Title : Commando
Publisher : Capcom
Developer : Capcom
Genre : Run N Gun
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1985
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$7
To me, Commando was pretty much the precursor to Ikari Warriors or even Jackal. In a way, this game set the standard for run 'n' gun, vertically scrolling shooters. Not to mention, this game was probably released on every platform known to man in the early 80s. It was pretty much impossible not to encounter this game.
I think the very first time I played it was at my friends house across the street. He was heavy into the shooter games, and I really felt like over the span of ten years that I was friends with him, those were the only games he ever owned. Each time I tried to expose him to something else, he would just be bored out of his mind. Don't get me wrong, the kid was a prodigy when it came to run 'n' gunners. He must have went pro....
What was his name....meh, I dunno. All I know is that he or someone else eventually stole my copy of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves for the NES. More on that when I actually review the game...
So grab a gun, and don your gear. You are Super Joe. And it's time to kill the enemy..who are supposed to be South American armies...but I always picture these jungle shooters as referencing back to the Vietnam War.
And that makes me think of Full Metal Jacket...which makes me think of Gomer Pile....OOof...
Or maybe it's drug related. WHO KNOWS!? No story needed for this shooter.
As Super Joe, you are dropped off by helicopter in the middle of a hot zone, and I'm talking HOT. There are enemy all around you, and for some reason the American military could only afford to send one soldier to save the day. Why...WHY. Why send 1 little man against an endless assault of soldiers!?
Someone call the damn President. Super Joe better have damn good life insurance for his family. Not to mention, you're only armed with two weapons. A machine gun and a few grenades. Of course, the machine gun has unlimited ammo due to the enhancements in modern technology. But grenades? no you run out of those, so keep 'em close until you need to blow up around 50 enemies on screen all at once.
Luckily, the NES version has a few upgrades for your weapons unlike the other releases. At least that gives you more of a fighting chance.
Commando unfortunately suffers from something I call "rinse and repeat" syndrome. Each level is practically the same. You'll face off against the same dull-colored soldiers, who have the same damn attacks, followed up by a gate that bursts open at the end of the level where you defeat another swarm of soldiers. You do that over and over again a few times and you beat the game in probably twenty minutes.
Needless to say, it's a mindless run 'n' gun. The difficulty doesn't even seem to get harder as you progress with each stage. Typically you'll encounter new versions of enemies, but at least stronger ones. But nope. Each stage is as easy as the last. Now I understand why they only sent you, because the enemy is truly weak.
The only thing that offers some substance of variation in this game is the ability to rescue hostages. I mean, that's fun..for about five minutes..until I became bored again.
Okay, for 1985 I can't really complain. The game had it's fun moments. It's quite simple, and really easy which is the unfortunate part. There was really no challenge factor to the game. Visually though, it was actually pretty good for those early NES games so I won't knock them there.
The music was a little bit...odd? I mean, it's pretty upbeat for a run n gunner war game. At least try to make it more dramatic. I felt like dancing the jig while blowing people up. A very strange emotional involvement.
Regardless, it's Commando. And your Super Joe. And there's nothing wrong with being Super Joe.
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time. Keep on gaming!