|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: BudCat||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Majesco||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 10, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
User created content has quickly become a popular focus for console game makers in the industry. Allowing players to create and share the fruits of their creative labor is certainly a great idea that many PC gamers have already enjoyed for many years. With the realization that console gamers may also enjoy the ability to make and modify their own content, several games have already jumped on the make-your-own-experience bandwagon. The latest entry into this category of games is Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy for the Wii.
Far too frequently the expense for this additional creative freedom comes at the cost of the actual game that comes packaged with these often celebrated editing tools. When players can create their own content, it can occasionally feel like the actual game has been developed solely around this idea. Unfortunately, Blast Works comes dangerously close to accurately fitting this description. The single-player experience is a remarkably short one, taking roughly an hour or two to breeze through. With only fifteen fairly short levels, the game itself seems only to serve as an extended demonstration of how levels should function and how to control your ship.
This isn't to say that this brief burst of old school gameplay isn't satisfying or difficult. While it may be over far too quickly, Blast Works does provide an excellent and unique horizontal shooting experience. Players are given control of a tiny ship that must blast its way to the end of each level while trying to avoid being shot. The major difference between this title and the plethora of similar titles that have come before it is how this is best achieved. Shooters of this ilk usually force players to skillfully navigate through hordes of enemies with seemingly erratic firing patterns. Blast Works still allows for this kind of gameplay but fortunately doesn't completely rely on it.
Whenever a foe is destroyed in the game it will break into pieces and fall from the sky. Players are then able to catch the falling debris to add these parts to their existing ship. When dispatched enemies attach to your ship they function as both a shield and a weapon upgrade. Destroying and collecting ships while playing through levels is quite gratifying and makes the gameplay feel incredibly fresh. Most levels play out as though you are trying to make a snowball, starting off with a tiny nondescript ship and ending with a hulking mass of random ship parts spewing blue death upon anything that happens to try to share the screen with it.
Once you have a screen-filling ship, the game does tend to get a tad on the easy side, but getting to that point can often be rather challenging. Catching falling debris requires quite a bit of timing and finesse, as the placement and direction they are pointing can be very crucial. Weapons attached in the wrong direction will not help during most firefights, and pieces that become damaged will continue to break away, leaving your very vulnerable ship exposed. Even on the game's easiest difficulty setting, creating an imposing blue sparkler can be difficult to accomplish but is well worth the effort.