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Blaze Out (Commodore 64)

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Blaze Out was made in 1989 by Ocean for the Commodore 64 and was sold as part of the light fantastic bundles. Blaze Out is a collection of certain parts of 5 different games, which were made playable through light gun for this release. The game is a so called multi loader. After every level the game has to freshly load assets from the tape. Depending on the kind of hardware the player is using, this can be really cumbersome.

The first level is a hostage situation taken from the 1988 game RoboCop by Ocean. With pressed trigger the player must hover a cross hair over the hostage-taker while avoiding hovering over the hostage. Overall it works pretty bad and the scene is hilarious as for the high amount of bullets the criminal takes. That the shots are silent is another disadvantage and makes the scene more bizarre.

The second level is presented as three disciplines at a shooting course taken from the 1987 game Combat School made by Ocean. In my opinion it is better than the first level, but it is plagued by its very own problems. An example is the cross hair which is staying on its place until the player shoots and then unresponsively follows the bullets causing confusion. Again it is wise to hold the trigger down permanently as for the bad gun tracking and hit detection. The second discipline plays a bit like a light gun version of Space Invaders. The man will follow to where the gun is pointed at and fires towards robots when the trigger is pulled. I really like the music on the title screen. It's a quite crude and electronic sounding cover of "Bring Sally Up".

The third level is a skeet shooting competition taken from the 1984 game Hyper Sports made by Imagine. It plays quite well. The player is supposed to shoot white clay pigeons while avoiding red ones. The level is repeated until the player reaches a score of 1500 points.

The fourth level might be described as an on-rails point and click adventure light gun game. It is taken from the 1987 game Platoon made by Ocean. The presentation is really nice and the genera mixture is quite interesting. In a first part the player has to find two flare guns and a compass and then escape from a tunnel system. In the second part the player shoots soldiers from a fixed position in the dark. Those soldiers are hardly visible. The collected flares may be used to light the scene for a limited amount of time by shooting at the grey cylinder at the right side of the screen. The soldiers are much more visible when being illuminated by the flares. In my opinion this level would have been more fun, if the player was able to move around freely inside the tunnels. Probably the on-rails mechanic was added for simplicity to don't mix up input devices. In this level the cross hair is somewhat useful and not as distracting as in the other levels.

The last level is taken from the 1989 game Rambo III made by Ocean. The player progresses in an on-rails fashion through a desert inside a tank. As enemies landmines, soldiers, tanks, helicopters and various projectiles appear. The player's tank is equipped with a full automatic machine gun. This level features a cumbersome cross hair as well.

The game concludes in a cheerful congratulation screen. Personally I don't like the game. I am amazed by the sheer amount of licenses that were used in this game and I wonder whether it was any profitable. Probably the game would have been much better if Ocean dropped some of the sub games in favor of the light gun game play quality. But in that case the individual parts should have been made longer to compensate for the otherwise short length.

The cover is a well made montage of nice drawings taken from the individual sub games. It looks interesting and represents the game adequately.