For one reason or another, there's been a whole lot of streamlining taking place in game design today. I hear that there are now RPGs being released without towns. Towns! What's next? Sports games without points? Shooters without invisible health bars? Action games without double jumps? As it turns out, our good friends at Nitrome are no designer-come-latelies, as they've decided to eschew just about everything in the RPG formula except pulse-pounding combat, our favorite weapons with elemental properties, and a single item shop. How's that for streamlining? Welcome to Blast RPG, Nitrome's latest fusion of action and role-playing excitement.
The steadfast knight in this game has decided that all that romping through dank dungeons and random-encounter-laden forests is overrated; instead, he launches himself out of a cannon through waves of enemies to see how far he can get. Certainly a creative, if not unorthodox solution. Click your mouse to fire the cannon at the get-go, accounting for angle and power, and then hold the left mouse button down in a direction to give the airborne knight a general idea of where he should aim for.
Levels are cleared by specific distance milestones that must be met, which is where all that combat comes into play. Trouncing enemies that your fighter meets on the fly will give him an extra boost into the air, but be warned: some foes are of distinct elemental persuasions. You can "equip" different weapons by clicking them on the bottom selector, so you can always be prepared. That space is also where you can activate a trove of items, ranging from mighty spells to temporary stat increases and other trinkets a warrior flying at 90 miles per hour might find useful.
The game's a fantastic distraction for a little while, not to mention a unique twist on the "launch" genre, but the action begins to diminish in longer sessions of play. Aside from new monsters and changing backgrounds, the gameplay doesn't evolve through the levels, and despite the knight's best efforts to rocket over all those random-encounter-infested areas, the fact still remains that the appearance of monsters on screen is fairly random, and can end a glorious run with a single dry stretch. Still, there's some old-fashioned RPG fun to be had in leveling up your gladiator, and seeing just how far you can get the little guy to go. If you enjoy the game's streamlined simplicity, you'll find this RPG to be a blast.