Blade Buster

By: Derek Yu

On: October 12th, 2010

Blade Buster is a new homebrew NES shoot ’em up by the doujin group High Level Challenge. The game is based on the two time attack modes from the 1990 Turbografx-16 vertical shoot ’em up Super Star Soldier, in which you try to achieve the highest possible score in either 2 or 5 minutes. So there are only two short stages in the game, with the boss battles at the end of each one. Aside from the standard enemies, boxes, and gems, there are various hidden bonuses you can get for extra points.

It’s always nice to see a high-quality homebrew title come out for the NES, and Blade Buster certainly fits the bill, with nice graphics and music, and fun level design. The game also runs very well on FCEUX, my NES emulator of choice, putting lots of fast-moving sprites on the screen with almost no slowdown or flicker. Check it out if you’re a fan of NES homebrew or shoot ’em ups!

TIGdb: Entry for Blade Buster

  • Derek Yu

    Highscore Challenge: my best for 5 minutes is 900,200!

  • James

    I can't seem to beat 706,800. Or the final boss. :-P

  • Iocane

    Would this actually work on a stock NES? I'm seeing a lot of moving sprites.

  • Guest

    This game has some pretty nice music.

  • tung

    Star Soldier was one of my favourite games on the NES, though I wasn't very good at it. That and Gradius.

  • Paint by Numbers

    Damn. It's unreal how smooth this game is. Reminds me a lot more of SNES than NES.

  • Al3xand3r

    Is it me or is this way too similar to Star Soldier R? This is its five minute mode:

    There's almost the exact same progression with the same weapon power ups and everything, they even reach the first boss in pretty much the same time frame if you start the gameplay part of the two videos together.

  • Phubans

    This is vaguely reminiscent of The Guardian Legend; it's like they took the shmup parts and married it with the walking parts, since there's a lot of boxes to destroy. Looks like fun!!

  • Al3xand3r

    I think that Star Soldier R video is on easy mode or something, but still.

  • Cow

    Love the look of this, but that movement speed just seems ridiculous. And as a guy who has a bad habit of dodging into bullets that might be an issue.

  • Derek Yu

    Oh, you can set the speed of your ship by pressing Select. The person in the video is on the highest speed.

  • Cow

    Oh, okay great!

  • Dante Dever

    Wonder if it's as good as Recca… *downloads*

  • Dodger

    Yes, it looks as though everything was ripped right out of Star Soldier (NES), Super Star Soldier (TG16), and Star Soldier R (WiiWare). I think the inspiration is obvious. The sprites are somewhat different, and the fact that it makes for one of the more colorful NES roms out there, that might make it a little different, but it's definitely a clone / almost carbon copy. It's definitely a good clone, and not that I personally care or anything, but I wonder if it too closely clones the core elements of the Star Soldier series. I mean, Ikaruga uses elements of Star Soldier but most definitely differentiates itself with additional elements and mechanics, whereas this seems to be almost a direct rip. I personally don't care because I don't think it's worth suing the dev group over, but when titles are this closely duplicated I wonder if there are any legal implications. I mean, personally I'm all for fan made games and especially freeware titles that allow the general public to enjoy a similar game or clone of a game that might be harder to obtain or unavailable in certain parts of the world, but this doesn't just look and feel like a clone of sorts, it's almost a direct port of the exact same elements and mechanics of the star soldier games, minus the sprites. I'm just curious if this crosses any lines though or if it just fits neatly under that “gray area” of legal and ethical development and formula imitating.

    I'm not complaining though, it's free, it's fast, it's colorful, and it's fun. I definitely recommend it for shmup fans and any fans of the Star Soldier series and the like, definitely fans the Star Soldier series :-)

  • James Monkman

    Now, this is more like it! :) I'm sure I had a version of this on my GBA… Oh yes, I did :D

  • anthonyflack

    Yeah it is basically a clone of the Star Soldier series, but I think that kind of thing is legit as a technical exercise in retro-fitting something to run on older hardware. See also, for example, the recent port of Juno First to the Atari 2600. A programming challenge, and a tribute to the potential of the old machines, rather than an exercise of creativity and design.

    The number of projectiles they manage to get on-screen during the boss battle is certainly impressive.

  • lessQQmorePewpew

    i still havent beaten gradius NES emu quicksaved right before final bossfight from hell with one life ;~; i dont wanna start all over again

  • Ian Chamberlin

    Oh yeah, I used to play Super Star Shooter Advance a lot. There's a homebrew Wii version too. :)

  • Anthony

    The TurboGrafx-16 had quite a few awesome shmups, Super Star Soldier and Soldier Blade being a couple of my favorites. This game seems to be really well made and fun, even though I suck at it.

  • Ryan Szrama

    Made it to 686,000 first time I lasted the full 5 minutes. Will have to play a few more times through to compete w/ 900k. ; )

  • boomlinde

    It's amazing how there's pretty much no slow-down! Gotta try this next week.