Super secret government organization needs to infiltrate and destroy an evil alien group hell bent on world domination through the control of the Master Computer. Who do you send in to stop this evil organization? Special forces… no. Tactical military strike… no. Drop a nuke on the whole outfit and be done with it… no. There’s only one choice.
The Power Blade is wielded by a guy named Nova skilled in the art of making bad guys be dead.
So what type of special skills or weapons does Nova (Power Blade) use in his all out attack? Well that would be a giant metal boomerang of course. The Power Blade is a reference to the fully upgraded Nova who equips the power suit and then has the ability to fire Power Blades in 8 different directions.
Created by Taito and known in Japan as Power Blazer, because that makes even less sense, it was originally supposed to be known as Power Mission in the states before luckily getting the name we know it as today. Fortunately the localization to America didn’t just see a name change as the original Power Blazer’s controls and level designs were overhauled for better game play. Plus Nova got a complete redesign from a much more cartoon styled character to the boss you see running around today. This isn’t uncommon among American localization as the Japanese market would generally get games a bit earlier than America, then when the game came to America the localization teams would fix the issues with the original. Just look at the movement of the main character in Dragon Warrior between the Famicom and NES ports and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Game play of Power Blade is very similar to other action platformers of the time, most notably the Mega Man series. And much like Mega Man, Nova can gain upgrades throughout the game, though all of his upgrades are temporary usually going away upon a character death. The first thing you’ll notice after hitting start is that your boomerang only shoots out about 3 inches. Taking out some alien scum will give you random drops that can upgrade the length and power of your boomerang. You can also pick up grenades and the all important metal helmet signifying the transformation to Power Blade where Nova becomes a head-to-toe metal alien killing machine.
Working your way through the 6 levels you find data tapes that bring the Master Computer back online only to then destroy it somehow saving the day. Whatever. NES Games weren’t always known for their storytelling.
All in all I can see why this game just makes the top 100. It’s a solid action platformer with some really cool upgrades and well done level designs. While I’d probably prefer to pop in Mega Man 2 I wouldn’t be averse to this one making its way into the game mix.
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