s concept works surprisingly well on the N64’s limited hardware. Considering that destructible environments still aren’t entirely commonplace in video games, it’s interesting to see them done on the N64. Sure, the buildings were basically just made of exploding blocks, but it was a start. The vehicle control is similar to a lot of top-down racers like Micro Machines, and even Rare’s own R.C. Pro-Am, which can be awkward at first, but will feel natural as you get used to it.

The music and sound is also a high point of Blast Corps. What struck me was the wide variety of music. The game features light-hearted and twangier banjo music, driving hard rock, and even a super-serious synthesized beats. Interestingly, it all fits the context. The explosions have a nice impact to them, and there are a number of comprehensible voice samples. All of it has gone through the N64 muffle filter, but I feel it’s forgivable considering how soon after the system’s launch that the game came out.

The Bad
The camera in Blast Corps is rarely what I’d call a team player. It’s almost always locked at a three quarter angle, except the odd time when it swivels to give a more cinematic view. The C-buttons are used to control the camera, but fiddling with them is usually just an exercise in futility. It is almost guaranteed that it will never zoom out to a pleasing distance, and it’s a matter of luck if you manage to pivot the camera to a good angle. Every so often, the camera will slide its way down to ground level, giving you a glorious view of the play field, but it never stays that way, almost as though it’s teasing you.

If you’re a completionist, this game may frustrate you. Hidden under the meat of the main game, there are a lot of collect-a-thon objectives. The optional objectives include: destroying all of the buildings, activating all of the RDU’s, and rescuing all of the trapped hostages. There are a lot of hidden areas lying in the middle of empty fields, but since the camera doesn’t like to show anything useful, they’re easy to miss. To add to this, there are a number of optional side missions that are never quite as fun as the main story missions. Of course, the key word here is optional, so there’s no use getting upset about features that you can just pass on.

If you do pass on all the collecting, however, Blast Corps is a very short game. In fact, I completed it in two very relaxed sittings. Even if you take the time to complete all of the side missions, the game is still rather brief. The only way to really squeeze the game to an appropriate length is if you try to achieve every gold medal. Then, if it’s still too short, you could always try and obtain the platinum medals, which are near impossible. That may have been the purpose of the game, but it still feels a lot like padding.

There’s also the issue of Backlash, the dump truck. For some reason, Backlash was my favourite vehicle when I was a kid. I guess I must have just really liked dump trucks. See, Backlash has a very different way of knocking down buildings. The idea is to drift into the building so your back end hits them and knocks them down. Unfortunately, the game’s idea of what constitutes as Backlash’s back end differs from mine, and I’d swear it even changes from time to time. So not only do you have to get Backlash’s technique down, you also have to put up with the game’s finickiness, which takes some practice. Rare must have known about Backlash’s stubborn nature, because they used it in all the more difficult levels.

Finally, the storyline might be a turn-off for some gamers. It’s completely riddled with holes and logistical problems. Why, after saving a town from a nuclear explosion, do I have to then demolish the rest of the buildings? How come there’s a set amount of survivors in every area? Why don’t I just clear a new detonation site? Why don’t we demolish the path BEFORE the carrier reaches it? The answer to these questions is simple: I’m reading into it too much. Blast Corps doesn’t take itself seriously and neither should we. The plot is just a thin veil to set the game’s challenge up.

The Bottom Line
I really enjoyed Blast Corps. It’s certainly a unique game design, and the execution is quite solid. It may not be the longest or most memorable game, but its fun while it lasts. It really set the stage in terms of what to expect from Rare. I’d really love to see a current generation sequel to it. I feel it would benefit greatly from modern physics technology. Overall, Blast Corps is a GOOD game, and one that I recommend adding to your N64 library.

Nintendo 64 · by Adzuken (836) · 2009

A challenging, original game

The Good
The premise for this game is awesome. Who hasn't wanted to climb in a bulldozer and destroy everything in your path? The vehicles are original and most of them are fun to play with. The levels are generally well thought out and usually very challenging. After you safely clear the path for the truck you're allowed to return to try to complete all the objectives that allow you to gain higher medals and open up new areas to explore. The graphics and sound fit the game, not great but they're appropriate.

The Bad
This game IS tough. It can almost be too tough. The biggest reason is because some of the vehicle's are next impossible to control.

The Bottom Line
The ultimate destruction derby!

Nintendo 64 · by jeremy strope (160) · 2001

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Blast Corps appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Titles

The game's unfortunate original title was Bull 64, from which it progressed through Heavy Duty Heroes, the truncated Heavy Duty, Blast Radius, Power Dozer and BlastDozer (which encountered copyright problems outside Japan) to the Blast Corps of today.

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • May 1997 (Issue 94) - Game of the Month
  • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #93 (Best 100 Games of All Time)### Awards
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Most Original Game of the Year Runner-Up
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Most Original Game of the Year Runner-Up (Readers' Choice)

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  • MobyGames ID: 3623
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Nintendo Switch added by Lampbane.

Additional contributors: Joshua J. Slone, Alaka, skl, gamewarrior, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance, FatherJack.

Game added April 2, 2001. Last modified July 15, 2024.