Undeniably my favorite game for the TurboGraphx-16 and my favorite shooter of all time, Blazing Lazers is a feast for the eyes, ears, and thumbs.
Now I’m not sure what the story of the game is. From the opening cutscene, it looks as though a huge alien spaceship has appeared near Earth and you have been sent in a high-tech space fighter to destroy it. If that’s the story, it’s good enough. If not, who cares? Story doesn’t really matter here. What matters is that you are flying a fast and powerful spaceship through waves of enemy fighters, turrets, and obstacles and doing mass destruction in the process. You view this spaceship from top down (not from the side like Lifeforce), and fly up, up, always up, causing mayhem as you go.
What makes me love Blazing Lazers? A few things:
1) Power-Ups. Blazing Lazers has a unique power-up system. There are four types of weapons (protons, waves, lasers, and rings) and four types of enhancements (multibody, full force, shields, and missiles). What’s even more unique is that these Power-Ups and enhanancements are cumulative (the more of each you get, the stronger you become) and can combine in unusual ways. Get full force with rings, and each ring will shoot out a beam of its own. Get multibody with lasers, and each multibody will shoot a laser. When you get fully power-uped and enhanced in any of these ways, you become nearly unstoppable. Oh, and you have some all-screen-destroy bombs as well.
2) Music and Sound Effects. Superb. The music, though perhaps not the best, is engaging, and the sound effects, particularly shooting and exploding effects, really make you think you have fired up something and blown it up.
3) Levels. The nine levels are great. The first two are in outer space, apparently the exterior of the ship. After that, though, you seem to enter the ship where you find all kinds of crazy levels: a desert level, a “bubble” level, a flesh level. It’s gets real crazy and doesn’t make much sense (it makes more sense if you figure that you have entered the ship and are encountering all these strange areas inside, but even then it doesn’t that much sense). But again, who cares? You’re destroying stuff and that’s all that matters.
4) Action. This game is fast and furious. While I was playing it at a friend’s house, somebody remarked, “How can you keep up with that?” I don’t know how I did it, but it wasn’t easy. The game is fast-paced. The enemies don’t let up. If you lose your Power-Ups, you’re in deep trouble. You can also adjust the speed of your craft to your liking (I like mine a little slower and more controllable).
5) Graphics. Beautiful and bright. Not photo-realistic like in today’s games, but the best of the 8- and 16-bit eras. In other words, the kind of graphics I like.
In short, I don’t just recommend Blazing Lazers. I demand that you play it. When you do, you can thank me. If you don’t, your life will be the lesser for it.