A great concept ruined by technology
The original Bionic Commando was heralded as one of the best and innovative games on the NES, and 20 years later, Capcom has looked to spark new magic with the franchise by remaking the original. And with current standards of remakes, Bionic Commando: Rearmed for Xbox Live Arcade once again falls into the category of 'worse than the original' due to focusing too much on added content than improving what made the original great, gameplay.
There will be several instances in Bionic Commando: Rearmed where you might feel cheated and the game is cheap. First, are in the new challenges. Challenges are timed obstacle courses forcing you to use your skills to reach the end. For the first few, these are fine, with some moderate challenge, however, once you reach the 15th or so challenge, the game forces you to make pixel perfect maneuvers every step of the way, and after your 40th or 50th attempt on some of these, the fun and enjoyment starts to go down.
Another problem with Bionic Commando is the camera system. In the original the camera squarely had you in the middle. However, in this game, you are always left or to the right of center, giving you an akward viewpoint. Also, the camera is sometimes set too close, most notably in secret, moving platform levels where in instances you will have to blindly drop to reach the next moving platform you don't know is there, which will lead to unfortunate deaths if you don't grapple quickly enough. Also, the grappling mechanic seems flawed in the sense that if you're moving away or towards and object, while grappling, if you don't swing right away, your grapple will be lost, and because of this akward movement most of the time you perform a grapple on a moving platform will result in you swinging off to your doom.
Bionic Commando: Rearmed is by no means a bad game, just a frustrating one in many aspects. If you wish to play Bionic Commando, go play the original, as that game has more nostalgia going for it than this, but if you don't have an NES, you can't really go wrong with this, but keep in mind the game does have serious issues, including graphical tearing on the Xbox Live Arcade version as well as muffled sound, although the tunes are kind of catchy. Overall, Bionic Commando is worth experiencing if you haven't played it before, despite being short. If you're looking for a nostalgia trip from Capcom, wait for Mega Man 9 next month.