Japanese arcade flyer
|Designer(s)||Hiroshi Kaneko and team|
1990 (NEC PC Engine as Aero Blasters)
1991 (Sega Genesis)
|Mode(s)||Single player, 2 player co-op|
|Display||Horizontal, Raster, 256 x 224 pixels, 768 colors|
Air Buster: Trouble Specialty Raid Unit a.k.a. Aero Blasters: Trouble Specialty Raid Unit is a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game released by Kaneko in 1990, licensed to Namco. The player controls a fighter jet also designed for space travel and shoots enemies, collects power-ups, and defeats bosses to advance levels. It was released for the NEC PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 as Aero Blasters. The following year it was released on the Sega Genesis in the United States as Air Buster. As a console game this title had the distinction of being two player simultaneous. This was rare among side scrolling shooters on home consoles. All games in the Thunder Force, Gradius, and R-Type series were only 1 player on the home consoles.
The Genesis version featured more detailed and larger sprites and backgrounds than PCE version.
In the year 2021 a mysterious orbital space weapon appears and assaults the nations of the Earth. The players control the pilots Mike or Holly who are a part of the Trouble Speciality Raid Unit whose mission is to stop the invasion.
Players choose between one of the two Blaster fighters through scrolling six stages. The Blaster fighters can equip one of seven weapons. The weapons include the Striker weapon which adds additional firepower through vertically aligned Options, the Reverse shot which fires two diagonal shots from the rear of the ship, the Six Way Shot which fires semi-automatic shots in six directions and the Homing Shot which tracks enemies all around the screen.
The other three weapons are Missile based which vary from Red straight-firing Rockets and Green Homing Missiles. There is also the Border item which surrounds the front of the ship, keeping it from crashing into foreground objects. The only other Items include Power-Ups which increase the ship's standard shot power and Bonus Points that appear in the sign of Dollar signs.
MegaTech magazine gave the game 78%, commenting on the "excellent graphics, sound and playability", but criticising the low challenge factor. Mega placed the game at #13 in their Top Mega Drive Games of All Time. Mean Machines gave the game 80%, but said that it could not compete with Hellfire.
- MegaTech rating, EMAP, issue 5, page 78, May 1992
- Mega magazine issue 1, page 76, Future Publishing, Oct 1992