Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Commando (NES) Review

Commando is a vertical run and gun game by Capcom that was released in 1985 for the arcade. It has been ported to many different devices over the years including the Nintendo Entertainment System which is the version I played. Despite having the same name as the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie this isn't based upon that movie but if you squint your eyes while playing it you'd nearly be fooled. To keep the mood going all you have to do is yell "Get to the chopper" every time you see a helicopter.

In Commando you play Super Joe, a solder who has to battle a whole army by himself. Joe battles through four levels, each with four sections to play through. After Joe is dropped off by helicopter, he has to battle his way north to the end of each level. Super Joe is armed with a sub machine gun which has infinite ammo and can shoot in 8 different directions. His only other weapon is grenades which can only be thrown north but unlike the gun the grenades have limited ammo that you have to find in the game.

In the levels you'll find a number of different kinds of enemies, each that have different weapons to use against you. Some of the levels have streets that you'll need to cross and make sure to look both ways as there are cars on these roads that all want you dead.

 There are also prisoners that you can rescue which gives you points. You'll receive an extra life after earning 10,000 points and another life every 50,000 points after.

No man left behind.
At the end of each section you come to a building where you need to kill all the enemies to complete the level. You'll do this four times in each of the four levels and Super Joe has won the game.

There are hidden areas that you can randomly find that take you underground to fight snakes and whatnot. Apparently there are glasses that you can find in the game that let you see these hidden areas. I wish I had know that and found them because I'd be walking up and all of a sudden I'm transported underground. What's worse is that the exit is hidden as well and I had to walk all around until I found my way out. I did find a medal in one sewer that Super Joe pinned to his shirt as a literal badge of honor. The medal and other things you find in these hidden levels earn you points.

Back when this game was released on the NES Nintendo had rules that didn't let excessive violence, religious items, and other adult situations in their games but for some reason they let a pic of Super Joe smoking escape their censors. It's weird to see it in an NES game.

Commando looks pretty good, controls well, and has some music that keeps you in the mood for some running and gunning. Commando reminds me of the game Guerrilla War that I played last year. Commando wasn't a game that I played back in the day, at least to the best of my knowledge, but I had a lot of fun with this one. It's not the greatest game on the NES or the best port of this game but I had fun with it and if it sounds interesting to you I would say give it a go. I give Commando on the NES a 6 out of 10.

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