By Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers on May 4, 2018
Sadhonker... Sadhonker!... *sigh* SADHONKER!!!!!!! Put down the shotgun. Put it down right now!! Remember, you made a promise, not only to me but also to the insurance company! Why are you carrying that shotgun and trying to use it to shoot Jason? What do you mean he cleaned up your office? Where's the harm in that? He found what? your "My Little Pony" collection? I still don't see the harm in that, everybody that ever set foot in our HQ is probably aware of the fact that you have that collection! You want to know how? Well, let me explain; since you never use the front door I have posted a warning sign on said door, listing everything people can't do because it would aggravate you to the point of gun-based accidents. One of those warnings on there is to never even mention "My Little Pony" in a conversation with you because that makes you suspicious somebody found said collection.
No, Jason is not fired; he didn't do anything wrong! Your office was a pig sty and usually I wouldn't mind but the smell was sickening and even seeped through all the way to the basement.... Oh yes, about that; I built a basement. For your own safety please don't go into it just yet. The machines are not quite finished and will be a serious health risk for incapable... I mean awesome people like you. What am I building there? No, it's not a huge washing machine with a square drum! it is square however and today I am going to take the readers on a trip with me both to see a game of yesteryear but also to look how my predecessors were able to create the same contraption I am building and see how they managed to fix some of the issues I am currently having.
And that's where you come in, dear readers! Today we are taking a trip to 1996, the year in which Motorola released the first ever clamshell phone, Betty Rubble debuted as a Flintstone-themed vitamin supplement and the year in which, most notably, Activision published a game from the Attention to Detail Team called Blast Chamber! This was a game which gave me joy for years to come and taught me how to dick over friends in some of the most hilarious of ways. Lets push some buttons, twist some dials and finally put the pedal to the metal and set our crosshairs at this most wonderful game.
Blast chamber was a game that, once you picked up the controller, was quick to get into but harder to master. You take control of a humanoid character who gets put in a big square room with 3 others. Every player has a timer connected to them which, when it ticks down to zero, makes the connected character explode. Your objective is to make sure your timer doesn't reach that point and make your enemies timer finish as often as possible. That doesn't sound that hard, right? Just use a time machine and rip the fabric of space-time apart to make sure you always win... however that is not one of the options that is available to you.
As stated, the levels in Blast chamber are all big and square and every side of the square has a differently colored base or reactor on it, one for each player. Your goal is to pick up a sparkly crystal orb and take it to your or one of your enemies' reactors. If you put the crystal in your own reactor, time gets added to your timer. If you take it to your enemies' reactor time ticks gets deducted from their timer. However, since gravity is a thing we all have to comply to it is quite hard to reach reactors that are on one of the sides of the cube that is currently not on the floor...
This is where the turn-pads come in; in the corners of the cubes you can find these green pads and once you push against one of them the cube will rotate 90 degrees in that direction. In some levels there even are pads that rotate the cube 180 degrees. Trying to claim the crystal orb and trying to keep it in your possession can become quite hectic and if an enemy picks it up, you'll have to claim it for yourself by either making them fall down by simply giving them a good push, or turn the cube and make your adversary fall into a hazard. Yes, my friends, Hazards! Most, but not all, levels contain hazards, ranging from bounce pads to spikes which you have to steer clear of, for they can kill you or get you stuck for a while.
All these elements combined can lead to chaos pretty quickly. Up to four players (either AI or local multiplayer) going for the same crystal orb since only one of those is in play at any given time will do that. So does these same players trying to reach the reactor which is most beneficial for them! Dicking people over is the name of the game, especially if you are one of those friendly people who don't mind losing a little bit of time because somebody else really needs it... People who usually help each other out, will quickly come to realize that those kind of thoughts will vanish really fast after one of your "friends" throws you into a bottomless pit of despair.
The game also sports a single player "Campaign" mode, in which you have to traverse 40 different puzzle chambers, each challenging you to grab the orb and bring it to your reactor in order to continue to the next puzzle. Even though it is a fun mode to play I think it only serves the purpose of getting to know the mechanics of the game so you know how to win in one of the multiplayer modes.
All in all, Blast Chamber would usually becomes a push and shove match in less time than it takes a snowflake to melt in hell. And not only in-game but in real life as well, because your so called friend just stole that orb off of you when you only had 10 seconds left on the clock and you explode in a colorful puff of smoke just seconds after. Which makes me realize what I've been doing wrong. I now see how the creators of these beautiful contraptions were thinking and how they make them operate without spinning themselves apart. We have to go back to the Big Red HQ so I can continue work on my own set of chambers. Oh, the fun that will be had... mostly by me of course but that is a moot point.
Hmmm, maybe I should see a doctor or something. The trips we are making every couple of weeks tend to make me feel queasy as of late; something that never happened to me before. But that is not of importance right about now. First things first; I have to resume work on... Hey, why is the basement door open? And, more importantly, where is Sadhonker? Oh god, the machine has turned on! The bloodcurdling screaming coming from down there is just awful... Oh, wait, it's not a problem; I'd recognize that scream anywhere. Well, I guess I now know where Sadhonker is. I told him not to go in there and he still did, just as I had hoped. I mean, I have to get test subjects somehow, right? Well, let's leave him in there for a bit longer and open up a fresh keg of beer. For now, my friends, our time this week has come to an end. I sincerely hope we will see each other again soon for another installment of the Big Red Timemachine.
Attention To Detail & Activision