Jet Buster Review
People have no doubt played the sprite-based shoot-em-ups from the 90s, but they’re a rarity in this day and age. Team Grybanser Fox recreated the aesthetics from these games of old with their new title Jet Buster, but does it have the gameplay to match?
Jet Buster Review
Jet Buster’s objective is a simple one – blast away anything and everything, collecting a high score along the way. Players can choose from a number of anthropomorphic animals to take into battle, each judged based on their speed, range, and attack. The banter between bosses changes depending on the character you use, but players can see most of what the game has to offer with their character of choice.
Starting out, players can choose between a Normal or EX Mode. Normal has you tackling six levels, while EX Mode makes things far more difficult and throws an extra level in for good measure. On Normal, the game is never overly unfair. Players can go down in one hit, but bullets never get overwhelming and enemy patterns can be memorized. This is one game that can be one credit cleared with enough practice. Those less adept at the game can always continue at the expense of coins gathered from fallen enemies.
This is an interesting dynamic for two reasons. For one, it means that those looking to get to the end will have to play aggressively, changing the style of play. In addition, there is an alternate rate of fire that will have enemies drop medals instead of coins. These medals are the key to getting a high score, which some may seek out. This variety is welcome, and keeps players on their toes, depending on their confidence in any given situation.
Levels run your typical gamut of cities, oceans, and more, but the sprite work is well done. The level of detail is akin to the shmups found on the Sega Saturn in the mid-90s, and little touches like the screen transitions and digitized voice samples add to the effect. There is even a heavy synth soundtrack that suits the action quite well.
It’s just a shame that everything is over far too fast. Neophytes can clear the Normal Mode in around a half hour, which is short, even for shmup standards. Players can use the coins from battle to unlock a Boss Rush Mode, an EX Boss Rush Mode, alternate characters like the ninja and UFO nerd, infinite continues, and even alternate wallpaper. This does give the game some legs, but more would have been welcome.
Jet Buster is a blast from the past that captures the spirit of 90s shmups quite well. It’s a fine tribute to days gone by, but its incredibly short length doesn’t give it much replayability.