With Nintendo’s Super Scope being in the shape of a gigantic bazooka, naturally, we were all waiting for the day when a game would arrive that would involve an in-game bazooka. That game has arrived, so get ready for a Blitzkrieg – Bazooka Blitzkrieg!
Name: Bazooka Blitzkrieg (AKA Destructive)
Developer: Tose Co., Ltd.
Released on: SNES
Original Release Date: October 1992
Known in Japan under the slightly more pedestrian title, Destructive, Bazooka Blitzkrieg is all about blowing stuff up with a big gun. Blitzkrieg is the German term for a short, shocking war tactic that hits enemies hard and fast, but can the same be said of this Operation Wolf-style scrolling light gun game?
Bazooka Blitzkrieg plays it incredibly safe from the start. Its story is of the very typical “robots go out of control and start killing everyone” school of narrative design, and as such it’s all hopelessly generic. If it weren’t for the occasional mission briefing in-between levels, you wouldn’t even know there was an attempt at a story – You don’t even get a proper ending until you finish the game on Expert difficulty.
There are but five levels standing between you and the end the game, with three separate difficulty settings in which to tackle them on. Five levels don’t sound like a lot, especially when there is a checkpoint in each level, and infinite continues as well – But Bazooka Blitzkrieg is surprisingly tough. The onslaught of enemies all take a fair few shots to kill, and they’re constantly whittling your health down at the same time. Expect to die a lot, at least until you memorise the placement of every enemy so you can promptly take them down before they do the same to you.
Each level’s boss is also a bit tricky, as their weak points aren’t always too clear. Some bosses most definitely have a knack to defeating them, and again they are constantly firing missiles and bullets at you, so there’s a certain sense of urgency to defeat them.
What should sound like a short game is certainly not the case here? Enemies are just too powerful and take too many shots to take down – It just becomes a memory game where you essentially have to start firing and enemies the moment they appear to avoid dying. Even with those infinite continues, it’s incredibly annoying. There just aren’t enough power-ups either, and irritatingly I ran into an item that when shot, takes health away from you, way more than I found items that actually helped. Your standard machine gun feels too weak, and the missiles you can launch are in too short supply to be of any use.
While the bosses are a little more interesting as opponents, the standard grunts are most definitely very weak in terms of design. The whole game you’ll be facing generic robots in red, yellow, blue and green hues, and there’s very little to differentiate them all, to be honest. Some occasionally pop up in weird jet bikes, while eventually, a few nasty helicopters come into play – But throughout the game, you’re just facing the same enemies over and over again and it just gets tiring.
It doesn’t help that the entire game’s graphics are just so bland, with muted pastel colours and lazily created environments. Everything looks so faded and washed out, and entire levels feel like they’re cycling the same assets over and over again, which just makes Bazooka Blitzkrieg feel so damn repetitive. What makes it worse is that the speed you travel through levels is irritatingly slow – There’s no pace to this game, and as a result – No excitement.
There is a positive inclusion to Bazooka Blitzkrieg though, and that’s the Boot Camp mode which is a part training, part multiplayer mode where one to four players can pass the Super Scope around and tackle levels from the game in order to get the best score. It’s no true multiplayer mode, but turn-based multiplayer is a decent solution that does give at least one more reason to boot the game up.