Welcome to -- RETRO GAME DAISUKI ! -- a blog about the wonderful world of Japanese retro video games (ARCADE / PC-88 / X68K / MEGA DRIVE / SATURN / PlayStation / PC-ENGINE). Re-live the strangest games from the 80's and 90's. Retro games were our youth!
Author : HERZOG
-- Playing video games since the 80's ! --
Still trying to translate all the posts from my old blog. Please see this post for more info.
Also, please excuse any grammar and any other related errors you may find on this blog, as English is not my first language.
Our story begins one summer when a young lad named KAKERU saves the life of a mystical talking pony named BLINK. The pony in gratitude tells KAKERU that if he's ever in trouble, all he needs to do is call out his name three times and he will come to his aid.
Then at the end of the summer when KAKERU returns home, his father HARUHIKO, a famous writer of children's stories is kidnapped by a mysterious gang. KAKERU, weeping, calls out BLINK's name and as promised he immediately appears before him.
From that moment on KAKERU and BLINK will embark on a quest filled with adventure and hardship throughout a parallel fantasy universe where they will meet many companions that will help them find the boy's father.
AOI BLINK is overall a pretty standard side-scrolling action game but it also implements some (very) subtle RPG elements.
The game is divided in 5 different regions, each represented by a map screen. Each map is further divided into various areas with the usual boss enemy waiting for you at the end and that ultimitely will have to be defeated in order to advance to the next region.
However, in order to enter the boss chamber you first will need to find the 「Red Key」which lies hidden around every region.
Clearing an area will get you a hint about the possible location of the key. So you will need to explore around the region in order to gather enough clues that can lead you to the precious key.
Every area also has an alternative exit that will take you on a different route. You will be free to travel back and forth between areas and explore them as much as necessary in order to find the red key, open treasure chests, or just to replay them for the fun of it.
■FIND THE KEYWORD, FIND THE RED KEY
As previously mentioned, every time you clear an area you will get a hint about the location of the red key. But in reality you will only need to pay special attention to the keywords in the corner brackets since they are the clues that actually give away the location of the key.
For example, in the second region IVORY CASTLE you will be told that the red key is around a peculiar-looking 「DOOR」 (or「とびら」in hiragana). Since there's only one door in the entire region that matches that description, you'll know that's the area where you should be looking around for the red key.
All keywords will be shown in hiragana so they will be easy-enough to translate for those who can't read Japanese. It still might take you a while to figure out the location of certain red keys, though. But it's very unlikely that you'll get stuck in any area for long.
■TWO'S COMPANY, THREE'S A PARTY
The game lets you control a party of three characters at the same time very reminiscent of the classic FALCOM game「SORCERIAN」.
You can swap the party leader at any time by pushing the [SELECT] button as every character has their own set of attributes that will no doubt come in handy at certain points throughout the adventure.
The main character KAKERU will always be the default party leader while the other members' availability will be pre-set by each stage.
【KAKERU】 ・SHOOT : FORWARD ・JUMP :HIGH
【PRINCESS KIRARA】 ・SHOOT : N/A ・JUMP : VERY HIGH
【TANBA】 ・SHOOT : DROP ・JUMP : VERY LOW
【NITCH】 ・SHOOT :BOOMERANG ・JUMP : HIGH
【SATCH】 ・SHOOT : 2-WAY ・JUMP :LOW
■LET'S LEAVE IT TO BLINK !
With the red key in your pocket you'll finally be able to enter the boss room. Once inside you'll get to ride BLINK for a traditional 1 on 1 boss fight.
Bosses aren't particularly hard to beat but they have plenty of HP. In case that your own HP drops down to 0, an 「Element of Courage」will be used to restore some of your health. The Elements of Courage can be considered as the player lives, but they can also serve as healing items that you can use by pushing button [ I ] while the game is paused.
Elements of Courage will always restore your health except in the event that you fall off the screen, in which case it will be used to make BLINK come out and save you.
GOLD COIN : Collect 100 for an additional heart piece.
RED KEY : Required to enter the BOSS chamber.
BLUE KEY : Opens treasure chests.
ELEMENT OF COURAGE : Life UP / Restores HP
HEART PIECE (small) : Restores 1 HP.
HEART PIECE (large) : Restores all HP.
POISON (small) : Continuous poison damage over time.
POISON (large) : Fixed poison damage.
ANTIDOTE : Cures Poison / Restores half HP.
STAR : Become invincible for a limited time.
CLOCK : Stops enemy movement for a limited time.
FEATHER : Increases character speed for a limited time.
BOMB : Clears all enemies on screen.
BLUE BLINK is an interesting anime game, although unfortunately it has some serious shortcomings.
My biggest disappointment is how the programmers just weren't able to come up with a better overall game design to make the most of the cool SORERIAN-esque character system.
The game is also deeply lacking in the replay value department. Really, once you discover the location of all the red keys that it's for the game since then you can choose to skip a lot of unnecessary stages and clear the adventure in no time.