Bionic Commando Rearmed Review: Swinging Is Better

Twenty years ago, many of you weren’t even born. For many longtime gamers of the original NES classic Bionic Commando, this clingy title still holds a warm place in the heart. Cherished for its difficulty, Bionic Commando: Rearmed is a 8-bit classic revamp that comes in the form of a next generation tune up that keeps all the greatness from the days gone by to modernize it, and adds various new bad ass challenges for you to shoot, swing, and grapple. Remakes are usually never enough, and Capcom realizes this to undeniably recreate one of the best remade downloadable games on XBLA and PSN to date.

Once again, players are snapped in the boots of Nathan “R.A.D.” Spencer, still equipped with his R.A.D. bionic arm, sleek dark shades, and bravo soldier skills. Your task: rescue Super Joe and to stop the M. Bison/Hitler look alike bad guy from causing complete destruction. While you’re doing all of this, the visuals are amazing. The care that Capcom put into this downloadable title is better than a lot of retail games out there.  The colors are rich and vibrant and the animations are fluid. Yes, this 2D side scroller designed by Toshiaki Morihas sweet rag doll physics. If we could give the team of Capcom a gold star, we would. But we give something way better: Golden Editor’s Choice feathers, but whether or not it gets one is still a choice left to see by the grim scapes of Bionic Commando. Ready your bionic arm to swing into a retro packed action side scrolling platformer with a great increased sense of graphics, and gameplay combat.

Ready the R.A.D. bionic arm, the primary tool of choice and experience great combat through a variety of macadamized levels and weapons. With your bionic arm, you can attach yourself to pretty much anything and swing. The mechanic is simple, but actually mastering it isn’t simple and takes a good amount of time before you can master it fully to utilize its full capability, especially in the later levels you better be prepared to swing like a master if you want to avoid having to pay a visit to the reaper. The arm isn’t only there to swing, its also functions as a defensive tool against the horde of enemy’s aside from reflecting bullets, and using objects such barrels to reflect attacks to name a few. Effectually, you can upgrade your arm to grab and toss enemy’s aside, which is pretty addicting and exhilarating at the same time for this fast paced action adventure. Luckily the creators just didn’t let the arm do all the work, so don’t think the arm is your only choice of attack. A machine gun, rocket launcher, and in later levels a vector cannon that  reflects lasers off walls for perfect angled shots) adds a much needed variety to attacking.

Bionic Commando’s platforming is different in a sense from other platformers on the market. For one thing, there is no way to get off the ground other than using your arm, which means no button. But this isn’t a problem because the game is designed to use the functions of the bionic arm to its upmost potential. If you had the option to jump, Bionic Commando: Rearmed just wouldn’t be as enjoyable and as challenging overly. The meet-the-enemy top-down sections are one section of Bionic Commando: Rearmed that Capcom should have considered reworking or left out. It is understandable why they included it, as it was part of the original.  Nevertheless, its just not as fun as the other parts of the game that include swinging. Your goal on these maps is to attack a anti-aircraft gun, but if you destroy it, a chopper will come and pick you up and eventually makes most of the gameplay pointless. Keeping this section in the game isn’t the worst thing in the world, but not giving it the same next generation upgrade was perhaps a mistake.

A new addition is the zip-lined action multiplayer. It is not intensive because sadly you can’t play with a friend online. It is two player offline co-op for the entire game, which would definitely leave every hopeful bionic arm with rust.  The AI adjusts in co-op depending on how many players you have in the game, so something that is a hard game gets even harder. Various boss battles scale in difficulty in co-op also with the added teammates, emphasizing teamwork. Four-player offline competitive multiplayer is welcoming, but not having online is a huge downside.  The three modes: Deathmatch, Last Man Standing, and Don’t Touch the Floor are gratifying, but getting four friends over to play may be more of a nuisance than anything. An added online mode would have been a welcome addition, but whatever keeps the bionic arm in gear works either way.

Bionic Commando Rearmed could possibly be the best remade downloadable console game available give or take a few disappointing factors such as the offline co-op.  It still preserves all the greatness of the original and upgrades it into a much better game.The visuals are dazzling and the introduction of new levels are challenging and enticing. With so much “R.A.D”, Bionic Commando Rearmed is a worthy title in anyone’s collection.

Bionic Fook-Up

Bionic Commando Rearmed has a few flaws for the blokes out there wondering if it is any good. Overall, if you liked Bionic Commando since the 8-bit pixel days, you’re going to definitely dig it. The single player is great to see again, but it totally goes bollocks when you see the same sorts of missions again. Then again: this is Rearmed and not New-Armed or Remotely Interestingly-Armed Commando. The other problem is that the multiplayer is complete shite. What’s the point of having offline co-op when you have big networks like XBLA and PSN? It seems Capcom just didn’t give a fook to bother doing the coding, so shame on them for that anyways. Why our American counterparts think this is a fantastic game, we have no fucking clue. Here on WhatIfGaming UK, we think everyone on our fancily colored seas should wait a while until the 3D Bionic Commando to come out for anything worthy of a single play for such a bad title.

David Jeffers is a former writer for WhatIfGaming and one of the most prominent writers you will find out there. He loves anime, and everything video games and loves chances to discover new and interesting worlds in the interactivity from the games we play today, given that the game does a good job of doing that of course.

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