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BlazeFury review - A casual twist on the classic shmup


For: iPad   Also on: iPhone
Summary Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  

What in blazes?

Product: BlazeFury | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
As unlikely as it sounds, BlazeFury is kind of like an idle tapper take on an old school shmup.

Which, as it turns out, doesn't result in an immediately satisfying experience.

Give it a little time, however, and BlazeFury grows into a surprisingly absorbing game.

Shmup to no good

This is essentially a side-scrolling shoot-'em-up, but one where you have no direct control over your movement or weapons.

Your tough little ship ploughs straight ahead, and any damage you sustain can be recovered through health drops from downed enemies.



As for the shooty stuff, you engage incoming waves of enemies by swiping over them. This will cause your ship's automated weapons to train on them in sequence, like some kind of 2D Rez.

The action could have felt a little dry and remote, but the game's bold colour scheme and chunky 3D visuals do a lot to pull you in.

Another thing that helps you feel involved is the need to activate the time-limited status boosts that appear at random, as well as initiating your destructive special when the bar fills up.

Fully tooled up

Still, there's no doubting that the onus here is more on how you upgrade and set-up your ship in between levels, using the in-game currency you mine through each run.

There are plenty of ways you can spend your cash. You can unlock and upgrade new weapons, and then select which combination to fit into the limited (but expandable) slots.



I particularly liked the gravity gun, which pulled multiple enemies to one spot. It linked well with the more destructive ordinance, like the armour-piercing Gamma Ray or the area-of-effect missiles.

It's also possible to increase the number, power, and role of your accompanying drones, as well as purchasing completely new ships with enhanced core abilities.

Grindcore

The structure of the game means that you will inevitably butt your head up against failure at various points.

Obviously that's a familiar feeling to any shmup fan, but the difference here is that you'll fail because your stats simply weren't high enough for the particular task rather than a shortfall of skill on your part.



That can get rather annoying, and the only way around it is to go back to previous levels and grind. Fortunately, multiple goals (such as hitting multiple combos or beating a particularly tough unit) give you added incentives to return.

It's just a shame that the layout and flow of the levels is rather samey. One tends to meld into the next, with little in the way of distinguishing marks.

For applying a casual-friendly yet fresh spin on a decidedly hardcore genre, however, BlazeFury has to be considered a success.
 
BlazeFury review - A casual twist on the classic shmup
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 1 June 2018
A surprisingly involving - if somewhat repetitive - casual-friendly spin on the hardcore shmup genre
 
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