Originally debuting in the arcades in 1987 as Jaleco’s answer to Bomberman (which released four years prior) albeit with pigs and since ported to home computer (and Mega Drive!), Butasan is a strange franchise to revive in 2015 but that’s what Mechanic Arms (themselves responsible for many eShop games including the EXCAVE trilogy, Maison de Maou and Steel Empire) have done making up for Nintendo’s unfortunate extermination of the Virtual Console and instead developing an all new game -Tatakae Butasan- exclusively for 3DS.
Described as ‘Fighting Bomb Action’ by Mechanic Arms, the game is incredibly easy to pick up in-spite of what may seem like an initially daunting array of Japanese text (see bottom for rough menu translations). You control a pink big im boxer shorts with the aim being to bomb your opponent/s until they’re nothing but burnt bits of bacon. There’s two main modes to choose from – Tournament and Endless with the former consiting of 8 – 16 battles depending on what difficulty setting and the Endless being, well, endless!
Beginning battles with four lives, you find yourself fenced into a pen with at first one and later up-to four other pigs (not including the bespectacled and often heel referee). Tatakae Butasan’s arena is more free-form than say Bomberman and its grid system, with nothing more than the occasional bush to hide in or tree stump to obstruct the path and in later Endless levels: boulders and fences which each add further obstructions and thus require an alternate strategy.
Control is incredibly simple throughout with the A button used to throw bombs (you just walk into them to pick them up) and to punch an opposing pig (if you are not holding a bomb), B is used to crawl (you can’t be attacked) with Y used for certain power-ups. The game, like Bomberman, delivers plenty of power-ups including force fields, gas masks, multiple bombs, extra lives and a super-cool dragon onesie which allows you to survive one bomb blast plus looks pretty chic.
Tatakae Butasan has no deep storyline, no plot twists and no character development whatsoever but more importantly: it doesn’t have to. Whilst it can be fairly criticised for lacking an online multiplayer mode (it does boast internet rankings however), with local multiplayer unlikely to be enjoyed by most readers of this blog: the game is incredibly easy to pick up, provides fast and frantic fun and is probably the greatest Bomberman-like experience of this generation.
Review by Bri Bri. For more information on Tatakae Butasan go to http://www.lares.dti.ne.jp/~marms//software/buta3.html
Blue (left to right): Outfits / Rankings / Options
Red: Tournament (Easy – 8 rounds / Medium – 12 / Hard – 16)
Orange: Local Communication
Green (top to bottom): / Endless mode – Solo / Co-operation (two player)
Pink: Bonus (Yellow – BGM / Green – Illustrations / Red – Staff)