Burai Fighter ditches the traditional “fly a ship through space” premise of, er, every shoot-em-up and gives you a full-fledged human to pilot.
The whole concept of a man floating in space and shooting works better than it sounds because your man is able to shoot and move in eight different directions. In other words: instead of just shooting and traveling to the right in a straight line, like other horizontally-scrolling shmups, you can shoot up, down, left, right, and diagonally while your character is facing a different direction. This makes for some crazy gunplay.
Strangely, for a shmup, there aren’t a lot of enemies, but that works to your advantage. As a person in space, you are a larger sprite than most ship sprites in other shmups, so the relative dearth of enemies helps your progression. Also, unlike most shmups, you can touch the foundations of the level and not die. If you hit a wall, your man will not explode into a million pieces; only enemies do damage.
Power-ups and large bosses exist in Burai Fighter, but these are common shoot-em-up traits. The real star of this game is the nimble protagonist and his shooting powers. All hail the one true Burai Fighter, Lord of the Space Dance.
PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: Taxan GENRE: Shoot-em-up
RELEASE DATE: 03/1990 – (US), 07/20/90 – (JP), 1990 – (EU)