Blast Brigade vs the Evil Legion of Dr. Creadby Aethyna Jun 30, 2022 | 1 Votes | 77 Played | 0 Reviews
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Featuring the kind of hilarious supervillain tropes commonly found spy movies in the 80s, Blast Brigade vs the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread is a brilliant metroidvania adventure where you get to take on the role of B.L.A.S.T. Agent Jeff Jefferson. Help him and his team bring the supervillain, Dr. Cread, to justice!
In 1989, the secret organization called B.L.A.S.T. is formed to combat the rising wave of global super crime.
One of these supervillains in question is a Dr. Cread. His supreme intelligence has made him feel alienated by his peers and after years of failing to try to fit in by lowering his mental cognition, he decided to just embrace his true self even if that means embracing his audacious reformist self with extreme grandiose ambition.
B.L.A.S.T. has sent their best and brightest… well, maybe not the brightest… agent, Jeff Jefferson and his team, to apprehend Dr. Cread on his home turf, a remote tropical island that he has stolen from the locals, while enslaving them, and built his base on.
However, during his flight there, his jet was shot down by Dr. Cread’s anti-air defenses and he was left alone as his teammates were either captured by Dr. Cread’s minions or was lost in the thick of the jungle. Playing as Jeff, it’s up to you now to traverse the maze-like island, rescue your teammates, set up a base of operations, and most importantly, find a way to take Dr. Cread out once and for all!
The story in this game features funny cold-war comedy quips, especially once you met Shura, the Russian super spy who is also after Dr. Cread. There’s a bit of a banter between the American agent, Jeff, and Shura. The game also parodies the kind of spy movies that are prevalent in the 1980s and it does it very well, whether it is the dialogue, the character personalities, the cutscenes, or even the voice acting!
As a metroivania, you can expect lots of platforming fun here in Blast Brigade. The gameplay is both approachable and yet challenging. The game starts off easy with simple platform-to-platform jumps but you’ll gain new actions later on that will allow you to swing from one ring hook to another via grappling hook, or dash across larger gaps.
Like any good metroidvania, the game also provides you with a fast travel option once you’ve unlocked it by finding the motorcycle stop. It’ll only allow you to fast travel to certain points on the map though and that you can’t just summon it whenever you like.
There are plenty of backtracking to be had here as well. You see, as you progress, you’ll unlock new weapons and abilities that will then allow you access to certain previously inaccessible areas. These areas usually contain valuable loot such as a PDA module (more on this later), a fragment of a heart that will add 1 to your max life once complete, or a fabricator which you’ll need to upgrade your infrastructure on the island after you’ve rescued your first teammate/the engineer of the group, Santiago De Armas, and set up a base of operations at the seaside village.
This, in addition to the many secret stashes strewn throughout the map that only can be found by the inquisitive and the observant (they are usually hidden by some foliage so take note!), is all very metroidvania-like, so if you’re experienced with the genre, you should know exactly what you’re signing up for. If not, the game does slowly ease you in with a basic tutorial at the very beginning and will only introduce new abilities and features as you venture further along the story.
Once you’ve saved De Armas, you’ll also gain a PDA that will now allow you to activate any PDA modules that you might get in your adventures. These modules, in turn, will grant your character special abilities, usually passive ones, such as being invulnerable for a much longer period of time after being hit, or being able to gain an energy charge if you lose a life. Note that you’ll need an energy charge to use Jeff’s signature weapon to lob a bomb at either a destructible barrier or an enemy.
The modules are categorized into tiers, however, and you can only activate one module per tier. That said, you can easily switch between the modules you need, especially before taking on a boss, by simply finding a resting spot/save point (it’ll save your game) – a hammock – and going to the PDA interface. The tiers will also have to be first activated by equipping a PDA battery. There are 7 tiers in total, so eventually, you’ll be able to equip up to 7 modules at a time.
Of course, considering how many of Dr. Cread’s minions, as well as the many mutated flora and fauna that exist on the island, no thanks to the “good” doctor’s unfettered experiments, you’ll want to have a good variety of weapons on hand to take them all out.
Starting with the basic assault rifle that has unlimited ammo, you’ll eventually unlock your first support weapon, Boomstick (shotgun), which is super effective against certain enemies, namely the flying bugs that tend to dive-attack you in swarms of 2 or more. However, note that support weapons have limited ammo and you can always get more by picking up the ammo drops from defeated enemies.
Jeff also has a special grenade launcher that can destroy certain barriers, allowing him entry to walled off locations. However, the gun uses energy charges and you get only 3 at the start. Like ammo, you can get more energy charges as random drops from fallen enemies, or you could simply find a save point – again, a hammock – to restore all charges, as well as all lost lives.
This might be a bit of a spoiler, but after defeating the Gobbler (boss), you’ll gain the ability to switch between two characters, specifically Jeff and Shura, as well. This unlocks a host of other abilities, allowing you to make use of Shura’s powerful sniper rifle (though ammo is limited) and her super useful grappling hook, making the game a lot more fun to play.
Exploration is key in any metroidvania, and this is done very well here in Blast Brigade. There are plenty to do and see as you travel from the beach to the jungle to even Dr Cread’s toxic waste ducts. There are lots of secrets stashes to find, some of which may require very precise platforming skills, and sometimes, you might even find quest givers, like the Henchmaniac, who will give you a side quest to do for extra rewards.
I should also point out that Blast Brigade isn’t exactly a brutal metroidvania either. Although you’ll immediately lose a life whenever your character gets hit, the game gives you a way, thanks to the B.L.A.S.T. issued cure flask, to restore 2 lives per charge. You only get a single charge at first, but you can unlock more charges via upgrades. Note that you can restore all charges by heading to a save point.
Deaths in this game aren’t particularly penalizing as well. Yes, you do lose a fraction of the gold you’ve accumulated but you can easily get them back by heading back to the location where you died. There should be a bag of gold on the ground that you can just pick right back up. This applies if you die by accidentally falling into a vat of toxic waste or getting killed by a boss too. The bag of coins will be spawned a distance away from any danger but will be close enough to your death location to that it’s easy enough to find.
Personally, my favorite part of the game, besides finding secrets in unexpected places, is definitely the boss fights. Each boss has different attack patterns and abilities that you’ll do well to learn and memorize since it’ll definitely make the fight goes way more smoothly.
Usually, it’ll take me 2 to 4 attempts before I can defeat a boss, be it the giant cyborg jellyfish, the Cyber Gorgonaut; the Siegebot; the Gobbler, or even the Strange Ninja Lady, who turns out to be Shura. However, every time I die, I know exactly why – it’s completely my fault – and that it’s not because of an unfair game mechanism. Couple that with the fac that the penalty for dying isn’t harsh in this game, all of this encourages me to try and try again… until one day, I managed to give the boss a good whopping.
There are also elite fights along the way as you travel. Your character will be trapped in a room and enemies will teleport into the room to fight you. There’s usually an elite, a tougher-than-usual enemy, at the end that you’ll have to defeat before the doors will unlock and you can then go on your merry way. Enemies respawn in this game however, so if you exit an area and moved on to the next, you can expect the enemies from the previous area to respawn if you decided to head on back. This doesn’t apply for bosses and elites though, thank goodness!
Blast Brigade features beautiful cartoonish art with vibrant colors and smooth animations, making fights so satisfying to behold. The cutscenes are incredible here and has the kind of humor that’s on par with a kids’ cartoon show.
In terms of sound, I love how the music in this game fits the theme and the scenes so perfectly. The voice acting here is superb too! The voices match the characters and their personalities as well.
In a nutshell, Blast Brigade vs the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread is a solid story-driven 2D metroidvania adventure that not only offers a refreshingly funny theme - most metroidvania tend to be skewed towards the dark and dreary kind, but it also comes with some thrilling platforming action, with plenty of run and gun, exciting boss fights, fun mini-quests to complete, as well as places to explore and secrets to find. It’s an underrated title for sure. So if you’re a fan of the genre, you might want to keep this title in your radar and grab it when you can!