[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”GRIN” publishers=”Capcom” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=””]
In 1988, Capcom brought Bionic Commando to the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Twenty-one years later, the game has been revived and brought to the Xbox 360. Unlike the original 8-bit NES version, Rearmed comes with updated graphics, new areas, additional features and online leaderboards.
Rearmed, like the original, follows commando Nathan “Radd” Spencer as he fights through Imperialist forces trying to save Super Joe, a fellow commando who was captured while trying to infiltrate enemy forces. The biggest difference between the Bionic Commando series and other side-scrolling shooters is well, you’re bionic. Instead of having the ability to jump, you have a bionic arm that has numerous features, from grappling, to deflecting enemy projectiles.
Rearmed also sees many gameplay enhancement, the biggest being the new health system. You can now actually survive after being shot a single time. You have a health bar, which depletes after getting hit by a projectile, but can be filled back up by health pickups found throughout the game. Beware, harder difficulties mean enemy projectiles do more damage! The newer version also includes a new challenge mode that tests your bionic arm skills, in challenging puzzles that must be finished in an allotted amount of time.
Graphically, Rearmed isn’t even in the same ballpark. Before we were looking at a pixilated Radd, sometimes wondering what the heck we were even looking at. Now we’re getting insane graphics rarely ever seen on an Xbox 360 arcade game. Even smaller things have been added like empty shell casings from your guns, and in the end that’s what we’re looking for, the small things.
The game hasn’t only gotten gameplay and graphical enhancements, because Rearmed’s been made twenty years after Bionic Commado, the original development team wasn’t on hand to make the game. Instead we got a new team that would occasionally ask what the original guys thought throughout the development process. No one wants a sequel to stray too far from their roots. The new team not only kept the game true to it’s roots, but added new mechanics to the game like enhanced AI and even some new enemy bosses!
However, with all this good comes some bad. The Xbox 360 controller isn’t nearly as sensitive as the NES controller, and with that comes quiet a lot of frustrating moments. Instead of Radd shooting his bionic arm to the top left of the screen to avoid death, the arm will shoot to the left instead like as if it were possessed by a poltergeist.
In all honestly, the frustrating controls can’t keep this from being one of the best side-scrolling shooters to grace the Xbox 360 arcade. It’s hard to believe for only $10, this kind of steal is one of the few that won’t result in jail time.