Format reviewed: Game Gear
Submitted by: Matt
I wanted to kick this retro profile off saying that Buster Fight was one of the few one-on-one beat'em ups made especially for the GameGear. However, upon doing a Google search to find an image I discovered something – this game was first released on the Master System in Europe under the name of Masters of Combat.
I'm still semi-right though – this conversion came out a year later and had a few tweeks. The control system in particular is rather well thought out – attacks are pulled off by holding down button 1 and pushing in a direction while holding down button 2 and pushing on the d-pad will make your character jump, dash and block depending on which direction you press. It’s a simple system yet it makes Buster Fight satisfying to play.
The four playable characters aren’t memorable as the likes of the Street Fighter crowd but they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Ninja Hayate is fast but weak, Gonzalez is strong but slow, Wingberger has plenty of long distance attacks but very few short distance ones while Highvoltman is the good all-rounder. Wingberger sticks out the most thanks to some stretchy robotic limbs; the other three characters are pretty nondescript. The same can be said for the final boss – a giant blue alien simply known as “The Alien”.
Backdrops fair better, including an army base and inside a power plant. There are five backdrops in total, which is three more than the first Mortal Kombat games had.
Even though Buster Fight was never released outside of Japan the text is in English, which makes me wonder if it was due for a western release at one point. The fact that it didn’t make it out over here is a bit of a mystery – perhaps Masters of Combat didn’t sell as well as Sega hoped? That would at least explain why it’s a game that Master System collectors always struggle to find.