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September 21 2019

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  NGP - Dark Arms: Beast Buster 1999 · ©SNK 1999

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Game Stats
1 or 2 players
(with link cable)

Overhead Shooter/Action RPG

16 Megs

Japanese Name:

Dark Arms: Beast Buster 1999



Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:


  • Dark Arms
  • Samurai Shodown

  • Introduction:

    The contract has been signed... And now weapons of destruction shall be made.

    Dark Arms is a follow up to that really old SNK Arcade Gun Shooting game; "Beast Busters". Although the two share a name, they are almost completely different! The old BB was a "machine gun style zombie shoot-em-up on rails", while the Dark Arms BB 99 is a cool overhead action RPG of sorts! Don't be fooled, even though the NPC version is small it has the same amount of freaky and weird creatures from its predecessor!


    BB 99 has nice story line with plenty of twist and turns along the way. "Just when you thought it was over, it lives again! Trust no one!!" The game is rather long, definitely not beaten in one sitting or easily for that matter! There are about 5 or large levels to explore, each with its own secrets and unique creatures. There are also day and night versions of each stage, equally deadly in their own way! The graphics in this game are to die for... Seriously. Almost every detail can be clearly seen and backgrounds showcase a variety of dark eye candy. Such as the wrinkled bed covers with blood on them in the first cabin stage. The stages themselves vary from towns to graveyards and other spooky places. There is in game record of the creatures you fought and captured. No, this isn't strange version of Pokemon! In BB 99 you customize your own weapons, experimenting and varying your arsenal! You actually create freakishly evil and strange creations to destroy your enemies! Hence the name Dark Arms in the title. In the game's storyline, the Beast Buster (one the original and best of the best, also your character in the game) has gone into a contract with the evil Shutan Master. The contract allows a human to make and use the powerful Dark Arms, but for what purpose?

    When you begin the game, you can name your character and use your capture weapon to confine monsters you encounter. You need to journey to the first stage to find an egg there. An egg and an ovum (weapon's spirit) are needed to create a Dark Arm. There quite a few eggs and ovum strewn about the game, but both are in limited supply so be careful not to waste them! There are about 8 different weapon types or ovum. Each will create a specific type of weapon, such as machine gun, shot gun, tentacle arm, blade, etc. Each weapon can evolve into a varied form, like evolving your blade will get a longer blade. If the blade is evolved long enough it will turn into a counter type weapon that steals life! Evolving weapon can change the weapon drastically in some cases. If you're happy with the weapon you have you can just level it up, making it stronger. Whenever you evolve a weapon, its level goes back to zero. Also a leveled up weapon keeps its ammo or power longer allowing for more shots fired! You get experience points just like in any other RPG. The more creatures you kill with a certain weapon the more experience that weapon will obtain. You use the captured monsters to feed and level up you weapons. Each monster will give your weapon an amount of points to evolve. The stronger the monster the more evolve points, but its really hard to capture the bosses and some other creature (but not impossible). Some monsters will give your weapons a special quality such as Fire or Ice!

    Playing the game is fun and easy. You start out at the Shutan Master's house; this becomes your home base, save point, weapon hatchery. When going into battle, you choose 3 of your weapons to bring along. You may also enter stages as many times as you like! When in the stage you have a nice long life bar to work with, there is also life up in the stage. You can move in and shoot in 8 directions, but can't strafe. Still your Beast Buster is a formidable fighter, when up against a wall he will automatically press his back to it to cover his reverse side! In stage you have 4 weapons (counting your catcher) to work with or less if you don't have 3 made yet. The buttons are extremely easy to use; A is shoot and B is weapon switch! It can really heat up when surrounded by 6 monsters at once! Little things like weapon gauges that fill even when not displayed make this an easy game to like. Plus the character looks cool while carrying his large weapons.


    The graphics are really good in this game, and the animation in most places in amazing (some times its below average). The music is interesting and catchy; it's composed well with a dark bassy (pocket style music) techno theme. Colors are brightly and vibrant when they need to be. Even more so, this game plays smoothly and never seems to slow down! Enough about the story mode, the real action is in the 2 Player Versus battle! My brother and I have logged hours blowing each other away in great little game "gun tag"!! "You get to choose the leveled up weapons that were made in story mode and test them on a real monster!" The Versus mode really adds to the replay value, the game has 4 unique 2 player only stages with their own music (2 player stage cannot be forgotten once heard!). Some stages have weak enemies such as reappearing zombies to mix up the fighting! This game is a definite buy!! A great sleeper hit! THE 2 PLAYER MODE ROCKS!! (I cannot emphasize it enough!)

    Graphics: 9/10
    Sound: 8/10
    Game play: 8/10
    Replay Value: 8/10

    Overall Rating: 8/10

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