SunSoft Surprise: Blaster Master Overdrive (WiiWare)

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After a 22-year layoff, S.O.P.H.I.A. is ready for more action. Are you?

It was just weeks ago that gamers were treated to the news that once-dormant publisher SunSoft was making a comeback. The popular NES version of Blaster Master was the company’s first delivery, which made lots of fans smile… but a bigger surprise was in store, and SunSoft made it official with a rare weekend announcement: a new Blaster Master is coming. Well… sort of.

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This game looks as hot as the lava shown here... but the game won't hurt you.

Blaster Master: Overdrive is hitting the Wii Shop Channel on Monday, February 8th. Defined as a “re-imagining” by localization guru and SunSoft collaborator Gaijinworks head Victor Ireland, Blaster Master: Overdrive will look very familiar to players of the NES classic. Side-scrolling and overhead-perspective levels will be the norm, and original enemies and gameplay concepts will be joined by new ones and a visual upgrade will be noticed almost right away. Interestingly enough, whereas the NES game’s story revolved around a boy and his missing pet frog, Overdrive presents Alex, an adult protagonist fights his way through virally mutated and aggressive animals in an effort to save the world. What remains constant is the vehicle, S.O.P.H.I.A., which is still as nimble and powerful in 2010 as she was in 1988.

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Boss battles await!

Few concrete details are known about Blaster Master: Overdrive, as the first tidbits were released just today. What is known is that the game will span eight levels, each with its own end boss to defeat… just like the 8-bit days! As with the original, upgrades for both Alex and S.O.P.H.I.A. can be collected to power up weapons and level the playing field against the mutated monsters. We also know that the game will cost 1,000 Wii Points ($10USD), so it’s on par with other retro reboots that we’ve seen for WiiWare in recent months, such as Konami‘s Contra Rebirth and Castlevania Rebirth offerings.

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What's old is new again as S.O.P.H.I.A. demonstrates her agility.

Retro gamers have had multiple reasons to celebrate lately, and this announcement should generate more cheers. SunSoft’s own rebirth has spawned some surprises already, and Blaster Master: Overdrive looks like it could be a solid WiiWare entry that could compete for time against other heavy hitters this week.

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