Monday, September 29, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #137: Cobra Triangle

Title : Cobra Triangle

Publisher : Nintendo

Developer : Rare

Genre : Vehicular Combat / Racing

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1989

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$8's another game where I just want to scream COBRAAAAA, but I won't. Cobra Triangle, eh? Well, the box art certainly confuses me. At first I thought that was supposed to be a speed boat fighting the Loch Ness Monster, but then I figured it must have been an ad for that roller coaster at Kings Dominion in VA, or was it Busch Gardens? Then again, that's the Loch Ness Monster too.

Oh, and I'll mention it now that I absolutely despise dragons portrayed with forked snake tongues. Unless, that's supposed to be a cobra, then in that case the artist needs to look at some reference pictures of cobras because that certainly isn't one.

So what exactly do we get when we have speed boats, floating mines, and dragons? Well, RARE (known for some truly incredible games like Conkers, Banjo Kazooie and of course Donkey Kong Country) pumped this bad boy out after their hugely successful RC Pro AM. I guess they figured that if they did such a good job with cars, why not try the same thing with boats? After all, the two games are quite similar.
Gotta love that isometric view...*shudder* As usual, takes a bit of getting used to. Well, with the success of RC Pro AM, you kind of have to assume that Cobra Triangle is going to be another hit, right?

Well, let's find out. I never did like boats though......or giant snakes.

The concept of Cobra Triangle is fairly simple. Complete the objectives for each course in the given amount of time all the while avoiding obstacles and enemies. Can't go wrong with a formula like that. I really consider this game to be a more evolved version of RC Pro AM. Stylistically it's almost identical, but the gameplay mechanics have developed quite a bit.

A lot of it comes down to the variety of missions you encounter. Anything from standard races, to rescuing people stranded in the water surrounded by sharks, completing massive jumps, mine collecting and depositing, and even battling bosses. Come on, a racing / combat game with bosses? That's an immediate win in my book.

All of this, in a whopping 25 stages! And that doesn't even include the bonus rounds. CHA CHING!

Holy crap, the sea monster is real and it looks JUST like the cover! DAMN! You may notice that the game has a lot going on in the HUD, and that's because it's really not a standard racer, but more of an action game. You've got life meters, enemy meters, your selected weapons, time left, and a points system. It's jam packed, and it actually reminds me a bit of those standard side-scrolling shoot 'em ups. 

And hell, it works! A lot of it comes down to collecting power ups a la circular treasure troves that appear on the map. Blast em open, and collect the prizes inside. Usually they contain weapon upgrades or turbo boosts, but you'll occasionally get extra lives and temporary invincibility.

Apparently, UFOs make an appearance in this game and are clearly obsessed with half naked giant people in purple rivers.

The game works. Clearly. The controls are smooth, the graphics are pleasing, and the gameplay is simplistic and quick. And I do mean quick. You'll breeze by these 25 levels extremely quickly. To the point where you'll complete the entire game in roughly 20 mins. No joke. Now, that's not a bad thing, but it does kind of push my buttons a bit where the game offers little replay value. It's a one and done type deal.

A 2 player option would have made this game a bit more enjoyable, but I do know that with this isometric view BS it's not that easy. Heck, it's not even possible. Cobra Triangle remains as a middle ground better than average NES game. It's fun, but not memorable. 

Then again, to make a game with boats and turn it into an entertaining action game, that's pretty impressive. Good job, Rare.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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