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Set during the discovery age, Buccaneer has the player playing as a treasure hunting pirate, intent on finding riches of gold, diamonds and other rare valuables in order to make a name for himself a powerful force of vast fortune and magnitude. As such, one visit to a port town causes the pirate to discover a map concerning the Demonic Waters. The seas are said to of attracted many pirates to its opulent resources and ample secrets. Though no one has returned. Unfazed by this although the pirate sets sail to indulge himself with all the booty he can find.
The Buccaneer gameplay is opened to a map screen of the Demonic Waters along with the ship that you sail. The aim is to defeat the haunted ships and discover the treasures aboard in order to progress the story further and enlarge the map to open new areas. The haunted ships you encounter often appear at random with red pirate ships representing mission based stages that turn the game into a third person action game. These stages are hack 'n slash style games, influenced heavily by Koei's Shin Sengoku Musou series.
There are dozens of on-screen enemies such as zombies, ghosts and ghouls that have to be cleared in order to win and health is replenished by breaking boxes to reveal bonus items. Certain enemies are only vulnerable to certain gem stones you're using and you have to switch back and forth in order ot get the advantage over your foe. The red pirate ships have you defeat bosses and unlock treasure chests.
Blue/green pirate ships on the otherhand have you compete in (often timed) minigames where you're eventually graded based on performance. Destroying red pirate ships and completing the island missions are often followed by text filled screens (like with Dragon Sisters) that progress the story.
Buccaneer's controls also have comparisons to that with Shin Sengoku Musou in that it is a 3D hack 'n slash action game. There is a standard attack, enhanced attack and a finishing move that can be used once the bar below the health is full. However the button layout is different. With cross activating the finisher, circle starting the enhanced attack and triangle making it possible to jump. The only shared button is square to do normal attacks. Overall it is a little fiddly because of that.
Like Shin Sengoku Musou aswell the camera is semi-automated and can only be flicked back behind the player's shoulder with a push of L1. Unlike Shin Sengoku Musou though, the Buccaneer you play as has a pistol which can be freely used pressing R1. It is possible to lock onto enemies by holding R2 as well which allows you to strafe and attack from behind with ease.
- Buccaneer is known as Simple 2000 Series Vol. 96: The Kaizoku in Japan