March 19, 2008 - Majesco brought a near-complete build of Blast Works by the office today, and we gotta be honest -- it's gonna be hard to keep this preview objective. This game just shot to the upper echelons of our most-wanted list. We knew Blast Works would boast a robust level editor, and now we've learned about how easy it will be to share your user-generated content with the world.
Based on an online game called Tumiki Fighters, Blast Works is a horizontal shooter with a gimmick. Your vehicle will be killed by one hit, but you can collect the parts of your defeated enemies and build them off of yourself like a shield. It has a very distinct, almost minimal art style. The best part is it unlocks the player's creativity and allows them to blast their own works.
From the editor menu, sending your creations directly to someone on your friends list is as easy as clicking the "send" button. But what about friends you haven't met, yet? Majesco is setting up an official website (www.BlastWorksDepot.com
) specifically for up- and downloading user-created levels, shapes, objects, and enemies. Getting your content to the site is just as easy as sending it to a friend. When you register for the portal you input your friend code. Then, uploading is just a matter of hitting a button in the Blast Works editor menu.
Downloading new stuff is also a breeze. Users can browse by levels, enemies, or shapes. All content includes a thumbnail preview and a rating. When you find something interesting just click "download." The content should show up on your Wii in a moment. The whole process is so simple you have to wonder why Nintendo couldn't get it together for Smash Bros.
While the regular game mode includes 15 levels, the editor is really the focus here and is made up of a lot more code. Fortunately, even though you can make very elaborate levels, they won't take up an unacceptable amount of storage space. Majesco showed us a very impressive level made by one of their producers, someone who they said has no artistic talent. Called "Paper Jam!," it was set inside a house and had a paper airplane theme. It was filled with what appeared to be dozens, maybe hundreds, of enemies and household objects. The scrolling alternated between horizontal and vertical. The level apparently took two days to create, but only took up 14 percent of the allotted save space. If room does become a problem, you can move your saves to an SD card. Also, uploading your content to the Blast Works site saves it, and you can always re-download it if you have to delete it from your console.
Obviously, the first thing people are going to do is make a bunch of penises and upload them to the site. Majesco will be on patrol, removing any "inappropriate" content. Users can also flag offerings as such. Intellectual properties won't be policed, though, so feel free to upload your Star Wars, Super Mario Bros., and, of course, IGN-themed levels. If you just have to share your penis with a friend, you can send it directly to someone on your friends list without any censorship.
Here is just a brief list of many of the options you'll be able to play with in the editor:
* create your avatar and set its bullet pattern
* create 3D objects made of up to 250 blocks -- then combine those objects into even bigger units
* edit weapons for each enemy: set a shot pattern, bullet size, speed, and sound effects
* set paths for any shape or enemy
* decide how an enemy will explode
* put buildings and structures in the foreground or background
* add water -- even submerge the entire level
* give your level a flashy graphical flair, such as Sketch mode or Virtual Boy mode
Whatever you come up with, you'll be able to play it with up to four friends simultaneously through local multiplayer. Blast Works is set to detonate in May.