|Genre(s)||Vertical scrolling shooter|
Blast Off (ブラストオフ - Burasuto Ofu), is a vertical scrolling shooter arcade game, that was released by Namco in 1989 (only in Japan); it runs on that company's System 1 hardware, and is the sequel to Bosconian, released eight years earlier in both Japan and the US (the latter under a Midway license).
The player must take control of the Star Fighter from the original game, for the second time; however, as with many other vertical scrolling shooters (such as Namco's own Xevious), it is now always facing top of the screen and constantly moving upward while the background scrolls down behind it bringing enemies (many of which are new ones) into view, that players will have their chances to kill for points. This game uses two buttons - one is used to fire circular shots at the enemies, while the other is used to cycle through that Star Fighter's four varieties of firing patterns. The patterns will be cycled through in the following order with each press of the pattern selection button, before reverting back to the first:
- Red: Two shots will be fired directly ahead of the Star Fighter (in what can only be described as a "double-helix" twisting pattern); this is the pattern it begins out with, and will revert to it after death.
- Blue: One shot is fired directly ahead of the Star Fighter, while another is fired directly behind it (it is the original firing pattern, but perhaps the one that's of the least use now due to the green one).
- Yellow: One shot is fired directly ahead of the Star Fighter while another is fired to its left side and a third is fired to its right side; this one is particularly useful when getting attacked from both sides.
- Green: Two shots are fired diagonally ahead of the Star Fighter (to the north-west and north-east) while a third one is fired directly behind it; this one is particularly useful when being attacked from behind.
By pressing and holding down the firing button, the Star Fighter will fire more powerful, spherical shots at the enemies; they will not disappear after impact, and are particularly useful in the worlds' third areas (where the Star Fighter undergoes a dramatic increase in size), most notably against the bosses at the end of each one.