Friday, June 13, 2008

(NES) Bionic Commando with Rearmed info

Bionic Commando

Also known as:
Top Secret: Hitler's Revival

Release date:
20th July, 1988 in Japan and America
26th October, 1990 in Europe

The game's set in the year 198X where Generalissimo Killt has engaged a secret project called "The Albatross" to resurrect the games final boss Master-D. Joseph "Super Joe" Gibson, who was the hero from the original arcade version, was sent in to put a stop to their plans. Unfortunately, you lose contact with him and send in this games new hero Nathan "Rad" Spencer. If you didn't think there could be any more cheesy 80s names in this game, think again. The enemy forces are called The Badds.

This is a platformer with the key element of being able to jump being removed. Instead of being able to jump you use a Bionic Arm to help you get to higher platforms. This really makes you think about what you're doing and gives the game a unique twist.

Before you even get into the game itself you'll be on the world map. You have to choose your location by moving around a blue helicopter, then choosing to either descend or move to a different stage. Next up is choosing your weapon, special items and communicator. Choosing the correct things before you start a stage is the key to success. Some stages require certain items or weapons to be able to even be able to start them. Finding out what you need for each one is sometimes not as obvious as it might seem.

To start off with you only have two lives and one hit and you're dead. By killing enemies you'll pick up energy tanks and once you have enough of them you can get more health. You can have a maximum of eight hit points and different things take off varying ammount of damage. Getting hit by enemy bullets will only take off one hit, but falling into a spike pit will take off four.

Once you've explored the stage you'll have to find the communicator room. In here you can either communicate with your team mates or intercept enemy communications. You to make sure you have the right communicator for the job or you'll get a scrambled message.

When you've got all the information you can from communicator room you have make your way to the boss. This is never easy because you have to really look around for the way there. As I mentioned at the start there's no jump so you'll have to swing from various different places to reach your goal. The boss is always locked until you find the correct communicator room and get some information. The boss door is easily distinguishable from normal ones because it has an Eagle above it like the picture above.

Inside the boss room is either one of three types of boss. These are a bunch of random soldiers with a commander, a cyborg with a Bionic Arm or a flaoting robot with a 3-way gun. Your main objective is to destroy the enemy computer at the right of the screen. You can either ignore the oppisition and go straight for the computer or take them out and play it safe.

Along your travels you'll come across netural zones where you can interact with people. There are enemies as well as friends here so you need to watch out. When talking to people they'll usually give you hints on what to do next or tell you where to find certain items. If you shoot your weapon here you'll be attacked by a bunch of guards. These guys are serious and won't stop attacking until you're dead.

There are a number of different types of stages and one of the strangest is Area 03. The stage has weird creatures that look spiders, giant moths and even man eating plants. As well as doing your standard stages there's also some which require you to climb up enourmous towers to the top. These are extremely challenging because one slip and you're dead.

When travelling between different areas you'll encounter enemy trucks which will change the game to a top down view. This are quick stages which, more than anything only give you continues from defeating the harder enemies. Depending on the stage it'll either be a heavy guy with a rocket launcher and shield or a truck with two enemies shooting at you. The continues look like the Eagle logo which you see every where you look.

Finally is the most notorious part of the game. I've put it in the spoiler below because it's right at the end of the game.


Changes from the original Japanese to English versions

For those of you who didn't know, the original Japanese game name was Top Secret: Hitler's Revival. The game had you fighting against Nazi forces instead of The Badds and Master-D is called Hitler. Apart from other obvious changes like the Eagle logo changed from the Swastika, there were a number of changes made to the game to make it a lot easier compared to its English counterpart. The Japanese version had more enemies in certain areas, more traps like falling platforms and are a lot more lasers blocking your path. Below are some examples of the changes that were made.

Bionic Commando Rearmed

This is complete remake of the original NES version. There are 3D graphics represented in a pseudo 2D perspective, sometimes referred as 2.5D. I believe this will give the game a lot depth, while still keeping with core gameplay elements intact. As far as I know, the game will be using the same graphics and physics engine as the new Bionic Commando.

There are a number of new gameplay modes which are;

Co-op (player 2 can drop in at any time as an orange guy)
Challenge Rooms (get from the start to the finish as fast as possible)
Up to 4 versus multiplayer (free-for-all or team deathmatch)

All the stages, items, characters and everything else is the exactly the same as you'll remember it. There's only one major change which is addition of some new bosses. In the original game all you had to do is find the boss room and destroy a giant computer and that's it. Each stage now has a unique boss which will make the stages a lot less repetitive. Capcom have said that if you're playing co-op, the bosses will be different and you'll have to work together to defeat them.

It's 10th June, 2008 and there's still no confirmed release date for Bionic Commando Rearmed. It was due to be released in last month and Capcom have said there's going to be a delay to "improve the quality of the game".

Bionic Commando Rearmed will be released on Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA), PlayStation Network (PSN) and through various digital distribution services like Steam. Capcom have confirmed that there'll be some sort of "link feature" between the new Bionic Commando and Bionic Commando Rearmed. This will allow you can unlock different things like the classic Nathan "Rad" Spencer costume in the new Bionic Commando.

Final Thoughts

This game is extremely unique and I don't think any other game has tried to copy its gameplay style and swing mechanics. It's extremely challenging, but rewarding to try and figure out how to make use of your limited movements to try and reach your destination. Once you've mastered how to swing you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of this game. You'll never get bored too quickly because there's a lot of different gameplay styles. There are the main action stages, bonus "enemy encounter" top down view stages and even some RPG parts, where you'll need to chat with people in the neutral zones. Basically, this is an amazing game which starts off quite simple, but soon engrosses you into a unique mind set. You'll never look at a platform game the same ever again.

A major bad point that it can be quite a long and hard game and there's no save or password options. The game can be very particular when letting you grapple on to things and it takes real skill to master. Due to the lack of memory on the NES, the enemies quickly respawn giving you little time to recover from their attacks. This is quite a big issue in later stages. Some are almost impossible to do without getting hit because there's loads of enemies in the same place. With a bit of practice, most of these can be quickly overcome and it doesn't really effect the game.

This is one of my favourite games of all time has also reached legendary status on RetroNoobz. The only thing I can give this game is a massive thumbs up as shown in the photo of me below.


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