Burai Fighter is a shooter that was released for the NES, Game Boy and Game Boy Color. It had different names on each platform; Burai Fighter on the NES, Burai Fighter Deluxe on the Game Boy and Burai Fighter Color in Japan and Space Marauder in the US on the Game Boy Color. The game has two different types of game play levels, described below.
In Burai Fighter the player controls a nameless hero whose mission is to defeat the Burai and destroy their seven bases. The Burai are a race of super-brains, who for thousands of years have been trying to take over the universe. They can’t do it alone however so they have been busy creating armies of robo-mutants. They produce these monsters at their manufacturing bases, which of course must be destroyed. The protagonist has to face the five Burai: Giganticrab, Jawsipede, Fangskull, Torchwing and finally Slimdragon. They'll have an arsenal of weapons and their proton pack to aid them but even then, it’ll be a challenge.
Burai Fighter is a side-scrolling shooter that is unique from many other shooters for a variety of reasons. Burai Fighter is unlike most shooters as the game doesn’t just scroll from one side to the other, it often changes directions and takes different paths. Not all of the game’s levels are side-scrolling though: a few of the levels of played from the top-down perspective with the objective being to try to find a base and destroy it.
Before starting these levels the player is given a map showing where they are and where the base is; yes, like a mall map. The game is unique from most other shooters in the fact that the player can freely touch any wall without being damaged. In fact it’s encouraged as there are many hidden rooms with goodies in them. When stumbling upon one, the camera changes path and moves into the room briefly then, once it’s scrolled all the way through, begins making its way back to the main path.
The HUD shows the score, lives, current weapon, how many upgrades of that weapon have been picked up as well as a bar that fills up whenever "Cobalt Bombs" are found. The Cobalt Bombs are sometimes dropped by enemies and if the player can fill said bar, they will attain an extra life. The player can also press the A button if the bar is somewhat filled to do a special attack which clears everything off the screen. As the game progresses there will be weapon upgrades that flash between the three possible weapons. The player can continue to pick them up until that specific weapon upgrades to a better version. The first upgrade will occur when five are collected and the last upgrade with ten.
- Starter Weapon: The typical weapon, like any in any other shooter. The starter weapon shoots bullets the length of the screen.
- Laser: The Laser can be compared to the starting weapon in that it shoots a straight line and goes the distance of the screen until hitting an obstacle. At the first weapon change it shoots two beams, one in the direction the player's aiming and another in the opposite direction. The last upgrade allows the player to shoot four laser beams in an X pattern.
- Ring: When using the Ring the player shoots a circular disc that can go through walls; the starter weapon also shoots when using the Ring. The first upgrade shoots rings the direction the player's aiming and the opposite direction. The last upgrade makes the player shoot a disc in the opposite direction they're aiming and a spread of three rings the direction they're aiming.
- Missile: The Missile is similar to the Ring in that when shot, it'll also shoot the starter weapon. The missile however always shoots forward, even if the player is aiming in a different direction. The first upgrade makes missiles shoot to the left and to the right. The final upgrade shoots missiles in every central direction; up, down, left and right.