Super Buster Bros.
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|Super Buster Brothers|
Packaging for the Super NES version
Mitchell Corporation (Arcade)|
Capcom (Super Famicom/NES)
Toshihiko Uda |
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Super NES|
Super Buster Bros., released as Super Pang (スーパーパン) outside of North America, is a cooperative two-player shooting puzzle arcade video game developed by Mitchell and released in the United States in 1990 by Capcom. It was the tenth game released for the CP System hardware. It is the second game in the Pang series and was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992. It is also featured in the compilations Buster Bros. Collection for the original PlayStation and Capcom Puzzle World for PlayStation Portable – from Capcom's the creator of Mega Twins (1990).
The object of the game is to use a gun to pop bubbles that bounce around the screen. There are two different modes: panic mode and arcade mode. Similarly to Asteroids, when a player pops a bubble, it splits into two smaller bubbles. Sufficiently small bubbles simply vaporize when popped. Occasionally, monsters walk or fly on to the screen. When the player character touches a monster, they die. Monsters can also pop bubbles. Although the arcade game and the PlayStation version included in Buster Bros. Collection allow two players to play simultaneously, the Super NES version only has one player mode. Powerups are found by popping certain bubbles, shooting boxes, or shooting certain unmarked spots in the level. The gun powerups cannot be used in conjunction with each other.
In this mode, the player faces a rain of bubbles. The default weapon is the bubble shot and cannot be changed at any time. Every time a bubble is popped, a rainbow bar at the bottom is slowly filled. Filling the bar all the way causes the player to advance to the next level. As more bubbles are popped, the remaining and incoming bubbles move faster.
There is also one special type of bubble that appears rarely. The bubble can appear at any random time, and has a clock image engraved. Whenever the bubble bounces, the engraving changes to a star, and when the bubble bounces again, the engraving changes back to a clock. Popping the bubble when the clock engraving is present causes all bubbles to stop movement completely for 9 seconds, while popping the bubble when the star engraving is present causes all bubbles to be popped and the game screen gets cleared, filling the rainbow bar with every pop made from the bubbles that are being destroyed.
Panic mode is beaten when the player reaches level 99, fills the rainbow bar and destroys any remaining bubbles on the screen (after the bar is filled and level 99 is reached, no new bubbles appear). The ending of the game is different in panic mode than in arcade mode.
In this mode, each of the stages has a set layout, consisting of walls, destructible glass walls, invisible walls, ladders and ice. There's items such as candy and 1-ups. In the SNES version, there are four difficulty levels in the arcade mode: easy, normal, hard and expert. Each difficulty has their own stage layouts, some remaining the same, some varying slightly and some changed completely. The amount of continues and general speed of bubbles is also affected by the difficulty level chosen.
Reviewing the PlayStation Buster Bros. Collection, Doctor Devon of GamePro remarked that the game makes no real use of the PlayStation hardware in terms of either graphics or controls, and is less fun to play than the arcade version due to the load times every time the player character is hit. He nonetheless judged that the "classic" gameplay makes the game worthwhile for either newcomers to the series or Buster Bros. fans moved by nostalgia.