Bionic Commando (NES)

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Bionic Commando is an action platform game by Capcom for the NES. It is one of the few really good games I owned for the console, and one of my favorite games of all time.

Story

This game has changed significantly from the original arcade release it is based on. The story explains how neo-Nazis have discovered plans for a doomsday device called the Albatross among the belongings of the deceased Adolf Hitler. The leader of the group is trying to develop the Albatross in order to take over the world, so the Federation sent in their best operative, Super Joe, to stop them. Unfortunately, the Federation lost contact with Super Joe while he was behind enemy lines, and he appears to have been captured. You play a brave soldier with a bionic arm who has volunteered to infiltrate the Nazis, determine the fate of Super Joe, and stop them from finishing the horrible Albatross. The American version was highly censored and all references to Nazism were removed, but Hitler is still quite recognizable.

Review

Good

  • From start to end, the game has a really cool story line with some interesting twists.
  • While the bionic arm mechanic has a steep learning curve, once your become good at it, you'll not only love it, but wish for it in other games as well.
  • The game has a lot of variety. Each area has new graphics, enemy soldiers, bosses, hazards, and interesting characters to see.
  • The ability to travel semi-freely over the main map takes away from some of the linearity of the game.
  • The music for this game is phenomenal.
  • The difficulty level for the game is perfect. It requires you to become good at it, but doesn't have any moments that make it feel like the game is cheating you.
  • The need to determine the proper communicators for each area is a nice side-puzzle.
  • The Commando-esque Meet With Enemy sequences are fun and nostalgic.

Bad

  • The game is ripe with typos and translation errors making certain things hard to understand.
  • Both the wide cannon and machine gun are horrible weapons.
  • The fact that you receive the medicine so early in the game makes most of the other items useless.
  • There is no save-game or password system. Although, this is alleviated by the ability to farm unlimited continues.
  • Taking into account where you usually get it, and how brief it lasts, the POW item is nearly useless.

Ugly

  • Nothing. This game is art!