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Rolling Blaster

version: jp - year: 1985 - developer: techno quest - publisher: laserdisc corp.- format: msx1, ld-700, laserdisc - condition: near mint - rarity: hard to find

Rolling Blaster is an exclusive shooter for the MSX Laserdisc set-up.


The intro is truely beautiful. Planets look astonishing and it is hard to believe Rolling Blaster is running on MSX1-era hardware.


Collect energy pods up to the required level to successfully finish a stage.


Some of the background animations are gorgeous. If the difficulty of the game puts you in trouble, press Shift+CTRL on the MSX keyboard at the game's menu. You'll then be able to choose the level to start from and the number of ships in stock.

Review - To my knowledge, Rolling Blaster is not a coin-op port but rather an exclusive MSX Laserdisc released in 1985.

Again, it uses the same superimposing technique used in the other MSX LD games with sprites generated by the actual MSX computer and backgrounds played off the Laserdisc player.

This time around though, the effect looks better and more “integrated”, with sprites designed very well considering they are MSX1 quality and backgrounds which truly look astonishing!

There are only 4 stages to go through but there is so much going on in the backgrounds! Huge animated ships and monsters, beautiful electrical storms, and an explosion of colors will overwhelm your retina while a pumping soundtrack, very powerful and inspired will complement the action.

The vertical scrolling is surprisingly smooth as well while gameplay is a bit weird.

The premise of the game is that you need to collect energy pods in order to build up a meter up to a certain point. Once the meter is full, you can unlock access to the next stage. If you get killed though, the energy meter resets to zero and you have to collect energy pods all over again. This is really not a problem in the first and third stage because the game plays like a regular vertical shooter and it is not very hard.

In the second and fourth stage, your weapon changes from regular straight shots to very annoying homing missiles which have the ultra nasty habit of rendering your ship totally idle once fired. So basically, once you fire, you stop controlling the ship and you control the missile until it hits the target you want.

The problem with this system is that there are a lot of enemies on screen who will fire directly at your ship. This means that you will end up shooting at enemies when they get very close so that you can stay in control of your ship most of the time.

If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also have to worry about filling up the energy meter by collecting energy pods otherwise when you reach the end, you’ll be prompted to play the level again.

The gorgeous in-game graphics and the extremely inspired cut-scenes surely represent a great incentive to play the game through. With only 4 levels, the game is certainly short but the difficulty level of stage 2 and 4 will put up a very serious (and frustrating) challenge, so you’ll have your time worth out of it.

Bottom line: an astonishingly beautiful vertical shooter with weird gameplay mechanics. Worth checking out. 7,5/10










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