Reviews of little-known games are important. They raise awareness that these games wouldn’t otherwise have. Of course, this can work in the negative as well, like how Cheetahmen II and Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing have become cult “classics” because of scathing reviews when they should rightfully be forgotten and buried. Would Power Blade fall into that category if more knew about it? Don’t bet on it. This is a rock-solid title in almost all aspects.
Plot: 4 out of 10
In the distant future the world is controlled by a huge computer. Eventually, that computer goes haywire and takes over. An agent named Nova is assigned with shutting down the computer to save the world.
What reduces this plot below the status of a generic, mediocre, video game story is being assured in the ending that Nova’s superiors will “be more careful and not surrender control to a machine. The combination of the admission that it’s their fault and assurance that they’ll do fine in the future is rather hilarious.
Graphics: 8 out of 10
Although Nova’s face could use a lot of work, the graphics are otherwise excellent. Great detail and lighting make for one the greater-looking NES games.
Sound: 9 out of 10
The music has a very techno feel appropriate to the sci-fi setting. It’s extremely well-composed. Sound effects are pretty good, too.
Gameplay: 10 out of 10
Nova throws boomerangs that can be powered up by way of items that increase their range and the number you can throw at once. He also gets grenades that kill everything on the screen at once.
Controls are responsive and fluid. They feel just right. Furthermore, the level design is quite creative. These two factors make for a great experience.
Challenge: 6 out of 10
The only real issue is that the game is too easy. The sci-fi feel and great controls make it fun, but that fun is decreased by the fact that it’s not unrealistic to beat it in two or three days. Regular enemies are predictable and bosses are just a joke. NES-hard is not exactly what I’d call this.
Overall: 8 out of 10
Despite its easiness, Power Blade is a true diamond in the rough that deserves recognition. Here’s hoping it makes it to the Wii U Virtual Console at some point.