Pang (video game)
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Pang (パン, Pan), also known as Pomping World (Japanese: ポンピング・ワールド, Hepburn: Ponpingu Wārudo), is a cooperative two-player arcade video game released in 1989 by the Mitchell Corporation. The North American release from Capcom was titled Buster Bros.. It was the tenth game released for the CP System hardware.
|Platform(s)||Arcade, TurboGrafx-CD, SNES, PlayStation, Game Boy, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, iOS|
|Release||Arcade: CPS |
|Arcade system||CP System + Capcom Mitchell Hardware|
|Display||Raster, standard resolution|
The basic gameplay is identical to a much earlier 1983 MSX Japanese computer game called Cannon Ball (also released in 1983 on the ZX Spectrum as Bubble Buster). Cannon Ball was made by Japanese publishers Hudson Soft, and possibly inspired Mitchell Corp. to make Buster Bros. six years later.
In the game, the Buster brothers must finish a round-the-world quest to destroy bouncing balloons that are terrorizing several of Earth's landmarks and cities. The fight to save the Earth begins on Mt. Fuji, Japan, where the brothers must pass all three stages before moving on to the next location. Conversions for home systems were produced by Ocean Software in 1990 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Amiga, MS-DOS and Atari ST.
There are 50 stages at 17 locations: Mt. Fuji, Mt. Keirin, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Angkor Wat, Ayers Rock, the Taj Mahal, Leningrad, Paris, London, Barcelona, Athens, Egypt, Kenya, New York, Mayan ruins, Antarctica, and finally Easter Island.
Each location has a unique background that shows the area's most famous landmarks. The stages contain a different layout of blocks, some that disappear after being shot, others that do not, and still others that are hidden and can reveal bonuses.
The stages start with differing numbers and sizes of balloons. The largest balloon divides for the first three times it is popped; after the fourth and smallest balloon is popped it vanishes. Each player starts with a single harpoon. When a balloon is popped, special weapons may drop down.
The other weapons include:
- Double Wire - a twin harpoon that allows two shots at once.
- Power Wire - a grappling hook that stays attached to the ceiling or block for a short period of time. This time can be decreased by rapidly pressing the fire button.
- Vulcan Missile - a high-caliber gun that works much like a machine gun allowing rapid shots.
There is no ammunition limit to any weapon. The names of the weapons differ between the monitor bezel (given above) and the game's attract mode. Other bonuses include:
- A force field.
- An hourglass that slows the balls down.
- A clock which stops the balls for a short time.
- Dynamite that pops all of the balloons down to their smallest size simultaneously.
At a certain point in the stage, a food item will drop down that is worth several hundred (or thousand in the later stages) bonus points. These are different and of increasing value, until a 48,000-point cake slice is reached; thereafter the bonuses are all cake slices, alternating between 48,000 and 50,000 points.
If a player touches a balloon of any size, the player dies and both players must start the stage again.
When both players touch a balloon at the same time, only Player 1 will lose a life but this is somewhat offset because when both players reach a bonus or weapon simultaneously only Player 1 will get it.
Players start with 3-5 lives depending on the dip switch setting. Extra lives are also given when certain point totals have been accumulated. The stage ends when all of the balloons are successfully cleared. The game ends after all stages have been completed and our heroic duo ride their jeep into the sunset on an Easter Island beach.
In some[which?] later versions, there are more than 17 locations.
The arcade version was released by Mitchell in Japan and Europe. In Japan, it was called Pomping World, and in Europe it was called Pang. When the arcade version was released by North America by Capcom USA, the name was changed to Buster Bros.
A TurboGrafx-CD version was released by Hudson Soft. A Game Boy version was also released by Hudson Soft. The game was ported to the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Amiga, Atari ST, and PCs by Ocean Software. These versions were only released in Europe. The Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC+/GX4000 conversions were available on cartridge only.
In Japan, Game Machine listed Pang on their December 15, 1989 issue as being the thirdteenth most-successful table arcade unit of the year.
The ZX Spectrum version was awarded a 94% in the February 1991 issue of Your Sinclair and was placed at number 74 in the "Your Sinclair official top 100". Amiga Power were even more enthusiastic, listing it as the 11th best game ever in their initial Top 100 list, published with Amiga Format in April 1991 as a preview of the magazine.
The first three versions of the game were released as a compilation on the PlayStation under the name of Super Pang Collection (Buster Bros. Collection in North America) in 1997. Buster Bros and Super Buster Bros were also included in the PSP game Capcom Puzzle World in 2007.
Gamesoul Studios of Poland, released an Android version called Spheremare.
- Maciejewski, A. "Bustin It Up With The Buster Bros". Videochums.com. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
- "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 370. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 December 1989. p. 23.
- Pang Archived 2007-03-10 at the Wayback Machine
- "The YS Top 100 Speccy Games Of All Time (Ever!)". Your Sinclair (70): 31. October 1991. Archived from the original on 16 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-04.
- "Amiga Power Supplemental". Amiga Power (0): 4. May 1991. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 2006-09-04.