Tuesday, February 7, 2012

8-Bit Flashback: Power Blade (NES)

In addition to my room full of toys that I feature here on this blog I also have a decent video game collection that I'd like to share.  I'll start off my new feature, X-Bit Flashback with one of my favorite NES games - Power Blade.

I've often heard that this game is a rip-off of the Mega Man franchise and after I first played the game I can see some of the similarities.  Your character is primarily dressed in blue.  The game play is very very similar and you can even select the order of the various levels you want to tackle.  However I found out that most of these similarities first originated with the Japanese Famicom game.  In Japan Power Blade was called Power Blazer.  Take a look at your character and tell me if you get a Mega Man vibe.

Thankfully however when the game was ported to the NES for U.S. audiences the game was given a face lift.

This anime looking Mega Man wanna be hero was replaced with a more generic western "action hero".  Your character wasn't the only thing that changed when it Power Blade was replaced.  While the level design basically stayed the same the graphics were changed and updated.  The difficulty level also changed making Power Blade so much easier than Power Blazer.  I own both versions of this game and I can concur with this statement.  Power Blazer in my opinion is on the same difficulty level as the first Castlevania game.

The game takes place in the colony of New Earth in the year 2191 and follows NOVA, the Chief Security Officer of a super computer called the Master Computer.  He must restore the Master Computer which has been taken offline by aliens by retrieving data tapes located in six sectors.  Armed with a boomerang he must complete all six levels, overcoming obstacles and defeating any enemies in his way.  The game's name comes from an item found in several levels; The Power Suit is an item that looks like a helmet.  When collected Nova automatically equips the metal suit. This allows the player to shoot energy blasts known as "Power Blades" in any of the 8 directions and through most surfaces.

The game can easily be found online (such as GameGavel.com) for a few dollars and is worth the purchase.  It's easy to say that if you are a fan of the Mega Man franchise then you'll probably like the game, but even if you've never played any of the blue bomber's games I think you'll find Power Blade a fun "blast from the past".  If you want to give the game a test run then check out a playable version HERE courtesy of VirtualNES.com.

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