Dateline : 3rd November 2011


Going undercover and minus the spandex of Day 2, RetroBear goes for a more bionic look than ever before. Armed with a gun and a bionic extending arm which he uses to tap people on the back from long distances away, it’s the Battle of the Decade : RetroBear v.s Hitler. Hitler ? Really….hmmm well read on !


Yes it is Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin. Look just see below and you'll find out why it's Hitler

When I was young there were a couple of TV shows knocking around that for some reason cashed in on the bionic craze that was going on : The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. The former showing how it was possible to reconstruct Lee Majors (not such a bad thing if you were a fan of The Fall Guy) and the latter showing how a woman can be bionic and still have the need to have perfect hair and make up. It got us all thinking what it would be like to have bionic legs, super bionic eyes or a giant bionic penis…..although that last one might just have been my own wishful thinking.


Once again game companies fed our deepest fantasies by bringing out a game called Bionic Commando. Not only could you mow down evil terrorist types but you got a bionic arm for your trouble which is what the modern freedom fighter needs. Capcom, the company behind the game, did a pretty good job with the storyline with the Japanese version of the game having you battle Neo-Nazis and Adolf Hitler. The rest of the world had to make do with a watered down fascist type rebel group, although the likeness to Hitler was never altered.


I'm the one in the green. Look how colourful the game is.


Using your bionic arm you can move up the platforms, sniping the bad guys as you go. You enter rooms where accessing a computer allows you to check in with your commanding officer and also the facility to wire-tap the enemy. This does bring you to their attention but all the more so for going back out there and kicking ass. The great thing about the bionic arm is it is amazingly accurate and works really well, although on some of the later levels you need precision – and I do mean precision – timing to find the right spot to enable you to move on up.


The other noticeable feature is the fact the you can’t jump. Yes I know most games come with the chance to jump but they didn’t give you a bionic arm for nothing (might have been worth trading it in for the ability to jump and have the bionic penis instead). The graphics are nice, bold and colourful and the music is incredibly atmospheric, heavily influenced by a military theme. The gameplay is also well balanced allowing progress each time you play, although as mentioned before some of the accuracy needed can lead to frustration.


Top notch running and gunning. No jumping though.


There are plenty of other good versions of Bionic Commando out there, with the Commodore 64 version being a particular belter of a conversion. You can even get New-Gen updates on the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 if you so desire to, which goes to show just how fondly recalled Bionic Commando is. It is definitely one of those true gaming classics that deserves to be looked at again by any games player no matter what their gaming skills are.


VERDICT : If I had a bionic arm I’d be giving this one a huge bionic thumbs up.


NOTES : It’s hard to find a boxed copy of the NES version, but loose carts can be found on Amazon for just under a fiver at the moment (02.11.11). No such luck on eBay – so why not try some of the trusted traders in the Links section instead !


UP NEXT : From the NES to the Master System – time to take a trip to Rainbow Islands !