GAME OF THE MONTH COLLECTION!
BIONIC COMMANDO
(Capcom, November 1989)



Bionic Commando isn't only one of the most unique games ever made but it maybe the most controversial Nintendo Entertainment System video game in existence! Why? In this game from the late eighties, you can get the chance to see and even kill the evil Adolf Hilter. No, this is not another Metal of Honor game. So why the heck is that World War II relic in a NES game? Only Capcom knows, but Hilter or not, this is still a very cool and very original war/action game with tight graphics, fitting music, and amazing never seen before game play.

The story in Bionic Commando begins as the evil imperial general Lissimo Killt discovers a lost book from a dead dictator which talks about a secret weapon called the Albatross, the general decides to put the plan into practice. The Imperial Forces are now creating a huge uprising to help start a massive war. One of the top soldiers from the Federation named Super Joe was sent in behind enemy lines to investigate the general but the Federation lost contact with him and that where you come into the picture. You are Captain Radd Spencer (or Rad, Ladd Spencer, whatever the hell it is), a young man sent in to fight the Imperial Forces and rescue Super Joe (if he's still alive that is). In Bionic Commando, you get to use a cool, new bionic arm behind enemy lines to assist you in rescuing your friend, and hopefully saving the world while you're at it too. Oh, Hilter gets reanimated but you have to play through the game to understand what's the deal with that.

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Bionic Commando is absolutely unique because you can't jump in this action/shooter platformer, as Captain Spencer you HAVE to use the bionic arm to get where you’re going in the game. The arm can also do other things like stun enemies and grab certain item that maybe out of reach normally. It takes some getting use to but you're sure having fun trying your cool gizmo out. The bionic arm isn't the only cool and original thing about BC, there are also special convoys on the main map that can block you process but if get in contact with one these green trucks, the action shifts into the classic Commando (a older Capcom hit) overhead view and now you have a chance to win some much needed Continues. Another important thing that can be done here is to communicate with other soldiers to get some helpful advice or to unlock certain doors. The game even lets you do some Wire Tapping to hear what the enemy may be up to, just be careful while you're doing it.

Not only is this game a little controversial but BC is also pretty challenging too. The game lets you gain experience if you kill enough enemies like in a traditional RPG but you start off the mission with no life what so ever meaning only one hit will kill you. Capcom also mixed things up a bit in some levels so that only certain weapons, items, and communicators will work on a particle stage. If you stick with it the mission will get easier but make no mistake, this is one tough game.

BC has usual standard issue NES graphics; you know the deal, some repetitive backdrops and some low detail here and there. It's not all bad though, Radd has cool animations especially when he is swinging around back and front with the bionic arm plus I love whole World War II theme mixed in with a futurist Sci Fi look too. Near the end of the mission, you actually get this giant secret weapon and you even get to watch Mr. D's head explodes in a great but still gruesome fashion in an unforgettable NES moment. Who said all NES games are too soft, eh?!

"Ah, the sounds of war!" The music has a lot of impressive drumming beats in the background to get the war feel going but the tracks to seem to repeat themselves too often the further you go into the game. To get an idea on the attention given to the various sound effects in BC, all of the 5 different guns you can find in the game each have their own unique firing sounds to them.

This Bionic Commando here not only surpasses the original arcade game it was based on (you can play that edition on the Capcom Collection series but it's way too frustating) not but it was so inventive and fun to play that it is still in my NES Top Ten beating out 700 different titles. Not only are the graphics and music awesome but the story really draws into the adventure to rescue your fellow soldier and destroy the Imperial (basically Nazis) uprising. You also gotta love a game where you can pwn Hilter, eh? If you are sick of the same old thing then try this out and be ready for war.

Conclusion:

 

BIONIC COMMANDO
overall review: 98/100

For 1 player only
graphics: 8/10
sound: 8/10
gameplay: 9/10
replay: 7/10

StarSoldier1
(Ryan Genno) 2009

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