‘Eternal Blast’ Review – Asteroids Have Never Been In Such Peril
Eternal Blast is great. I will not subject you to a conversation about its deeper meaning, because there isn’t anything beyond what you are playing. There are no life lessons, moral stories, or revolutionary ideas being placed forth. From the minute you turn on Furious Ant’s free flash game you know exactly what you will be getting yourself in to. Perhaps that is why, to an overly analytic gamer such as myself, Eternal Blast was so refreshing.
That which is borrowed by Eternal Blast are cues from arcade games of old. Asteroids immediately comes to mind, probably because it is a near carbon-copy Asteroids in concept. Stages are finished by destroying enemy ships and asteroids. Each stage gets harder; you will face more ships and asteroids. But Eternal Blast, unlike Asteroids, comes to us in a different age. It is Asteroids for the modern world.
The transition of Asteroids to the 21st century is a smooth one. Eternal Blast is gorgeous. Asteroids, ships, upgrades, and explosions are all seen from a 2D over the top perspective, but are presented in a 3D style. It looks very nice. The explosions are an awesome sight to see, and you will be seeing a lot of them. The sound is passable, largely due to the sound effects being fantastic. The soundtrack is pretty generic rock. It never managed to impress me.
What did manage to impress me was the depth of Eternal Blast. There are plenty of features spoon fed to the player. You can upgrade your weapon 14 times plus the original weapon you begin with. There are multiple enemies, each with strengths and weaknesses, numbering at 10, which offer variety through each stage. There is an achievement system built into the flash player, which rewards you for certain actions. The game is infinite, meaning you can chase high scores; a feature which old Atari users likely envy. Unfortunately, some dude named Kyle dominates the leaderboards with high scores over 2,000,000. I am quietly hoping somebody tops him. But it is nice to compare scores even if they are dominated by one man.
I hate to list, but the features are fairly expansive for a straight-forward arcade game. The last sentiment of that sentence may be the problem though. The linearity of Eternal Blast can wear on you a little. The soundtrack is not engaging and players who are not driven by high scores will likely get bored at some point. You may unlock many upgrades during Eternal Blast, but they may not be reason enough to continue playing. I hate to complain about this as it is an arcade game. There is not supposed to be an end game. The goal is supposed to be a high score. It is only a flash game, but I should not rationalize. The goal of a great arcade game is to keep the player addicted, and something prevented me from having the desire to keep going back.
I can pick out a few fair flaws with the game; the soundtrack, as mentioned before, mouse controls, and level variety. I think it is nit-picky, but the controls were finicky. I found the slightest movement of my mouse jerking my ship in one direction or another. I kind of missed the old Atari joystick. Even with my DPI turned way down it was difficult to control. The level variety was another complaint. It is all just large blue open space with some stars. I do not think it is too much to ask for a planet to fly by every once in awhile. Just for some simple eye candy.
In the end Eternal Blast is a blast. Oh dear me, that is a ridiculous quip. Seriously though, it is a variation of a retro classic that is absolutely worth playing. It is good filler between serious brain-hurting games and will serve a niche for you high score junkies out there. Despite its few flaws Eternal Blast is a fantastic foray into arcade gaming, and one retro gamers will surely appreciate.
Review summary Pros:
Fun arcade game. Leaderboards and Achievements. Awesome graphics. Plenty of upgrades.
Bland background and soundtrack. Controls are finicky. Not addicting enough for an arcade game.