BlazeRush is a unique racing game that builds on retro concepts with new ideas. At a glance, the game may seem quite simple, but the further you get into it, the depth and creativity slowly begin to emerge. When I first started up the game, it instantly reminded me of R.C. Pro Am for the NES, and that is not in any way a bad thing. By using a fixed camera to follow all the racers at the same time, racers must always be on their toes knowing that they could fall behind the pack and be put out of the action. Because of this camera angle, if a racer falls too far behind everyone else, the game will teleport them closer to the other racers, giving everyone an equal chance at winning the race (this goes for normal races). Now this game is not for everyone, but I can confidently say that Blaze Rush is a modern take on retro racers, and I loved every minute of it.
On top of these racing mechanics, the game offers different forms of boosts and weapons that offer their own advantages and disadvantages. The rocket pack for example, which sends you down the track at incredible speeds for a few seconds, is great but increases the chance that you will fall of the track or hit something and spin around. Items like the slime for example fire green balls that are very hard to aim, but will slow down the opponent that it hits for a few seconds. There are quite a few of each item, and they are unlocked as you progress through the game. Sound design is also well done, offering sound effects and tracks that fit the mood perfectly. Although a couple songs are forgettable, I still find myself humming others. There are a total of three race modes in the game: race, king of the hill, and elimination. The first mode is your typical race, seeing all racers try to finish in first place. King of the hill sees players trying to remain in first place for as long as possible, having a winner crowned when a player has been in first for a total of fifty seconds. The last game mode, elimination, is the most exciting of the game modes as it sees players out racing a giant car that will crush racers who fall behind. This giant steamroller will go faster as the round goes on, having the round reset when only one player is left alive. Players are given points based on how long they lived, and a winner is crowned after a certain number of rounds.
Upon completing a level, players are given awards, points and trophies. Although awards are there for show, points actually do quite a lot. When you collect enough points, players unlock new racers. These racers come with their own car, each unique from each other. There are three types of cars: hovercar, car, and tank. Each one differs from the other as hovercars will slide around but take turns better, cars will skid more often but stay on the track easier, and tanks turn very well but go slowly. This is a great addition, but it would be nice to see how many points until the next unlock. Each level contains up to five trophies for players to collect by completing challenges in game. Collecting these trophies will unlock more levels for the player, which increase the difficulty and adds new items and game mechanics. Unfortunately, this is where the game falls short. After the first set of levels, the game throws players the most unexpected difficulty spike. The a.i. goes from being aggressive but fair, to stealing every item and pushing you off the track. Towards the last few sets of levels, I constantly had the game teleporting me back to everyone else as I would keep falling behind due to these issues. Level design on the other hand is well done, having four tracks to choose from. These tracks offer different environments, allowing players to race in a junkyard, a jungle, an alien planet, and the artic. Both the tracks and the backgrounds are well made, as the graphics look crisp and smooth. Not only that but the cars and items look great, making me want to play even more. Particle effects also look beautiful as item boxes and car explosions litter the track with box pieces and car parts alike. The game also offers a party mode, which allows players to host either private or public matches, and even play online. The game if tons of fun to play with other people, offering four player coop as well. This coop mode had me laughing and screaming with my friends as every race would become very close, and make us all extremely competitive. Things can get a little out of hand with the eight player online matches though. I would constantly lose track of where my car was, and end up coming in last or dying each race. This gets even harder when playing on the night cycle as it become next to impossible to see who is who.
Given that BlazeRush does suffer from the odd flaw, it is overall a throwback to classic gaming that I genuinely enjoyed and lost track of time with, being a very fun game to play with other people. If you have the patience to deal with the unfair a.i, then there are over two-hundred trophies for players to collect, but I personally found that the four player coop is where the game really shines. If you are looking for a game to have some casual fun with friends then look no further, for this game fulfills that want and more.