Thursday, 28 May 2015

Beast Busters - Arcade


Some beasts need busting, take 3 machine guns.


SNK have a name for themselves in making some of the tougher games out there. In particular, and namely so, the SNK boss syndrome where the last boss (or every boss if you're unlucky) is nightmarishly difficulty, has higher priority over all your attacks and does moves you could never hope to do. However, this is a light gun game they've made called Beast Busters and it's... following the same suit that SNKs bosses do.

Sounds like a nice vacation spot.

Beast Busters is a tough game, there's no two ways about that. Despite it catering for up to 3 players at once, each with their own excessively meaty looking sub-machinegun, it's a nightmare to play and unless you really are watching carefully, you'll end up shooting things you don't need to shoot and getting shot by the things you do need to shoot.

Bedlam, carnage, guns, zombies. I love it.

However, jumping ahead of myself here, Beast Busters takes the idea that a town has suddenly become a ghost town and rather than send in the authorities, it's decided that 3 gun-ho pricks will meander in and take a gander at the situation. Shit goes down, stuff blows up and everything becomes chaos and hell within the first level. Though to be honest, as soon as the first person you met was BLUE and SHOOTING AT YOU, I'd have turned around and walked off if I was still walking at that point. Though that wouldn't make for much of a game.

Should that not be "recently found" ?

Our 3 "heroes" are now stuck deep in enemy territory while trying to figure out what happened, how to escape and basically machinegun, grenade, rocket, flame and electrify everything they can to escape. You get a set of magazines of ammo and have to kill a specifically reoccurring enemy in each level for more to drop in for you to shoot to claim. Most enemies in this game aren't dead however, until they explode, so if they go down, they may get back up and keep attacking. Invariably, this means nearly every enemy must be killed twice.

Most mid-bosses have a pattern and weak point.

The enemies within Beast Busters are a colourful lot at best and not because they're blue skinned. There's some really gruesome looking enemies and monsters, ranging from diseased dogs, to giant birds/eagles/owls (I don't know), mutated piranha, giant head-neck turd bosses (help me please) and even flesh-monster-car creatures that puke rockets at you. Creativity is not in short supply in this game. The problem is that you're likely to run out of credits a long way before you get to see most of the more interesting enemies and bosses.

This is why you should always scrap your car, yourself.

Audio, there's little really to have for music as it's drowned out for the noise of screams and slaughtered monsters and enemies. However the sound effects are loud proud and quite overbearing but you'll manage always to know when you're nearly did thanks to the klaxon sounding "Warning: Now you are about to die" signal. Incidentally you WILL hear that noise a LOT and then "YOU ARE DEAD" being broadcast loudly proudly and spoken to you too as if one method just wasn't enough to hammer home that point where in you died.

Who the fuck writes this?

Even with 3 people playing Beast Busters and unless you're perfectly in psychic synchronisation, you will find yourself heavily overwhelmed within the first few levels and the pressure doesn't let up in the slightest after that. The most annoying part is that the plot maintains that going along the river will be safer and then you're looking at the most enemies and most simultaneously attacking groups you've ever come across within the game, so much for the "easier" route. (Though why it's level 4 at that point and easier was pretty much asking for things to get a lot harder).

Lightning grenades, in case explosions weren't enough.

If you manage to find a means of playing Beast Busters effectively, you're in for a fun ride of highly imaginative enemies and settings, interesting use of transitions between one part of the level and another and a gore fest almost unparallel for the time. But it's still going to be a difficult slog through some of the toughest gun-game sections seen barring Mechanised Attack (Also by SNK...) and with little replay value, brought down by the difficulty, you'll likely play this once or twice and skip it beyond that.