|Good looks and personality||The save points are far apart from each other|
|A world with many secrets||Some fights can take too long|
|Characters very different from each other that offer many possibilities|
Among others, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone have been two postmodern icon-actors, stars who dominated the commercial cinema of the 1980s and part of the 1990s with spectacular works for the masses. This subgenre that we could call “muscle cinema” embraces the postmodern imaginary that triumphed in Hollywood in the 80s, with films like Commando, Rambo, or Predator, as they put in the foreground the figure of the indestructible muscular hero who overcomes any obstacle by putting tests the viewer’s suspension of disbelief.
Games like Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread are determined by a prior interpretation and understanding of the hero’s actions, which can be translated into a series of attitudes that are his own, that define him, that reveal his personality.
In this regard, offering a 2D Metroidvania inspired by 80’s action movies that made popcorn fly. Although, it is a Metroidvania that also glimpses the end of the “muscle cinema” and the formulaic of the 80s action cinema.
The decline of these expressivities and of the body of these icons is evident in the game that concerns us, each one in its own way, hiding a very powerful self-criticism of the conventions of the eighties show and an example of how postmodernity has ended up feeding back on itself, with all that it means for the genre.
In figurative animation, in which characters are represented -whether human or not- performing actions and expressing feelings, animators must resort to various techniques so that the communication to the viewer is effective. As human beings, when we see an animated character expressing emotions with his body and face, we identify the meanings of those expressions from unconscious universal codes.
Of course, it is necessary to clarify that the effectiveness of the communication or the empathy that it can generate in the viewer does not correlate with the realism of the character’s design since this Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread is anything but realistic. First and foremost, it represents expressiveness in motion, due to the level of detail that Allods Team Arcade has brought to life its well-cared-for characters and highly-crafted settings across the screen. And that, in a very intentional way, seeks to bring the essence of the action to the field of comedy.
In addition, we find a complete waste of subtle elements that elevate the whole and manifest in each section of the game.
Based on a non-linear platforming concept, the Metroidvania sub-genre has taken root by providing abilities to reach new interconnected areas, an inventory screen and multi-directional shooting, and the inclusion of a map system, among others. Stuff.
Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread borrows all of these elements and knows how to generate something really interesting with such a homogeneous mixture. The fundamental aspect and the most defining characteristic lies in its world and, consequently, the exploration, since the entire adventure takes place within a large map full of secrets that must be traversed from top to bottom in a non-linear way.
The latter, which many might find tedious, is used to create a sense of space within the world and familiarize players with the passageways connecting various environments, from jungle villages and cliff-top prisons to volcanoes and temples. Old. All this makes the island of Dr. Cread as beautiful as it is intricate, as we will not stop exploring, going back, and going through non-linear routes in magnificent interconnected levels.
Likewise, this open-world structure with scenarios that we unlock little by little as the different characters advance (each one equipped with unique abilities that help us progress) is seasoned with the acquisition of new skills and light role-playing touches. But above all, Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread emphasizes the toughness of combat, one of its most fun points, especially when battling and defeating bosses, and the precision of our movements. So much so that we have to make the most of the abilities and weapons of the different heroes to always stay ahead.
While most Metroidvanias are relatively short of encouraging multiple replays, Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread breaks this trend by having a long main story.
Because it encourages exploration and the search for secrets in a large and interconnected map that becomes easier to traverse through the use of the different protagonists that make up the adventure, it is easy for us to take between 20 and 25 hours to complete the story, which supposes a great effort in comparison with other games of the genre.
There are many ways to define toughness—from physicality and bravado to mental toughness and strength of character—but generally, you tend to know toughness when you see it. It is how the character is framed, how the music rises, or the number of difficulties that a video game puts in the protagonist’s path.
And although Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread is a cluster of already known concepts, there is no problem in admitting that there is nothing too original. It is no less true that it surpasses many in terms of toughness. It is also tremendously fun since all the ideas it collects make sense within its mechanics, and it exudes style with good taste.