Burai Fighter - Taxan

Burai Fighter

Reviewed by Roger Post

Woah, look at this, another NES shooter. I don't know why, but I feel the NES was the most passed over system for shooters. Not that Burai Fighter fits into the "instant classic" category…..BF is almost a mix between Forgotten Worlds and Thunderforce. The main game is a side scrolling character shooter, with 9-directional control. This means that you can shoot up, northeast, right, southeast, down, etc. Spaced in with that is a boss round that plays like the overheads on Thunderforce 2, where you have to hunt down the boss and destroy it with a top camera viewpoint. While this is off the beaten shoot-em-up track, overall BF isn't the greatest game. Lackluster graphics, boring level designs, and what seems to be an overall lack of effort on the designer's part make this game fall short.

There are three different weapons: laser, ring, and missile. Each can be powered up to about level four. In addition to these, collecting gems adds to a power bar that will destroy all on screen enemies when full. The game becomes very straightforward after that…find the right angle and blow stuff up! BF allows for nice play control when attacked from all sides. Just face the player in the right direction, and hold down the fire button to "lock" into position. Many guns are hidden in coves, forcing you to worm your shots in. Bosses of these levels are fun to play, since you can attack from any angle. Levels 3 and 6 are overhead, and each begins with a map showing where you are relevant to the boss. Half the challenge is finding him, since the background repeats infinitely in each direction. This is VERY frustrating, because if you don't find the boss quickly, you must die and view the map again.

BF will keep you entertained for a while….there are several difficulty modes, and the latter ones get really insane. There are passwords at the end of each level though. I even vaguely remember bonus sections that were really hard to find, by pushing on certain openings in the walls. And yes, this game's a one-hit-wonder (one hit kills you…) I enjoyed this game as something new and refreshing, but after you beat it, it's got a date with the shelf. There are only seven levels, and the two overhead rounds go quickly if you know how to do them, so this game seems pretty short. Music is just ok, but the graphics are weak, and the colors don't seem to fit. Fans of Forgotten Worlds should definitely try this one out though……

This could almost pass for a that case, I'd be falling down, on my way into a hole...

Here's the midway boss, where you must turn around and hit him in the eye. I like the laser weapon, because when powered up you can cover 4 angles at once.

The first boss forces you to shoot off each little blue eye while dodging flailing arms. No prob for a Burai Fighter, although "Burai Brawler" sounds better...

Here's the result screen... Tthe score must be for people with either eye problems or low self-esteem. Seeing it large like that can be an ego booster.

I wonder how he just floats like that... Does the whole game take place in zero G? Or did he swallow major helium, and yell "DIE BURAI DIE" in a Mickey Mouse voice?

Yes, the snake boss. This one splits into 3 snake bosses (or bossi) when shot in the blue sections.

Here's the map to the boss, pay attention! It's different each game though... Ssection it off like a grid. This boss is about 5 over, 4 up.

It's VERY easy to get lost in these levels. The enemies do, however, give lots of powerups.

Destroy all the circles on the boss, and his time's up! Remember Thunderforce 2 anyone?

I don't remember level 4 being this boring...

I'd swear this is a Castlevania 3 boss, side skulls and all... The platforms on the sides move up and down to keep you hopping.

Fifth level looks kinda techno, like a circuit board. The enemies pour it on now.

Ummmm... Don't touch those. Take out the boss here while dodging huge spiked things.


The second overhead level. I think they could have done a few more, and made for a longer game. At least let the boss MOVE, and not stay bolted in place...

Last level, a nice drab brown shade. The tricky part here is not getting smushed by the walls.

The last boss, a dragon, whose head moves up and down. He is only hittable in a small section of the mouth.

Not only are we told to play "harder mode", but now we have the carrot hanging in front of us on a line... graphics... oooohhhhh...

For those who don't feel like playing any more, here's the "graphic" ending. Big deal... But wait, the respect of the designers is more precious than graphics... Bye bye, Burai!

Here's a few shots of the Gameboy version, now called Deluxe. They took out the overhead levels on the Gameboy, which narrows it down to only five...



Well I have some good memories of this game, but in its Gameboy incarnation. Playing it on the roadtrip I had to Paris in winter of 1992/93, using my cousin's Classic Gameboy (by then, the only GB available). One piece of advice though: if the weather is tremendously cold, don't leave your GB inside the car the whole night. The screen might turn pink and funny thanks to the low temperatures =P

- Akira


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