|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||BUSTER BROS. COLLECTION|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Game Type:||Puzzle||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||April 1998|
Setting the Scene
Capcom has wisely dug into its coin-op library and unearthed several gems. The 3 classic arcade series "Buster Bros." games have been slapped onto one disc and brought home to the Playstation game console. Grab hold of your weapon, whether it is a Vulcan missile launcher, wire gun or a power wire, find a friend and prepare to burst some bubbles!
Buster Bros. Collection is sort of a puzzle, action, shooting game all rolled into one. While I would place it more in the puzzle category (even though there are no pieces to fit together), its non-stop action based theme clouds things a bit.
The graphics in Buster Bros. are indeed pretty dated. It's interesting to watch the gradual progression that the graphics make through each game. On the first game "Buster Bros." you have very simple, limited color sprite based characters moving about left and right on your screen. Besides the different colored clothing, it's difficult to make out the difference in characters in the two-player mode and I often found myself looking and reacting to the wrong Buster Buddy! The bubbles that you pop are standard fare, one color with a frozen reflection etched on the bubbles for effect. At any rate, for it's time the graphics were considered pretty good, just dated by today's standards. The second game " Super Buster Bros." ups the color palette ante a bit, adds some splashy pre-rendered backgrounds and throws in some additional frames of character animation. It's still hard to tell the difference between the two characters (besides the clothing color), but it's getting better. The level designs are also more intricately presented as well. All of these changes are rather subtle as game one and two bare very close resemblance to one another. Game three, "Buster Buddies" takes the boldest move and implements polygon based characters that are animated wonderfully and are very easy to tell apart from each other in two-player mode. The pre-rendered backgrounds return, but are now rare museum art paintings that are nicely depicted on the screen. Basically the same game as one and two, just far better character graphics. That's about it, not much detail to get into here, nice simple graphics that do the job, without the flash.
Sounds and Effects
Remember all of those endearing (but not so wonderful) squeak, beep, boing and squark (squark?!?) sounds from the 8-bit era? Well get ready for a flashback, because Buster Buddies Collection is full of them. It's kind of funny, but the sound effects actually work in very well with the overall retro feel of the game. Break a bubble and you get a "pop" sound, shoot a gun and you get cap gun sounds. Very simple, but just fine in this game. The music gets progressively more complex as the series advances. In the first game, the score is rather simple, by the third game you are treated to a full orchestral sounding accompaniment that streams throughout the game.
What you have here is basically a static screen in which your character can move left or right and occasionally climb obstacles. The object of the game is to break all of the bubbles that decend on you from the top of the screen. As you pop the bubbles, they break into progressively smaller ones, until they are finally wiped out and continue onto the next screen. Get hit by a bubble as it falls and you lose a life. Simple. What makes this game so much fun is the frenzy that develops as you pop a bubble and it splits into two smaller, faster moving bubbles. There are times when the screen is literally filled with bouncing bubbles and your character is dashing left to right trying to shot and avoid the erratic spheres. As the pace accelerates, the music falls right into que and speeds up with the gameplay. This gets your adrenaline pumping and your fingers moving furiously over the controller in an effort to avoid being hit. At the end of a round, I often found myself hyper and totally pumped for the next screen to appear. While three games differ slightly in their approach, the objective for each one is the same...pop those damn bubbles! Game one places the Buster crew in a kingdom called Earth. A tyrannical Bubble King has unleashed giant magical bubbles in an effort to control the denizens of this world. It's up to the Buster Bros. To break all of the bubbles and thus defeat the evil King. Game two has the Buster boys winging around the world to once again defeat...you guessed it...the evil Bubble King. In this game the levels are broken into multiple screens. Complete the set amount of screens and move onto the next country location (or level). A nifty little plane tracks your progress on a map at the end of each level. Complete a block of levels and you get bonus points that lead to an extra life. Super BB also contains a game called panic mode in which the object is to survive for as long as you can against an ever-increasing bombardment of bubbles. Yikes!! Game three adds a little twist and places you in the role of one of four selectable thieves that are out trying to pilfer the world's fine art and jewels. Unfortunately the goodies you are trying to steal are protected by...you guessed it...bubbles! Gameplay is basically the same as the two previous games, but it just looks a whole lot nicer. You also have a choice of four completely different looking characters, each with their own special skills. Control of the characters is very responsive, but I found the movement to be a bit slow. There are many times that you will need to anticipate the movement of a bouncing bubbles in order to allow you the time to move your character out of its way. The game is absolutely intended to react that way, so it's not a flaw, just a bit slow for my tastes. Controlling a character up some of the many obstacles can also be a chore, as proper placement of the little Buster crucial for success. The two-player mode is absolutely the highlight of the game. You and a friend control characters on the screen at the same time, running back and forth to break the bubbles. The strategy you employ is your call...you can choose to cooperate with a friend and rid the screen of its bubbles, or work against each other and to break the bubbles as they are traveling towards your opponent. The pace in two-player mode get quite frantic and if played cooperatively, helps both parties to advance to the later levels much more easily. There are a good number of weapons and items that are also collected by shooting at on screen platforms or blocks. Break a block or platform and you may be rewarded with a wide dispersal laser gun that takes out handfuls of bubbles at a time or perhaps get a clock that will briefly freeze the motion of the bubbles, twin wire guns and a host of other stuff. You will also occasionally have to deal with some on screen nasties that will temporarily render your weapons inoperable if they touch you. You can of course always destroy them...There will also be some bubble-munching friends that appear at random intervals in the Super BB game. All in all this is a very attractive little package that places gameplay above the usual eye and ear candy. Whether or not that's a good, is for you to decide. Buster Bros. Collection has an addictive nature that has stood the test of time. In two-player mode
Value for Money
Although the package is rather dated, retro-gamers will want to take a look here. You get three games on one disc that will provide a good time for one person and almost limitless gameplay in two-player mode.
Bros. Collection has an addictive nature that has stood the test of
time. Gameplay is simple to pickup but challenging enough to hold your
In one or two-player mode the action is non-stop and sets a frantic pace that will leave you breathless by games end. BBC offers a fun and relentless retro-gaming experience.