Masterblazer is a 1990 conversion of the classic LucasFilm Games game, Ballblazer, but with faster, smoother graphics than the 8-bit versions, and a couple of extra play modes.
That said: the 8-bit versions were all pretty much fast and smooth enough, so is this Amiga update good enough?
The answer is: not particularly. It should have been a lot better.
The opening menu gives the options of any of these modes: Ballblazer, Race, Tournament, Highscore, Museum, and Demo mode.
“Race” made me raise my eyebrows, so I shot into that first. And was extremely disappointed… Far from it being, you know – exciting – or comparable to something like F-Zero. It’s more like a poor-man’s Trailblazer, without any real excitement.
“Ballblazer” is simply a conversion of the classic original. I couldn’t find any faults with it overall, other than it being too simple and a tad dated. Fast, smooth and furious one-off games against droids or humans is what it’s all about.
“Tournament” is a Ballblazer tournament, for up to eight players. You choose your names; how many droids, then everyone waits until it’s their turn, then slugs it out one-on-one. There are quarter finals, semis, and then the final.
“Museum” is: one nice blueprint of the Rotofoil, and a number of pointless screens about some uninteresting game characters. Am guessing that you may be able to unlock more features here by playing the game, although I have no real desire to confirm that…
“Highscore” and “Demo” speak for themselves.
Masterblazer wasn’t coded by LucasFilm Games programmers, it was made by Gero Presser for German developer Rainbow Arts. Presser did a reasonable enough job overall, but there isn’t much that’s particularly special about it. Masterblazer‘s not interesting enough. Nor is it very imaginative. I don’t think the developers were bold enough with their plans for this game.
I’ve always liked Ballblazer on 8-bit systems, but it definitely loses its lustre here on the Amiga.