Let’s take a look at another Game Boy Log, and this time it’s Burai Fighter Deluxe, ported from the Nintendo Entertainment System by the now defunct KID games studio.
So Burai Fighter Deluxe is a scrolling shooter that sees you take control of a man with a gun and a jet-pack. That’s it, no name for the hero or his organisation, only that he is the one thing standing between the rest of the universe and the evil Burai. These super-intelligent Burai have designs for the conquest of all life with the force of their robo-mutant army, because robots and mutants aren’t intimidating enough for the Burai. And that’s the story for Burai Fighter Deluxe, it’s nothing more than what you need as a backdrop for the space-age combat.
All games in this genre, Burai Fighter Deluxe included, is a game that flies or falls on its combat. I’ve said it before but the Game Boy is not an ideal system when it comes to scrolling shooters, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find any examples where the genre is done right, and Burai Fighter Deluxe is definitely one of those.
As is the nature of the genre, in Burai Fighter Deluxe you find yourself facing off against waves of enemies while at the same time having to keep up with a constantly scrolling screen. Unlike many other scrolling shooters Burai Fighter Deluxe gives you a little more control over the scrolling, only a little though. Because the game brings you though levels which at times become a little mazy, and the screen can scroll in all four directions, the player has the option to shift the screen up and down a portion. This helps to alleviate the small screen size of the Game Boy. Rather than restricting the height of levels, in Burai Fighter Deluxe you can have larger parts of a level and simply display the rest of those parts as the player moves up or down instead of shinking things to fit. This also lets character and enemy sprites be larger than you might expect for a Game Boy shooter, which helps with the game’s presentation.
Power-ups are present, as you’d expect, with three different weapon types that add to your standard shot. Coming in the form of capsules with letters M(issile), R(ing) and L(aser), each with their own strengths and each as three levels of power. Once one letter is collected a single powered-shot is added to each of your regular shots. After collecting five of a single letter, a second powered-shot is added that will fire behind you, and at ten collected letters four powered shots are fired in four different directions(by the way, different power-ups work better against different bosses). Along with the weapon power-ups enemies often drop crystals when destroyed, collect enough and you receive a screen-clearing bomb, and collect enough bombs and you get an extra life. Finally, there is an orb to collect that will orbit your fighter and damage any enemies that come into contact with it. Though Burai Fighter Deluxe is a one-hit-kill shooter it is still more forgiving than you might think. If you lose a life you’ll restart the level at one of several checkpoints in each. If you lose all your lives and need to use a continue you will have to start the level you were on from the beginning but continues are limitless. If you choose to take a break however, Burai Fighter Deluxe has a password function so you can pick up where you left off again, and thankfully passwords are only four letters long, so none of the nonsense that some older games do with twenty character passwords to feverishly scribble down.
On to the music, and what we have here is very nice. You aren’t going to get an orchestra on the Game Boy of course, but Burai Fighter Deluxe does a good job of matching its music to the situation. There’s a nice sense of adventure to the opening stage for example, and a proper
‘critical emergency’ aura to the boss battles. All in all, the music is very good, and I didn’t find it at all grating or repetitive.
Since Burai Fighter Deluxe is a port of the NES game Burai Fighter it’s worth mentioning the differences between the two. There is the obvious fact that Deluxe comes on a smaller, mono-colour screen and all that goes with that, but also Deluxe has less stages than its NES counterpart.
‘So what makes it Deluxe?’ You might ask. Well it’s the versus mode. That’s right, if you have a second player, a second Game Boy, a second copy of the game and a link cable, the two of you can see just who has the most skill in a race to the finish; who can beat the selected level and finish off the boss first?
Closing up, Burai Fighter Deluxe is one of the best examples of a scrolling shooter on the Game Boy, and that’s not to take away from it as a ‘Game Boy shooter’, rather it’s the classic example of what makes a good Game Boy game. It relies on its pick up and play nature, simple but still fun.
Burai Fighter Deluxe was actually one of the first Game Boy games I played (which is a long time gone now) and it’s still fun today.
So if you’re looking for a shooter or just a good game to add to your Game Boy collection then Burai Fighter Deluxe is a good choice, especially at the measly price of £5 for the cart on its own (as of writing).
I give Burai Fighter Deluxe an 8 out of 10
For Stage – Select, this has been Ed, signing off.