In 1989 there were quite a few video games that were vying to capture my attention and helping me to put my homework on the back burner. The trips to the local video store chain – that I would later work at – were no longer about renting the latest horror film or handful of classic animated movies. It was all about getting there early enough to get first dibs on the latest Nintendo Entertainment System or Sega Genesis titles – Phantasy Star II, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Duck Tales, Mega Man II, and Dragon Warrior were but a few of the games I fondly remember playing during that time. By this time that fabled Showbiz Pizza I’ve mentioned on the Diary of An Arcade Employee podcast had been refitted to Chuck E. Cheese -sadly most of the arcade games had been excised during this change as well but a handful remained. At the very least there were still some spots in my neck of the woods, like the arcade at the mall that I could play Golden Axe or Final Fight when I could convince my Father to let me make the trip. It was at that arcade where I was able to play an older title – mostly forgotten by the other Players called Bosconian – a multi-directional shooter released by Midway Games here in the States back in 1981. Thanks to the esteemed Earl Green’s latest Phosphor Dot Fossils however we now know there was a sequel released in 1989 entitled Blast Off!
Obviously Blast Off is not a game that I’ve had the pleasure of playing before but watching Earl’s new video – it’s gameplay reminds me of a cross between Xevious and Galaga ’88. The Bosconian connection is pretty evident from the title screen but also the miniature space stations that you will see while Earl is playing – that have a sneaky ability to shoot missiles up towards your ship after they’ve passed I might add. As always with the Phosphor Dot Fossils videos – Earl gives you a little bit of the history on the game itself while you get to see the game in action.
Interestingly enough it appears that Blast Off sports some speech capability with phrases like “Blast Off!”, “Go Next”, “Condition Red!” and others. I also feel it is pretty apparent from watching Earl play the game that the difficulty level for this particular arcade title is a little high – especially with the variety of enemies that seem to be able to strike at you from behind. As always I want to thank Earl Green for letting us share his Phosphor Dot Fossils videos on the site – remember that he is he is an avid pop culture historian and has one of the longest running sites on the internet – offering up episode guides for classic TV shows, arcade and home console reviews and history, not to mention he is a published Author, and a lover of Porgs – you can check out more at The Log Book.Com!