17: Bionic Commando

Genre: Platformer

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Year: 1988

Basic Idea: Use your monkey arms to move your two-ton legs.

Review: This is definitely my favorite game that I absolutely suck at.  Originally a Hitler-Nazi game, it was changed for the delicate American audience.  But the plot is irrelevant.  The game is all about the bionic arm that your good guy is equipped with.  It is a hard thing to master, but once you do, it is a blast to swing your way through each level.  Certain areas can only be reached if you learn the intricacies of your arm (which doubles as a whip and a grappling hook) and most of the fun is solving these puzzles.  Since there is no jumping allowed in the game, it takes a while to get used to, but definitely worth the effort.

Most levels are of the platform variety, but some are overhead shooters like Guerrila War.   There is never a feeling of sameness.  Even better, you can attack the levels in virtually any order you wish, though items in some levels are required to get through others. Sadly, there is a finite number of lives, and as mentioned, I suck at the game and have never made it very far.

The graphics are nothing exciting, but the music is fantastic.  Capcom was the king of platformers, and Bionic Commando is one of the greatest examples.

As an aside, on the Playstation and XBox remake, Bionic Commando Rearmed, loyal reader and personal friend Dean Tersigni is given a “special thanks” credit for his help on the project.

3 thoughts on “17: Bionic Commando”

  1. I totally remember his name on the credits.

    I only played this a little at the time, but I beat the hell out of it (repeatedly) on Grin’s HD remake. I expected big things from them, but then they made a poor 3D version of Bionic Commando and killed off both the franchise and themselves. Oh well.

    In addition to the excellent platforming (and the renewed Hitler angle) on the PS3 update, there are something like 80 challenge rooms where you have to get Super Joe (is that the right game?) from point A to point B without dying. They’re tons of fun. I’m pretty sure this is one of the first three PSN games I bought.

  2. As the duly designated Bionic Commando commentator, what with having my name in the credits, I must mention that the overhead sections of the game were actually a tribute to the game’s predecessor, Commando.

    And you’re definitely right, the game has a steep learning curve and fantastic music. However, the story is actually pretty cool. If you take into account all of the radio chatter, a lot more of the story is revealed through the game.

    1. I can see that. While I was intrigued by the radio chatter, I barely heard any of it because I suck at the game.

      A big “duh” to me on the Commando bit.

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