Title : Cobra Command
Publisher : Data East
Developer : Data East
Genre : Side Scrolling Shooter
Players : 1/2 Player
Release Date : 1988
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$8
Cooooooooobraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Sorry - had to do it. It's not even a GI JOE game but when I hear COBRA COMMAND, that's all I think about. Actually, I think this game would have been a lot better if it tied in some GI Joe elements, but you know, that's not really possible.
COBRA COMMAND is unlike anything you have seen on the NES. I know, I know. It's another side-scrolling shooter. But this one involves helicopters! Hey, that's different! At least it's not a spaceship. This game is trying to be somewhat realistic, right? Meh, not really.
It was actually a port of the arcade game which I had never seen before., or maybe I had. Something about it seems familiar when I play it on the NES, and I can't seem to remember if it's because I played it when I was a kid on this system, or if I happened to stumble upon it at an arcade somewhere.
Hope you guys are ready to destroy some tanks, gunboats, and other choppers. We've got a war to win and hostages to rescue. This is COBRA COMMAND.
It's your typical shooter, no doubt about that, but it does differ somewhat from the arcade version. The arcade version actually had a forced camera movement from left to right, however this one you can control where you want to go. The main objective of the game is to rescue the hostages and take over enemy depots in each level.
Of course, you'll have to deal with a large number of enemies on the way, and let me tell you there are a lot of them. This is by far one of the hardest NES shooters out there, but it's not even an unfair challenge. The game requires patience and a lot of quick fingers. Thankfully this isn't one of those games where it's a one hit kill. You can take a few hits before you chopper blows up.
This game isn't all about above ground warfare. Heck no. One of the greatest things about COBRA COMMAND is that it forces you to travel in underground bases and catacombs controlled by the enemies. I don't know about you, but a little thing like that really adds a lot to the game. The fact that it's not all about left and right, but about all directions really boosts up the enjoyment factor since it's not a straight forward side-scroller.
You would think as a shooter it would get boring after awhile, but it actually becomes really interactive, to the point where you actually do feel like you're on missions. I never knew it would be so much fun to see hostages swing from the ropes of my chopper.
Visually, the game is actually pretty stunning. Even in all it's 8-bit glory, it really stands out among the other side scrollers out there. I can't stress enough how much it annoys me when all I get is a black background of outer space.
Another thing that makes this game works so well, is it's seemingly PERFECT controls. No joke. You would think that a game that involves maneuvering a helicopter around would actually be pretty damn difficult, but I'm telling you it feels completely natural. If only other NES shooters could have taken some advice from this game.
All in all, this slightly underrated game deserves a lot more attention than it has received. So if you're looking for a side-scroller that is a tad bit different from the rest (and if you enjoy military shooters) give Cobra Command a shot.
GET TO DA CHOPPAH!!!!