Bringing flattops back
Having never played the original Bionic Commando, Bionic Commando Rearmed provided me with an opportunity to play an updated version of what has been described as nothing short of a classic. After playing the remake for myself, I can certainly see why the game has earned the reputation is has. Bionic Commando Rearmed is a freakishly entertaining old school action game that should be a worthy purchase for anyone willing to overlook a few dated design quirks.
At its core, Bionic Commando Rearmed is the same game that graced the NES some twenty years ago. You still play as Nathan "Rad" Spencer (best name ever), and he still has a sweet bionic arm. Said arm is used for all sorts of stuff, such as climbing, swinging, deflecting bullets, and grabbing objects and/or people. In fact, most everything you do involves using your arm, and you get the sense that the developers built every piece of the game around it. It's great to play a game with that kind of focus, though that isn't all you'll be doing in Bionic Commando Rearmed. You'll also acquire a fairly standard array of guns, all of which have a certain kick to them, making them a ton of fun to use. Your weapons combine well with your arm to produce some great gameplay moments- especially the boss fights. These showdowns make great use of the tools at your disposal, and bring every part of the game together into a few definitive segments.
That being said, Bionic Commando Rearmed doesn't come without its quirks. Being a remake of a twenty year old game, a few frustrating design elements linger. Spencer's inabilities to jump or shoot upwards seem like unnecessary limitations, and the whole ordeal of having a limited number of lives feels very dated. These issues can be incredibly frustrating at times, and you'll quickly realize why the industry has outgrown such things. Fortunately, Bionic Commando Rearmed has also made many positive updates to a lot of other aspects of the game, the most noticeable of which is the game's presentation. Bionic Commando Rearmed looks and sounds awesome, plain and simple. Everything about it is extremely smooth and modern, yet harbors this sweet old school vibe. You'll also find tons of bonus content in this remake, such as bonus collectibles and a string of interesting challenge rooms. This stuff is fantastic, and breathes a lot of new life into an old game.
Perhaps the best part of Bionic Commando Rearmed, however, is its $10 price point. There is well enough content to justify that entry fee, and the quality is there to boot. So as long as you can deal with a few dated design quirks, then Bionic Commando Rearmed is an absolute blast, and is a great buy for fans of the original and newcomers alike.
For additional information on my review style and scoring system, click here.