Q-YO Blaster Review
Team Robot Black Hat takes a page from SNK’s playbook with their sprite-based shoot-em-up Q-YO Blaster. The detailed look and bevvy of bullets are most certainly there, but does it have the gameplay to match?
Q-YO Blaster Review
Players will certainly not be starved for options when it comes to this game. Before players even take off, they can choose their character (from pandas, guinea pigs, and more), their firing rate, and whether or not they want to focus on endurance or damage (or a combination of the two).
Different meters add some uniqueness to the game – a Pulse Meter lets you briefly turn bullets into collectible gems, while a Super meter can shoot out a large blast when properly charged. There is also an “assistant” meter that shoots out a number of different missiles when enough damage is dished out.
It’s nice to have these options, but this isn’t the deepest game in the world. The gameplay itself is pretty straightforward for the genre – shoot anything and everything without getting shot yourself. This game could have all the meters in the world to aid you on your journey, but success ultimately boils down to how well you can maneuver enemy patterns and take down the enemy bugs.
These patterns can be kind of difficult to read, if only because of the art direction. The hitbox of each character does not correspond to how much real estate they take up on the screen, which makes it difficult to easily make it through the fodder. In addition, certain bullets do not stand out from the background, so death is often due to a stray bullet that blended in just a little too well. This would be fine if there was a health meter, but this is a one-hit-and-you’re-dead kind of shmup.
This also leads to the art direction – some parts were designed with more care than others. The sprites have many frames of animation and try to tap into the same vein as Cuphead, but they do not contain as much detail. As a result, the game tends to look a little muddy at times, and borderline garish. It’s a shame too, because the potential is most certainly there.
The entirety of Q-YO Blaster’s eight levels can be completed in around 45 minutes, which makes it a little on the short side. Some levels can be completed in a matter of minutes, and are over before they even begin. Outside of some more difficult settings and the different characters, there is not a ton here to keep people going.
Q-YO Blaster has got its heart in the right place, but it doesn’t quite have the follow-through to stand out amongst the greats. It’s art style is both its greatest strength and biggest weakness, and it’s short length means it doesn’t really have much staying power.