Friday, February 20, 2009


Namco / Zap

Barunba seems to be antiquated garbage from afar, but it isn't a terrible little shooter. While there's nothing surprising about the area concepts it utilizes, its backdrops do look distinct and appealing enough to make its battle sites stand out from other titles' cities, forests, and mountain ranges. You don't get to explore at your leisure, but the adventure doesn't feel entirely linear, as each stage has you alter your course numerous times. You'll come across plenty of different enemy breeds and partake in some fairly demanding boss fights. Hard-core shooter players will be happy with the high level of difficulty and the amount of practice required by the game's tougher sections.

But it's doubtful that they (or anyone else, for that matter) will find the control scheme acceptable, as it requires players to rotate their cannons about their craft and makes some tight stretches a lot more difficult than they should be. You're sure to feel clumsy as you struggle just to move your guns into proper position. Also awful is the high-pitched sound made when you get hit, and since your globular craft makes for an enormous target, you'll be hearing that noise quite often. You might give up on the game prior to the cacophony becoming unbearable, though; boredom will set in due to some lengthy stages requiring way too much time.

There's nothing wrong with laying out a few bucks for Barunba; it might surprise you to an extent if your expectations are low like mine were. Just be prepared for the frustration you'll feel as a result of dealing with clunky controls, super-long stages, and irritating sound effects.

Some of the areas don't look all that bad, I suppose, and each plays home to plenty of different kinds of creatures.

Your adversaries in the underwater zone are interesting, but the backdrop is rather ugly.

The bosses are goofy looking, but you'll still need to come up with solid plans in order to beat 'em.

These mini-bosses will be the least of your worries as you blast your way through the final level.

Now here's someone to worry about...

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