Personal Favorite: BLAST CORPS
Blast Corps was another cult hit by Rare on the Nintendo 64. It released in 1997 to moderate sales but tremendous reviews, as it was the 2nd highest rated N64 game on Metacritic at the time of release. In Blast Corps you control various vehicles and mech suits in an effort to destroy buildings, terrain and other objectives in a variety of game modes. The game never had any sequels but was rereleased in the Rare Replay collection on XBox One.
Blast Corps’ cover art shows us only a couple examples from the large stable of vehicles you’ll be controlling in the game as you destroy your way through environments time and time again. Visually this is not a beautiful game by any sense when you come back to it. Its a bit blurry, especially during some destruction animations, but at the time it came out it was one of the better looking games for the system. The sound effects are great, with different ones for each individual vehicle. Soundtrack came off a little weak to me at first when I was replaying Blast Corps but as I progressed a wider variety of music was introduced and it finished strong.
But lets get real here, in Blast Corps you could care less about the sound or visuals, you wanna tear shit up. You’re placed in a vehicle, told what to do (usually destroy X amount of terrain in X time or destroy all terrain in the path of this other emergency vehicle while its in motion so it can reach its destination safely) and immediately have to spring into fast paced demolition. Blast Corps is all about destruction and it has it in spades. Blast Corps brings you back to that inner child mentality, when you were a boy ramming your Tonka truck through the Lego buildings you had just set up, sending bricks flying left and right. It captures all the fun of those moments but without the annoying clean-up and you inevitably stepping on stray Legos in the middle of the night. You would think that in Blast Corps you would get tired of just destroying environments time and time again but there are enough different courses, objectives and vehicles to keep you more than satiated. Just when you think you’ve mastered the handling of a bulldozer you’re given a dump truck that can only destroy things when its back collides with buildings at high speeds, forcing you to master power sliding (no easy feat in my opinion). Just when you get the hang of that you start a level and suddenly find yourself controlling a giant Transformers-esque mech, rocketing yourself through buildings to demolish an entire city in a set amount of time. Simply finishing a course is easy. But if you want to earn a gold star you’re gonna have to find RDU objects, destroy every inch of terrain and rescue citizens. Doing so requires speed and skill of a crazy degree. The game is original, challenging and addictive.
You may think Blast Corps sounds simple, and in actuality it is, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most fun experiences you’ll have in a video game, regardless of how aged the game looks at this point.