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FTG Review: Slam Bolt Scrappers

Last week, I posted my preview of Firehose Games’ Slam Bolt Scrappers. Shortly after, I was given a PSN code for the title. So how does it stack up in the current market? The short answer is “fairly well.” Let’s get into some specifics…

Controlled Chaos

For those of you who missed my preview, I’ll reiterate the basics of the game. In short, it’s the result of Super Smash Bros. plus Tetris. Players take control of one of several characters (I use a chubby dude in a welding mask) and battle on one of several stages. Each player has a tower composed of Tetris-style blocks. As enemies enter the screen, players must defeat them to turn them into blocks which can then be dropped onto the player’s tower. Once the player has built a square of blocks of the same colored blocks, it becomes a weapon (we’ll elaborate on that later). The weapons then fire at your opponent’s tower; once that is destroyed, you win.

Meanwhile, your opponent is doing all these same actions on his side of the screen. The two of you can engage in fisticuffs, even knocking each other out. Once KO’d, a meter appears at the bottom of the screen; once it fills, you return to the battlefield. Button prompts can speed up this process.

It’s a lot to digest, yes. Admittedly, it’s pure chaos. But it’s also fun.

Controlling Your Scrapper

The controls are not difficult to understand; they are a combination of basic beat ‘em up and block-dropping. The joystick moves character, and the X and square buttons are used for attacks (you can alternate between these buttons for different combos). The L1 button can activates a shield, used for defense. The O button is used to drop your blocks, L2 and R2 are for rotating the blocks, and R1 cycles through the blocks you have available.

Build! Build!

Not Just Punches and Kicks

As stated, you defeat enemies for blocks, but sometimes ninjas will also appear on screen. Defeating them earns you a powerup. These range from a powerful comet attack to an ability which allows you to personally beat on your opponent’s tower. These can be very handy in a close match; they’ve made the difference more than once for me.

What About the Blocks?

I’ve mentioned the blocks many times already. Let’s elaborate, shall we? There are several different colors, ranging from blue, to green, to purple, to red, to all shades in between. Each one creates a different weapon. Blue blocks create shields that lessen the damage to your tower. Green blocks expel drills; these drills attack the enemy tower indefinitely until attacked. Purple blocks are the most common; they fire lasers. Red blocks fire rockets.

These are just a few of the many different blocks in the game (my favorite is a black block which creates cannons). But not all blocks work the same way. Some stages have a clear block; this allows players to erase part of the tower. It’s very handy if you make a mistake during your building. One mountaintop stage actually has ice blocks. Every once in a while, the stage freezes over. When this happens, random ice blocks drop onto your tower. These must then be cleared by attacks before more block-dropping can occur.

Head over to page two for a look at the game’s campaign and multiplayer modes!

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